Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Chapter five, 2017, defeat, segment one
“Which means that as of now that illegal club is finally dissolved.”
Some of them grumbled, but only the PTA chairman said anything.
“I doubt you can do this.”
“As a matter of fact I can. I’m the principal of Himekaizen Academy, and I have the full support of the board of directors.”
“I don’t understand,” another PTA member said. This time a woman in her fifties.
“That means,” Principal Kareyoshi said, “that any student who visits that café will be suspended, and repeat offenders expelled from the school.”
Most of the parents present grumbled, and the teachers made their best to look like they didn’t hear a thing.
“Is it true,” a woman in her late forties said, “that the members of the club have increased their scores by ten percent compared to the rest of the school?”
Fucking bitch! Principal Kareyoshi put on his best smile. “We’re handling the cheating. They’re Koreans, and we all know what they are like,” he finished.
This time he got a few murmurs in agreement.
Finally! People needed nudging to understand that foreign influences, just like the foreigners themselves, were unclean. It took some time, but when he made people understand it was worth all the effort.
“Is it true,” the same woman persisted, “that the club members, who are not subject to investigation for cheating, have also increased their scores by the same ten percent?”
And some people just never learned. “They’re using unjapanese methods. That’s akin to cheating,” Principal Kareyoshi said and sighed. “When we find out...”
He got no further, because a man, face red from agitation and clad as you would expect from a civil servant, almost rose in his chair. “Are you trying to say that the learning skills my daughter has acquired is cheating?”
“Just as bad,” Principal Kareyoshi answered. “I’m sorry the previous principal allowed her to get bad company.”
“In that club they’re learning to question what their teachers tell them. They’re forgetting how to respect their betters.” Kareyoshi gave his next words a moment of thought. “If your daughter remains in that club she won’t become a proper wife.”
“Proper wife?” the troublesome woman said. “What century are you from?”
“Yes, a wife who raises a family,” Kareyoshi noticed how his voice had risen and took a breath to calm down, “who raises good Japanese children and supports her husband.”
The woman stared at him. “Damn, here I thought you were merely stranded in the Showa era, but now I see that you’re firmly entrenched in the former half of it.”
The rude comment even brought a few giggles over the table, but most of the PTA members gave the woman an annoyed glance.
“I have my ideals, yes. They may seem a little old fashioned, but a clean Japan is a strong Japan.”
She only snorted. “Last time we thought that way we bombed Pearl Harbour, and look what that got us.”
“Enough!” the chairman barked.
Mentioning the war was definitely going to far, and Principal Kareyoshi noticed how the woman gave the chairman a sullen stare, but at least she looked properly subdued. Silently Kareyoshi wondered how a person like her could possibly have gained a seat here.
“So,” Kareyoshi began when he saw an opportunity to use the blessed silence that had settled over the table. “I’ve informed you of the actions we have taken, and the consequences for breaching the terms we set up. Would you mind informing the other parents?”
The chairman nodded. Then Kareyoshi noticed a dangerous spark in his eyes. “However, Principal Kareyoshi, if you take this too far there will be repercussions.”
You dare threaten me! “You were saying?”
“I’m just saying that within that group of students there are half a dozen with grades indicating they might enter a top university, and you have decide to target those rather than the ones who are barely able to graduate from here.”
That was grossly unfair. He would never do such a thing, but the good students needed protection from foreign dirt, or they would become forever tainted as adults. How could their parents of all people not understand the seriousness of the situation?
“It’s for their own good,” Kareyoshi said. He didn’t need a confrontation with the chairman. “I only want the best of futures for them.”
“Are we just going to accept this?” the woman asked.
The chairman turned in his chair and met her eyes. “Yes, we are. As Principal Kareyoshi said, he’s in charge of the school.”
A smile slowly spread over Kareyoshi’s lips, but it stopped immediately when the chairman continued.
“Until such a date when that is no longer the case the students and staff are to abide by his decisions.”
Until such a date?
“Fine,” the woman said.
Kareyoshi needed to take control of the situation. “If that is all,” he said and made as if to close the meeting.
“If I may,” a man who had been silent throughout the entire meeting said.
“Yes?” Kareyoshi and the chairman answered simultaneously.
The man only smiled slightly and distributed several copies of a document he had in a case. “Just to mitigate any worries.”
Kareyoshi just threw the paper a glance until the obnoxious woman cackled with glee. That forced him to give it a proper read.
How dare they!
It was signed by the principal and vice principal of Irishima High.
“Fantastic!” the woman said. She patted the worried father from earlier on his shoulders. “If your daughter is expelled for remaining in the club she’s welcome to attend a high school with a better reputation than Himekaizen Academy.”
Which was exactly what the paper said. Provided they passed an entrance exam it said, but Kareyoshi saw through the vindictive lie. Every student he evicted from school with that club as an argument would pass that exam.
On the threshold of raging he calmed down again. Well, then it’s no longer my problem. I can at least keep this school clean.