The phone immediately rang.
It was the channel 2 news fellow calling from in front of AYD's school.
The FOX 13 team had discovered where AYD’s school was, and had apparently driven their news van up to the bus loading area while I was on the phone with Barry. They had convinced a couple of kids to go find AYD and bring her out to the front of the school to be interviewed. The 2 news van had followed the FOX news van, and within seconds the channel 5 news van had arrived also. Channel five must have caught one of the few traffic lights in town.
The Channel 2 news fellow was calling to ask if it was OK to interview AYD.
“NO” I said. “It is NOT OK for a bunch of strangers to pull her out of school”
“Well she is here now so you should come down here or do something” he said.
“Will you hand her your cellphone?” I asked.
“Sure” he said.
The next voice I heard was a rather sultry woman’s voice. I immediately thought: “this is what puts the fox in FOX news".
Sure enough the voice introduced itself as a FOX 13 newsperson. She told me they NEEDED to interview AYD because the story was “So NOW”. And that she promised to be nice to AYD.
“I don’t know you” I replied. “Hand the phone to my daughter”
Which apparently she did as the next voice I heard was AYD’s
“You do NOT have to talk to these people. If you want to talk to them maybe it will be OK, but I’m going to tell them they cannot interview you, and you should just go back to class. Do you want to interview with them now? You will have another chance after I get home, but you don’t have to talk to them then either”
“I think I will wait to talk to them” AYD replied.
“OK. I’m going to tell them to scram. I just talked to Barry, and I’ve got a couple questions. What were the names of the other girls you went to the office with?”
“There was nobody else” she replied with a bit of a ‘why are you asking?’ tone in her voice. “I was alone”
“OK” I replied “Barry says your skirt’s hem was lower when I took the photo than when you first arrived in the office. Why was that?”
“What” she asked, and then “That is not true! The skirt had a belt. It can only be worn one way. Well only one way that would not look stupid. I was wearing the outfit the way you saw me when I let the house, through my first classes, and into lunch when I was taken to the office. I was wearing it exactly the way it was when you took the picture!” Her voice was getting a bit more irritated as she finished.
“Hey, don’t get irritated with me. I’m just trying to figure out what your principal was saying. Give the phone back to the guy whose phone it is, not the woman who handed it to you, and then go back to class. I’ll tell them to go leave”
“Dad” she replied with all her calmness back in her voice “I want them to interview me now”
“You sure?” I asked “They really should not be there. I have no problem telling them to go away. You do not have to talk to these people.”
“No Dad” she said with a steady voice “I want to talk to them”
And she did.
I spoke with the assistant district superintendent. It was as illuminating as the chat with Barry, but I will save that for yet another post.