TITLE: From Victim To Victor (the Principal's Office)
By Valarie Sullivan
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All through school, little Tommy was in trouble. Disrupting class, refusing to do his homework, were only a few of his misdemeanors.
Every day, his older brother, Bo, watched from his classroom door as Tommy marched past to the principal’s office. Tommy grinned, arms swinging nonchalantly.
Every day, Bo watched Tommy march back, still grinning. Bo knew that the principal hit hard with the paddle. There was no way Tommy wasn’t feeling pain from it. What was going on?
Finally, Bo asked Tommy about it.
His little brother chuckled and tossed a rock across the street.
“I told that principal he couldn’t hit me because I had burns on my legs!” Tommy crowed.
“And he believed you?” Bo was incredulous.
“Of course! I just pulled up my pants leg and showed him my scars!” Tommy demonstrated, revealing pink and white swirls all over his shins and calves. “Its not lying! I really am burned!”
“Yeah, but your not hurt any more.” Bo looked up and down the street. It was a hot September day and no one was about except the two boys. “You’d better cut it out before Mom finds out. She’ll beat you for him!”
“How will she find out?” Tommy punched Bo in the arm and ran off, laughing to himself.
Rubbing his arm, Bo whispered through clenched teeth. “We’ll see about that!”
The next day, Tommy was in trouble again.
Bo watched him march down the hall like usual. Bo had had enough. He asked permission to go to the restroom and scooted out the door. Beating Tommy to the principal’s office, Bo barged in and spilled the beans.
The principal’s eyes widened as he listened. He loosened his blue tie and sat back in his big leather chair. “Are you sure about that?”
“Sure, I’m sure!” Bo exclaimed. “He’s my brother!”
“Well, go on back to class.” The principal wiped his brow. “I’ll handle this.”
Bo passed Tommy coming in the door and stuck his tongue at him.
Tommy’s grin faltered. What was going on?
“Come in, Tommy,” The principal called out. “Come in.”
Tommy sat down in his usual chair.
“What are you in trouble for this time?”
“Talking in class.” Tommy’s usual bravado was subdued. Something was wrong here.
“Well, stand up, 5 licks is the usual punishment for that.” The principal stood up and reached for his paddle.
“You can’t spank me, sir.” Tommy reminded him. “My mom and dad wont like it that you are spanking me with my burns.”
“Oh?” The principal sat down behind his desk again. “Let’s call your mother and find out for sure.”
Twenty minutes later, Tommy was sitting in the principal’s office waiting for his mother. The phone call was quick and sharp. He dreaded what his mother would say.
Then he heard it.
Click clack click clack
The unmistakable sound of his mother’s heels on the linoleum floor.
Click clack click clack
It sounded ominous to Tommy’s ears.
His mother appeared in full sail into the office.
“Now, what is this about you not spanking my boy, Tommy?” She demanded without preamble.
“Well, Mrs. Sullivan, you see…” She cut him off before he could answer her.
“If Tommy needs a spanking, you give it to him, or I will give you a spanking!” Mrs. Sullivan stood fully erect. “Now, you give him his licks right now.”
“Yes, ma’am.” The principal hurried to do just that.
Tommy refused to allow the principal to see how much it hurt. When it was over, his mother lifted his chin up.
“Your father will hear about this, when he comes home from work.”
“Yes, ma’am.” What else could Tommy say?
To the principal she said, “Don’t let this happen again.”
“Oh, no ma’am!”
Then she sailed back out the door.
Tommy was not grinning when he walked past Bo’s classroom door this time.
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