DEATH IN THE FACULTY ROOM -CHAPTER XXVI

Let’s figure this out. They don’t want me here because I either know too much, or they think that I am going to find out things about them. They cannot kill me because there have already been too many deaths. I wonder how many deaths there have been over the years at this school. How long has this been going on? Holy mackerel, the school was first built in 1898 during the jingoist period in our history- the Spanish American War. It was added onto in 1917 just at the beginning of the U.S. involvement in World War I. It was further enlarged when we were deep in the Depression.
Is it possible that whatever organization this is goes back to the 19th century, or am I just scared out of my mind and making things up. Baumgartner told me, just before Mama Pags’ “death,” that the people she identified in the pictures were all workers in the consulates of Russia and Eastern Bloc countries. Since she heard Russian being spoken, it must have been either Poland, one of Baltic countries or maybe even Yugoslavia. Those countries had Russian speakers. It appears that Mr. Driggs was not just working for the Russians, but others at the same time. What was he doing with them? Was he a Communist too, or was he something else?
The answer to those questions had to wait a while till Daphne and I had made up our minds about what the future held for us. Either I defied the organization and stayed to get killed. Or, I decided to resign with some nice recommendations and some dough and try to find out what was going on in the next next five months.
I called Baumgartner with the conundrum and also a question. Had he wondered how long this place was as weird as it was? He said that he had not really gone down that path, but it was an interesting idea. Something told me that Mr. Driggs was not the only person on staff whose background should have been checked. I asked Baumgartner if the FBI had the capacity to investigate the backgrounds of all of the staff members at Fleming and also the central office, including the superintendent of schools. He asked my why and I told him that these events had to be coordinated by an organization that had implicit faith in its members.
There have been other staff members, who have left after a short time and others who have been here for a long time. Why did the others leave and what did the old timers have in common other than their tenure here. I believed that the background checks would tell us something. If not, I was barking up the wrong tree. Baumgartner told me to tell Ryerson that I was going to leave under the following circumstances- good references, pay for sick days, and if I could not get a job over the next five months, the district would get one for me, either in another building in the district or another district.
What we all were not aware of was that 1966 was a signal year in education in Pennsylvania. Governor Scranton had convinced the legislature to reduce the number of school districts from 2,500 to 505. In the end that would make it harder for me to get a job. The consolidation caused all kinds of problems and hiring new teachers was not the highest priority across the state.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s