These students aren't just bad, they're dangerous. And then there's the principal...


by James Eric Riley

Genre: Fictional Biography

These students aren’t just bad, they’re dangerous. And then there’s the principal...

For Los Angeles teacher Eric Riley, summers off, holidays, and health benefits are all that matters. Why else get into teaching in your forties? With a wife and two young daughters, and a mountain of debt after suffering a broken leg, teaching represents a steady paycheck and time off he’s never experienced.

Riley surviveshis rookie year as a teacher, only to be assigned a class with a special designation: Emotionally Disturbed. He starts the new position, after taking a mandatory training session on the latest approved methods of physical restraint – the delicate name for self-defense when dealing with violent students.

One day, a student attacks Riley – and Riley puts him down hard on the floor. The school principal orders Riley to be placed on administrative leave. During a series of preliminary hearings regarding his status, he realizes that the official version of the incident is changing. When his union and legal representatives appear to be incompetent, he secretly contacts staff members at his school. They break into an administrator’s office and uncover statements and records regarding his suspension that implicate the principal, the district, and even the teachers’ union.

From classic teaching moments to administrator run-ins to a district boardroom showdown, one teacher finds out what he’s good at.

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 James Eric Riley grew up near the rust belt town of Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. He attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts. After years of summer stock and regional theater, he and his wife Jeneva moved to Southern California where they discovered a love of snow skiing and – for Riley – ice skating. But after breaking a leg competing in a short track speed skating event, suddenly teaching seemed like a better idea. His best years were teaching high school, where he finally put his theater background to good use teaching public speaking and writing. Now retired, he and Jeneva live in Independence, Kentucky.

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