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187 Movie Script

Writer(s) : Scott Yagemann

Genres : Drama

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       187

by

Scott Yagemann




REVISED SHOOTING DRAFT

November 4, 1996




FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

Rev. 7/10/96


1 8 7


1 EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN SKYLINE - BROOKLYN BRIDGE - MORNING 1
RUSH HOUR

ON a pair of black Dexter penny loafers diligently
pedaling an old Schwinn mountain bike. ADJUST ANGLE now
to meet the bicyclist...

He's African-American. Anywhere from 33 to 40. Wears
wire-rim glasses, a fresh white oxford shirt, creased
slacks and a solid green tie. An unobtrusive figure, at
once familiar and yet undiscerning. The type you'd pass
on a sidewalk and never even notice. He's TREVOR GARFIELD.

ADJUST ANGLE FURTHER now to reveal the upper promenade
bike path and a dramatic view of Lower Manhattan behind
him. Morning sun glimmers off the Trade Center towers.

Trevor's shadow skitters along the wooden path, 160 ft.
above the East River.

A fat briefcase, strapped to the back of his bike, rocks
back and forth as he pumps the pedals.

FROM ABOVE now a sweeping view of Trevor, alone on the
bike path, a speck, suspended above a sea of rush hour
traffic on the bridge below.


2 EXT. ATLANTIC AVENUE (BEDFORD STUYVESANT) - MORNING 2

A wrought-iron train trestle covered with graffiti shakes
as an "EL" TRAIN ROARS overhead. Trevor races parallel
with it along Atlantic Avenue. Every city block becomes
more and more rundown.


3 EXT. ROOSEVELT WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL (BEDFORD 3
STUYVESANT) - MORNING

A cyclone fence frames the stalwart face of the old
three-story administration building. Ubiquitous gray
patches of paint fail to cover where taggers have most
recently left their marks. The ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, a
black man with a booming voice, barks at late-comers who
are about to be tardy...

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
(clapping his hands)
... Let's go, people! Tardy lock-
out starts in one minute! Get
your butts in gear! One minute,
people! Move it!

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 2.

3 CONTINUED: 3

SUPERIMPOSE: ROOSEVELT WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL -
OCTOBER 1994

The Assistant Principal, attention diverted, doesn't even
notice Trevor as he enters on his bike and races down the
sidewalk in front of the school. With all the prompting,
students still don't seem to be in much of a hurry.


4 OMITTED 4


5 INT. RWHS "A" BUILDING - MAIN ENTRANCE 5

... as Trevor squeezes through the doorway past students
being processed through card readers and metal detectors
and turns down the main hall.


6 INT. RWHS - MAIN FLOOR 6

With a glance over his shoulder, Trevor hops back onto
his bike and pedals it down the middle of the corridor.
STRAGGLING STUDENTS either ignore him or look at him
like he's insane.

STRAGGLING STUDENT
(as Trevor passes)
... No ridin' bikes in 'a hallway,
stoo-pit.


6A INT. STAIRWELL 6A

As Trevor reaches the end of the main corridor... and
steers his bike down the stairs.


7 INT. RWHS - BOTTOM FLOOR 7

Trevor coasts skillfully down the stairs and emerges
onto the bottom floor of the school. He pedals away
toward the other end of the corridor.


7A EXT. TREVOR'S CLASSROOM 7A

A crowd of 10th graders loiter outside Trevor's room.
Seeing him coming, they stir to life with a flurry of
taunts. Trevor chooses to face all dissension with a
smile.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 3.

7A CONTINUED: 7A

As Trevor hops off his bike and unlocks the classroom
door, he notices two lovers making out in the hallway...

VOICE IN CROWD
... Yuh late, Garfield.

TREVOR
(catching his breath)
... No, bell hasn't rung yet.
Okay, let's get inside. C'mon.
(as they file
into the room)
... Morning, morning. Rise and
shine.

TWO STUDENTS make passing comments...

AUGGIE
(shaking his head)
... You one crazy-ass nigga, G.

TYWAN
(a quarter stuck
in one ear)
... Damn skippy.

TREVOR
Thank you for sharing, Auggie.

TYWAN
(provoking Auggie)
... Auggie doggie.

AUGGIE (O.S.)
Fuck you, Tywan. Yer mama's a
gangsta-rapper.

Trevor offers a pleasant greeting to the two lovers.

TREVOR
'Scuse me, you two... this isn't
the Playboy Channel.

Trevor enters the room, but ducks his head back into
the hall.

TREVOR
'Morning, Juanita.

8 INT. RWHS - TREVOR'S CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 8

Walls are covered with assorted science posters.
Styrofoam nuclei dangle from the ceiling. Trevor
unstraps the fat briefcase from his bicycle and sets
it on a metal stool next to his desk...
(CONTINUED)

4.

8 CONTINUED: 8

TREVOR
(enthusiastically)
Let's get started. August and
Tywan, you pass out the books.
Thank you, gentlemen.

Auggie and Tywan don't budge.

TYWAN
Whas up wit' your car, G? Yer
Pinto blow up?

The majority of students aren't even paying attention. A
group in the back is already starting a card game.

TREVOR
(good-natured smile)
No, I don't own a Pinto, Tywan.
(addressing the class)
Okay, can I have everyone's
attention?

No response, but it doesn't phase Trevor. He removes
the front wheels from his bike.

TREVOR
The purpose of the bicycle is to
demonstrate the principle of
centripetal force. That's the
opposite of the force we studied
yesterday, which was...

VOICE IN THE CROWD
Magnum force.

Hoots and laughter.

TREVOR
Centrifugal force... Centripetal
force is where the acceleration of
a body moving in circular motion
is directed toward its center by an
opposing force, thus creating
momentum that constrains the body to
its circular path. Like a gyroscope.
(sees nothing
but yawns)
It's better if I show you. Here,
Tywan, you be my helper.

Tywan and Auggie are busy talking in the corner. They
still haven't passed out the books.

(CONTINUED)

5.

8 CONTINUED: (2) 8

TREVOR
Tywan? Come on.

Tywan, solidly built like a Rodin bronze, saunters over.

TYWAN
Whad-up, G?
(to rest of class)
Hey, shut up! Y'all too damn
loud, man!

Class quiets but only marginally.

TREVOR
I need you to demonstrate
centripetal force.
(removes briefcase
from stool)
Here, have a seat.

Tywan sits and Trevor hands him the upside-down bicycle.

TREVOR
Okay, hold the bike steady with
your knees. That's it. Seat
positioned against your chest.

Tywan glances over at Auggie and starts to laugh.

TYWAN
(to Auggie)
Shut up, foo.

TREVOR
Okay, now crank the pedals and get
that back wheel spinning about
180 R.P.M.

TYWAN
Whas up wit' dat?

TREVOR
(coaxing him along)
You'll see. Be patient.

A skeptical Tywan starts to crank the pedals, but he's
not pedaling hard enough.

TREVOR
... Put some muscle into it.

Tywan cranks the pedals harder now. Trevor back-pedals
over to the textbook shelf and randomly selects a
physical science book (but doesn't open it).

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 6.

8 CONTINUED: (3) 8

TREVOR
... Keep pedaling. Harder.

A paper airplane sails past an oblivious Tywan. He
cranks harder and harder until he's sweating ham juice.
Now, he impales Trevor with a befuddled squint.

TYWAN
(incredulous)
Whas up? I tol' you you was
crazy, man.

A thin smile of confidence from Trevor now...

TREVOR
Now tilt the wheel to your right.

Tywan does and immediately the wheel pulls him to the
right, causing the stool to slowly spin on its axis.

TYWAN
(eyes wide like
a little kid)
Aw, damn. I'm spinnin'. Lookit
me, Auggie!

Trevor flickers a smile as Tywan's spinning starts to
draw the attention of the rest of the class.

Now Trevor refers to the physical science book in his
hand. Smile on his face immediately fades.

INSERT: Physical science textbook. In magic marker.
The large number 187 has been scrawled across every
page. Trevor flips through the book. He checks the
front page to see who it belongs to.

Juxtaposed to Trevor's distracted state, the class is now
focused on Tywan's achievement...

CLASS
(attempting unison)
... Tywan, Tywan, Tywan.


9 INT. RWHS - "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - SECOND 9
PERIOD

One of the fluorescent lights overhead flickers. The
place is deserted except for a custodian who pushes a
cresting wave of trash ahead of his broom. Now Trevor
heads up the north stairwell at the far end of the
corridor. He clutches the desecrated physical science
book. A student slides down the banister past him.

7.

10 OMITTED 10


11 INT. COUNSELING OFFICES - WAITING AREA 11

A PUERTO RICAN WOMAN prods a group of gangbanger wanna-
bes. Two of the teens hover over a Sony Walkman, sharing
the earphones.

SECRETARY
Okay, fellas, off the table. Put
the Walkman away. I said put it
away...

A 10th grade counselor's office opens and a student
emerges. Trevor walks directly in.

TREVOR
Walter, I need to speak with you.

WALTER (Anglo; 52) is a disheveled middle-aged counselor.
A lifer. He chews on an empty smoking pipe as he glances
through a student "cum" (cue-mm).

WALTER
(preoccupied)
I'm pretty busy right now,
Garfield. What is it?

Trevor sets the book down on Walter's desk and nervously
adjusts his glasses.

TREVOR
Could you open it, please?

Walter opens the book.

WALTER
(a weary look
of disgust)
Don't suppose this kid cares about
our budget crisis?
(shuts the book)
Have the textbook room charge him
for the book.

Walter snaps the book shut and looks up at Trevor.
That's all?

TREVOR
One-Eight-Seven is a penal code
number for murder, Walter.
Means the same thing as T-O-S.
'Terminate On the Spot.'

(CONTINUED)

8.

11 CONTINUED: 11

WALTER
(piqued)
For chrissake, I know what it
stands for. Look, kid probably
heard it in a rap song. Doesn't
mean anything.

TREVOR
... The book belongs to Dennis
Broadway. He's a known gangster,
Walter -- a 'Five Percenter.'

WALTER
Garfield, if I had a dollar for
every time a student threatened
faculty... Don't you think you're
overreacting a little?

TREVOR
(suppressing
trepidation)
Did you tell Dennis Broadway he
was getting a fail from me?

WALTER
(stymied)
I have legal access to those
files.

TREVOR
He's a transfer from Nixon High
School, isn't he?

WALTER
(becoming defensive)
Look, I'm not obligated to track
you down every time a transfer
student comes through here. You
want confidential information
like that, come look it up in his
cum (cue-mm).

Trevor exhales a sigh of resignation.

TREVOR
Do you have him on a contract?

WALTER
If he gets through the semester
without a fail then he gets to go
back to Nixon, so what?

TREVOR
... and be with his homeboys.

(CONTINUED)

9.

11 CONTINUED: (2) 11

Walter's caught between a rock and a hard place. His
instincts lean toward self-preservation.

WALTER
So he blew his opportunity. Now
he has to learn to live with the
consequences.

TREVOR
I don't think this kid's ready to
deal with the consequences. I
think he wants me dead.

WALTER
Relax, has nothin' to do with you.

TREVOR
I should have been told, Walter.

WALTER
Hey, I'm on your side, Garfield,
but my hands are tied. Kid has a
right to his privacy... Know what
your problem is? You're an
idealist.

TREVOR
What's wrong with that?

WALTER
You only see what you wanna see,
that's what's wrong. On one hand
you think someone's trying to kill
you. On the other hand you
actually believe kids are paying
attention in your classes.

Trevor resigns himself to the fact that he's come to
the wrong person for support.

TREVOR
(collecting himself)
Never mind. It's not a problem.

WALTER
(an empty promise)
Tell you what, as soon as I get a
chance I'll summons the kid.
Promise.

Trevor's bemusement holds us.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 10.

12 INT. RWHS "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - MORNING 12

Trevor retraces his steps back up the empty corridor as
the passing BELL RINGS. Within seconds the corridor is
teeming with teenagers.

Into SLOW MOTION now. MANEUVERING THROUGH the crowd to
DISCOVER DENNIS BROADWAY (16). About ten paces behind.
His Snoop-Dogg Afro frames a gold earring and a pair of
deep-set eyes filled with vitriol. Oblivious of Dennis,
Trevor presses on toward the north stairwell.

VARIOUS SHOTS OVERHEAD and THROUGH crowd as the gap
between Dennis and Trevor narrows. Every facial
expression, every blink of an eye, all magnified a
hundred times.

Broadway's right hand is wrapped in a dirty white
handkerchief as he reaches into the front pocket of his
baggie Solos and pulls out a block of wood with a
ten-penny nail imbedded in it.


13 INT. RWHS - AT NORTH STAIRWELL 13

Trevor's heavy eyelids blink as he slowly glances up into
a parabolic mirror on the wall. A silent, paroxysmal
terror registers on his face.

In a parabolic mirror, the blurred image of Dennis
Broadway, pushing hard toward a conclusion now.

BACK TO SPEED as Dennis explodes forward, body blocking
Trevor from behind, pinning him against a wall and
sending the "187" textbook flying.

He rams his weapon into Trevor's back.

In a SERIES OF RAPID-FIRE CUTS, filtered sunlight
shimmers off the sharpened nail as it slashes downward.
A barrage of stabbing motions, tearing at cloth and
flesh. Trevor's backward flailing arms are ineffective
in blocking the frenzied stabfest. Downward slashing,
again and again... 10 times.

Aftermath. As quickly as it began it's over. Dennis
Broadway slams open an exit door and is gone. Students
scatter like cockroaches. An eerie stillness lingers.

Trevor Garfield is lying on his back now in a pool of
blood; black plastic framed glasses in pieces on the
floor; lifeless arms spread out at his sides. His
rheumy, unblinking eyes stare upward into infinite space.
Breathing is the major focus of his concentration now as
we SLOWLY MOVE IN ON his face. HOLD and now...

11.

14 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) - 14

SUPERIMPOSE: LOS ANGELES - SAN FERNANDO VALLEY,
SEVENTEEN MONTHS LATER

It's a tiny one bedroom house in the East San Fernando
Valley. A chain-link fence surrounds the perimeter and a
large olive tree shades the neatly-mowed front lawn.
And in the back there's a wooden tool shed that borders
a narrow alley.


15 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM 15

In the predawn light a terra cotta angel stands guard
over a bookshelf.


16 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - BEDROOM 16

Stillness. Now the PHONE RINGS. A shape in the bed
stirs. A desk lamp flickers on, illuminating the phone.
Trevor's hand reaches for the receiver.

TREVOR
Morning...

SUB UNIT (V.O.)
'Morning, Mr. Garfield. This is
the Sub Unit. Are you available
for work?

TREVOR
(clearing his throat)
... Yes, uh huh.

SUB UNIT (V.O.)
There's a science class in the
Valley at John Quincy Adams. It's
a four day assignment. Teacher's
name is Eskander.


17 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - TREVOR'S PRAYER - SERIES OF SHOTS 17

We hear what God hears over the following...

A) IN SHOWER

Trevor hangs his head under a torrent of soothing
water.

B) TREVOR

Ceremoniously, he irons a shirt... and polishes his
shoes, a broad scar shows across the back of his hand.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 12.

17 CONTINUED: 17

C) ANOTHER ANGLE

His pressed slacks and tie hang meticulously over a
chair as he gets dressed.

D) CRUCIFIX

Now Jesus Christ looks down on Trevor from his crucifix
on the bedroom wall.

TREVOR (V.O.)
(kneeling bedside)
... If you're listening, God,
please help me today. All I ask
is a chance to do my job... t'do
the job you put me here to do in
the first place.
(prayerfully now)
Please help me accept those things
I cannot change... and give me
strength to change those things I
can.
(beat)
... This is me, Trevor, God.
Amen.


18 EXT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS H.S. (SAN FERNANDO VALLEY) - 18
"A" BUILDING - MORNING

Traffic bottle-necks as students cross in front of cars,
and big yellow L.A.U.S.D. buses pull in. The green lawn
is scattered with students (about 65% Hispanic).
Compared to the scarred, institutional look of Roosevelt
Whitney, the face of John Quincy Adams is unblemished.
(This is your own backyard, not the inner city)

Sagging pants (Dickies, Ben Davis) and oversized jackets
(County Bens, Duke, Georgetown) are represented. The
different socio-economic and ethnic groups stick with
their own kind; the IHPs (Individual Honors Program), the
taggers, the Gangbangers, the Asians, the Armenians...


18A EXT. JQA PARKING LOT 18A

Anglo boy, Stevie Littleton, gets out of his mom's Lexus
in the school parking lot and walks towards school.


19 INT./EXT. TREVOR'S '64 RAMBLER AMERICAN - FACULTY 19
PARKING LOT DRIVEWAY

Trevor sits behind the wheel of his Rambler. Watches a
passing parade of students with detachment.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 13.

20 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING ENTRANCE - FEW 20
MINUTES LATER

Trevor, fat briefcase in hand, crosses the front lawn.
He's not the same Trevor we met back in Bedford-
Stuvyesant. Withdrawn, guarded, he manufactures a
cautious smile at students in passing.

Trevor now approaches VICTOR SIFUENTES, a young plain-
clothes narc, who intermittently wands students with a
metal detector at the front doors. FAVOR a kid now who
wears a baseball cap with an emblem on the crown that
says "Fucd."

VICTOR
... Baseball cap, give it up.

The kid grudgingly reciprocates, handing over his cap.

VICTOR
(stopping Trevor now)
Hold it, please.

Trevor produces his blue employee card.

TREVOR
I'm a substitute.

VICTOR
(pointing)
Okay, you want the Main Office,
straight ahead. Check in with
Mrs. Ford.


21 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING/MAIN CORRIDOR - 21
BEFORE FIRST PERIOD

Trevor wanders up the crowded corridor. Along with his
briefcase he now carries a sub folder that contains a
homeroom roster, lesson plans and seating charts.

A sporadic row of teachers, like weary sentinels, stand
outside their classrooms.

TEACHER #1 is an insipid woman in her mid-forties. She's
overweight and wears too much make-up.

TREVOR
... 'Scuse me. I'm lost. I'm
looking for Bungalow...
(checks homeroom roster)
... eighty-six.

(CONTINUED)

14.

21 CONTINUED: 21

TEACHER #1
(pointing)
All the way out, next to the
parking lot. Last bungalow on the
left.

TREVOR
... Thank you.

TEACHER #1
(fatalistic)
Good luck.

Her comment weighs on him as he resumes his winding path
through the bustle of students headed for first period.


22 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - MAIN CORRIDOR/CLASSROOMS - 22
TREVOR'S POV

Glancing through open doorways. Observing the inner life
of various classrooms in passing... sees students watch-
ing TV, teacher ignores them.

