Growing Up Together – Entry 1
Another Brick In The Wall
Chapter 5 – People Power
Instead of the usual line of people walking towards the shops near the school or the football pitch, there was a group of people stretched along the entire front perimeter of the school grounds leading to the car park.
Each one, boy or girl, first year or sixth, had their tie around their heads.
In fact, I think I saw a teacher or two in the crowd too.
My jaw dropped, Cameron noticed and followed my stare, then joined me in jaw dropping.
Nobody in the crowd seemed to have noticed us, but, then again, it was a really sunny day, and we were inside.
As we continued watching, and as some of the office staff came to join us as spectators, someone walked to the front of the crowd with a megaphone.
We were too far away to see or hear them clearly, but whatever they said, the entire crowd began to jeer and chant.
I shook my head, snapping myself from quiet awe.
“Looks like Daniel did good!” I whispered, grabbing his hand and slapping the door button.
He smiled a little, and a huge cheer went up from the crowd as we walked out.
Daniel noticed us and ran up.
“Dudes!” he shouted. “I can't believe how many people supported this!”
I hugged him and asked, “How exactly did you manage this?”
He blushed a little.
“Well, it was partly word of mouth, and there was the posters I put up in the stairwells at break before period change.”
I laughed a little.
“When you texted me, the guys spread the word, and practically everyone jumped up and walked out the lunch hall!” he finished, panning his hand around the spectacle.
“Aaaand...” he flourished, reaching into his bag, “I brought this!”
He draped a rainbow flag over both our shoulders, and the crowd cheered.
This was our first real taste of community that we'd had since high school started, and, damn it felt good!
Linking hands with Cameron, and grabbing the hand of some random 3rd year girl that had surged towards me with the crowd, we, almost as a group, sat down, legs crossed, ever the model schoolchildren.
It may have looked slightly ridiculous, a few hundred people sat on the ground, hands linked, conversing with people inelegantly trying to work their way through the throng, but it served its purpose.
If nobody was paying much attention to what was going on before, they certainly will be now!
I pulled on Grant's hand, and borrowed the megaphone from Daniel.
Making a mental note to ask him where he got it from, I jumped onto the railing to raise myself above the crowd, and clicked the talk button.
“Ladies and gentlemen...” I began, to give the murmurs time to die down.
“We are gathered here today to expose the blatant homophobia and elitism present in the SMT here at Rannack.”
The jeering of the crowd swelled for a moment, but my hand calmed it down.
“Myself and Grant, have been expelled, seemingly because Mr Green took specific issue with us acting to defend ourselves and each other, and about the fact we happen to be boyfriends.”
I reached down to grab his hand.
“We don't accept that, and I'm pretty sure you don't either.”
The jeering turned into a roar.
“At the end of lunch, I would ask you to go back to your classes, and continue your school lives as normal. Don't go dogging class or smashing stuff up on our behalf.”
A mild titter rippled through the crowd. I happened to catch the eye of a third year girl, who was staring at me with what could only be described as a fangirl look.
Grimacing a little, I continued.
“But, every break time and lunch time, gather here, to show our solidarity against the corruption, until the headmaster is deposed, and the system is changed for the better!”
Raising our joined hands, and the flag above our heads, the crowd raised their hands and roared, as one.
Feeling the energy of the crowd flow through me, I roared with them.
“Our voices will not be silenced!”
Looking down at Grant as I stood down from the railing I was balanced on, I shared his smile of awe.
“Little clichéd, but I think you pulled it off.” he whispered.
I allowed myself a little grin, before I spied movement from the front entrance.
My bottom lip slipped under my teeth.
“This is going to be fun.” I muttered.
His voice preceded his physical form.
“Just WHAT is going on here?”
It could only be Mr Green.
His face was beet-red, and an angry purple vein pulsed against his forehead.
I happened to spy our guidance teachers flanking him, a few paces behind, Mr Hargreves and Mrs Andrews, a portly, middle-aged, try-hard bureaucrat, and a coarse, Irish mother with a temper that could topple buildings. Both useless, both endless sources of entertainment.
The crowd roared as they made their approach, and the effect was instant.
They froze, about a metre from the front of the crowd, but Mr Green, propelled by pure rage, faced the two of us.
The flag had settled over my shoulder, and flapped lightly under the slight breeze that had picked up.
“I say again, just WHAT is going on here?”
“A peaceful protest, sir.” I answered, grabbing a fold of the flag and lowering it to my hip.
“Against what?” Mr Hargreves questioned.
“Against the fact that your boss is incredibly homophobic, sir.” Grant piped up, gesturing in Mr Greens direction.
Both guidance teachers eyes widened a little.
“That is a serious accusation to level against any teacher, let alone the headmaster!” Mrs Hargreves said indignantly.
Mr Green blustered and roared.
“That is ridiculous! You were expelled because you laid your hands on a model pupil! Nothing more, nothing less. If you do not leave immediately, and if this crowd does not disperse, the police will be called, and you two will be arrested for trespassing.”
