The original Script from The Junior High, A script for a TV series from the novel, The Junior High, by Dr. Pelham Mead

The Junior High (1960’s-1970’s)

By Dr. Pelham Mead III ©

TV Script for a 13 Episode Series

 

Narrator: The date is 1960, Upstate New York in the Highland School District and two years of construction on a new Junior High have come up short and will not finish on time for the school opening on September 5, 1960.

 

 

Episode 1-The Beginning

Scene 1- Cucamonga JHS construction site, Sept. 1959.

Description of Scene: Piles of wood everywhere, backhoe parked nearby and many trucks parked in background. Front of the building, Glass with taped X in the front hallway.

 

Job Foreman-Mr. Green- (Talking to another unnamed construction worker outside the school building) “Well it looks like we aren’t going to finish this job on time for the opening on September 5th.”

Construction Worker #1-“That’s too bad. There are going to be a lot of unhappy parents and

Job foreman: “Yeah about 600 unhappy students to be exact.”

Construction Worker #1: “What’s holding up the job?

Job Foreman: “The auditorium seats have not come in yet. We are also five unfinished classrooms left on the second floor.”

Construction worker: “Wow, that’s a lot to do. Well I have to get back to work. See you later boss.”

 

Scene two: The superintendent of schools, Mr. Sam Woodruff’s office.

Description of scene: (Phone rings and a secretary sitting at a desk in a large office area surrounded with books on shelves and education posters. Mrs. Adler, secretary to the Superintendent of Schools: ” Hello, Superintendent Woodrift’s office, Ms. Adler speaking, ‘how may I help you?”

Construction Foreman, Mr. Sam Green-“Hello, I would like to speak to the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Woodruff, please. This is Mr. Green, the Foreman on the Cucamonga school construction.”

Secretary Adler: “Yes, one minute Mr. Green. I will put Superintendent Woodrift on the line for you.”

Secretary Adler: “shouting into the next room” “Mr. Green the Job Foreman on line 2 sir.”

Supt. Woodruff: “Ok, I got it, Hello,

Foreman Green: “Hi, Mr. Woodruff, this is foreman Green speaking.”

Superintendent Woodruff: “Yes what can I do for you Mr. Green?”

Foreman Green: “Well, Sir I am afraid I have some bad news for you.”

Supt. Woodruff: “Yes what is it?” (In an angry manner)

Foreman Green: “The chairs for the auditorium for Cucamonga JHS have not arrived yet. In addition, we are five classrooms behind in finishing, Sir”

Supt. Woodruff: “Are you kidding me! Here it is September 2, three days away from opening and you are telling me we are not going to finish on time? What the hell am I going to do now? We sent out 600 letters back in August to the new Cucamonga JHS students about opening day on Sept. 5th.”

Foreman Green: ” May I suggest Sir, that we lock the auditorium closed and block off all access to the five unfinished classrooms on the second floor, front hallway.”

Supt. Woodruff: “What about the building inspector? He is never going to give us a CO with the building unfinished.”

Foreman Green: “Don’t worry about the building inspector, we will slip him some money to go away until the building is done.”

Supt. Woodruff: “You can do that?”

Foreman Green: “Let me worry about that, Sir.”

Supt. Woodruff: ” Ok, I want action and fast.”

Supt. Woodruff: “Miss Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teacher’s Union President on the phone right away.

Supt. Woodruff begins pacing back and forth and looking out his office windows.

 

Foreman Green: ” Thank you Sir, goodbye.”

Supt. “Miss Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teachers Union President on the phone right away.

Supt.Woodruff- (begins pacing back and forth- looking out the windows of his office)

(A few minutes later the Phone rings)

Ms. Adler- (shouting) Mr. Woodruff, Mr. Flemingberg calling on line 2.”

