Song sat on the bench outside the principal’s office, waiting. She’d turned her phone off, but for all she knew, the dodgy picture messages were still coming in. Someone must have set up a bulk SMS account to spam her. 

The principal stuck her head out the door. “Inside my office, please,” she said, sounding very stern.

Song walked into the room and sat down on the chair. She felt miserable. What was going on? 

“Do you know what this is about?” the principal asked, tapping her fingertips together. 

“I’m really not sure,” Song said. 

The principal gave her a long, cool stare over the top of her glasses. “There’s a rumour going round that you’ve been bringing pornography to school. And showing it to other learners.”

“What?” Song leapt to her feet in outrage. “That’s not true!”

“Sit down please. I probably don’t need to tell you that this is a very serious offence. That you could be expelled for this.”

Song sat down heavily, her head swimming. She had to stay calm, had to keep it together. “Who said this?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Because I did receive a strange message on my phone yesterday.”

“Well then, why didn’t you report it?”

“We thought it was a girl from school. I wanted to check with her first.”

“So you DID show it to other people?”

“Only so we could figure out her identity. I found out it was her ex-boyfriend. And I confronted him. He’s obviously trying to set me up.” 

“Do you have any proof of this?”

Song was about to haul out her phone and show the principal the message from Anathi, when she remembered the hundreds of new picture messages that had arrived this morning. That would make it look even worse.

“Not here,” she lied. “But Mpho can back me up.” 

“I’m afraid Mpho put in a transfer request to another school this morning. She won’t be coming back.”

“What, but why?”

“That’s none of your business. This is very difficult for me, Song. You’ve always been a good student. I just wish you’d brought that message to me as soon as you received it. Now it’s become terribly complicated. I’m afraid I’m going to have to suspend you until this is resolved.” 

Image: Ecastro, CC-BY-SA

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Do you think the principal is being fair?