"'Those who are treated badly, treat others badly. A victim’s anguish is going to come out in some way.'"

Jill Franklin’s decades-long teaching career in Chicago is coming to its natural end, with the art teacher eagerly preparing for her retirement. While outsiders may wonder if Jill will look at this event as bittersweet, her experiences and encounters within the school system have Jill counting down the days with excitement. Faced with cliques, politically underhanded tactics, and outright threats and attempts to harm or discredit her, Jill’s stories about the corrupt school system could fill a book. Proudly wearing her identity as an outsider, she treasures her few allies dearly as she protects her integrity and her ability to retire with a pension from those that would take it away as punishment for not playing along with the social pecking order that the other teachers, principals, and administration accept as a necessary aspect of their workplace.

Described by the author as semi-fiction, this story portrays an educational system where who one knows and, more accurately, who they kiss up to, dictates success more than excellence in teaching. Extending beyond the classroom, Jill’s observations detect corruption tied to education that stems from politics both local and beyond as well as social groups stemming from the churches of the area. Drawing allusions to dystopian social constructs portrayed in Brave New World and even the tactics employed by Hitler and Stalin, the book will make readers face the uncomfortable realities of a system that some only experience through the eyes of a child. Tying social pressures and bullying among teachers and staff to the violence that is being tragically experienced in the school system today, Jill’s struggle becomes more than just a list of grievances, perhaps identifying the recipe for societal violence in the 21st century.

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