It was Peter Rasputin’s first day of teaching English at Harrison Creek High School when it happened.
He had somehow ended up getting the Teen Rebels (which consisted of Mara Llewellyn, Stuart Greer, Irene Houghton, and Pearl Tanner) and a girl named Shara Shinnok (who recently moved to Harrison Creek, Oregon from San Francisco, California) in both his homeroom and third period English class. The Teen Rebels had been the butt of all cruelty, mainly due to the disappearance of their friend and ringleader, Tanya Shinnok. Most of the other students at the school hated the Teen Rebels because of their friendship with Tanya, who they bullied. Also, due to the other kids’ bullying, Tanya had destroyed the reputation of Harrison Creek Middle School by exposing three of the worst offenders to the city.
But that’s not this story.
Peter found himself worrying about the Teen Rebels because of their friendship with Tanya, and he also felt that they needed protection from the cruelty of the other students. He also found himself at the mercy of the other teachers, all who thought that he was too young to be teaching at a high school.
For example, Mr. Danford, the biology teacher, said, “Aren’t you a bit too young to be a teacher?”
“Leave him alone, Jack,” said Mrs. Richards, the geography teacher. “Don’t you think that we’re being a bit hard on him? It’s not easy being 24 years old and teaching at high school.”
“Unlike him, you’re 27 years old,” said Coach Waverly. “He looks like he should still be in high school.”
Peter laughed and said, “As flattering as this is, I have no desire to return to high school as a student. I barely survived my high school years, and I have no desire to repeat them.”
Also, due to his age, he was the unfortunate target of teenaged girls and boys alike. There were no shortage of teenaged girls who had a crush on him, and many of the boys, if not all, harbored a grudge against him. Peter experienced having a hard time trying to teach his students with this drama going on and he began to wonder if being a high school teacher was really all that it was cracked up to be.
If only the kids at Harrison Creek High School would simply stick to crushing and/or resenting him.
Peter found himself facing the Teen Rebels; he had spent an entire summer hearing rumors about Tanya’s disappearance and the scandal that followed. He wondered if something was wrong with them. The kids were not behaving normally. They kept mostly to themselves, unless Shara was with them. And even then, she was not saying anything to anyone.
He said to the kids, “I know that you’re upset about your friend, but you need to let her go and move on with your lives.”
“I wish we could, but they won’t let us forget,” said Mara.
“Yeah,” Irene replied. “No matter what we do, they’re always stalking us, driving us crazy with accusations that we joined Tanya in her bullying. But when last I checked, Tanya never bullied anyone.”
“Even if she did, she had a good excuse,” said Stuart. “They were the ones who bullied her in the first place.”
“I see,” said Peter. “I cannot believe that this bullying has been going on and no one has reported it to the principal. How can this happen? I really need to think about this and I’ll get back to you later.”
If only there was no one listening to the conversation. But someone did listen, and very soon, rumors began spreading all over the school about Peter Rasputin and the Teen Rebels.
“Can you believe that those freaks have the nerve to complain about us to the teacher?” said a student named Nigel Flaubert.
“Who do they think they are?” said a student named Ravenna Myer.
“We’re going to make them pay for that,” said a student named Marsha Reynolds. “Those Teen Rebels should know their place and to not set foot out of it. Now they got a teacher involved, if that is to be believed. If he speaks to the principal, we are all finished!”
“They’re not Teen Rebels, they’re teacher’s pets,” said Ravenna.
“And that’s even worse,” said Nigel.
Before the three kids could get to a computer, they found themselves surrounded by the Teen Rebels themselves. Apparently, Shara had overheard the conversation and alerted the Teen Rebels. “What did you hear?” Nigel snapped at Shara.
“Everything,” said Shara. “You guys thought that you could do to the Teen Rebels what you did to Tanya. You can’t fool me. I’m not as stupid as you think I am; I know when there’s an act of bullying happening.” Nigel, Ravenna, and Marsha stared at her in shock. “Plus, could you refrain from using the words “teacher’s pets“? No one will respect you if you refer to them as a teacher’s pet. Plus, with all the problems that teachers are already facing these days, why would you want to throw *THAT* into the mix?”
“Shame on you,” Mara snapped at Marsha. “Your grandmother is my sisters’ Sunday school teacher.” Then she, Shara, and the other Teen Rebels walked away, leaving Nigel, Ravenna, and Marsha severely ruffled.
Anyway, to make a long story short, Shara went on her fake news website, aptly dubbed Fake News Network, and reported on the gossip that had threatened to tear the school apart. She also put out a fake claim by the principal that stated that anyone who spread a rumor would be given Saturday school detention. Needless to say, her trick worked and no other students said anything about Tanya and the Teen Rebels.
But Peter was not finished with the Teen Rebels yet. Like it or not, he was going to get to the bottom of the situation and find the truth about the Teen Rebels.