Supt. Woodruff- “Hello Bill, I just wanted to let you know we have a problem with the opening day at Cucamonga Junior High school. The auditorium had no seats yet, and we are five classrooms upstairs away from finishing. I just wanted to keep you informed. Please tell your teachers that regardless of what gossip they hear, we will open on Sept. 5th with a faculty development day. Students will report on Sept. 6th at 9:05am.

Bill Flemingberg- Union President “Than you Cal. I will notify all our Union Members that is business as usual at Cucamonga Junior High school and all teachers assigned to that new school are to report in at 9:05 on Sept. 5th.

Supt.Woodruff- Cal “Thanks Bill, I will keep you informed, gotta run, bye.”

(Phone rings again)

Ms. Adler ” Mr Grossberg is on line 3 sir.”

Supt. Cal “Thank you Ms. Adler, I got it”

Supt. Cal- ” Good morning Sam, Shalom. How are you today?

Sam Grossberg, Pres. Of the board of Education- “Good and you?”

Supt. Cal- “Sam we have a problem with the construction at Cucamonga Junior High school. The auditorium seats have not yet been delivered and they have five more classrooms on the second floor to finish.”

Sam “Wow are we going to open on time?”

Supt. Cal- “Yes we are going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conferences, but the upstairs will be blocked off and the auditorium will be locked.”

Sam “OK, I am glad we have a backup plan or the parents will be calling me night and day.”

Supt. Cal “I will keep you informed Sam, have a nice day”

Sam “Goodbye Cal.”

Supt. Cal (dialing out on a rotary phone) “Hello Principal Worley? This is Superintendent Grossberg. I have some good and bad news for you. Which do your want first?”

Principal Ned Worley “What is the bad news.”

Supt. Cal -“Well the construction on your school is running behind schedule. Your auditorium chairs have not been delivered yet and five classrooms upstairs rooms 201, 202,203,204, and 205 are not finished yet.”

Principal Ned Worley ” Are we going to open on Sept. 5th?”

Supt. Cal- “Yes but with restrictions. The second floor font stairway will have to be blocked off by your staff and the auditorium will have to be locked.

Principal Worley “So what is the good news?”

Supt. Cal- “The good news Ned is your are going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conference day.

Principal Ned- “Great, I will get on the closures right away in the hall and auditorium. Thanks you and have a nice day.”

(Hangs up)

Principal Worley- “Mrs. Grey call the Assistant Principal Mr. Kelp and have him modify the class schedule and move rooms 201 to 205 to different rooms. If there are not rooms available the small cafeteria will be available except periods 3,4, and 5 during lunchtime. Also have him inform the faculty and staff that construction will go on during school hours and the auditorium is off limits and will be locked until the chairs arrive.”

Secretary Grey- “I am calling him right now Mr. Worley”

Principal Worley “What are I going to do about the parents, should they be informed? It is probably too late for that.

(Talking out loud to himself)

Narrator: “And so the first day of school arrived with faculty conferences on Sept. 5th and all Cucamonga Junior high faculty were to report to the building as usual for meetings.Imageunioe

Chapter 8- Teacher Stories from the novel, “The Junior High, ” by Dr. Pelham Mead, Xlibris publishers

Chapter 8- Teacher Stories

 

Some of the funniest situations occur in classrooms. The first story is about a Social studies teacher who was talking about AIDs and how at the time they thought the disease began in Africa by people eating Green Monkeys. After the teacher got done reading about this AIDs research, he asked the class what does this tell us about AIDS and green monkeys. One student at the back of the class quickly raised his hand and say,” I have the answer, this shows us that the people in Africa were piping them monkeys.” There was a silence in the class for 30 seconds and then the entire class and the teacher laughed.

Two teachers who were buddies were bicycling through a local river town when the one teacher was fiddling with his bike odometer and a car started backing into him right in the middle of town. It was noontime on a Saturday and the entire restaurants were full of tourists having lunch. The teacher’s bike flipping upside down as he was only able to squeeze on brake lever. He landed on his butt right in the middle of the street. A policeman came running up asking if he was OK. He said he was fine. Meanwhile his friend on the other bike was laughing uncontrollably. The tourists sitting-having lunch thought it was all part of the entertainment in town and got up and clapped the clown-like stunt. Embarrassed the teachers rode off.

