M. is crying. I am pretty sure it is my fault. Before you get your knickers in a bunch, though, I will tell you that he is upset because I held him responsible for his actions (or lack of action, to be more specific). He is sitting in the center of the room, at his desk, snuffling. Red face, runny nose, miserable eyes.
The other turkey-butts are sitting on pins and needles, pretending they don't see or hear him. Let me remind you that these are middle-schoolers. Not only middle-schoolers, but middle-schoolers that have been removed from regular schools for not doing the right thing. Let me also remind you that middle-schoolers are mean and vengeful little creatures (in case you forgot the horror of your own middle school years). When they smell blood, they, like Jaws, have the genetic predisposition to attack mercilessly.
But they are not attacking. They are swimming warily around him, averting their eyes, and letting him believe he is snuffling in private.