INTERCUT WITH:


23 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - CLASSROOM #2 23

ANGLO MALE, 39, slouching behind his desk, attempting to
read a newspaper but distracted by an offstage commotion.

CLASSROOM #2 TEACHER (ANGLO MALE)
(erupting)
... Sit down. I come back there
and you're gonna be sorry.

INTERCUT WITH:


24 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - CLASSROOM #3/COMPUTER LAB 24

On the opposite side of the corridor... we can hear
Ellen Henry's voice before reaching her doorway. All
brightness and light, full of enthusiasm...

ELLEN (O.S.)
(like, a buzzer;
times up)
... EEEEgghh! Wrong. William,
you know this. C'mon, how do you
find the pound sign? What's the
fastest way?

(CONTINUED)

15.

24 CONTINUED: 24

Now we see her through the doorway. ELLEN HENRY (TEACHER
#3). She's thirty, Anglo, and non-tenured. At the front
of the class ten students stand linked together, arm-in-
arm, in a human chain. WILLIAM (15) sits behind a computer
in the front row struggling to decipher the problem...

ELLEN
(playfully)
You're not thinking.
(a major clue)
How 'bout Binary search.

William remains puzzled. The chain of students delight
in chiding him. "C'mon, Beavis!"...

ELLEN
(the answer)
You split them!

Ellen attempts to bisect the impulsive chain of students
with a double-handed karate chop. Fickle chain that they
are, they resist.

ELLEN
(amused)
... Very funny.

Now a SLOW MOTION fleeting moment as she catches Trevor's
passing gaze and openly smiles at him.


25 INT. MEN'S BATHROOM 25

Trevor rinses his face at the sink as Victor Sifuentes'
head speaks to him from above one of the heavily
graffitied stalls in b.g.

VICTOR
So who yuh here for?

TREVOR
Eskander.

VICTOR
(zipping up,
exiting)
Aw, man, you got bungalow
duty.


26 EXT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - BUNGALOWS - MORNING 26

On a MEANDERING COURSE, MERGING with Trevor now.

(CONTINUED)

16.

26 CONTINUED: 26

Increasing evidence of tagging, and bands of wandering
students, indicate a higher degree of disorder the
further one gets from the Main Office.

FROM ABOVE NOW, like Algernon and his maze, Trevor
negotiates his own path deeper and deeper into the
configuration of bungalows.

... And Trevor's trepidation. Eyes discerning every
passerby. His PULSE AUDIBLY RACES, senses heightened.

SHIFTING INTO SLOW MOTION AGAIN... And the reverberating
SOUND of a SPRAY PAINT MARBLE as Trevor rounds a corner
and comes face to face with three tag-bangers concealing
spray paint cans inside their oversized jackets. One of
the taggers locks eyes with Trevor as he passes, a slow
premonitory burn. The tagger has a "skin tight" (pelon)
hair cut and a string of black rosary beads around his
neck. A barcode tattoo on the back of his neck identi-
fies BENNY.


27 EXT. UTILITY SHED AND VICINITY - MORNING 27

... Behind the bungalows, adjacent the delivery gate.
Meet DAVE CHILDRESS, a forty-something ditto-head.
The residual effects of a hangover linger as he sneaks a
cigarette before first period. He wears a faded Hawaiian
shirt and Huarache sandals. An old military tattoo
emblazons his left forearm. As he crushes out his
cigarette, something catches his eye.


28 EXT. UTILITY SHED 28

... Thru a chain-link fence we see a handful of cholo-
types loitering around the shed.

Childress investigates. As he approaches the fence...

CHILDRESS
... Hey, ese(s)?!

Homeboys scatter in all directions, some hop the chain-
link fence, others scurry out a narrow gate behind the
shed. Childress weighs an amused smirk. Now out of
nowhere a gangbanger lurches from the shed, buttoning
his sagging Dickies and tripping over his own feet. He
scrambles out the back gate and is gone.

Childress, curiosity piqued, now enters the compound
through a tear in the fence.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 17.

29 INT. UTILITY SHED - MOMENTS LATER 29

As Childress pokes his head inside he discovers...

Rita Nartinez, seventeen... braless. A niobium belly-
ring piercing her navel. She pulls a dark blue sweat
shirt on over her head. Glances up at Childress. Masks
her shame with a defiant smirk.

(Behind the heavy eyeliner and baggy pants of a chola,
Rita's really nothing more than a little lost girl.)

CHILDRESS
(knowing full well)
What the hell's going on here,
lil' sister?


30 INT. BUNGALOW "84" - MORNING 30

Trevor flicks on the lights, exposing bare, colorless
walls and closed venetian blinds. His breathing's
slightly labored as he sets down his briefcase. His back
faces the mob of students that trickle in now as he takes
a surreptitious hit off an inhaler. Almost instantly his
breathing returns to normal.

Now he shuts his eyes and prepares to conjure up the
dormant enthusiasm he used to have. Takes a deep
cathartic breath. Now he digs a file folder out of his
briefcase, opens it, selects a dispatch and approaches
the blackboard.

BELL RINGS as he picks up a piece of chalk... and begins.
First he writes his name in the corner of the blackboard.
Now he moves to the center of the blackboard and begins
to write per the file folder in his hand...

"GLIS WAS VERY FRAPPER. SHE HAD DENARPEN FARFIE'S
MARDSEN..."

No one pays much attention. Back still facing the
class...

TREVOR
... Before taking roll, I'd like
to prove a point.

Now one or two students begin to notice the
indecipherable gibberish he is writing on the board...

(CONTINUED)

18.

30 CONTINUED: 30

BARSEK
(Armenian; a disparaging
laugh)
'Farfie?'
(cholo-like)
Whad up, Farfie?

Trevor mentally blocks out the salvo of grunts, groans
and expletives. With each subsequent stroke of the chalk
he is exorcising his demons...

TREVOR
... It's not important what... or
who... 'Farfie' is.

Turning to face the class now...

TREVOR
Yuh wanna play, yuh gotta stay.
Have a seat, please.

A handful of students take their seats.

TREVOR
(pacing now)
The point I'd like to make is
this... Anyone here can be a
scientist.

... a grudging buzz of confusion.

ASIAN GIRL
(sotto; puzzled)
... What's he talking about?

TREVOR
... A scientist is like a
detective. He investigates data.
He scratches the surface of things
he doesn't understand to see
what's underneath.
(pointing to blackboard)
... Things like this. Okay, who
wants to read?

Barsek (the class clown) breaks in...

BARSEK
(standing up)
I'll do it.

Trevor quiets a harmless barrage of, "Bart," "sit down"
and "Armenian Power sucks"...

(CONTINUED)

19.

30 CONTINUED: (2) 30

TREVOR
Come on, we don't need disrespect.
Let 'im do it.
(to Barsek)
What's your name?

BARSEK
Barsek.

A wisp of gratification flickers at the corner of
Trevor's mouth.

TREVOR
Okay, Barsek. Read.

(The following is read in fits and starts and accompanied
by diminishing laughter and ridicule.)

BARSEK
... Glis was very frapper. She
had denarpen Farfie's Mardsen.
She couldn't galp a giberter for
Farfie. Instead she wharked to
plimp a mardsen binky for him.

TREVOR
Okay, anyone know what Barsek just
said?

... A unanimous "No." Trevor can see the light at the
end of the tunnel now. He's back in the zone.

TREVOR
That's alright. You don't need to
understand something to answer a
few simple questions about it.
Every one of you is capable of
decoding data. Watch.

Trevor writes question #1 on the board...

1. WHY WAS GLIS FRAPPER?

TREVOR
... Why was Glis Frapper? Can
anyone tell me?

The Asian Girl, into it now, tentatively raises her hand.

TREVOR
(pointing at
Asian Girl)
Okay.

(CONTINUED)

20.

30 CONTINUED: (3) 30

Asian Girl's POV as she studies the first two sentences
on the board.

ASIAN GIRL
(slowly; cautiously)
... Glis was frapper... because...
she had denarpen Farfie's mardsen?

TREVOR
(understated)
That's right. You got it.
(reactions all around)
Let's try another.

Trevor reads and writes question #2 on the board...

2. WHAT DID GLIS PLIMP?

TREVOR
... What did Glis plimp?

Before Trevor can finish writing the question, an
unidentified voice blurts out, "He plimped a Ho."
Scattered laughter. Trevor grimaces, shakes his head.
Now attempts to add the question mark at the end of the
sentence but the chalk breaks, causing dissension.

TREVOR
(searching blackboard
ledge)
... Hold on, hold on. Where's
your teacher keep the chalk?

ASIAN GIRL
... In the desk.

Trevor hastily rifles through the teacher's drawers. A
startling discovery abruptly halts his search...

CLOSER now INTO a brown paper bag Trevor has opened.
Inside the bag is a .357 Magnum.

OFF Trevor's narrowing gaze, an offstage voice
interrupts...

CHILDRESS (O.S.)
... Can I help you?

Trevor lifts his head to see Dave Childress standing in
the doorway of the bungalow. Trevor shuts the desk
drawer. You can hear a pin drop.

Childress piston-chews a wad of gum as he approaches
Trevor.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 21.

30 CONTINUED: (4) 30

CHILDRESS
Sorry I'm late. Had to handle
something. You a sub?

TREVOR
(puzzled)
I thought this was Science.
Ms. Eskander.

Childress weighs a shit-eating grin as he glances at
Trevor's name on the board.

CHILDRESS
No. This is Dave Childress,
American History.

Some students brave a laugh at Trevor's expense.

CHILDRESS
... Don't know how to break it to
you...
(glancing at
Trevor's name again)
... Garfield... but this is
bungalow 84.

Childress now places a patronizing hand on Trevor's
shoulder and steers him toward the window blinds.

CHILDRESS
See, you zigged when you shoulda
zagged. Course it's not your
fault someone jacked the number
off my door. Keep askin' Garcia
to fix it but all I get is 'nada.'

Childress draws the blinds on one of the windows exposing
another bungalow across the way.


31 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - THROUGH WINDOW PANE 31

... In complete disarray. Students clutter the doorway
as wads of paper intermittently zing past them.

CHILDRESS
... that mess over there, that's
Eskander's.

OFF Trevor's unflinching stare...

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 22.

32 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - MORNING 32

The bungalow was originally designed for lab science:
glass-encased cupboards, a caged white lab rat on a side
counter, an 8' by 3' counter top (island) at the front of
the room, including a built-in sink and butane gas valve.

Students crowd the opened windows on the far side of the
room. The chaotic atmosphere centers around one
student... Benny Chacon (18), the tagger we met earlier.

Trevor's back to square one. He struggles with
trepidation as he steps into the doorway of the bungalow
and hesitates.

A young black girl, LAKESIA STEWART (16), stands near the
doorway. She cradles a realistic looking E.N.A.B.L. baby
(Education Now And Babies Later).

LAKESIA
You our sub?

Trevor takes a peek at the doll.

LAKESIA
It's not real. We're studying
teen parenting in home-ec.' It's
computerized, so it cries and shit.

Crowd at the windows begins to disperse now, finding
their seats, except for Benny who doesn't budge. Trevor
approaches, gazes out the window, eyes sizing up the
situation.


33 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - TREVOR'S POV - TEXTBOOKS 33

Scattered on the blacktop between the parking lot fence
and bungalow #86 are 35 science textbooks.


34 INT. BUNGALOW #86 34

TREVOR
(addressing Benny;
without prejudging)
You know how the books got
outside?

Benny plays with the black rosary around his neck.
Responds with mock ignorance.

BENNY
No speaky Engless.

(CONTINUED)

23.

34 CONTINUED: 34

Class erupts with laughter. A wad of paper sails past
Trevor and out the window.

BENNY
You speak Spanish, Mister... Whas
yer name?

TREVOR
Garfield.

BENNY
... You speak Spanish, Mister G?
(as Trevor ignores
the question)
Eh, G... know what dat means when
a homeboy calls you 'G'? Dat means
gangster, homes. You a gangster,
maestro?

TREVOR
No, I'm not a gangster.
(beat)
Would you please do me a favor and
pick up the books?

BENNY
(righteous
indignation)
Andate a la mierda.
(more laughs)
I ain't pickin' dat shit up. You
go pick it up.

Benny now finds a seat. Trevor follows him.

TREVOR
What's your name?

BENNY
Cesar Chavez. Don't you recognize
me?

Class laughs. Trevor refers to the seating chart (inside
the sub folder) in his hand but Benny's not sitting in
his proper seat. Benny indicates a 2" by 3" monitoring
device strapped to his ankle...

BENNY
See dis? I'm already on house
arrest, homes. Ain't nothin' more
you can do to me.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 24.

34 CONTINUED: (2) 34

Suddenly three students across from Benny (the other
three taggers we saw earlier, Cesar Sanchez, Stevie
Littleton and Paco) stand with bold impunity. All are
17. Cesar has a buzz-cut, Stevie's an Anglo speed freak
with a runny nose and a bleached one-clip haircut (roots
showing) and Paco, a Latino.

TREVOR
Sit down, please.

Cesar, Stevie and Paco ignore Trevor and walk out of the
bungalow. Their departure is accompanied by a tumultuous
outburst of catcalls and whistles.

LAKESIA
(peeking Benny's
hold card)
Mr. G, those guys that jus' walked
out aren't even in here this
period.
(pointing to Benny)
And this fool's name is Benny
Chacon.

BENNY
(whirls in his seat)
Shut yer mouth, hood rat! School
girl bitch!

TREVOR
Okay, Benny. That's enough.

Benny turns his wrath on Trevor now.

BENNY
Hey, you ain't no real teacher.
Fool, you're nothin' but a sub.
T'ink yer so cool... You mus' be
'Mr. culo.'

Scattered laughter. Trevor closes the sub folder and
just looks at Benny.

TREVOR
(a cool curiosity)
Why do you wear a rosary?

BENNY
(reacting)
Ain't none a' yer damn business.
To put God on me, okay? Why don't
you jus' go sit down and read yer
newspaper. Wanna-be, mother
fucker.

(CONTINUED)

25.

34 CONTINUED: (3) 34

Trevor just stands there, studies Benny. A palpable
beat.

TREVOR
Are you done?

There is dead silence as Benny stares Trevor straight in
the eye. Trevor stares right back.

BENNY
Jus' gimme a referral. Shit.

Trevor turns and calmly walks back to the island counter,
searches and finds a referral slip in one of the drawers,
fills it out...

TREVOR
(cool deliberation)
For future reference, anyone who
disrupts a class, or in any way
infringes on the rights of others
to get an education, is subject to
disciplinary action.
(beat)
When I'm here, ladies and
gentlemen, I expect to be treated
decently...
(walks back
to Benny)
... hopefully in an atmosphere of
mutual respect. This classroom is
our sanctuary, yours and mine.
Respect it.
(handing Benny
the referral)
For your information, I am a real
teacher.

BENNY
Whatever you say, Opie.

Benny has a smirk on his face as he sashays past Trevor
with the referral slip.

TREVOR
Okay, who would like to help me
pick up the books?

Benny, a self-aggrandized exit, crumbles the referral
slip and tosses it at Trevor, hitting him square in the
back.

Like a reflex, Trevor whirls and ducks. Students laugh
at his heightened reaction.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 26.

34A EXT. JQA - FACULTY DINING ROOM 34A

We see kids at an armored Coke machine. PAN OFF machine
to see kids at lunch.


35 INT. JQA - FACULTY DINING ROOM - LUNCHTIME 35

Trevor sits by himself, lost in stirring a bowl of soup.
He observes a talkative clique of teachers at the far end
of the table, including Teacher #1.

Now Dave Childress sits down, disrupting Trevor's
solitude.

CHILDRESS
How goes the battle, Garfield?

Dave bites into a messy sandwich as he skims the front
page of a newspaper that someone left behind.

CHILDRESS
D'juh get that binky marsden farfied?

Trevor doesn't say a word. Just keeps stirring his soup
... Now notices Ellen Henry as she enters and joins the
food line.

CHILDRESS
Know what I think? I think that
Chacon punk's the one who opened
your bungalow this morning.
(another bite)
Eskander doesn't know how to lock
a window.


TREVOR'S POV - ELLEN AND CASHIER

The cashier (Armenian girl, 15) is one of Ellen's
students. As Ellen pays for a sandwich...

ELLEN
... Come by the lab after school,
we'll work on it...


BACK TO TREVOR AND CHILDRESS

CHILDRESS
Want some advice?

Trevor slides Dave a glance.

(CONTINUED)

27.

35 CONTINUED: 35

CHILDRESS
First homeboy that gives you the
slightest bit of trouble... send
'um tuh Larry Hyland. He's their
counselor. Right off the bat, yuh
have to sacrifice one. Let 'um
know who's boss. Show some balls.
(as Trevor nods)
And don't look for support from
the administration. Most of 'em
haven't been in a classroom in ten
years. They don't know shit. I
got tenure and I'm still out here
in the damn bungalows. I should
be in the 'A' building with a nice
air-conditioned room.
(sarcastically)
You met Garcia yet? The principal?

Trevor shakes his head as Ellen Henry takes the empty
seat at the end of the table, smiles at Trevor.

ELLEN
Ah! New blood!
(extends a hand)
Ellen Henry, computer science.

TREVOR
Trevor Garfield.

As they shake right in front of Childress' face he can't
help noticing the mean scar on the back of Trevor's hand.

CHILDRESS
Nice scar yuh got there.

There's something familiar about this sub.

CHILDRESS
Ever sub here before?

TREVOR
First time.

CHILDRESS
(curiously)
What about permanent?

TREVOR
I taught seven years in the
Bedford-Stuyvesant section of
Brooklyn. Roosevelt Whitney High
School.

(CONTINUED)

28.

35 CONTINUED: (2) 35

CHILDRESS
Roosevelt Whitney? Didn't some
teacher get stabbed to death there
last year?

TREVOR
Actually, he survived.

CHILDRESS
No, it was on 'Sixty Minutes.' Some
gangbanger stabbed this guy with a
ten-penny nail like a dozen times
in a hallway and...

Childress looks from Trevor silently stirring his soup
down to the scar again... and now it hits him.

CHILDRESS
Jesus Christ, you're him. It was
you.

Ellen blanches.

CHILDRESS
(awestruck)
Holy shit, Garfield. When was
that? December before last? No,
it was fall.

TREVOR
October 27.

CHILDRESS
Whadda schmuck. I'm sittin' here
givin' advice to a man with a
purple heart.

ELLEN
Excuse me...

Inexplicably, she gets up and leaves. As Trevor watches
Ellen go, Childress slides closer to him.