The crowd began to murmur uneasily. Some people began to move away from the fringes of the dense crowd.
I shared a look with Grant.
In a flash of shared neurons, we remembered an important detail.
I grabbed my phone out of my pocket, and raised the megaphone.
“He's lying. And I happen to have proof.”
It was Mr Green's turn to widen his eyes.
I pressed play on my phone, and Mr Green’s voice rang out, slightly distorted through the double amplification.
“It has also come to my attention that the two of you have been committing gross acts of indecency on the school grounds. Holding hands, kissing, even... Tongue kissing in the school.”
The uncertain murmurings turned to laughter, as my voice rang out in reply.
“Excuse me sir, but what makes the acts that other couples perform in the school acceptable, and our actions exclusion-worthy?”
“Those acts can be excused as normal teenager's behaviour, something healthy, whereas the actions that you two have performed, are simply unacceptable, and set an extremely bad example for younger pupils. As such, I feel I have no choice but to permanently exclude you...”
I clicked off the recording, since the roar of the crowd had managed to drown it out.
And, as it happens, the school bell managed to drown it out as well.
But, ever the obedient sorts, the entire crowd stood up, re-tied their ties, and trooped back into the school.
Mr Green had the look of someone who was barely containing his rage.
“You two had better leave immediately, or I'm calling the police.”
“Don't get the wrong idea, sir.” Grant asserted, as I grabbed his hand.
“We will ensure the protest operates within the confines of the law, in as such as it will not block any movement or impede the operation of the school, and that everyone will remain on their best behaviour, so that, if the police have to get involved, they will find no issue.”
“There will be another set of protests at break time and lunchtime tomorrow, and this will continue until the Head of Education investigates the school, and order, fairness and equality is restored. Consider this your courtesy call.” I finished, before triumphantly turning tail on a red-faced Mr Green and open-mouthed Guidance teachers.
BOYS TAKE A STAND AFTER HEADTEACHER EXPELLS THEM... FOR BEING GAY
It's hard to believe, that in 21st Century Scotland, homophobia is still present in the public sectors of our government. But, it has been revealed today that two Rannack Academy pupils were expelled after an altercation with another pupil, who had been terrorising them for a long time beforehand.
Grant Robertson, 15, was punched twice in the head by the pupil, who cannot be named for legal purposes, causing Grant to lose consciousness, break his tooth and bruise his jaw.
His boyfriend, Cameron Black, also 15, proceeded to punch the pupil, breaking his nose.
At this point, a teacher, who also cannot be named, appeared and, rather than taking control of the situation, proceeded to do nothing beyond “tell me [Cameron] off for swearing”, completely ignoring Grant, unconscious on the floor.
Grant was rushed by ambulance (called by Cameron, not the school) to SGUH, where he was treated and discharged the following morning, with no severe after-effects.
Grant and Cameron returned to school the day after, expecting to find that the pupil had been severely reprimanded for his actions. They found, however, the opposite to be true.
The pupil, who had represented the school on several occasions in major sporting events, had lied to school officials and the police, and Mr Green, headteacher, against all other available evidence, believed him.
Taking a day to deliberate, he then proceeded to expel Grant and Cameron, for “holding hands, kissing and even... tongue kissing” in school, completely unrelated to the incident in question.
Incredibly, despite the fact that the pupil had knocked out Grant, no further action was taken against him.
Not being the kind of people to take these things lying down, the boys, with help from friends, organised almost the entire pupil population to rally in support outside the school, much to the dismay of Mr Green.
Police attended at his request, but found the crowd to be “the most well-behaved protest I've seen in years” according to one officer.
The protests were carefully managed by Grant, Cameron and friends to ensure there would be no disruption to the school, and that no violence would ensue as a result.
The protests are planned to continue at every break-time and lunch, “until the headmaster is deposed, and the system is changed for the better,” according to Cameron's opening speech at the initial protest.
Both the Head Of Education, and Mr Green, refused to comment.
A petition started on change.org by another (anonymous) pupil, featuring a picture of Grant being wheeled to the ambulance on a stretcher, has garnered over 40,000 signatures worldwide after being posted last week, and numbers are still increasing rapidly.
Nobody seems to know what will happen next, but there is one thing for sure, the eyes of the world have settled on Rannak Academy, and there is increasing pressure from all corners for them to do the right thing.
END OF CHAPTER 5
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MY OTHER STORIES:
Young Lovers Series:
Highland Flings – http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/camping/highland-flings
Growing Up Together – http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/highschool/growing-up-together
Big And Little Lovers Series:
My Little Brigade Boy - http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/adult-youth/my-little-brigade-boy
Camp Blow By Blow - http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/camping/camp-blow-by-blow
Fumble And Tumble - A Short Story - http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/adult-youth/fumble-and-tumble
What A Onesie Can Lead To – http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/highschool/what-a-onesie-can-lead-to.html