The first time I met Cindy was on her birthday. She stormed into the Front Office demanding to see the principle. Since the door to my office was open, I was witness.
“Where is the principle? I DEMAND to see him!” She slammed her fist on the counter and leaned over it staring hard at Eunice, the receptionist.
Understandable flustered, Eunice avoided eye contact, shuffled papers, stood up, sat back down, then stood up again. Her voice came out sniveling. “Now look here, missy, that attitude is inappropriate!” She actually looked at Cindy as her voice raised in pitch as well as volume. “First of all, the principle is a she, not a he. And s-second of all, she’s currently out of the office. So you are just going to have to…”
Cindy leaned over the counter, nose to nose with Eunice, and whispered, “If you say settle down, I will punch you in your glasses so they shatter and slice your eye.”
Eunice fell back into her seat.
“Good. Now tell me, who do I speak with since that jack-ass health teacher sent me here for giggling?”
“That’d be me.” I didn’t look up from the file I had pulled out of the stack on my desk and merely motioned with my fingers for her to come into my office. Still pretending to read the folder in front of me, I listened as she stomped in and plopped herself onto the cushy chair opposite mine. Tapping the desk between us with a pen, I went back to reading about her expulsions, failing grades, smoking and drinking in the girls’ lavatories and locker rooms, other possible criminal (though never proven) activity on and off school property, etc, etc, etc… Yep, pretty standard for the girls who end up here. She just seemed to have a lot more spunk. There was also a note about her being caught on adult websites while using school computers.
Still not looking up, I said, “Cindy, close the door.”
She shuffled in her seat. “No, you can close it your own damn self. I don’t have to obey you!”
I slammed her file shut and looked her directly in the eye. Without raising my voice, I cocked an eyebrow. “Of course you don’t have to. But you will, Chlamydia9.”
She gasped at this, hopped up and slammed the door shut. “How did you…?”
“I have my sources.” I stood up. “Now sit down.” She did. I walked slowly to her, my favorite wooden ruler in my hand, and sat on the edge of the desk. I crossed my ankles and tapped the ruler lightly against my palm. “From reading your file, I see that just about every disciplinary measure has been tried except for one big one. Do you know what that is, Cindy?”
“Jail.” She stated it as a fact. She’d obviously been told that's where she was heading and had come to accept it.
I slowly shook my head. “Oh no, not yet, honey. There’s one more thing we can try before we give up and put you away.” I smacked my hand hard with the ruler, still holding her eyes with my own. “Corporal Punishment.”
Her eyes widened as she jumped from the seat and rushed to the door. She frantically twisted the handle, but nothing happened. I waited for her to wear herself out. She turned, panting.
“Why can’t I open it?”
“Because it only unlocks from the inside with a key.” I smiled.