CHILDRESS
(sotto)
Lemme tell yuh somethin'. In my
book you're a fuckin' hero. Damn
straight.

Trevor slides a look back to Dave as he eats his soup.

TREVOR
... Getting stabbed doesn't make me
a hero.

(CONTINUED)

29.

35 CONTINUED: (3) 35

CHILDRESS
(disregards
Trevor's comment)
So what'd they give the kid?

TREVOR
They put 'im upstate in a facility
until his twenty-first birthday.

CHILDRESS
That all? They shoulda caned the
bastard. Like they did that kid
in Singapore. Remember?
(recollecting)
President of Singapore had a few
choice words. Use to have it
memorized... He said something
like, 'When a state of increasing
disorder and defiance cannot be
checked by the rules... then new
and sometimes drastic rules have
to be forged to maintain order.'
(slides Trevor
a glance)
'The alternative is to surrender
order to chaos and anarchy.'

TREVOR
So why do you still teach?

CHILDRESS
Same reason as you, Garfield -- for
the paycheck.


36 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (SIXTH PERIOD; NEXT DAY) 36

The windows and blinds are shut now.


37 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CLOCK ON WALL - CONTINUOUS ACTION 37

is inching toward the top of the hour.

Closing their books and loading their knapsacks, the
students talk and pay more attention to the inexorable
march of time than to Trevor writing on an overhead
projector.

TREVOR
Okay, someone tell me the
difference between the central
nervous system and the lymphatic
system?

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 30.

37 CONTINUED: 37

Rita Nartinez (the chola from the "utility" shed) sits
near the front of the class. She wears her usual heavy
eyeliner and a new nose ring.

RITA
(obscenely)
Mr. G, you gotta nice butt.

Class erupts. Rita enjoys the attention. Trevor turns
and looks at her squarely.

TREVOR
You seem to be an expert on
anatomy, Miss --
(checks roster)
-- Nartinez. Central nervous
system and lymphatic system.
What's the difference?

RITA
... Uh...

Trevor doesn't expect anything remotely close to the
right answer.

RITA
It's like the central nervous
system, that's your brain and
spinal cord, and the lymphatic
system, that's the stuff in your
blood that fights diseases.

A beat. Trevor looks up at her.

TREVOR
Very good.

Trevor notices Cesar Sanchez writing on his desk. Stevie
cranes his neck to observe. Paco snoozes.

TREVOR
Cesar.

Cesar throws back his head and jerks both hands from his
desk top. Trevor walks up the aisle.

TREVOR
You writing on your desk?

(CONTINUED)

31.

37 CONTINUED: (2) 37

CESAR
(coolly)
You see anything in my hands?
(displaying his
empty palms)
I don't think so.

Trevor looks down at the tagging on Cesar's desktop. In
one corner are the letters K-O-S, and below that the word
"cartoon."

TREVOR
K-O-S, what's that? That a
tagging crew?

Cesar shrugs with a big grin.

TREVOR
Cartoon... Is that you, Cesar?
(off no response)
'K-O-S' has something to do with
your friend Benny?

CESAR
... Dawg. You're a sucker. K-O-S
stands for 'Kappin' Off Suckers.'
Don't disrespect my homeboy, Benny.
He don't like it. He don't like
you.

Trevor dismisses Cesar's comments.

TREVOR
Do me a favor, Cesar. Go get a
paper towel from the counter and
wipe off your desk.
(beat)
And Mr. Littleton, please oblige
me and turn that tagger shirt
inside-out.

Stevie wears a fusion T-shirt emblazoned with a giant
spray can.

STEVIE
(refusing)
Hyland said it was okay, Sucker.

Neither of them budge. Momentous deliberation. Now the
BELL RINGS and the classroom empties in a matter of
seconds. Cesar stares daggers at Trevor as he exits.

Rita hangs back, the last one to leave. She doesn't want
anyone to see her talking to Trevor.

(CONTINUED)

32.

37 CONTINUED: (3) 37

RITA
(self-conscious)
Don't pay no attention to them.
They jus' tryin' tuh fuck wit'
you, Mr. G. I mean play wit' you.
(beat)
Sorry I said you had a nice ass.

TREVOR
(a pensive beat)
... Apology accepted.

RITA
(in her own defense)
I ain't no school girl.

TREVOR
God forbid anyone should think
that.

Rita flickers an awkward smile, turns and exits. The
class empties and Trevor is left staring at the empty desks
where Benny and Cesar sat... WHACK -- Trevor's reverie is
broken by a BASKETBALL smashing against the side of the
bungalow.


POV - OUT THE WINDOW

A group of boys grin mischieviously at the reaction they
get from Trevor... continue smashing the ball against
bungalows.


TREVOR

shifts his gaze from them to the venetian blinds framing
the window... to the clock over his desk.


38 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CLOSE ON VENETIAN BLINDS - LATER 38
(AFTER SCHOOL)

as they open -- revealing the clock -- and just as
suddenly close. TILT DOWN to find Trevor working the
cords to the blinds he's rigged over the timeplace.

A FAINT KNOCK breaks his spell as he glances up to
discover Ellen Henry standing in the open doorway.

ELLEN
May I come in?

(CONTINUED)

33.

38 CONTINUED: 38

TREVOR
Yeah...
(points at her)
... Ellen.

ELLENA
(pointing back)
Trevor.

He sees her looking quizzically at the blinds he's rigged
over the clock.

TREVOR
(explaining)
I'm making time a reward instead
of a distraction.

Impressed, Ellen peruses the room now with a benign gaze.

ELLEN
Clever... Listen, I wanted to
apologize for jumping up like I
did at lunch. I was just feeling
a little weird...

TREVOR
It's alright.

ELLEN
For what it's worth, Dave
Childress thinks you walk on
water.

TREVOR
Is that a good thing?

Ellen flickers a grin, point taken.

ELLEN
I think it takes a lot of
courage to go back into a
classroom after something like
that.

TREVOR
Not if the only thing you ever
wanted to do was teach.

ELLEN
(smiles)
Now you see, there's our
predicament.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 34.

38 CONTINUED: (2) 38

WHACK -- the noise pulls Ellen's attention out the
window where the boys play a rough game of BASKETBALL.

ELLEN
I assume you've met Benny Chacon?

TREVOR
I have.

ELLEN
(absently)
Last week Benny and his tagging
crew had Ms. Eskander pinned in
the corner over there.
(pointing)
... She's seven months pregnant
and he's tormenting her with a
broom handle... Can I help you
with those?

Trevor is trying to put some books on an upper shelf,
but he's having trouble raising his arm high enough.
Ellen sees he's in pain.

TREVOR
No thanks.

She watches him struggle, then breaks the awkwardness.

ELLEN
So anyway, Gloria kicks Benny...
and if the district construes it
as assault and battery on a
student, she's gone.

TREVOR
They'd do that?

ELLEN
In a heart beat. She's non-
tenured, they don't want to get
sued...
(with resignation)
Don't be surprised if she files
for stress leave by the end of
the week. Too bad, too. She's a
good teacher.

WHACK... WHACK... Outside, the kids continue to play.
The late sun makes their violent shadows swarm over Ellen.

ELLEN
Can I ask you a personal question?

(CONTINUED)

35.

38 CONTINUED: (3) 38

Trevor glances up. Here's what she really wants to
know...

ELLEN
(tentatively now)
Why'd that kid attack you?

TREVOR
Because I flunked him.

ELLEN
(sobered)
Is there any way you can see
something like that coming?

TREVOR
When they say they wanna kill you,
you'd best take it serious. This
kid was an O.T. -- Opportunity
Transfer -- but nobody told me
until it was too late.

A beat.

ELLEN
Did you know Benny's an O.T.?...
In less than a year he's been
convicted of felony assault and
suspended twice. I even testified
against him as a character witness.
Now I get to see him every day in
homeroom. I'm stuck with him.
Condition of his probation is
that he stay in school.

TREVOR
You talk to the principal?

ELLEN
Many times... Three weeks ago,
Garcia calls Benny's mother in for
a conference, but she refuses to
show up. She's afraid they'll
deport her because she's illegal.
So she contacts the A.C.L.U. and
some attorney tells her she
doesn't have to come in.
(still can't
believe)
Garcia got cold feet and dropped
the whole thing.
(fear building)
This kid's threatening me and all
he's worried about is a lawsuit.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 36.

38 CONTINUED: (4) 38

TREVOR
(intent now)
What'd Benny say to you?

Tears involuntarily well up in Ellen's eyes. HOLD for
an awkward moment as she collects herself.

ELLEN
That he wanted to hurt me. Real
bad.

TREVOR
Does he know where you live?

ELLEN
I think so. Someone's been phoning
me at night and hanging up... Two
weeks ago, my car was broken into...
And last Friday, I think he was
inside my house... But I can't
prove it.

The shadows of the basketball players rage inside the
bungalow.

ELLEN
(bottom lip quivers)
... I don't know what to do.

TREVOR
You can quit.

ELLEN
You didn't.

OFF Trevor's severe gaze...


39 EXT. LA RIVER OVERPASS - NIGHT 39

... Trace the cold underbelly of the overpass. The glare
of oncoming headlights flash overhead as we DISCOVER a
tagging wall.

CLOSER now...

... The wall is completely covered with graffiti. The
centerpiece of the wall is a 5' by 10' multi-color
"placa" that reads...

K.O.S.

ANGLING TO DISCOVER an Anglo tagger now as he defaces
the "S" in K-O-S, covering it with his own piece.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 37.

39 CONTINUED: 39

Suddenly the lone tagger feels a presence at his back.
He freezes. Now slowly turns to see...

... Benny, Cesar and Paco.

Merely shadows. Benny lights a blunt, illuminating his
face. Passes it to Cesar...

TAGGER
Do I know you?

BENNY
(indicates tagging)
You should. You're fuckin' with
my piece, puto.

TAGGER
(nervously)
... You from K.O.S.? No shit?

Cesar and Paco burst into hysterical laughter which
only manages to get Benny piqued.

TAGGER
(panicking)
Look, I didn't mean nothin'. Lemme
fix it. I can fix it. Okay?

Cesar and Paco laugh harder.

BENNY
(to Cesar)
Eh, shut up, mojado!
(to Tagger now)
Don't mess wit' me, whiteboy. I'll
cap yer ass.

He pulls a .380 or a .25 automatic out of his pocket.
Brandishes it at Cesar and Paco...

BENNY
I said shut up! Shut the fuck up!

A BEEPER hooked on Benny's pants pocket BEEPS. Benny
shuts it off. The Tagger sees his opportunity and makes
a break for it. Without a second thought, Benny SHOOTS
him in the leg. Tagger crumbles to the ground. Benny's
really pissed now. Checks his beeper's glow-in-the-dark
face for the message.

BENNY
(reacting to message)
I don't have no time to put up
wit' 'dis shit!

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 38.

39 CONTINUED: (2) 39

Cesar and Paco attempt to subdue their laughter but
fail...

BENNY
You think it's funny?!

Benny lifts a pant leg. Indicates his ankle monitor with
the barrel of his gun.

BENNY
I don't call my P.O. in 15
minutes, I'm fucked.

Venting rage, Benny walks up the wounded Tagger and
STARTS SHOOTING (one hand high near his face, shooting
downward). Now he kisses the crucifix on his rosary like
a sick, distorted affectation.

BENNY
Dis is K.O.S.' neighborhood.

Cesar and Paco laugh even harder now, falling all
over each other. Benny storms off. He marches past a
street lamp and is swallowed up by the night.


40 EXT. L.A. RIVER - NIGHT 40

SUBJECT CAMERA FOLLOWING Benny. Oblivious that he's
being followed, Benny walks at a steady pace. As we
continue gaining ground on him, a SOUND UPCUT of
TREVOR CALLING ROLL transports us to...


41 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - ON BENNY'S EMPTY DESK - NEXT MORNING 41
(FIRST PERIOD)

Amid unresponsive cross talk:

TREVOR (O.S.)
Sergio Arrellano... Blanca
Orantes... Andrew Blackwell...
Benny Chacon...

LAKESIA
(chiming in)
Benny's not here.

Trevor gazes opaquely at Benny's empty seat.

LAKESIA
I think he went AWOL, Mr. G.

39.

42 EXT. VACANT DIRT LOT - AFTERNOON 42

An eight-year-old Hispanic kid pulls a red Flexi-Flyer
wagon (laden with pop bottles and aluminum cans) across
weeds and cracked earth.

He suddenly stops and stares at something in the weeds.
Snatches it up, studies it, and tosses it with everything
else.

SLOWLY MOVING IN ON the wagon now...

... thru a thin shroud of dust as it bangs and bumps
along.

Even CLOSER now on the last retrieved article... It's
Benny's ankle monitor.


43 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING - MAIN CORRIDOR - 43
DAY (FIFTH PERIOD)

Trevor emerges from Assistant Principal Ford's office and
walks up the empty corridor, without breaking stride.

ELLEN (O.S.)
(muted)
... Trevor.

Trevor retraces his steps back to the door of Ellen's
plant-filled, personalized computer lab. Over the
CLACKING of COMPUTER KEYS...

TREVOR
(quietly)
Eskander filed for stress leave.
They want me to finish out the
semester.

ELLEN
That's great...

TREVOR
(with humility)
It's only 'til the end of the
year.

ELLEN
Listen, I never thanked you
for letting me cry on your
shoulder.

Trevor flickers a conciliatory nod, now he averts his
eyes.

(CONTINUED)

40.

43 CONTINUED: 43

TREVOR
That's okay.

ELLEN
(digressing now)
Hey, have you seen Benny lately?
(as Trevor shrugs)
Ford told me he hasn't phoned
his P.O. in four days.
(weighs guilt;
whispering)
You know what they say. Be
careful what you pray for. Don't
get me wrong, Benny's made my life
a living hell. I even moved back
in with my mother because of him.
I love my mother, but if I eat one
more dinner off a TV tray or watch
one more rerun of 'Wheel of
Fortune,' I think I'll lose my
fucking mind.

Now an EGG TIMER RINGS O.S. on Ellen's desk. Back into
the classroom...

ELLEN
(to class)
Time's up. Everyone stop working.

Realizing now that all the CLACKING COMPUTER KEYS have
stopped moments ago. All eyes are fixed on Ellen and
Trevor.

... Big knowing grins all around.


44 OMITTED 44


45 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - EVENING 45

Balmy and still.

ON bug zapper above garage, a churning, SLOW MOTION
swarm of bugs repeatedly throw themselves headlong into
the light.


46 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 46

MUSIC plays faintly on the STEREO. Numerous artifacts
occupy the bookshelves. A primitive AFRICAN MASAI BOW
(with two arrows) is mounted on a wall.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 41.

46 CONTINUED: 46

Trevor, tie loosened. Ellen, in nylon stocking feet,
leaning back against a couch. On the coffee table before
them are dirty dishes and half-full wine glasses.
Trevor's lost in a thin introspective smile.

ELLEN
(breaks the silence)
... So you have a wife hiding in a
closet somewhere?

TREVOR
(smile widens)
No. No wife.

ELLEN
Don't you ever get lonely?

Trevor considers the question.

TREVOR
(genuinely)
Sometimes. There's this passage
in God's Lonely Man by Thomas
Wolfe where he says, '... The
whole conviction of my life rests
upon the belief that loneliness is
the central and inevitable fact of
human existence.' I believe that.

ELLEN
God that's depressing.

They both laugh.

TREVOR
... My New York mentality.
(beat)
It's not always easy looking on
the bright side.

ELLEN
Especially after spending a year
in and out of a hospital, I
would guess.

A beat.

TREVOR
Actually, that wasn't the toughest
part -- it's the robbery that's
been hardest to recover from.

ELLEN
(didn't know about this)
What'd they steal?
(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 42.

46 CONTINUED: (2) 46

TREVOR
My passion. My old, unguarded
self. I resent that. I want them
back.

He offers a smile. Ellen returns it.

ELLEN
They're still there. Everybody
around me seems to have given up.
They're all so beaten down. But
you're different. You refuse to
be beaten.

TREVOR
So do you.

Kindred souls. Ellen fills her glass.

ELLEN
Remember the last time a student
surprised you?

TREVOR
You mean where a light goes on?

ELLEN
Yeah. Where the kid surpasses all
your expectations.

TREVOR
... Been awhile. So few you can
actually get through to... You?

ELLEN
(thinks)
... That would have to be Daniel
Terrazas. This was last year
sometime. Kid was failing miserably
... But he was the best Salsa dancer
in the whole school.

TREVOR
(brightens slightly)
Uh-oh.

ELLEN
So I made 'im a deal. Tutoring in
exchange for Salsa lessons.

TREVOR
Saw it... Jerry Springer.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 43.

46 CONTINUED: (3) 46

ELLEN
No, no. He was a perfect
gentleman.

TREVOR
(dryly)
Male teachers can't do things like
that. They get arrested.

ELLEN
Yep, double standard... By the way,
did you know Cesar Sanchez was
Special Ed?
(as Trevor shakes
his head)
Yep, he never should've been
mainstreamed. His I.E.P. says he's
L.H. but he acts more like S.E.D.

TREVOR
Severely Emotionally Disturbed...
that's great.

A beat. Then Ellen gets up, wine glass balanced in her
left hand.

ELLEN
Come on, Garfield -- on your feet.
Lemme teach you how to Salsa.

TREVOR
(resisting)
No, no, I'm no good at that.

Ellen spins the tuner on the STEREO to a LATIN STATION
and practically yanks Trevor to his feet.

ELLEN
Let's go. Don't play shy with me,
homeboy.

Trevor grimaces, awkwardly relinquishes, as Ellen walks
him through it.

ELLEN
(still holding wine
glass)
That's it... Okay, follow me. It
starts on the one. Step forward
with your left foot... One. Change
weight on, two.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

44.

46 CONTINUED: (4) 46

ELLEN (CONT'D)
And three, feet
back together... Now do the same
in reverse, starting with your
right foot.
(talks their way
through)
One, two, three... One, two
three...

Trevor concentrates. Up to speed now. Technically he's
got it, he just needs to loosen up. Ellen suppresses a
gleeful snicker. Now, Trevor attempts to cut loose.
He spins Ellen once, into a tango step, one-two-three.
Now an awkward dip, causing her glass to spill wine down
the back of his shirt...

ELLEN
(horrified,
giggling)
Oh, my God... your shirt. Oh, no,
I'm so sorry.

TREVOR
(self-conscious)
It's alright.

He dashes toward the hallway bathroom.

ELLEN
Can I help?

TREVOR (O.S.)
Grab the baking soda outta the
fridge.

