by Arthur E. Foster
When I was in ninth grade I attended a small preparatory junior high/ high school called Oak Hill. The small private school was located three businesses away from the corner of Sepulveda Blvd, and Plummer streets. For the first two years I was there, the school was comprised mostly of one main building, which at one point clearly had been a private house. At some point this became a small private school. Later, Oak Hill High School changed ownership, becoming North Hills Preparatory.
One day, I was in my Spanish class patiently listening to my teacher Mr Mejohas. Senor Mejohas was a respectful and serious man. Fairly skinny, he dressed rather formally even on hot days he wore a long sleeved shirt, or a jacket. He seemed to take his job, the task of teaching a few kids elementary Spanish, very seriously.
Clearly, he was raised in a culture where they honored their elders. Which was not the case at our school in Los Angeles's “beautiful” San Fernando Valley, especially with two particular girls.
From Senor Mejohas' behavior it was clear to me that he was raised in a standard sort of Hispanic family where the children are respectful of their elders. He seemed surprised that spoiled teen girls in the next class would disrupt the wisdom he was trying to impart on his class.
When the class across the small hall became so loud they were disrupting Mr Mejohas lesson he would walk across the hall to restore discipline. I only became aware of the problem when Senor Mejohas became flustered, and stopped the lesson to go discuss this with the French teacher who taught the class, but the French teacher seemed to have left them for a short while on their own.
They were very loud.
Mr Mejohas reported the unruly girls to the principle of the school, Mrs Boyle. Who had been teaching English the year before. Mrs Boyle was the young mother who just the year before had her young son Chris in a crib in the corner of her classroom.
While Mrs Boyle was a kind, understanding lady, and she wanted to do right to all her students, and, of course, be fair with the teachers now under her. She knew she could not have one of her classes disrupted by any of the students under her authority. She took the girls into the office, and corrected their behavior.
I was not present so I can only imagine what went on in that meeting. I can only report that those girls never again made so much noise during our class.
A couple of weeks went by. The two girls Andy Issa, and Paige Duckwald were the popular type of girls, more interested in clothes, and boys, than their studies. They were three grades older than myself. Growing up with two, sometimes three older sisters in the house, I was used to such distraction, and them being so loud did not bother me, as it had Senor Mejohas.
Evidently, the two girls Andy Issa, and Paige Duckwald had some time to “stew,” and I have to assume that Mr Mejohas getting the best of them must have been a “burn” for them.
Then one day after lunch a big fuss erupted in the school parking lot. The word around campus was that questionable magazines were found in Mr Mejohas' car. He had to leave his class to go defend himself before the principle of our school.
Long after this incident took place, I learned the girls planted those magazines in his unlocked car, and made it look as if they were his, and that he did not have a thing for slutty teen white girls in skimpy clothing.
There is much I realize I never knew, and will never know. Senor Mejohas did not lose his job over this, but he was obviously deeply troubled.
This is just one of the many stories about how cruel, and selfish rich girls can be. These two girls showed no concern for anything but their own comfort and fashionable appearance.
I strongly doubt either girl took a moment to consider what losing his job would do to Senor Mejohas, or his family. He was a good teacher, respectful of everyone with whom he came in contact, exacting, but strongly committed to doing his job.
I do understand completely not liking another person. But making up stories to try to get a person unjustly fired is wrong.
I don't know what happened to the girls after they graduated. Senor Mejohas left at the end of the year, probably because of this incident. I know the incident hurt Senor Mejohas and the girls suffered no punishment for an offense far worse than talking loudly. The girls showed no integrity. Senor did.
But I would like to know. If you know Senor or the girls, please contact me.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. May peace be with you.