Letter in the Principal’s Office

Feb. 5

Dear Dr. McClain,

As the only female board member at Oaks Christian High School, I take to heart our mission, A Building with Four Walls and Tomorrow Inside. Even though our school has more than four walls, I do look to the mission of “tomorrow inside” as guidance, a beacon, if you will, as I weigh carefully the future of our beloved high school. I know the other board members carry this burden as well.

Further, as you said in your recent State of the School address, the reputation of OCHS rests upon the shoulders of our elite students and parents, making this a wholesome community that attracts the highest echelon of applicants and faculty.

However, after recent developments, I’m not sure what our tomorrow or our reputation will look like. Both are being sullied as I type.

There is something lurking out there, a threat to the fine work you have done as principal and we as board members. This threat could bring a hammer down on the lofty ideals we have worked so diligently towards.

It has painfully been brought to my attention that Sheila Trainer has been sharing pictures of her breasts on social media. First, this is ghastly unto itself. Why a young girl with a bright future would feel the need to do this is beyond the pale, but there we have it. Moreover, what further demands discussion is the passing along of the pictures. Apparently, they went from student to student to student. The horror of it all. I cannot imagine the PTA meeting when this comes to light. We will be the talk of the town.

I am fairly certain Sheila’s parents do not know about this. I’m sure if they did, they would have already acted. I do not think I am the one to tell them. They will be devastated.

I am terribly sad to relay this news to you, as Sheila has been, until this sad juncture, a stand-up student. Her family has been a pillar of success and determination in our community. Why, at our small, Christian middle school, she won every award at least once. I know at OCHS she has performed exceedingly well but we simply cannot afford to lose our good reputation over Miss Trainer’s whims and poor judgment.

Please act quickly. We cannot waste any time, as re-enrollment begins shortly. This needs to be quashed. I trust my good name will be kept out of this nasty situation. I do not want to be part of the insidious Houston gossip mill.

Thank you for all you hard work in furthering our mission – A Building with Four Walls and Tomorrow Inside.

Very Sincerely Yours,

Helen Smithson

Secretary of the Board

Oaks Christian High School

Dear Diary, don’t ask how I found this letter. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. It was sitting on McClain’s desk when I was called in to talk about Jack Jr and this cheating thing, which I’m thankful to say he’s been cleared of, after a bit of arguing and much gnashing of teeth.

Anyways, years of teaching kindergarten gave me the ability to read upside down. And so my nosy self was glancing over his desk, as one tends to do when left alone for a moment. The words “Sheila Trainer” caught my eye under some papers. I discreetly moved said papers, got out my phone and took a picture. HORRIBLE I know.

Let me get this out of the way before you judge me for being an uncaring person. I am heartbroken for Shelia. She’s always been a nice kid. As Helen said, she won every award at our middle school, which was a tad annoying, but there were only fifteen in the grade and how could she not be in the top of the class with a mother like Smother Mother Claudia herself?

There are four Trainer children with Sheila being the oldest, and all of them are the epitome of perfection. Clothes ironed, matching bows expertly chosen, report cards to die for and enviable behavior. I marveled at how Claudia did it, when I couldn’t wait to get back in bed after drop off. Did the woman ever sleep? Are the children truly happy, or are they living out their mother’s need for something? Control? Popularity? Clearly there is more to it.

And Claudia. CLAUDIA. Always happy, always smiling. Every now and then I see a flicker of something, maybe unhappiness, maybe concern, maybe dismay, but it certainly never makes its way down to her smile. It’s momentarily in her eyes. There and gone, just like that.

Back when I was thinner and more involved in the social scene, Claudia laughingly told me she had a secret goal of getting a statue of Sheila erected in the school’s courtyard because she did so much good for the school. I was mortified because A) It wasn’t a secret at that point if you’re telling little ol’ me. B) Who in their right mind thinks that? Even if you’re supposedly joking, who thinks as far as erecting a statue for your own CHILD? And even if you thought it, who would say it OUT LOUD?

So, out of all this, how could Sheila possibly end up normal?

And, Dear Diary, having been out of the loop for so long trying to keep my marriage together, it’s kinda nice to know something before Claudia Trainer knows it. I know, I know, I’m a tad bit embarrassed at my joy. But it’s one of those moments where you’re just honest-to-goodness, bless their hearts, truly thankful it isn’t your kid. And I say that knowing full well it could be my kid, if not now, then possibly one day.

So let me have my smug moment. It’ll morph shortly into compassion and concern, but, for now, let me revel in life’s karma for just a bit.

I’m off to walk. I know, I’m EXERCISING. But the stupid new me! guide said to do it, so here I am in my workout clothes I bought years ago, lacing up my old shoes I dug through my closet to find. I’ll be happy if I can make it a mile.

Later.

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