That Monday morning the teacher that flipped his bike was in his classroom and the prep-room door was open into his friend’s classroom that was teaching Earth Science. What he heard was “this is the topography of the Hudson river and the palisades and here in this little river town. Mr. Smith flipped his bicycle last Saturday.” The class all laughed.

Discipline in the 1960’s and 1970’s was difficult for teachers because they were not forewarned in advance of troublemakers or students with special needs. One such student called Richard Flynn was causing every teacher in the school problems by talking out in class and fooling around all the time. He started talking out in a science teacher’s class. The teacher asked him to leave the room and he refused. Finally when the teacher gestured the he was going to lift him out of the chair he got up and headed to the door. The teacher followed and as Richard goes to the door he told the science teacher to “fuck off.” The teacher who was right behind him grabbed Richard by his shirt and lifted him off the ground and banged him into the wall hitting the light switch and the lights went off dramatically as Richard was being thrown out of the class.

One teacher was sitting in homeroom and a female student was standing in the doorway. A boy student came along and out of the clear blue without any provocation he “cold cocked,” the girl right in the doorway. It was a brutal punch and the girl fell to the floor. The teacher got up hurriedly and quickly grabbed the student by his shirt collar and being very angry he held the student by the collar all the way down the hallway until they got to the Assistant Principal’s office. When the teacher got to the office it was then that he realized that the students feet were off the ground and that he had held the student up in the air all the way down the hallway.

An English teacher who was very creative had many paper projects hanging in her classroom. Some of the projects got crumbled and were tossed on the radiator by the window where there was a space between the radiator and the wall. This did not seem like a smart idea. One day in the middle of second period the papers next to the radiator burst into flames from the heat and the classroom was in flames from the floor to the ceiling in a matter of minutes. All the students rushed out of the class and the teacher quickly called the office for the fire department on the intercom before the room filled with smoke and flames. All the computers melted down to piles of plastic and the desks burned to the metal frames. The fire department has to enter the building from the second floor outside classroom to get to the inside classroom knocking down the outside wall on a ladder. Water was everywhere and most of it poured through the floor destroying all the books in the library underneath the classroom on the first floor. This was the first time Cucamonga JHS had a real fire. Everyone was evacuated and all the students and teachers had to stand outside in 40-degree cold weather for two hours before the fire department finished. The next problem was they were not allowed back into the building because of the smoke, so the school busses had to be called early and the students all had to go home without their coats and books. The second floor was a disaster area after the fire. The two rooms that the walls were broken down had to be closed up with plywood and the classes had to be relocated for the entire semester. The smell of smoke lasted for two months. Hundreds of library books were destroyed from water damage and the library was closed due to water damage for the rest of the school year.

In Physical Education the classes were outside in the spring on a nice warm day in an Archery unit. The targets were placed 15 yards away on the high hill behind the gym so that the arrows if they missed would stick in the grass on the hill. One day while class was shooting at the targets a daring squirrel decided to run across the hill behind the targets. Before the Phys. Ed. teacher could blow his whistle and stop the shooting the entire class aimed at the squirrel as it ran across the hill. Fortunately, no one hit it but it was a very scary and funny moment.

In a Health Education class the teacher was teaching about sperms and eggs and how they get fertilized. He drew some chalk pictures on the blackboard showing the eggs and sperms. He was talking about spermicide and how it doesn’t always work to prevent fertilization and in a moment of humor he teased the students by telling the sperms had little shields to block off the spermicide. No one questioned that statement. When the test came up on Reproduction a fill-in the blank question, asked “how a girl could get pregnant even after using a spermicide.” Several students filled in “by the sperms having shields.”