In a flurry, Ellen rushes into the kitchen. Flips on the
kitchen light, jerks open the refrigerator and locates
the baking soda.

FOLLOWING now, as she MOVES STEADILY FROM the kitchen TO
the hallway bathroom...


47 OMITTED 47


48 INT. TREVOR'S - HALLWAY/BATHROOM 48

as Ellen steps into the doorway and lets out a startled
gasp, dropping the box of baking soda.

Trevor is bent over, scrubbing his shirt in the sink.
His bare back and shoulders are scattered with brutal
knife scars.

45.

49 EXT. MOTHER HENRY'S - AFTER MIDNIGHT 49

A tract house in the central San Fernando Valley.
Trevor's Rambler is parked at the curb. The house is dark
except for a porch light.

Trevor and Ellen are greeted by Ellen's golden retriever
Jack, who's chained to the front porch. JACK WHIMPERS,
ready to bark.

ELLEN
Don't start barking, Jack.

TREVOR
(petting him)
Hey there, boy. You're a good
dog. Yes, you are.

Jack nuzzles up to Trevor, tail wagging furiously, no
barking. Now Trevor stands and faces Ellen...

ELLEN
Sorry for reacting the way I did
back there.

TREVOR
Don't apologize. That's how most
people react.

ELLEN
Didn't scare me. It just
surprised me.

ELLEN
... Thanks for dinner. I had a
good time.

TREVOR
You're welcome.

Awkward silence. Trevor struggles with the urge to kiss
her good night. They look at each other timidly for a
moment. Now he moves to kiss her and she inadvertently
adjusts her stance. The result is a kiss that doesn't
quite hit her mouth. It's an awkward moment. Ellen
feels horrible for him, desperately picks up a strange
little plant by her feet.

ELLEN
Here... you need a little life in
that place of yours.

Trevor takes it, smiles "thanks"...

TREVOR
... Good night.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 46.

49 CONTINUED: 49

... turns and starts toward his car...

ELLEN
(a half-wave)
... Night.


50 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - AROUND 2 AM 50

In the moonlit darkness. Trevor's abandoned bed. The
sheets are twisted and damp. We TILT UP to see a digital
clock at bedside reading 2:49 AM, and Trevor's sweat-
panted figure moving down the hall in b.g.


51 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LOW ANGLE - TREVOR - NIGHT 51

madly pedaling TOWARD us on a bike. He wears running
shoes, shorts and a Morehouse College sweat shirt and his
face is contorted from the effort. He wipes sweat from
his head, takes a gasping hit from his inhaler as CAMERA
CRANES UP to reveal Trevor on a stationary bike in the
back yard of his house, rapidly going nowhere.


52 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE 52

His sleepless night continues. Planted at his desk.
Trevor corrects a stack of science papers, like a fervent
prayer. Sun peeks through the window above his desk.

CUT TO:


52A OVER SUBURBAN CLUTTER - RISING SUN - ESTABLISHING 52A

Then burning out to white.


52B EXT. TREVOR'S BUNGALOW - DAY 52B

Shimmering in heat waves.


53 INT. TREVOR'S BUNGALOW - DAY 53

It's sweltering. A single fan stirs the air.

Amidst growing disorder, Trevor stands behind the front
counter. AGENDA is written on the overhead as he
flips through pages of a physical science text book.

Rita's out of her seat, feeding the caged, white lab rat.

(CONTINUED)

47.

53 CONTINUED: 53

Cesar, with sunglasses and typical disregard, holds court
in the back of the room. He and Stevie are high.

Trevor eyes them, finds what he was looking for in the
book...

TREVOR
(addressing class)
Since some of you seem to have an
interest in anesthetics, I've
prepared a little demonstration.

Glances over at Rita now. Checks the wall clock.

TREVOR
Rita, bring your friend in the
cage over here, please.

Bringing the cage over...

RITA
His name's Snowball. Like 'dat
lil' pig dude from Animal Farm.

TREVOR
(coolly impressed)
You've read Animal Farm?

CESAR
(above the din)
... schoolgirl.

RITA
(snapping a look)
Shut up, Cesar.

TREVOR
You read Animal Farm, Cesar?

CESAR
No, but I fucked a sheep.

Stevie and Paco love it.

TREVOR
Cesar, come up here.
(gesturing)
I want you to have a front row
seat for this.

Surprisingly, Cesar does what he's told as Trevor removes
an old pocket watch from his briefcase and sets it next
to Snowball's cage...

(CONTINUED)

48.

53 CONTINUED: (2) 53

TREVOR
And remove the 'lokes.'

Cesar removes his dark glasses. His eyes are bloodshot
and vapid.

TREVOR
Why your eyes so red?

CESAR
(lying)
Mus' be pink-eye, sir.

CESAR
(eyes Trevor's pocket
watch)
Nice watch, homes. Can I have it?

Disregarding Cesar, Trevor opens a drawer and removes two
latex surgical gloves from a cardboard box. He puts on
the gloves and selects a petri dish from another drawer.

TREVOR
(pointing)
Rita, would you bring me a sugar
cube from the shelf over there?

She does. Trevor now removes a small amber bottle
(with an eye-dropper top) from his briefcase. The
class starts to settle down now as Trevor pre-measures
water in a pipette and adds it to the petri dish.

TREVOR
(referring to text)
Cesar, read Young's rule for us.
Page 564. At the top.

CESAR
(like it's above him)
I ain't gonna read 'dat shit.

TREVOR
Rita, give Cesar your book. Let
'im read.

Rita places her book on Cesar's desk.

CESAR
Forget it.

Jeers from the class, "Come on, read". "Hurry up,
Cesar."

(CONTINUED)

49.

53 CONTINUED: (3) 53

TREVOR
(prompting him)
'Young's rule...' Go on.

Rita points to the passage in the book. Cesar slaps her
hand.

RITA
(reacting)
... Chunt. (Choont.)

CESAR
Stoopit bitch.

TREVOR
Touch her again, Cesar, and you'll
answer to me personally.

Rita knits her eyebrows at Trevor. Cesar laughs.

CESAR
You like her, Mr. G?

Class erupts.

RITA
(shrinking)
Shut up!

TREVOR
(genuinely)
Settle down, everyone. We all
have to learn how to forgive and
get along. C'mon, Cesar, read.
Please.

At first Cesar doesn't budge. Now grudgingly he looks
down at the book...

CESAR
(attempting to read)
... Young's rule... ff... fo...

TREVOR
... Formulates.

Cesar heaves the book across the room: Class erupts,
"Refer 'im," "Send 'im tuh Hyland." Trevor walks over
and picks up the book. Class now settles. Watches
Trevor closely to see what he's going to do. Trevor
gazes at Cesar...

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 50.

53 CONTINUED: (4) 53

TREVOR
... I say everyone deserves another
chance. Whadda you say, Cesar?

Cesar knits his eyebrows, puzzled. Now Trevor walks over
and sets the textbook down in front of Rita...

TREVOR
Rita, would you please read Young's
rule for me?

RITA
(hesitates and...)
... 'Young's rule formulates
proper dosage levels for children
and adolescents.'

TREVOR
Thank you.

Resume the lesson now. Trevor indicates the amber bottle...

TREVOR
... In the brown bottle I have a
prescription for liquid Demeral.

STEVIE
Where'd that come from, sir?

TREVOR
A doctor.

Cesar grudgingly watches as Trevor places a measured drop
of the liquid demeral into the petri dish and stirs the
solution.

TREVOR
Demeral is a morphine sulphate...
and is soluble in water.

Using the pipette, Trevor administers two drops of the
demeral and water solution to the sugar cube, which he
has placed inside Snowball's cage. As Snowball eats the
sugar cube...

TREVOR
Young's rule says, divide the age
of the patient by the patient's
age plus twelve, giving us the
fraction of the adult dosage
suitable for the patient.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

51.

53 CONTINUED: 53

TREVOR (CONT'D)
In Snowball's case, I've
calculated the dosage necessary
to tranquilize a one-year-old
child... then further divided
that fraction by 30, based on his
weight, to arrive at .002
milligrams.

Having eaten most of the sugar cube, Snowball is rendered
unconscious.

TREVOR
... Don't worry, he'll be back to
normal in exactly 10 minutes.

Trevor peers at his pocket watch.


54 INSERT - FULL SCREEN - TREVOR'S POCKET WATCH 54

The hour and minute hands read 2:40. HOLD as we...

TIME DISSOLVE TO:


55 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - TEN MINUTES LATER 55

Trevor's pocket watch now reads 2:50...

RITA
... He shoulda woke up by now?

Snowball isn't moving. HOLD for an uncomfortably long
moment ON the class, clustered around Trevor's desk.

The class, for once, is completely silent. Beads of
perspiration form on Trevor's upper lip as he
resolutely watches the sleeping rat.

CESAR
(accusatory)
You just caught a murder case,
homes.

Now Snowball begins to stir and the class reacts with
scattered applause. A thin smile flickers across
Trevor's face. As the BELL RINGS....

TREVOR
Okay, anyone who didn't finish
answering the questions on 246,
finish them for homework.

(CONTINUED)

52.

55 CONTINUED: 55

As students head for the doors, he pulls off his latex
gloves and looks for his pocket watch... but it's gone.

TREVOR
Hold it, Cesar.

Cesar and Stevie are almost out the door.

TREVOR
Where's my watch?

CESAR
(urgently)
Hey, I gotta go. I ain't got no
watch.

TREVOR
Empty your pockets, both of you.

CESAR
Want me to break it down to you?
I gotta catch a bus.

Cesar heads out the door.


56 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - MOMENTS LATER 56

Trevor locks bungalow #86, picks up his briefcase, and
along with the rest of the foot traffic, heads in the
direction of the "A" building.


57 EXT. JQA - ON EDGE OF BUNGALOWS 57

As Trevor rounds a corner and runs smack into Ellen on
the opposite side of a chain link fence.

TREVOR
(making excuses)
Sorry. I'm trying to catch Hyland
before he leaves.

Trevor keeps moving.

TREVOR
I've been meaning to come by your
room.

ELLEN
(keeping it light)
... It's almost been a week. My
guess is you're avoiding me.

(CONTINUED)

53.

57 CONTINUED: 57

Trevor's tongue-tied. Now he removes the Proventil
inhaler from his pocket, take an innocuous hit.

ELLEN
You okay?

Trevor nods, sustains an awkward smile.

TREVOR
Has nothing to do with you, Ellen.
It's... hard for me...

A struggle, fighting against his true feelings...

TREVOR
Pretty much been like that
since... you know, my accident.
Has nothing to do with you.

ELLEN
Is it because I'm white?

TREVOR
No.

Trevor stares into her eyes, a soulful, searching gaze.
Now he averts a self-conscious look.

ELLEN
We can still be friends. Just don't
pull away.

Trevor just looks at her. Nods, somewhat bewildered.

ELLEN
(back to lighter note)
Now, can I ask you a favor? After
you're done with Hyland, can you
give me a ride to my car? It's at
the mechanics, about five or six
blocks up Lankershim. If you can't,
it's okay, I can walk.

TREVOR
(a little embarrassed)
... I think I can manage that.

Victor Sifuentes approaches now.

ELLEN
Que paso, Victor?

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 54.

57 CONTINUED: 57

VICTOR
(into walkie-talkie)
Base three to base one. 'Found
'im.

As their paths converge and they stop, face to face...

VICTOR
Mr. Garcia would like to speak
with you in his office.

OFF Trevor's puzzled look...


58 OMITTED 58


59 INT. PRINCIPAL GARCIA'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON 59

A wall air conditioner...

blows on Stevie and Cesar's sweaty backs. Trevor enters,
shirt equally drenched in sweat. The dead silence is
like that of a courtroom. MR. GARCIA, late forties,
drawn, sits behind his desk...

MR. HYLAND, stands in the outer office behind a glass
partition, head lowered. Hyland flashes Trevor a
defeated smile as we...

Trevor coolly deciphers the situation.

Garcia reaches down, switches on a portable tape recorder.

MR. GARCIA
You don't mind if I tape record
our conversation. Matter of
record. You understand.
(indicating
Mr. Hyland)
Of course, you know Mr. Hyland.

Trevor weighs the situation. Nods.

TREVOR
Am I being questioned?

MR. GARCIA
(beat)
Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Littleton tell
me you've accused them of stealing
your watch. If that's the case, I
need to address the accusation.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 55.

59 CONTINUED: 59

TREVOR
... For the record, I primarily
suspect Mr. Sanchez. Although I
wouldn't be surprised if Stevie
was an accomplice.
(glances over at
Cesar and Stevie)
Beginning of sixth period, Cesar
admired the watch. I believe his
exact words were, 'Can I have it?'
(looks back to Garcia)
Either way, I'd like my watch back.

MR. GARCIA
Anything else?

TREVOR
When I asked him to empty his
pockets, Cesar refused.

MR. GARCIA
Is that true, Mr. Sanchez?

CESAR
No way. He never asked me nothin'
like that! I don't go 'round
taxing no teachers...

MR. GARCIA
Okay. Calm down.

With fervor now, Cesar turns his pockets inside out,
emptying the contents (house keys and two dollars in
change) onto Garcia's desk.

CESAR
... I ain't got no watch, man.

MR. GARCIA
Mr. Littleton, may we see your
pockets too?

Stevie empties his pockets now. Nothing but a twenty
dollar bill and an empty pack of Marlboros.

Trevor just stares at him.

TREVOR
(last try)
I'd like a locker search, please.

Garcia hesitates, now looks to Cesar and Stevie...

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 56.

59 CONTINUED: 59

MR. GARCIA
You're excused, gentlemen. Take
your things. Thank you.

The boys collect their belongings off Garcia's desk and
shoot looks at Trevor as they exit. Now Garcia turns
back to Trevor...

MR. GARCIA
(unflinching pragmatism)
... Let me try and explain
something. I try and think of
our students here at John Quincy
Adams like they're my clients.
I can't accuse anybody just on
your hunches. I need more than
that. I need facts.
(looking at Hyland)
I won't have another law suit like
we did with that Blackwell case.
(now to Trevor)
Boy's mother spent $400 that she
couldn't afford on new clothes for
her son. Unfortunately we
considered the clothing gang
attire and sent the boy home.
That cost the district a quarter
of a million dollars.
(beat)
So I want you to be straight with
me, Mr. Garfield. Did you
physically see Cesar take your
watch?

TREVOR
No, I didn't...

MR. GARCIA
Do you have any witnesses who saw
him take it?

TREVOR
(pause)
... No.

MR. GARCIA
Unless there's reasonable cause to
show that Cesar, or Mr. Littleton
took your watch then I can't
authorize a locker search. I'm
sorry. Any concerns regarding my
decision, you can look up in the
handbook. It's section 628.1 of
the Education Code.

(CONTINUED)

57.

59 CONTINUED: 59

TREVOR
(to Garcia)
That was my grandfather's watch.
Can't you see what they're doing?
Weren't you ever a teacher?

MR. GARCIA
Afraid I never had the privilege.
Teaching and being a principal
don't necessarily go hand in hand,
Mr. Garfield.

OFF Trevor's defeated gaze...


60 EXT. GARCIA'S OFFICE - MAIN CORRIDOR - AFTERNOON 60

As Trevor and Hyland emerge from Garcia's office and walk
steadily up the empty corridor...

HYLAND
(sotto)
Is it me or is Garcia a real
asshole?

Trevor doesn't respond, lost in thought.

TREVOR
I've been thinking about
videotaping my classes.

HYLAND
... Yeah, well, here's some free
advice. Cover your ass.

Trevor slides him a glance. They stop in front of
Hyland's office door. He unlocks the door with a key...

HYLAND
If Garcia asks, your main purpose
is to observe you, not the
students. Excuse me, I mean his
`clients.'

PHONE RINGS as they enter...


61 INT. HYLAND'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON 61

HYLAND
Some gangbanger might think we're
violating his civil rights...

Trevor weighs it as Hyland picks up the phone...

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 58.

61 CONTINUED: 61

HYLAND
(into phone)
... Yeah?

Signals Trevor to take a seat.

HYLAND
(into phone)
Sorry, Iris. Completely forgot.

INTERCUT Trevor as his eyes idly fix on an index card
box (on Hyland's desk) labeled, "LOCKER COMBINATIONS."

Hyland hangs up.

HYLAND
(to Trevor)
Yuh have a minute? Wanna talk to
you about our discipline committee.
Gotta run up to the office real
quick first.

Trevor shifts his gaze back to Hyland.

TREVOR
Yeah, fine, go ahead. I'll wait.

Hyland rushes out and Trevor glances back at the index
box. Momentous deliberation. Now he reaches over and
carefully opens the small tin box. Methodically now, he
flips through the file cards until he finds Cesar
Sanchez's locker combination. Trevor's eyes scanning
the information on the locker combination card. LOCKER
#204. Combination sequence...08-24-53.


62 EXT. TRAFFIC SIGNAL - AFTERNOON 62

Trevor's Rambler, with Ellen in the passenger seat, stops
at a large intersection.


63 INT./EXT RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS ACTION 63

ELLEN
... I have to fly up there for a
computer conference.

TREVOR
When's that?

ELLEN
Day after tomorrow.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 59.

63 CONTINUED: 63

As Trevor gets distracted by something he sees...

TREVOR
Never been to San Francisco.


64 EXT. RITA'S BUS STOP - TREVOR'S POV 64

At a right angle to Lankershim, down Magnolia Blvd., Rita
Nartinez sits alone on a bus stop bench.

ELLEN (V.O.)
Oh, you should go sometime,
Trevor. I think you'd like it.
Really. It's only an hour by air.
Maybe five or six by car.
Completely different attitude
from L.A. Much more like a real
city... like Chicago or New
York...

As Ellen continues talking we see a lowered blue Nissan
mini-truck (with matching shell) pull up next to the bus
stop. A cholo from the utility shed hangs out the
passenger window and taunts Rita. Rita immediately
stands and walks back down Magnolia.

The mini-truck follows her in reverse. Rita halts and
begins ranting at the cholo, waving her arms all around.
Now she stomps away and the mini-truck drives away with a
lurch.

ELLEN (V.O.)
... Only problem is I hate to
leave Jack with my mother for any
extended period of time. I'm
afraid she'll forget to feed him
and he'll starve to death.


65 INT. TREVOR'S RAMBLER 65

INTERCUT Trevor's distracted gaze.

TREVOR
If you want, I'll take care of
Jack.

ELLEN
I can't ask you to do that.

TREVOR
(straight at Ellen now)
Sure you can.

60.

