“Good morning, ladies! And thank you to Miss Pringold for introducing me. Normally I would read out the minutes of the last teachers' meeting, but I can't find them. So first of all, some points of information.”
“The school accounts have been automated, bills will be paid on time, especially your wages, with back pay.” Happiness went round the room.
“There has been a change in the teaching plan. Miss Haroyd will concentrate on arts for the younger girls; Miss Hartlepool and Miss Hargreaves on history. This is a temporary arrangement until next term.”
All the teachers were watching me closely, Miss Hargreaves was taking notes and scowling, Miss Scunthorpe's face was full of love, but Miss Pringold and Miss Haroyd found the ceiling more interesting.
“We have a new head girl. Catherine is the head of the school hockey team and head girl.”
“Jennffer, that's me, has been made administration assistant by the governors. This means that I help the head teacher, Miss Pringold. It also means that if you want to contact the governors or the head teacher you can talk to me first, if you want to.”
“A very good question, Miss Hargreaves. I represent the school, Catherine represents the girls. You can ask Catherine or me or both of us if you have a question about the school or the girls.”
“Work has started on the new gym, hopefully it will be ready for the start of next term. And now for the big surprise.”
“Miss Stiltoe, Miss Scunthorpe and I have started a new project together with Mr Cricklewaite, the head teacher of the boys' school. We call it the girl-boy-programme. No, don't laugh! It's not matchmaking time. This coming Friday there will be a seminar in the great hall with the top two classes from this school and the boys' school, the following week at the boys' school, every Friday afternoon this term.”
“Why? Good question! We want to introduce new teaching subjects; we are starting in a small way because, I'll be honest, we haven't got much money. By the way, you are all invited to the seminars too.”
“Now I'm going to be very serious. This topic is off the record, so NO note taking and NO names please. The topic is the relationship between two girls, two schoolgirls. I am not going to define what is meant by the word relationship – you know what I mean – you know that it happens.”
“If one or both girls are under age we follow the law, we must do. The girls are separated and perhaps one or both are sent to other schools, we have our arrangements. We try to keep it quiet, secret even. This helps the girls and the school.”
“There has been however a change in policy when both girls are of age. Times have changed, adults have individual rights, the school does not like these relationships but we have no legal right to stop them. If the relationships are discreet then we can do nothing.”
“If you discover any such relationship DON'T WRITE anything, DON'T DISCUSS it, just come and see me. Any questions?”
“Yes, Miss Hargreaves, you are right. It is hypocrisy, big time. But what can we do? We don't want bad publicity for the girls or for the school. The public doesn't want the girls to have relationships, especially the parents. On the other hand the public wants individual rights for all adults. And we are stuck in the middle of this – we do what we think best and sometimes the morals are left behind, sorry.”
“Girl and teacher? We use the same rules.”