A play in one act
ACT KICK-OFF: A SCHOOL HALL, EARLY EVENING. A GROUP OF BORED-LOOKING TEACHERS ARE SITTING AT THE FRONT, WHILE 10-20 PARENTS ARE SCATTERED OVER AN OPTIMISTIC NUMBER OF CHAIRS. THE HEADMASTER, RICHARD WATSON, IS SPEAKING. AMONGST THE AUDIENCE IS DAZ, A MAN IN HIS LATE-20S, WITH A SCRUFFY BEARD AND SCRUFFIER CLOTHING, AND ALICE AND TRACEY, TWO PARENTS
WATSON [CONCLUDING TALK]: …community support officer will be in school regularly, throughout the term, to deliver his anti-drugs message and to remind the students of confidential services they can talk about issues regarding drugs. [HE PAUSES]. Any questions?
THERE IS SILENCE FOR A COUPLE OF SECONDS AND THEN DAZ RAISES HIS HAND
DAZ: Yeah, I got a question about your “zero-tolerance” policy and immediately involving the police if anyone is found selling drugs on school premises.
DAZ: Well…it’s not very inclusive, is it?
WATSON: Inclusive? It’s aimed at supporting all students, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gend…
DAZ: Yeah, I get that. I mean it’s not very inclusive of people like me, who make their living selling a bit of weed, is it?
WATSON; Sorry? What?
DAZ: Jesus, mate, I thought you was educated. I’m not sure how much simpler I can make this for you. Your policy excludes people like me, so it’s not very inclusive.
WATSON: I’m sorry, Mr…?
WATSON: Well, I’m sorry, Daz, but that’s what it’s meant to do. We don’t want people in or near the school selling drugs.
DAZ: Yeah, yeah, I get what you’re saying but, right, being exclusionary is bad and being inclusive is good. Right?
ALICE: We don’t want scum like you selling drugs to our kids!
DAZ TURNS TO ALICE
DAZ: Jesus, get your opinions from The Daily Mail much, Karen? You name me one drug dealer who sells drugs to kids. Just one.
ALICE DOESN’T REPLY
DAZ: There’s no profit in selling to kids. If your kid gets enough pocket money to sustain a coke habit then maybe you should have a long, hard look at your parenting, rather than making me the monster of the piece.
TRACEY: We don’t want drug-dealers in our school! Mixing with our children!
DAZ: Hello, we’ve heard from Mrs Daily Mail, and here’s her companion piece from Little Miss Telegraph. I’m not interested in selling to your kids!
TRACEY: Then why do you want to be here?
DAZ: Well, it’s dangerous out on the streets. Other dealers want you off their turf, there’s always someone ready to beat you up for money or drugs, and then there’s vigilante dads, who’ve seen Death Wish a few too many times. I need to be protected from all that.
TRACEY: It’s not the school’s job to protect you! We’ve got the kids to look after!
DAZ: Oh, so you don’t think I deserve to be safe, is that it? Well, thanks for showing your hand, bigot.
WATSON: Look, Mr…Daz. The school’s policy is not going to change to admit you, and if you are seen on or near the premises then the matter will be reported to the police.
DAZ TURNS BACK TO WATSON
DAZ: Right. And are you going to strip-search all of the kids every morning, to make sure that none of them have a sixteenth or a couple of tabs of acid that they might be selling to their mates?
WATSON: No, of course not! Don’t be ridiculous!
DAZ: And if one of them American drug-dealers, with their big bag of crack and an AK-47 came marching into the school then do you think you’d stop them by waving your policy in their face?
WATSON: I hardly think that’s likely to hap…
DAZ: So what you’re telling me is that you’ve got no way of stopping dealers coming in here and that, really, the purpose of this policy is just to stop me. We seem to have gone from not being very inclusive to actively being discriminatory.
ALICE: It’s not discriminatory to prevent people acting illegally in the school!
DAZ DOESN’T TURN TO HER, BUT CONTINUES TO ADDRESS WATSON
DAZ: You must be very proud, having Rod Liddle there on your PTA. [He turns to Alice] Look, laws are just a social construct. They don’t mean anything. Try to remember that.
ALICE: But you are a drug-dealer!
DAZ: Honestly, I get your concern that somebody’s going to come here and get all your kids hooked on heroin, but that’s not me. I’m a nice guy, just looking to live my life quietly.
WATSON: But if we let you in then what’s to stop those heroin sellers coming in as well?
DAZ: Yeah, smack dealers are really going to take the time to come to a PTA meeting, are they? I mean, generally speaking, those guys don’t have their shit that together.
WATSON: We can’t have a school policy that says drug dealers can come into the school if they’re nice guys!
DAZ: Of course you can, mate. In a way, it’s good for you.
DAZ: Yeah. If any of those not-nice people show up then I’m here to protect you. I’ve always got a couple of knives on me, so everybody’s safer.
TRACEY: This is outrageous! We can’t be having armed criminals in the school!
DAZ SUDDENLY TURNS AND YELLS AT TRACEY
DAZ: UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE MY KNIVES YOU’LL KEEP YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SHUT, BITCH!
THE HALL FALLS SILENT FOR TEN SECONDS
WATSON: I though you said you were a nice guy.
DAZ TURNS BACK TO WATSON AND SMILES, WARMLY
DAZ: I am, I am, it’s just really hard to keep on being nice when some people are literally denying me the right to exist.
TRACEY: I wasn’t! I was just…
DAZ [WITHOUT LOOKING AROUND]: KNIVES!
WATSON: Look, this is all getting very heated. Why don’t we simply vote on whether the policy should be zero-tolerance, or whether it should admit “nice guys”?
DAZ: Oh, right. Using voting to suppress me, a minority, are you? That’s apartheid, that is.
WATSON: I don’t see how else we can…
DAZ: You just let me in and, in a couple of years, we’ll see how it’s gone.
ALICE: We can’t just expose our children to drug-dealers for a couple of years and see how it goes!
DAZ TURNS TO HER
DAZ: And why not? Do you really think that the kids here can’t buy drugs anyway? That none of them ever sell some grass or a few spliffs? It’s been going on for years without you kicking up a fuss. What’s the difference between letting them in and letting me in?
ALICE: We’re not letting them in. The policy is zero-tolerance.
DAZ: Oh, right, gotcha. You’re actively working to reduce the rights of people like me?
HE TURNS TO WATSON
DAZ: Mr Watson…Richard…are you really going to let school policy be dictated by the sorts of fascists who want to take away people’s rights and stop them existing? Is that how a school that prides itself on its inclusivity should be run?
WATSON: Daz, may I ask. What exactly is your connection to this school? You’re not a pupil here, or a parent.
DAZ: Oh, right. My missus is standing to be chair of the board of governors. Now, about my recommendation that we let me in and review in five to ten years…
END OF ACT ONE
END OF PLAY (Unless the audience asks for an encore)