66 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (NEXT DAY; FIFTH PERIOD) 66

Trevor's conference period. He stands atop a ladder in
the front of the room, drilling holes in the wall for a
jerry-rigged camera mount. As he climbs down, Rita
enters. Paces back and forth, wringing a clenched spiral
notebook, English Comp. essay tucked inside...

TREVOR
(continues working)
... Aren't you supposed to be at
P.E. fifth period?

RITA
(rants; kicks a desk)
... Sunland Boyz gettin' crazy,
ol lady's... fucked up. Fuck dis
being down shit. I wanna do
somethin' wit' my life.

A POLAROID PHOTO drops out of her notebook. Trevor
reaches down and scoops it up.


INSERT - POLAROID PHOTO/DEAD GANG MEMBER IN CASKET

Puppet... a young 16-year-old cholo, dressed in gang
colors, laid out in an open casket.


ON TREVOR

Now as he hands the photo back to Rita.

TREVOR
... You know this guy?

Rita takes the photo back. She doesn't want to talk
about it.

RITA
(unravels now;
begins to cry)
'Gotta make J-C next year. 'Got
to! I ain't never gonna get up
outta here.

TREVOR
Rita, slow down.

RITA
'Dat bitch Quinn, I'm 'onna sue
her ass. 'Swear tuh God...

TREVOR
Okay, okay. Calm down a second.

(CONTINUED)

61.

66 CONTINUED: 66

Rita collapses into a desk.

TREVOR
Who's Quinn? What's she teach?

RITA
English Comp. She's failin' me.

Trevor tentatively picks up Rita's essay (branded with a
big red "F") and begins reading it.

RITA
'Bitch say I don't talk right.

Trevor scrutinizes her with a glance. Now back to Rita's
essay.

RITA
She hates me. She's racist
against me.

Trevor sets the essay down on Rita's desk. Regards her
with genuine candor...

TREVOR
Just cause you're a Latina doesn't
mean everyone's racist against
you.

RITA
(prideful)
Hey, I'm a La Raza, prof-eh.

TREVOR
Okay... just stop blaming everyone
else. You're too smart for that.
(as Rita's rocked
back)
And every mistake in that essay is
fixable, okay? So relax, it's not
the end of the world.

Rita collects herself, wipes the streaks of mascara
running down her cheeks with her sleeve. Trevor studies
her for a moment.

TREVOR
(points to counter)
Tissues are in the first drawer.

Rita pulls herself together and walks over to the island
counter.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 62.

66 CONTINUED: 66

TREVOR
(innocuously)
How come you always wear so much
makeup?

RITA
(wounded)
... To make me pretty.

TREVOR
(frankly)
You don't need it.

She grabs a handful of tissues, dabs at her smeared
mascara. Now her hair falls forward, exposing the back
of her neck... and a tattoo that reads "Puppet" in
a scrawling signature. She tosses her hair back and it
disappears.

TREVOR
(slightest bit
probative)
That your name?

He indicates the back of her neck.

RITA
(with fervor and
frustration)
It's a gang thing. But I'm
kickin' dat shit... Jus' cuz I look
down for my neighborhood don't
mean I'm stupit.

TREVOR
I know you're not.

She inserts her "failed" essay inside the rolled-up
spiral notebook.

TREVOR
(offers)
The ideas in your essay aren't the
problem, Rita. It's your
punctuation and grammar.
(beat)
They need work. Am I lying?
(as Rita shrugs)
If you want help I'm here for you.
Okay?

RITA
(tentatively now)
... I dunno.

(CONTINUED)

63.

66 CONTINUED: 66

TREVOR
Have to be in the library after
school.

RITA
(shaking her head)
... Somebody could see us.

TREVOR
All right then, I'll come to your
house.

RITA
(spontaneous and
decisive)
No... No way.

TREVOR
Where then? You name the place.

The passing BELL for 6th period RINGS. OFF Rita's torn
gaze.


67 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - ON VIDEO CAMERA - SHORT WHILE LATER 67
(6TH PERIOD)

... fully mounted now on the wall above the blackboard.


NEW ANGLE

Every eye in the class is riveted on the camera. SETTLE
ON Cesar and Stevie seated in the back of the bungalow.
OFF their malignant stares...

CESAR
(grumbling)
Dog, you invadin' my privacy.
Bitch.

TREVOR
(remaining calm)
Cesar, would you come up here
please?

Leveling a hard look, Cesar swaggers up to the island
counter.

Rita watches, a bated gaze, from her seat.

Trevor motions for him to come around behind the counter.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 64.

67 CONTINUED: 67

Now Trevor removes his grandfather's pocket watch from
his briefcase and furtively dangles it for Cesar to
see.

TREVOR
(calmly)
Since you were so concerned, I
though you might like to know... I
found my watch.

Cesar glares at the watch, looks up at the video
camera.

CESAR
... You broke into my locker.
Dat's a serious felony, prof-eh.
You caught a case for sure now.

TREVOR
Whadda yuh propose to do, Cesar?
Tell Garcia?
(as Cesar weighs it)
Whadda yuh gonna tell 'im? That I
broke into your locker to steal
back the watch you denied taking?
I don't think so. I'd say we're
even now, wouldn't you, Cesar?

CESAR
No, I'd say we're just getting
started, ese.

Cesar walks out. Trevor smiles innocuously. At a
stalemate now. You can hear a pin drop. Suddenly
the CRIES of an E.N.A.B.L. BABY break the palpable
tension...


68 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - 4 P.M. 68

... Trevor's Rambler is parked out front.


69 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION 69

A stilted Rita, planted on the couch. Wearing less
makeup than usual.

Her notebook and pens are laid out on the coffee table
along with an old English grammar textbook. Trevor
stands in the kitchen doorway...

(CONTINUED)

65.

69 CONTINUED: 69

TREVOR
Want something to drink? We have
Coke, Fanta or Sprite...

RITA
(self-consciously)
... Coke's awright.

OFF Trevor's mollifying nod...


70 INT. TREVOR'S KITCHEN - TREVOR 70

A moment of self-examination as he pours a glass of Coke
for Rita...

TREVOR
(to Rita offstage)
'Want you to know, you're not the
only one risking a reputation
here. Normally I don't tutor
students at my house.
(adds ice cubes)
Rita, maybe you can clear
something up. Can you explain
to me what machismo is all about?
Cuz this whole respect/code of
honor thing baffles me.


71 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM 71

as Trevor approaches the couch, eyes focused on Rita's
soda.

TREVOR
(preoccupied)
Ask yourself this question. Is
pride really that important?

Now he looks up and freezes. Quickly turns away.

Rita, lying on the couch, completely naked. Not sexual in
the least. More like a distorted offering. Or a patient,
placidly waiting for her doctor.

TREVOR
(plainly)
Put your clothes on, Rita.

An awkward moment. Chagrin becomes repressed sobs as
Rita picks up her pile of clothes off the floor and gets
dressed. This is one fucked-up little girl.

(CONTINUED)

66.

71 CONTINUED: 71

TREVOR
(affected)
No harm done... Don't cry now.

Fully dressed again, remotely staring, Rita holds back
tears. Trevor sits down on the couch next to her. Opens
textbook.

TREVOR
Why don't you go ahead and copy
the first rule there for the verb
'to be.' Can you do that for me?

RITA
(hiccups a sob)
I jus' wan'ed to thank you.

TREVOR
You don't have to thank me, I'm
your teacher.

Rita opens her notebook and begins to copy the rule. She
wipes at the tears with the sleeve of her baggy sweat
shirt. Trevor resists the urge to comfort her.

TREVOR
... From now on I think the best
thing for us to do is meet in the
library.


72 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - THAT EVENING (MAGIC HOUR) 72

Trevor kneels at the foot of his bed. Fully dressed,
shirt and loosened tie. Glimpses up at the crucifix on
the wall. Bows his head again...

TREVOR
(prayerfully, to
himself
... I'll try.


73 EXT. BLYTHE STREET PROJECTS - EVENING 73

BOOMING DOWN FROM the Blythe St. sign...

A cement barricade covered in graffiti chokes off street
traffic.

... Crack dealers and gangbangers freely wander the rows
of clapboard tenements, kids throwing sneakers, bangers
drinking from glass bottles.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 67.

73 CONTINUED: 73

Now apartment 105 (Cesar Sanchez's).

MOVING IN ON the MUTED sounds of an ARGUMENT (in Spanish).


74 INT. APARTMENT 105 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 74

Dingy. Yellowing walls. Cesar and his mother continue
their arguing as Cesar watches first the "Animaniacs" and
switches channels to "The Deer Hunter," while his BABY
SISTER CRIES in her high chair.

MRS. SANCHEZ is older looking than her thirty-four years.
Clutching her purse...

MRS. SANCHEZ *
(on the verge (subtitles... You stay
of tears) out of my
... Deja mis cosas, Cesar. things, Cesar. You hear
Me oyes? Ese dinero es me? That money puts
para poner comida en el food on your baby
plato de tu hermanita. sister's plate.

Cesar yells at his SISTER to stop CRYING...

CESAR (subtitlesshut up,
Callate el osico, Rosillo! Rosillo!
(now to his mother)
Que? Me estas mandando? You tellin' me what to
Yo soy el hombre de esta do?! I'm the man in
casa! Enceneme respeto! this house! you show me
respect!)

MRS. SANCHEZ (subtitlesIf you're the *
Pues si eres tan hombre, man then
ve busca trabajo. Para go get a job. Take care
que mantengas a tu madre y of your mother and
hermanita y no tenga que sister. Don't rob from
robar de mi bolsa. my purse.)

In a rage, Cesar digs into his pocket and throws twenty
dollars in his mother's face. She cowers.

CESAR (subtitlesHere, I don't
Tenga, no nesecito su need your
pinche, apestoso dinero! stinkin' money!)

They're interrupted by a KNOCK at the front door.

CESAR
(indicating door)
I ain't getting it. You get it.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 68.

74 CONTINUED: 74

Cesar plops down on an old worn out recliner and goes
back to watching "Animaniacs" on the TELEVISION.
ROSILLO STOPS her CRYING and Mrs. Sanchez carefully
gathers the money scattered at her feet.


75 INT. APARTMENT 105 - FRONT DOOR 75

Behind the screen door, a silhouette fills the doorway.

MOVING IN ON CESAR.

He can faintly hear the O.S. conversation as he watches
TV.

MRS. SANCHEZ *
(O.S.) (subtitlesYes, who's
Si, quien es? there?)

TREVOR (O.S.) (subtitlesMrs. Sanchez?
Senora Sanchez? Soy el I'm Mr. *
senor Garfield, Profesor Garfield, Cesar's
de ciencia de Cesar. science teacher.

MRS. SANCHEZ (O.S.)
(surprised)
Si, maestro.

Cesar's stunned look lifts him from the recliner.

TREVOR (O.S.) (subtitlesI know it's
Se que es tarde. Ojala no late. Hope
este estorbando nada. I'm not disturbing
Me permite hablar con anything. May I speak
usted por un momento? with you a moment?

MRS. SANCHEZ (O.S.)
Entre, por favor.


76 INT. APARTMENT #105 - CESAR'S POV - TREVOR AND MRS. 76
SANCHEZ

PIVOTING now to see Trevor enter the front door.

Cesar glares with flint-hard eyes at Trevor.

TREVOR
Hello, Cesar.

Breaking his unrelenting stare, Cesar now squeezes past
Trevor and out the screen door, slamming it behind him.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 69.

77 INT. APARTMENT #105 - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER 77

Mrs. Sanchez cradles Rosillo in her lap.

MRS. SANCHEZ *
(beside herself) (subtitlesI don't know
No se que hacer, maestro. what to
El no hace caso. do, maestro. He doesn't
listen to me.)

ROSILLO begins to CRY again...

MRS. SANCHEZ (subtitlesGod, but there *
Perdona me Dios, pero hay are
veces que quisiera times I want to kill
matarlo. him.)

Suppressing her emotions, she comforts her baby. Trevor
weighs a vacuous stare. Now he notices a bruise under Mrs.
Sanchez's hairline, above her left eye.

TREVOR
(indicating bruise) (subtitlesHow'd that
Como paso eso? Arriba del happen...
ojo? above your eye?)

Overcome with shame, she attempts to cover the bruise.

MRS. SANCHEZ
Nada... es nada.


78 EXT. BLYTHE STREET PROJECTS - EVENING 78

Steadfast and unflinching, Trevor beats a path back to
his car, parked outside the barricade. Cesar now appears
from nowhere. Carries a '40 ouncer' in a paper bag.
He's been drinking.

CESAR
(venting rage)
Puto! You lied to Benny. You
said you don't speak no Spanish!

TREVOR
No I didn't.

CESAR
'At's bullshit!

TREVOR
Enjoy hitting your mother, Cesar?
You must be proud of yourself.

(CONTINUED)

70.

78 CONTINUED: 78

A handful of gangbangers, drinking and loitering
around Trevor's car, sharpen their stares and listen
intently. Cesar grows nervous.

CESAR
(to gangbangers)
... He's lyin', man.
(at Trevor)
Fuckin' liar! Homeboy don't
never disrespec' his mother.
Never. You hear me, joto?!

TREVOR
Whatever you say, Cesar.

Trevor steps around the gangbangers and climbs into
his car...

CESAR
I'll find out where you stay.
Trucha, homes!

As the Rambler drives away Cesar heaves his 40 ouncer at
it. Shatters all over the pavement.

CESAR
Valla ala chingada!

Cesar stands in the middle of the street, throwing hand
signs.


79 EXT. PARKING LOT/BUNGALOW #86 - NEXT MORNING 79

Trevor approaches, via the parking lot, through a gate in
a chain-link fence. ADJUST the ANGLE now to discover
first period students mobbing the open doorway of
Bungalow #86.

TREVOR
(pushing through)
'Scuse me. What's going on?
(and)
Lakesia, who opened the door?

LAKESIA
It was like that when I got here.


80 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 80

Trevor squeezes through the doorway to find Dave Childress
pacing the bungalow, assessing the damage. VIDEO CAMERA
(AND HOUSING) are scattered in pieces all over the floor.

(CONTINUED)

71.

80 CONTINUED: 80

One of the windows is smashed-in. A serpentine trail of
BLACK SPRAY PAINT encircles the entire room. Provocative
epithets tag the walls... "Pinche madre", "Puto" and "Fuck
you G!"

CHILDRESS
Whoever did this is gonna pay!
Better believe it, ese(s).

A curious stream of students fill the room now. Childress
vents his anger at them...

CHILDRESS
(crazed now)
Get the hell outta here!

TREVOR
Dave...
(to Armenian kid)
Barsek, don't touch anything,
okay?

CHILDRESS
Get out!!

And now Snowball... as Barsek discovers him... Lifeless.
Impaled by a pair of scissors on the front counter.

BARSEK
(an incredulous,
sickened laugh)
Oh, damn. Lookit the rat.

OFF Trevor's stricken gaze...

Childress snaps. He grabs Barsek by the throat. The
crowd scatters, students tripping over each other to get
out of the bungalow.

CHILDRESS
Think it's funny?! Huh?! Yuh
little fuck!

Trevor attempts to separate Childress from Barsek...

TREVOR
Dave! No! Let go of 'im!

CHILDRESS
(to Barsek)
D'you do this?!

(CONTINUED)

72.

80 CONTINUED: 80

BARSEK
(choking)
Nooo...

Trevor pries them apart. Barsek crumbles to the floor,
gulping for air and scurrying out of the bungalow on his
hands and knees.

TREVOR
He didn't do anything. He's a
good kid.


81 EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - MORNING (NUTRITION PERIOD) 81

ESTABLISHING the different student factions.

MUSIC, playing over a PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM, fills the
quad.

Trevor, now an interloper, crossing the senior lawn,
openly searching for Cesar.

Tag-bangers, a clique of eight or nine K.O.S. wanna-be(s).
Feature PACO (16) as they take quick hits off a blunt.

Now Cesar extinguishes the blunt with his fingertips and
hides it as Trevor wanders into their midst.

TREVOR
(glances around;
sniffs)
Been smokin' the chronic, Cesar?

CESAR
(a smirk)
I'm hooked on phonics... not
'hooked on chronic.'

Laughs all around.

TREVOR
(not amused)
You wouldn't happen t'know who
vandalized bungalow eighty-six
last night?

CESAR
(feigning ignorance)
You guys know anything about that?
(off silence)
Sorry, maestro... nada.

(CONTINUED)

73.

81 CONTINUED: 81

TREVOR
(sotto)
Garcia may not think there's
enough here to prove anything.
But you and I both know who's
responsible. Don't we?

CESAR
Whadda you, a narc? Seriously, I
don't know what the fuck you're
talkin' about.

Trevor maintains his fervent demeanor. Now he notices
the ring on Cesar's right index finger.


INSERT - CESAR'S RING

emblazoned with a green marijuana leaf.

TREVOR
(pointing)
The ring, Cesar... lemme have it.

Cesar dramatically jerks back his finger.

CESAR
Watch it, eh... that's my trigger
finger.

As Cesar, with purpose, aims an invisible gun at Trevor...

TREVOR
It's inappropriate attire...

CESAR
... Bang.

TREVOR
(momentous
deliberation)
... Are you finished?

Cesar starts to laugh. A crowd begins to gather.

CESAR
What? Finished with what? Don't
get crazy on me, dude.

The boisterous crowd escalates... hoots and hollers.

After weighing the situation, Trevor exchanges palpable
looks with Cesar.

(CONTINUED)

74.

81 CONTINUED: 81

Now he reluctantly back-pedals, squeezing his way past
the wall of bodies pressed in behind him.

His departure across an empty lawn is accompanied by a
hail of "boos" and taunts.


82 EXT. BURBANK AIRPORT - LANDING RUNWAY - TWILIGHT 82

as an 737 ROARS down onto the tarmac. In the f.g.,
Trevor and Ellen PEEL away from the curb angrily.


83 EXT. TREVOR'S RAMBLER (AIRPORT VICINITY) - NIGHT 83

Traveling down Hollywood Way.


84 INT./EXT. RAMBLER - TREVOR AND ELLEN - CONTINUOUS ACTION 84
- NIGHT

in the front seat...

ELLEN
... These conferences mainly focus
on software now.

TREVOR
(far off)
Software sells.

ELLEN
(flickers a smile)
So, how's Jack?

TREVOR
... Jack's good.

As they pull up to a stop light...

ELLEN
(flirtatious)
And what about Trevor? Was Trevor
a good boy, too?

Triggers an unintended response...

TREVOR
(self-consciously)
What's that supposed to mean?

ELLEN
(innocently)
Nothing...

(CONTINUED)

75.

84 CONTINUED: 84

TREVOR
Is that supposed to mean
something?

ELLEN
(baffled)
Trevor...

The light changes to green. An impatient young man in
the car behind them BEEPS his HORN. Lays it on a little
too long.

Trevor snaps.


85 EXT. INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS ACTION - NIGHT 85

As Trevor gets out of the car, marching up to the car
behind, slamming his hand down on its hood...

TREVOR
Can't you see I'm talking to the
lady?!

The young man shrinks, quickly rolling up his window.


86 INT. RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS ACTION 86

as Trevor gets back in and they drive away. Not a word
is spoken. Exorcising his demons now. He simmers.

TREVOR
... I'm sorry. Forgive me.

OFF Ellen's disturbed gaze...


87 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT 87

as the Rambler pulls into the driveway. Ellen's '92 Jeep
Cherokee is parked on the street. Bug zapper above the
garage flickers on.


88 INT./EXT. TREVOR'S FRONT YARD THROUGH CAR WINDSHIELD - 88
CONTINUOUS ACTION

Light now spills into the front yard. No sign of Jack.

Trevor SHUTS OFF the IGNITION. A portentous silence.

(CONTINUED)

76.

88 CONTINUED: 88

ELLEN
... Come out, come out, wherever
you are. Where is he?

Trevor reaches for a flashlight in the glove compartment.


89 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - RAMBLER - CONTINUOUS 89
ACTION

Trevor and Ellen step out of the car.

TREVOR
(tentatively)
Jack?

MOVING THROUGH the chain-link fence, into the front yard.
Ellen whistles faintly. Trevor turns on his flashlight.

ELLEN
Here, boy... here, Jack. Come to
Mommy, sweetheart.

The glare of the flashlight fixes on the trunk of the
olive tree.

Jack's chain stretching tautly toward the back alley.

ELLEN
(reacting)
... Oh, my God.

Trevor and Ellen, propelled now toward the alley, hearts
pounding, frantically rushing toward the conclusion as
the flashlight traces the length of the chain...

ELLEN
(right behind Trevor)
Jack?!

The chain disappears over the top of the alley wall.
Trevor kicks open the alley gate and freezes.

90 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - OTHER SIDE OF ALLEY WALL - JACK 90

centered in the flashlight beam, dangling there,
strangled to death at the end of his dog collar.


91 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - ELLEN AND TREVOR - NIGHT 91

ELLEN
(gut-wrenching)
Jack!

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 77.

91 CONTINUED: 91

Trevor holds her back. She unleashes her torment, punching
and kicking until fully spent, crumbling to her knees now,
sobbing hysterically.

ELLEN
... Jack.

HOLD ON her fitful sobs, and...

CUT TO:


92 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - IN ALLEY - THAT NIGHT 92
(APPROXIMATELY AN HOUR LATER)

Trevor, a beaten hypnotic gaze, watches as an ANIMAL
REGULATIONS OFFICER fatefully slams the cargo door of his truck.

ANIMAL REGULATIONS OFFICER
Don't beat yourself up too much.
It was an accident. He was probably
after a cat... or someone walked
past back here in the alley.
Whatever it was, he jumped over the
fence. What can you do?

Ellen watches Trevor's house; behind a screen door.


93 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 93

Ellen sits on Trevor's bed, fighting back tears.

Trevor enters with a glass of water and a pill. Sits
down on the edge of the bed.

TREVOR
(offering pill)
It's aspirin...

ELLEN
(refuses it)
... I can't talk to you right now,
Trevor. Please. I'm so upset I
can't even drive. I just need some
time alone.

Trevor acquiesces. Steps over to his desk and sets the
glass of water down. A key protrudes from one of the desk
drawers. He leans over, removes the key and plays with it
for a moment.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 78.

93 CONTINUED: 93

TREVOR
(beat)
I know about what's not fair. I
left part of my lung in a damn
hospital because some gangbanger
didn't like the grade I gave him.
Sometimes you do all the right
things. You work hard in
school... get a good job... pay
your taxes. Things still go bad.
(eyes flicker)
I'm so sorry, Ellen.

Ellen shuts her heavy eyelids now. Shuts out the world.


94 EXT. ALLEY BEHIND TREVOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT 94

A thorough investigation now at the foot of Jack's
wall...

... Trevor's flashlight fixes on a faint set of shoe prints
in the dirt.

Waffle-soled Doc Martens. He follows their trail, down
the alley.

Hesitating at the wall again. He now focuses his
flashlight beam on a smattering of graffiti... and
discovers a fresh tag...

In black spray paint, the letters K.O.S. Trevor reaches
out and touches a coagulated trickle of paint. As he
inspects the faint residue on his fingertip...


95 OMITTED 95


96 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - LATER THAT NIGHT 96

About 2 a.m. The street's empty.

Cesar's darkened apartment is tucked away in the
distance. Now a lone figure emerges and beats a path
through the projects... CLOSER now... it's Cesar. White
T-shirt, sagging gray dickies...

FOLLOWING HIM now... as he crosses the edge of a dirt
lot. FOCUSING ON his Doc Marten boots and their waffle-
soled print...

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 79.

97 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - NIGHT 97

Merging with Cesar as he slinks down the dark alley
corridor. Lighting a blunt off his Zippo lighter...

98 FURTHER DOWN 98

Cesar spray paints a wall with a can of black enamel paint.
He takes another hit. Chokes down a shit-eating grin. And
admires his work... a goofy dog smoking a blunt.

... below the dog he scrawls the word, "CARTOON." Above
it, "K.O.S. As he slips the spray can into his front
pocket, he senses a presence..

CESAR
... 'At you, Stevie?

Profound silence. Grin dissolves. Riveted, Cesar takes
another slow hit off his blunt. Suddenly a coyote darts
past him.

CESAR
(startled)
... Hells, man. Stupit dog.

His sick smirk returns. But only momentarily. Now a
premonitory flicker registers on his face. He blinks as
a Masai arrow splits the darkness and pierces his left
pectoral muscle.

Exhaling a stunned breath, Cesar looks down at the arrow.
An incredulous, stupefied laugh escapes him as he pulls
the arrow out of his chest and studies it...

The normal length of the arrow's been shortened by half
and the tip has been fitted with a modified hypodermic
needle. (The needle extends from a rubber stopper which has
retracted into the hypodermic casing, causing the
solution in the hypo to jettison through the needle and
into Cesar).

CESAR
... Mutha fuck.

Now back-pedaling, stumbling, dropping the arrow, he
turns and runs off.


99 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS 99

Cesar collapses onto a pile of garbage bags. MOVING IN.
His eyes fixed and dilated. Forehead beaded with
perspiration. Fighting against the effects of the
injection...

Now blackness...

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 80.

100 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (3 AM) 100

Ellen awakens with a start.

She glances about, momentarily disoriented. Now she
remembers where she is and what happened.

ELLEN
Trevor?

No response. Choking back emotions.


101 INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 101

TV SET ON. Ellen enters, glances around. No Trevor.

ELLEN
Trevor?


102 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER 102

As Ellen returns. She notices the glass of water on the
desk. Bravely collects herself. Crosses over to the
desk and sits down.

ELLEN
... Where'd you put the aspirin?

Like an involuntary reflex she tugs on the center drawer
of the desk, but it's locked. Now she pulls on one of
the side drawers and it slides open. Ellen stops at what
she sees...

... a treasure-trove of homemade shivs, Bic lighters,
Walkmen, pagers... and Benny Chacon's black rosary beads.

BACK TO Ellen and her curious, sobered look. Now she slowly
shuts the drawer.

103 INT. TREVOR'S FOYER - A SHORT WHILE LATER 103

Fumbling in her purse for her keys, Ellen makes a hasty
departure.

104 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - PREDAWN 104

Almost six AM. Encroaching sunlight creeps toward the
horizon. A vapid stillness. Not a soul stirs.


105 EXT. FREEWAY UNDERPASS - TIGHT ON CESAR'S FACE - 105
CONTINUOUS ACTION

as he comes to.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 81.

105 CONTINUED: 105

Eyes feverish, registering pain. His head throbs. He
begins to move and discovers a pounding in his right
hand...

... Lifting his hand up in front of his face. Cesar's
ring index finger has been severed clean off. Blood is
everywhere.

Cesar emotes a silent panic-stricken scream. Reduced to
a snot-sobbing wreck, he frantically searches the ground
on his hands and knees...

CESAR
My finger. Please, somebody help
me! Where's my finger?!


106 OMITTED 106


107 INT. EMERGENCY ROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION - MORNING 107

PUSHING IN ON the Emergency Room Sign... MOVING PAST the
unrelenting urgency that permeates the ER. DISCOVER
Cesar now in a wheelchair, right hand completely wrapped
in gauze. He pleads with two police DETECTIVES...

CESAR
... I put it on my mother, sir.

DETECTIVE #1
(leaning forward;
good cop)
... So your science teacher shot
you with an arrow full of drugs
then chopped off your finger.
Come on, you can do better than
that, Cesar.

CESAR
It had to be him!

DETECTIVE #2
(bad cop)
He smoke the `mota' for yuh, too,
eh ese?

CESAR
Pinche madre... he hates my guts,
man!

DETECTIVE #2
You covering for somebody, homes?
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 82.

107 CONTINUED: 107

DETECTIVE #2 (CONT'D)
Cuz, this circumstantial bullshit
won't hold up in court, I'll tell
you that right now.

Detective #1 refers to a rap sheet...

DETECTIVE #1
(sadly)
Caught too many priors, Cesar.
Juvenile GTA, vandalism...

CESAR
I know he did it! Don't you hear
what I'm saying?

DETECTIVE #1
You saw his face?

CESAR
(lying)
Yeah, yeah. I seen him.

Detective #2 shakes his head and grimaces.

DETECTIVE #2
Lemme save yuh from perjuring
yourself, asshole... You're full
of shit.

CESAR
I swear it! For reals!

DETECTIVE #2
(turns to leave)
C'mon, this guy's wasting our time.
(points to Cesar)
Come up with something better than
that, or the truth, then maybe we'll
talk.

Detective #2 walks away. Detective #1 follows.

Cesar hangs his head, mumbling a disparaging flood of
Spanish expletives...


108 INT. E.R. RECEIVING DESK - ANONYMOUS POV - CONTINUOUS 108
ACTION

THROUGH passing patients and personnel... APPROACHING the
receiving desk.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 83.

108 CONTINUED: 108

... As the blurred shoulder of an orderly CROSSES OUT to
reveal a legal-sized white envelope now on the counter
top.

A busy E.R. nurse notices the envelope. Glances around.
Picks up the envelope and reads the name typed across the
face of it... CESAR SANCHEZ... narrowing her gaze as she
opens the envelope.

In the envelope, Cesar's severed finger, nesting in a
clump of newspaper.

Appears to be something tattooed across the side of it
but we can't quite make it out.

The Nurse gasps and drops the envelope, spilling the
finger onto the counter top.

CLOSE now ON the finger and the fresh "tatt" scrawled
across its side: R-U-DUN?

SOUND FADES now from the scene, replaced by a TECHNO HIP-
HOP TRACK that CONTINUES THROUGH the CUT...


109 EXT. BUNGALOW #86 - AFTERNOON (6TH PERIOD) 109

Rain lashes the faculty parking lot...


110 INT. BUNGALOW #86 - CONTINUOUS ACTION 110

HIP-HOP TRACK FADES now replaced by the buzz of
cross-talk. Trevor strolls the aisles, an open
science book in hand.

(NOTE: Rita is dressed in overalls, very subdued
compared to her usual attire.)

Cesar's back... and seated in his regular seat, across
from Stevie Littleton. Uncharacteristically, his eyes
are fixed on the book in front of him.

TREVOR
(addressing class)
... Name one of four parts that
make up the human hand?

Trevor holds up his hand for display.

TREVOR
... Hands, please.

A reluctant cross section of hands go up.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 84.

110 CONTINUED: 110

6th period is by no means a synchronized whole but there
has developed an odd sort of order to its madness.

Trevor looks around. Picks on an Anglo girl in the second
row.

TREVOR
Christian.

CHRISTIAN
... The metacarpals.

TREVOR
The Metacarpals. That's one.
(to class)
Name some more?

Now he picks on Rita...

TREVOR
Rita.

RITA
The wrist... and thumb.

A flurry of thumbs go up as if on cue.

TREVOR
Good.
(holding up all his
fingers now)
... And don't forget the phalanges.

Fingers shoot up and wiggle on cue...

CLASS
(in unison)
Phalanges, phalanges, phalanges...

Scattered laughter and groans at this embarrassing
routine...

Cesar's beaten gaze remains riveted to his book. Now he
slides a look at the "R-U-DUN" tatt on his right index
finger. The severed finger has been sewn back on,
supported by a finger brace.

Stevie openly stares at the back of Trevor's head as
Trevor passes by in the aisle.


111 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BUILDING/COMPUTER LAB - 111
AFTER SCHOOL

RAIN steadily plays AGAINST the WINDOWS.
(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/10/96 85.

111 CONTINUED: 111

Ellen sits behind her computer, lost in a grading
program...

Trevor now enters. Damp hair and shoulders.

TREVOR
May I come in?

Ellen stops what she's working on.

ELLEN
(reticently)
Hi.

TREVOR
(concerned)
Where'd you go the other night?

ELLEN
I was going to ask you the same
thing.

TREVOR
... I went for a run.
(changes subject)
Wanna get some Chinese later?
There's a new place in the Valley
Center. 'Spose to be pretty good.

ELLEN
(an excuse)
... Can't tonight. Maybe another
time.

Weighs it, and...

TREVOR
(stands there for
a moment)
... I should probably correct
papers anyway. Some of these
bungalow kids actually care
about a grade. Even Cesar's doing
better. Today, for the first time
since I took over for Eskander, he
actually did his work.
(beat)
Today Cesar Sanchez was a success.
Maybe for the first time in his
life.
(blinks now)
You alright?

(CONTINUED)

86.

111 CONTINUED: 111

ELLEN
... Much better, thank you.

A tacit satisfaction that all is well...

TREVOR
... I really am sorry about Jack.

He exits now leaving Ellen alone with her thoughts.


112 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS SCHOOL LIBRARY - MORNING 112

Before school tutoring session. The minute hand on the
wall clock jerks ahead one minute... 7:23 AM.

Trevor and Rita at a table near the back of the library.
Trevor gazes blankly at Rita's essay. Rita revises one
of the pages.

INTERCUT Dave Childress at the front counter as the
librarian (late fifties) photocopies a page from a
history book for him. Childress scrutinizes Trevor and
Rita as he waits.

Satisfied now, Rita slides the page to Trevor...

RITA
... Finished.

Trevor blinks himself back to reality...

TREVOR
... Let's hava look..

He adjusts his glasses. Pores over the paper...

TREVOR
... Good.
(deliberating)
... I was just thinking, since
your essay's about gangs and
getting away from their influence,
you probably could've left some of
those double negatives you like so
well.

RITA
(confused)
So now you wan' me to use bad
grammar.

(CONTINUED)

87.

112 CONTINUED: 112

TREVOR
(explaining)
Only if it suits your topic.

RITA
I know. We're all products of our
environment 'n' shit.

TREVOR
No, I think that's just an excuse.
(beat)
I say if we're strong, we can rise
above adversity.
(lets it sink in)
But it's like rap or hip-hop...
Correct all the grammar and it
loses its impact.

RITA
So you like hip-hop, Mr. G?

TREVOR
(shakes his head)
... I hate it.

RITA
(reacting)
What kinda black man are you?

Trevor bursts forth a laugh.

Childress perks up at the front counter.

Trevor's laugh evokes a smile from Rita. Now she pries
a little further...

RITA
Why you here anyways? Don't you
got nothin' better t'do?

TREVOR
... Everything I wanna do is right
here.
(back on track now)
It's a good essay, Rita. You put
a lot of effort into it, it shows.

RITA
(a laconic grin)
Comes from the heart, maestro.
I'm a writer... not a fighter.

Trevor returns a cognitive flicker.

(CONTINUED)

88.

112 CONTINUED: 112

TREVOR
(hinting now)
... Ms. Quinn was telling me she
picks two seniors each year to
read their essays at graduation.

RITA
(taken aback)
She ain't gonna pick my paper.
Anyway, I don't wanna get up in
fronna all those people and make
a fool outta myself.

TREVOR
Why not? It'd be a Pyrrhic
victory.

RITA
What's dat?

TREVOR
... In your case, irony. Refers
to King Pyrrhus. Never mind.
Look it up sometime.

OFF Rita's reluctance...


113 EXT. LOS ANGELES RIVER/SEPULVEDA DAM BASIN - AFTERNOON 113

A churning fist of muddy water cuts a path along the
perimeter of a golf course and jogging trail.

TRACING jogging trail, KEEPING PACE now with a die-hard
runner. Something registers in the runner's eyes, pace
slowing, now stopping. Not fully comprehending what he
is looking at...

FOLLOWING HIS GAZE... THROUGH a curtain of rain and tall
swamp grass... along the riverbank... TO the base of the
Burbank Boulevard Overpass.

SLOWING ANGLE to discover precariously jutting out of the
rushing waters, in a tangle of chicken wire fence, a
partially decomposed torso...


114 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTER LUNCH 114
(5TH PERIOD)

Ellen walks down an aisle of computers as the class
settles...

(CONTINUED)

89.

114 CONTINUED: 114

ELLEN
... Before getting side-tracked
with viruses and T-S-R programs,
we were talking yesterday about
E-Mail.

INTERCUT Stevie. Ellen passes Stevie's computer as
he shares cryptic information with a kid sitting next
to him.

Ellen approaches her computer console on wheels at
the front of the class.

ELLEN
If you click-on the mail icon in
your tray, you'll be ready to
send and receive mail. My
computer's already set-up.
Everyone go ahead and click the
white envelope in the lower...

Ellen's interrupted by her own computer. A little white
envelope icon in the lower left hand tray flashes and
BEEPS. Now a COMPUTER VOICE announces: "You've got mail."

Ellen's taken aback. Class titters. Now she grins.

ELLEN
Looks like someone's way ahead of
me. Alright.
(adapts and
demonstrates)
To retrieve your mail simply double
click the top item in your mail
list.
(as she does)
Since we're all a part of the
same network, we share mail... so
go ahead and do that.

The message read: TEACHER FUCKS NIGGERS

Class is dumbstruck. Ellen's riveted. Now she turns.
Without losing her temper, she scours the class with
a narrow gaze.

Class starts to buzz. Now a clicking frenzy to retrieve
the same message.

The anonymous message pops up on computer screens all
around the classroom.

Ellen's POV of students (and Stevie). Deciphering
reactions. LINGERING ON Stevie's poker face.

(CONTINUED)

90.

114 CONTINUED: 114

Her own poker face now...

ELLEN
Whoever sent that message isn't
as anonymous as they think.

Ellen turns to her console, clicks the REPLY button. A
new mail message window opens up. It's addressed to
the anonymous sender, STUDENT #00. Ellen types in:

GO TO THE OFFICE

All the while anticipation builds on Stevie's face. He
glances around, starting to get nervous.

Ellen now clicks the SEND button...

Stevie's COMPUTER BEEPS... COMPUTER VOICE: "You've got
mail..."

... A window opens in the middle of Stevie's monitor
revealing Ellen's return message.

Class erupts and Stevie springs out of his seat...

STEVIE
'Dat's bullshit, man!

He rushes up to the front of the class.

STEVIE
You best step off, Ms. H. Cuz
you can't prove nuthin'. And I
know you can't afford to lose
'dis minimum wage job 'a yers.

ELLEN
(beat and)
You're right, Stevie. I can't
afford to live in a big house
south of the boulevard. Like
you do.

Class erupts again, coming down on Stevie and his wanna-be
poor boy from the streets image. They're laughing at him
now, not with him. In a rage, Stevie kicks open the
hallway door and exits the classroom.


115 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS MAIN OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 115

Ellen hastily enters, looking for Stevie. Addresses
IRIS (a thirty-something Hispanic woman) behind
the counter...

(CONTINUED)

91.

115 CONTINUED: 115

ELLEN
Iris, did Steven Littleton come
in here?

IRIS
Haven't seen 'im.

Teacher #1, the insipid woman, checks her mail slot. It's
her conference period.

TEACHER #1
(appalled)
You're not supposed to leave
your classroom unattended.

ELLEN
(reacting)
Sue me.

Teacher #1 exits in a flurry. Ellen now glances to her
right. Seated there in rigid silence is BENNY CHACON'S
MOTHER (51).

IRIS
(offers; sotto)
Benny Chacon's mother. Told
'er Garcia had to leave early
today but she jus' sits there.
She been saying some pretty
crazy things.

Mrs. Chacon begins speaking Spanish in plaintive spurts.
Ellen can't decipher what she is saying...

ELLEN
(to Mrs. Chacon)
... Espanol, muy poquito, senora.
(beat)
Mrs. Chacon... you have to slow down.
(back to Iris)
What's she saying?

Hesitating. Now with apprehension...

IRIS
You heard 'bout that body they foun'
in the L.A. River... She says she
thinks it's Benny.

OFF Ellen's unblinking gaze...


116 EXT. LOS ANGELES COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE (DOWNTOWN) - 116
EVENING

A concrete fortress... Ellen and Mrs. Chacon approach.

92.

117 OMITTED 117


118 INT. ASSISTANT CORONER'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS ACTION 118

Ellen and Mrs. Chacon sit stiffly in front of the
ASSISTANT CORONER (mid-forties). Desk cluttered. Half-
eaten sandwich in front of him. He nurses a Styrofoam
cup of coffee as he flips through a John Doe folder.

ASST. CORONER
You say he's been missing
approximately four weeks?

ELLEN
... Four, almost five weeks.

ASST. CORONER
That's a long time. Lots a
things happen to a body after
four or five weeks. Makes it
difficult to I.D.

A faint, incongruous smile.

ELLEN
(indicating John Doe)
So he just sits here?

ASST. CORONER
We keep 'um up to thirty days.
Lady, we get 80, sometimes 90 Does
a month. Floaters, gangbangers,
illegals, junkies. Most of 'um
cheap homicides. Nobody's even
lookin' for 'em.
(indicating folder)
This guy here, has a dent in his
head. Could be post-mortem
trauma. Probably hit a retaining
wall on his way down river after
that rain we had. Who knows.
(beat)
Yuh ask me, this kid was dead
before he got his head caved in.
Overdose by morphine. That's what
it looks like t'me.

Ellen weighs it. Assistant Coroner now refers to some
sort of questionnaire.

ASST. CORONER
On the phone you said the mother
mentioned some identifying marks.

Ellen refocuses a far-off, introspective gaze.

(CONTINUED)

93.

118 CONTINUED: 118

ELLEN
(affirmative)
She said he has some pockmarks on
his chest; from a bad case of
chicken pox. And there's a bar-
code tattoo on his neck.

A cognitive flicker now as the Assistant Coroner sets
down his coffee...


119 INT. AUTOPSY ROOM - EVENING 119

The acrid fecal smell causes Ellen to flinch. Averting
her eyes, she holds onto Mrs. Chacon's arm as they stand
next to the autopsy table. A plastic diaphanous sheet
covers the body.

Now the Assistant Coroner raises the sheet...

Mrs. Chacon's traumatic gaze confirms her worst fears.
She raises a hand to her mouth. Now the tears come...

MRS. CHACON
... Benito.

As she comforts Mrs. Chacon...

ELLEN
(to Assistant Coroner;
sotto)
Did you find any rosary beads with
the body?

ASSISTANT CORONER
No.


120 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT 120

... The digital clock next to Trevor's bed reads:
2:14 a.m.

Trevor sleeps. HOLD for a portentous moment. Now the
stillness is broken by a CLATTER at the front door.
Someone enters the house. Trevor awakens. Jolts out of
bed. Disoriented a beat.


121 INT. TREVOR'S HALLWAY 121

In boxer shorts and a T-shirt, adjusting his glasses,
Trevor ventures through darkness...

(CONTINUED)

94.

121 CONTINUED: 121

TREVOR
... Who's there?

A light flickers on in the living room.

ELLEN (O.S.)
You should keep your door locked.

ADJUSTING the ANGLE now as the living room comes INTO
VIEW...

Ellen paces back and forth, consumed by what's troubling
her.

TREVOR
(still half asleep)
What's the matter?

Ellen ignores his question.

ELLEN
(impaling him with
a look)
I just want you to tell me one
thing...

Now something she sees stops her pacing...

... The black rosary beads on the dinner table.

TREVOR
(off Ellen's
puzzled look)
What?

Following her gaze, he picks up the rosary beads. As he
places them in a drawer in the credenza.

TREVOR
What is it?

Ellen's confused. Lost in a fixated gaze.

ELLEN
... If you had any idea what I've
been thinking lately... you'd
think I was crazy.
(running it through
her mind)
... Remember that John Doe they
found in the L.A. River. Turned
out it was Benny.

(CONTINUED)

95.

121 CONTINUED: 121

TREVOR
(impacted)
Who told you that?

ELLEN
... Benny's mother identified the
body.

Trevor just looks at her, a bated pause. Now he blinks.

TREVOR
Benny was no saint, Ellen. This
is a kid who terrorized hald the
school. He even broke into your
house. Maybe we should think
about that 'fore we shed any tears.

Ellen just looks at him.

TREVOR
... Maybe he's better off.

ELLEN
That's a horrible thing to say.

Trevor accepts that it is.

TREVOR
Do you believe for every troubled
kid like Benny there's one or two
others just waiting to take his
place? Like Cesar... or his
friend Stevie.

An awkward moment of silence...

ELLEN
You don't know anything about
Cesar's finger, do you, Trevor?

TREVOR
Sometimes a person just runs out
of bad choices. Then he's gotta
pay a price. What happened to
Cesar was inevitable.

Ellen flickers a terrified smile.

ELLEN
You're scaring me.

(CONTINUED)

96.

121 CONTINUED: 121

TREVOR
We make choices in life and we
live by 'em. You and I chose to
be teachers, to stand on
principle. Benny and Cesar,
they're takers. They want what
they want, and they want it now.

ELLEN
Trevor...

TREVOR
(unravelling)
I'm sorry but everyone can't
always get what they want.
Sometimes you gotta take
responsibility for your actions.
Have you ever been ready to die
for a fundamental principle? They
haven't. You think those punks
would die protecting your Civil
Rights?

ELLEN
Trevor, don't.

TREVOR
Did you know Cesar hits his
mother? Steals money from her
purse? Did you know that?

Ellen blanches.

TREVOR
Did you know he was here that
night? In the alley?

ELLEN
(confused)
What are you talking about?

TREVOR
Cesar. Jack was provoked. It
wasn't an accident, Ellen. Cesar
killed him.

Ellen just stares at him. Traumatized...

ELLEN
(momentous deliberation)
Where'd you get the rosary beads?

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 97.

121 CONTINUED: 121

TREVOR
(pause and...)
I like you, Ellen. I like you so
much. Do you believe that?

ELLEN
(riveted)
Yes.

Trevor can't find words.

ELLEN
... I don't know you.

With that, Ellen turns and walks out of the house as
quickly as she came.

TREVOR
(plaintively)
... You do know me. I'm a
teacher, just like you.


123A EXT. STUDENT QUAD/QUEBRADITA - AFTER SCHOOL 123A
(CINCO DE MAYO)

ESTABLISH hoardes of cowboy hats, belt sashes and boots
as they dance to the loud Mexican band music on the
patio...

Non-Hispanics, along with non-Quebradita cliques, look on
from the lawn area...


DAVE CHILDRESS

hanging back, on the fringes, scoping out the crowd.
Notices a pack of cigarettes in the chest pocket of a
15-year-old kid standing next to him. Kid's wrapped up
in talking to another kid, points to something O.S.

CHILDRESS
(to the kid with
cigarettes)
... Don't you know it's not polite
to point at people. Everytime you
point a finger at someone else...
(demonstrates)
... There's three fingers pointing
back at you.
(lesson over)
Lemme have a cigarette.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 98.

122 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - MEN'S BATHROOM - AFTER SCHOOL 122

... Cinco de Mayo. The sounds of a QUEBRADITA waft in
from outside in the quad.

At the same time, Steve follows him into the rest room.
They're all alone.

STEVIE
Eh, Mr. G?

Bracing himself with a fixed, straight-ahead look.

STEVIE
(boldly)
I'm talkin' ta you, Garfield.
(beat)
Know what you did to Cesar.
(wild notion)
... I'm thinkin' maybe you did
Benny, too.
(incredulously)
That possible? You crush my
friend's skull? Fuck 'im up wit'
a two-by-four, maybe a baseball
bat?

No response. As Trevor starts to leave, Stevie blocks
his path.

Trevor steps to one side to go around... but Stevie
blocks his path again.

TREVOR
(trying to maintain)
Please, step out of the way.

STEVIE
... You kill my friend? Huh?

Trevor's head begins to swim. His life's falling apart.
Like a trapped animal, he back-pedals a step to escape...
but then suddenly snaps.

He explodes into Stevie, crushing him against the bath-
room wall.

Trevor impales Stevie with a look that says it all.

Stevie immediately shrinks. Trevor now blinks. Cooling
himself down. Slowing his breathing. Stevie slips out
from under his hold and bolts for the exit.

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/22/96 98A.

123 EXT. STUDENT QUAD/QUEBRADITA - CONTINUOUS ACTION 123

Cesar and his tag-bangers... Cesar holds court, drowned
out by the MUSIC. Now Stevie arrives. Out of breath.
Urgent to tell his story.

Rita... Makeup subdued, wearing a cotton button-down blouse.
She watches the Quebradita from behind a tree. A desire
to be part of it, she moves a little closer...

... as Cesar notices her. His head races from Stevie's
news. Eyes penetrating. Now galvanized. On a rampage,
he shoves his way through the crowd.

Victor Sifuentes... on the opposite side of the patio,
snapping a look, spotting Cesar moving in for the kill.
With a start, Victor barks something into his walkie-
talkie and squeezes his way into the Quebradita crowd...

Cesar shoves Rita to the ground.

CESAR
School girl bitch!

(CONTINUED)

99.

123 CONTINUED: 123

Rita gets to her feet immediately...

RITA
(shaken)
You gotta problem?!

CESAR
Yer fuckin' maestro, 'at's my
problem!

RITA
I don't know what yer talkin'
'bout!

CESAR
Garfield killed Benny!

Rita looks at him like he's insane. Cesar's entourage
gathers around them.

RITA
Yer crazy.

She turns her back and starts to leave. Cesar grabs
her again...

CESAR
Don't turn yer back on me when
I'm talkin' t'you, bitch. You
think yer better than everybody
else. Well you ain't! You ain't
nuthin' but a whore!

RITA
Fuck you, asshole!

CESAR
What? You forget about the time
in the bungalows? We all had our
turn wit you, man!

RITA
Shut up!

CESAR
(gets in her face)
What the fuck you been fuckin'
a nigger for? Huh? You think
he's gonna protec' you? Stop
me from doin' whatever I want
wit' you? Stop any of us from
doin' what we want wit' you?!

Rita just stands there, destroyed and sobbing now.

(CONTINUED)

100.

123 CONTINUED: 123

RITA
Fuck you, Cesar.

CESAR
No, fuck you!

He grabs her blouse and rips it wide open. His eyes
glisten with fervor now as he punches Rita (with his
good hand) square in the face. She crumbles to the
ground as Victor bursts through the crowd and
restrains Cesar.

As Rita gets to her feet and flees into the Quebradita
crowd...

CESAR
Garfield better watch his back!


124 OMITTED 124

125 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 125

Standing room only. An impassioned crowd.

ANGLO WOMAN
... I wanna know if this boy was
killed and whether it was gang-
related.

The audience erupts in unanimous support...

ANGLO WOMAN
(playing to crowd now)
As a mother and a taxpayer, I have
a right to know. And if it was
gang-related then I want tighter
security...

At this point she's drowned out by the crowd.

On stage the discipline committee, including Trevor,
Childress, Hyland and Quinn sit at the dais. Garcia
stands at the podium, waiting for silence. MRS. FORD,
the assistant principal, a full-figured black woman in
her mid-fifties, stands alongside him, gesturing for
the crowd to settle down.

MR. GARCIA
The death...
(too noisy)
The death of Benito Chacon is not
gang-related.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

101.

125 CONTINUED: 125

MR. GARCIA (CONT'D)
That's something you heard on
the news. It's wrong. It's
misinformation.

HISPANIC MAN
(shouting out)
Who says? How can you be so sure?
You're talking about my kid's
safety.

MRS. FORD
Please, everyone just calm down.

Audience settles.

MR. GARCIA
Thank you, Mrs. Ford.
(now)
... The police at this point
aren't even sure if it's a case of
murder. The reason we're having
this meeting tonight is to quash
all the rumors floating around out
there. Okay. Here's what we do
know. Benny Chacon ultimately died
from a drug overdose, technically
it was morphine.
(volume rising again)
Which is what heroin breaks down
into...

STEVIE (O.S.)
... Dat's bullshit! Benny was no
junkie! I know who did it!

Heads turn...

... Ellen quietly enters now and stands just inside
one of the doors at the back of the hall...

Up at the dais, Trevor notices her.

STEVIE
It's not the gangbangers y'gotta
worry about. It's the teachers!

MR. GARCIA
That's exactly the type of rumor
we don't need, Mr. Littleton.

Stevie deliberately stands and points at Trevor with
vitriol in his eyes...

(CONTINUED)

102.

125 CONTINUED: 125

STEVIE
... It was Garfield.

The audience grows silent.

MR. GARCIA
(losing his patience)
Say one more word and you're
suspended.

MRS. FORD
... Sit down, Stevie.

Trevor doesn't even flinch. Childress scrutinizes him
with a glance.

STEVIE
(ranting)
You're a fuckin' murderer,
Garfield!

MR. GARCIA
(calling for assistance)
Victor?

STEVIE
... Maybe I can't prove it but I
know he did it. He fucked up
Cesar and he killed Benny.
(to crowd)
Ast 'im!

As Victor and another plainclothes cop attempt to remove
Stevie...

STEVIE
Touch me and I'll sue yer ass!
(as Victor backs off;
now to Trevor)
Yer dead, G! Yer a dead man!

With that Stevie shoves Victor aside and bolts for the
door.

Garcia attempts to regain his composure...

Trevor glances back to the spot where Ellen was
standing... but now she's gone.


126 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT - NIGHT 126

Meeting's broken up. Dave Childress, cigarette dangling
from his mouth, jogs a step to catch up with Trevor...

(CONTINUED)

103.

126 CONTINUED: 126

CHILDRESS
Garfield, wait up...

Trevor maintains a steady pace, one hopeful eye scouring
the parking lot for Ellen...

CHILDRESS
... Don't let that Littleton punk
get to you.

Trevor ignores him.

CHILDRESS
Lil' bastard's a tweaker. He's a
speed freak. You didn't know that?

At Trevor's car now. Hesitating. Turning to
Childress...

TREVOR
(testing his patience)
What is it, Dave? How can I help
you?

Unintentionally in Trevor's face...

CHILDRESS
How 'bout a ride?
(taking a step back)
... The wife wouldn't let me drive
my own car. Ain't that a bitch?

Childress is pitiful. Wears a grease-stained tie with
his wrinkled Hawaiian shirt and a Windbreaker.

TREVOR
(with resignation)
... You smell like beer.

CHILDRESS
I only had two. That's all.
Swear ta Christ.

Raising his palms. Surrendering. Trevor studies him
with a sad grimace.

CHILDRESS
I live right up here off Chandler.
I'll buy you a drink.


127 INT. CHILDRESS'S GARAGE - NIGHT 127

Dave's Sanctuary.

(CONTINUED)

104.

127 CONTINUED: 127

At the end of a gravel driveway, behind a darkened house.
Garage door open.

Childress chain smokes and drinks beer as he leans
against the dented fender of his '66 Lincoln Continental.
Trevor nurses a Diet Coke...

CHILDRESS
... I had the same situation
'round the time of that 'Night
Stalker' thing. Remember that?
Whole city was scared shitless.
My wife was convinced the frickin'
mailman was the 'Stalker' for
about a week there.
(a tubercular chuckle)
Some mental giant in my 4th period
starts this rumor, see. Childress
is the 'Night Stalker.' Right?
(chug-a-lugs)
... Idiots. Even after they
caught that Ramirez jerk, I'd
still hear those fucks '... They
got the wrong guy. Childress is
the Stalker, ese.'

He finishes beer. Crumples it.

Trevor studies him, without expression. Now he notices
something stapled to the tar paper wall...

Trevor's POV of the "Certificate of Excellence in
Teaching," yellowed and dogeared, hanging obliquely by
one staple.

... as Childress opens another beer.

TREVOR
(excusing himself)
I better get goin'. Thanks for
the soda.

CHILDRESS
Wait, wait. Hold your horses.
Just hold on...

... Finding a key in a drawer.

CHILDRESS
(a twisted grin)
... Can't leave without meetin'
the kids.

Childress unlocks a particle board cabinet against the
garage wall.
(CONTINUED)

105.

127 CONTINUED: 127

A watery glint in his bloodshot eyes. Cabinet door
swings wide now, revealing a mini arsenal of handguns...

CHILDRESS
Ta-dah... Huh?

Trevor's eyes remain expressionless.

Childress rhapsodizes as he removes and handles some of
the guns...

CHILDRESS
... This one's from
Czechoslovakia. It's a C-Z .22
automatic. Ten round clip. Glow-
in-the-dark sights.
(eyeing the sights)
Ain't that a beauty?
(next)
... Then we gotta custom Smitty, 9
'milli.' With extended grip.
These Smith & Wessons kick like a
mutha.
(and next)
Now this one's special. A Glock
21. Lightest gun in the world.
The barrel and firing pin are
metal. See. Everything else on
it's plastic.
(handing it to Trevor)
Here, feel that.

Trevor takes it, reluctantly weighs it in the palm of his
hand. Sets it down.

Now Childress removes a gun from a holster in the small
of his back, under his Windbreaker...

CHILDRESS
... 'Course you can never be too
prepared. My pukey lil' Davis
.380.

TREVOR
(a severe squint)
You wear that thing at school?

CHILDRESS
(a smirk)
... Don't worry. They never use
metal detectors on teachers.
(beat)
I also keep a .357 inside my desk.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

106.

127 CONTINUED: 127

CHILDRESS (CONT'D)
(a wry grin)
... But you already know that.
Didn't think I was payin'
attention, did'ja? Shoulda seen
the look on your face.

Pretending now. Aiming the .380 at an imaginary
student...

CHILDRESS
Now, Jose, if I've told you once
I've told you a hundred times,
stay in your cotton pickin' seat.
(aiming gun)
Boom!

Childress laughs and chokes on his cigarette. Now he
gazes at the .380 in his hand. Lost in a stupid,
recalcitrant grin...

CHILDRESS
Haven't you ever just wanted to
blow one of these little bastards
away?

Childress glances up into Trevor's unflinching gaze.
Smiles to himself now. Thinks he's funny...

CHILDRESS
(digressing)
... Speaking of blowing, you ever
wanna fuck a high school girl,
Garfield?
(off no response)
'Caught yer girl, Rita, bustin' a
train out in the 'utility' shed
couple months back. Swear to God.
She had at least five or six
cholos lined up back there.
(as Trevor's eyes
narrow)
Face it, brother, she's a slut.
C'mon, I know you had 'er.
(bragging now)
I even did her.

TREVOR
You're drunk.

CHILDRESS
I know you been laughin' at me
behind my back.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

107.

127 CONTINUED: 127

CHILDRESS (CONT'D)
I'm talkin' about screwin' high
school broads and you're givin'
off this self-righteous attitude
like your shit don't stink.

Childress rolls back on his heels.

CHILDRESS
... Tell me the truth now,
Garfield. Did yuh do it? C'mon,
I won't tell. Did yuh whack Benny?
Whadda 'bout Cesar? That was
generous, only taking his finger.
I woulda cut off his balls.

TREVOR
... Go to hell, Dave.

All traces of a smile fade from Dave's face. Trevor
just stands there. Doesn't say a damn word.

Childress makes his own momentous conclusion.

CHILDRESS
(almost exulted)
You really did it. You son of a
bitch.

Awkward glint of admiration in Childress's eye. Leans
forward, hangs a hand on Trevor's shoulder.

TREVOR
(disgusted)
You probably think you and me are
alike.

Trevor turns and exits the garage. PULLING BACK FROM
Childress's dull anesthetized gaze. Deep down inside
Childress knows he's a pathetic piece of shit...


128 EXT. TREVOR'S DRIVEWAY - AROUND MIDNIGHT 128

Trevor pulls into his driveway, right up to the garage
door. He SHUTS OFF the IGNITION and narrows a gaze out
the front windshield...


129 INT. TREVOR'S CAR - GARAGE DOOR - TREVOR'S POV - 129
CONTINUOUS ACTION

Caught in his headlights, tagged all over.

(CONTINUED)

108.

129 CONTINUED: 129

Spray painted threats like, "YOU'RE DEAD," "187-UM,"
"TEACHER-K" (crossed out) and a CARTOON VERSION OF
TREVOR WITH "X'S" WHERE HIS EYES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.


129A INT. TREVOR'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (SHORT WHILE LATER) 129A

Dimly lit. Trevor stands in front of the television
set, staring at a late-night repeat of "Talk Soup."


INSERT - TALK SOUP

A clip from "Sally Jessy Rafael" or "Jerry Springer."
One of those Sturm und Drang moments. Everyone points
the finger at everyone else. No one willing to take
responsibility for themselves.

Only partially watching the television. His eyes are
fixed on a point somewhere in his own mind, lost to the
world.


130 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS SCHOOL LIBRARY - EARLY MORNING 130
(BEFORE SCHOOL)

Into a parabolic mirror above the library doors...

... an empty corridor stretches forever.

Trevor, now unshaven, looking like he hasn't slept, sits
amidst total silence in his regular spot. No sign of
Rita. He checks his wristwatch.


WALL CLOCK

reads... 7:10 AM.

BACK TO:

TREVOR

peering toward the library doors. Nothing. Now above
the doors...


TREVOR'S POV

BACK AND FORTH between the mirror and Trevor. His eyes
glazed and unblinking.

FURTHER INTO the parabolic mirror now. Breathing becoming
more and more labored.

(CONTINUED)

109.

130 CONTINUED: 130

In a flicker, we're transported back to Roosevelt
Whitney... Dennis Broadway's image SLOWLY COMING TOWARD
us down the long corridor...


BACK TO SCENE

Trevor catches his breath and blinks...

... Back to reality. The mirror is empty.

He removes his Proventil inhaler from his shirt pocket.
Suppressing gasps, he takes two hits.

Two girls at the magazine racks whisper to each other,
eyes firmly fixed on Trevor.

Suddenly there's a presence at Trevor's side...

LIBRARIAN
... I don't think she's coming.


131 EXT. RITA'S TRAILER (SUN VALLEY) - SAME MORNING 131
(7:30 AM)

Strictly low rent district. The small dirt yard in front
is contained within a cinder block wall.

Rita, back to her chola look, heavy makeup, black (right)
eye where Cesar punched her, watches her two younger
brothers as they fight over a toy truck. Her
three-year-old baby sister, Maricella (too big to be
carried) straddles her hip as Rita yells at the boys...

RITA
Be nice to your brother, Antonio.
Don't make me go get Mommie.

Trevor's car pulls up. Rita's taken aback.

RITA
(setting Maricella
down)
Go play wit' your brothers.

Rita attempts to thwart him at the sidewalk.

RITA
(almost defensive)
Whatcha doin' here, maestro?

(CONTINUED)

110.

131 CONTINUED: 131

TREVOR
(with fervor)
I want you to come back to school,
Rita. You can't afford to miss
finals. They won't let you
graduate.

RITA
(overlapping)
No way. Forget it. I can't.
What's wrong wit' you.

Trevor really does looks like hell.

TREVOR
(beseeching her)
Cesar and Stevie won't bother you.
That's a promise.

Something stirs deep inside her.

RITA
(struggles with it)
Why'd they have to kill Snowball?

TREVOR
... They didn't.

RITA
(on the verge of
tears now)
What's it fuckin' matter?! 'At
school shit's for other kids, not
me!

TREVOR
That's not true. You're so smart,
Rita. Don't you know that? You
have an opportunity here to change
your life. Please don't throw
away everything we've worked for.

Trevor just stares at her, incredulously.

Rita lowers her gaze, unable to look him in the eye.
Momentous deliberation, and now...

TREVOR
I know what happened with Childress.

RITA
(knitting her
eyebrows)
What?

(CONTINUED)

111.

131 CONTINUED: 131

TREVOR
(beat)
He won't ever touch you again.

RITA
(protesting too
much)
He ain't done nuthin' tuh me.
That boy's fulla shit. What's he
been sayin'?

TREVOR
Doesn't matter.

RITA
He ain't never touched me no ways.
What's he sayin'? He say he
fucked me?! He say dat?!
(off Trevor's look)
He's a damn liar!
(erupting again;
tears streaming
down her face)
Get the fuck outta here! I don't
need yer damn pity and I don't
need you!

TREVOR
(genuinely)
But I need you, Rita.

Beat.

RITA
(hardening)
You made a mistake. Dat's all.

With that Rita scoops up Maricella and exits.


132 INT. MR. GARCIA'S OFFICE - SAME DAY (LUNCH PERIOD) 132

Trevor sits transfixed in front of Garcia. Still hasn't
shaven.

MR. GARCIA
See these?

Garcia holds up a handful of phone messages.

MR. GARCIA
They're phone calls about you.
Good ones.
(MORE)

(CONTINUED)

112.

132 CONTINUED: 132

MR. GARCIA (CONT'D)
Cesar's mother told me how you
tried to help him. You're evidently
a good teacher. You should be
commended on your efforts. However...
(pause)
I'm going to have to let you go.

Trevor blinks.

MR. GARCIA
(beat)
As much as I'd like to have you
stay until the end of the year, I
can't overlook the seriousness of
certain accusations.

Mr. Garcia waits for a response but none is forthcoming.

MR. GARCIA
(for example)
... Is it true you had meetings with
a female student at your house?

TREVOR
I was trying to help her.

MR. GARCIA
The implications are still there,
Mr. Garfield. I can't afford to
open the door for another lawsuit.
Sure you can appreciate my position.
(pause)
You can stay until Friday. I hope
that will be sufficient.

This part registers only minimally with Trevor.


133 EXT. BUNGALOW 86 - AFTER SCHOOL (SAME DAY) 133

A VAPID SILENCE HOLDS us. The bungalow is awash in a
sun-soaked pool of light...

Trevor makes his way toward the parking lot with his
briefcase and a cardboard box of personal belongings.


134 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - "A" BLDG. - MAIN CORRIDOR/ 134
COMPUTER LAB - CONTINUOUS ACTION

Plagued with doubts, Ellen lingers in the doorway,
confiding with Hyland...

(CONTINUED)

113.

134 CONTINUED: 134

HYLAND
You're not being an alarmist.
(minimizing her
concerns)
He gets a little overzealous at
times... like some other people
I know.
(beat)
I don't think the rosary adds up
to much either, frankly.

ELLEN
Why?

HYLAND
It's probably his.
(beat)
Look, when I received my first
Holy Communion all the boys got
black rosaries and the girls got
white. Trust me, there must be
millions of black rosaries filed
away in desk drawers from here to
the Vatican.

Ellen flickers a sad indecisive smile.

HYLAND
This guy's been through a lot,
Ellen. The system failed him.
I don't think any of us can really
appreciate what he's been through.
(beat)
I say we give the man a break.

Ellen acquiesces a pensive nod.


135 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT/ADJACENT STREET (3:20) 135

THROUGH a CHAIN LINK FENCE Trevor approaches his car.
Traffic is bumper to bumper.


136 OMITTED 136
& &
137 137


138 EXT. FACULTY PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS ACTION 138

... as Trevor unlocks his car. And hesitates.

(CONTINUED)

114.

138 CONTINUED: 138

TREVOR'S POV - DRIVER'S SIDE CAR DOOR

... a bold 187 has been "keyed" into the paint.

BACK TO:


TREVOR

Rivetted. Now he slides the cardboard box, along with
his briefcase onto the front seat.

Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, Ellen pulls up in her
Cherokee.

She deciphers Trevor with mixed emotions. Trevor adjusts
his stance, covering the "187."

Ellen now tentatively rolls her window down halfway...
TAILPIPE SPUTTERS, a portentous idle.

ELLEN
(stilted)
... I'd like to apologize for
the other night.

Trevor stands there transfixed for a moment. Now he
looks into her eyes. A soulful gaze.

TREVOR
Shouldn't listen to me. I was
half asleep.

His eyes become damp. Trevor smiles bravely.

ELLEN
We really need to talk.

TREVOR
... Not tonight. Have to finish
some work...

ELLEN
Tomorrow then? It's important
to me.

TREVOR
(far off now)
... Okay.

ELLEN
(resolves it in
her head)
... How 'bout seven o'clock?

Trevor nods. Ellen flickers a tenuous smile.

115.

139 INT. ELLEN'S CHEROKEE - SIDE VIEW MIRROR 139

... as she rolls up her window and drives away, leaving
Trevor standing in the middle of the parking lot. His
image gets smaller and smaller in the mirror.


139A INT./EXT. ELLEN'S JEEP CHEROKEE - ELLEN'S POV 139A

as she watches him in the side view mirror, torn with
mixed emotions.


140 OMITTED 140
thru thru
143 143


144 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 144

Seeing now that the whole house has been tagged with
graffiti (not only the garage) as the Rambler pulls into
the driveway. With dead calm, Trevor leaves his box of
belongings behind and enters the front door, carrying his
briefcase.


144A EXT. STOLEN BUICK REGAL - CONTINUOUS ACTION - LATE 144A
AFTERNOON

... as it parks about two houses down from Trevor's.


145 INT. BUICK REGAL - CONTINUOUS ACTION - LATE AFTERNOON 145

All three tag-bangers produce firearms... Cesar loads the
cylinder chamber on his .357 magnum. Stevie double
checks a 7 round clip and a 39 Smith and Wesson. And
Paco plays with a .38 caliber revolver that he hides in
the deep front pocket of is County-Bens.

The interior of the Buick snaps with the hard sound of
gun metal... cocking hammers, loading cartridges and
spinning cylinder chambers...

... As the gun preparations systematically stop. Cesar
now flicks ON an ELECTRIC HAIR CLIPPER, sets it on 'NO
CLIP,' and passes it back to Paco. Paco runs the clipper
over his head. Hair tumbles off in chunks. Stevie
fidgets, picks up a naked one-eyed doll off the floor,
raises it INTO VIEW...

STEVIE
Where'd you jack 'dis car from,
homes?
(referring to doll)
'At's nasty, man.

116.

146 INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - SUNSET 146

Dutifully seated at his desk. Like a fervent prayer.
Lost in correcting his final graded assignment.


146A INT. TREVOR'S BEDROOM - POV - SUNSET 146A

PAST wrought iron bars on the outside of the window.
Sun hangs above a distorted horizon.

MATCH CUT TO:


146B ELLEN'S POV - SAME SUNSET 146B

... PAST high tension lines outside Mother Henry's
kitchen window.


147 INT. MOTHER HENRY'S KITCHEN - DUSK 147

Ellen's preoccupied with thought as she rinses dishes
and places them in the dishwasher. O.S. hear "WHEEL
OF FORTUNE" on the TELEVISION.

Now a wet DISH slips from her grasp and SHATTERS on the
floor.

MOTHER HENRY (O.S.)
Ellen?

As she picks up the pieces...

ELLEN
... It's alright, mother.


148 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - DUSK 148

Sun goes down. A palpable stillness permeates.


149 INT. BUICK REGAL - K.O.S. TAG-BANGERS - CONTINUOUS 149
ACTION

All three heads clipped "skin tight." Fixed gazes
holding. Stevie nurses a runny nose as he smokes
another "Sherm." Now something flickers in Cesar's
eyes...

CESAR
... Okay, let's smoke this bitch.

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 117.

150 EXT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS ACTION - DUSK 150

The house is quiet now as Stevie and Paco disappear
around the back.

Cesar approaches the front door, undaunted, gun drawn.
Without breaking stride he kicks open the door...


151 INT. TREVOR'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS ACTION - EVENING 151

Trevor sits on his bed, watching the red orb of the sun
disappear over the horizon. He can hear DOOR OPENING and
someone moving in his house.

TREVOR
I'm in here, Cesar.

Cesar, Paco, and Stevie enter the bedroom, guns drawn.

CESAR
Dont' move, mutha fucka!

Stevie flips on a light. Paco SHOOTS out the TV set in
the living room -- an act of intimidation. Cesar jams
his .357 under Trevor's chin. Gets in his face.

CESAR
You killed Benny. And you cut off
my finger... Say it.

Trevor stares right into Cesar's eyes, unflinching.

TREVOR
Yeah. I did.

STEVIE
Told yuh. Fuckin' A, man.

PACO
Lemme do 'im.

CESAR
No. This nigga's mine.

Cesar sticks the gun barrel right between Trevor's eyes
... and squeezes the trigger. Click. An empty sound.

Trevor blinks. Cesar exhales a malicious laugh. Opens a
fist to reveal six bullets.

CESAR
Ever seen The Deerhunter, ese?

CUT TO:

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 118.

151 CONTINUED: 151

ANOTHER ANGLE

In the middle of the dark house -- Trevor's dining room
table. Trevor on one side, Cesar/Paco/Stevie on the
other. Cesar's seated, loading one of the six bullets
into a cylinder chamber. He shoves the gun toward Trevor
as Stevie and Paco train their pistols on him.

CESAR
You gon' do yourself, mayate.
Put it to your head and pull the
trigger.

Trevor grabs the pistol without hesitation, puts it to
his head and squeezes off TWO ROUNDS without incident.
He slams the gun down in front of Cesar without a blink.
A crazed, watery glint in his eye.

TREVOR
That macho enough for you, Cesar?
Huh? That make me a man?

CESAR
Take more'n that.

TREVOR
Then you do it.

All three tag-bangers are taken aback.

TREVOR
C'mon, show me what you got. Mano
a mano.

STEVIE
He's playin' with yer head.

PACO
Vato's scared. He tryin' to twist
outta it.

TREVOR
I gotta be a fool to prove you're
a fool? -- okay.

Trevor picks up the gun again, puts it to his head and
pulls the trigger... click. Slams the gun down.

TREVOR
C'mon.

CESAR
Tha's not how we playin' it.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 119.

151 CONTINUED: (2) 151

TREVOR
Why -- you too chickenshit to play
yer own game? Got no cojones?

Paco lashes out and hits Trevor with his pistol drawing
blood.

PACO
Shut up!

Cesar stares at him.

TREVOR
You gonna let your homies defend
your punk ass, Cesar? You gonna
let me dis you? I pulled three
times, you pussy, you leva, you
coward! Lessee you pull one.
C'mon, be a man! Get some respect
back! Do it!

Cesar takes the gun and raises it toward his head.

PACO
Whatcho doin', homie?

He grabs Cesar's arm, but Cesar pushes him away.

CESAR
(to Trevor)
You disrespectin' me, vato? You
sayin' I ain't a man?

TREVOR
I'm sayin' you're a fool.

Cesar puts the .357 to his temple again...

STEVIE
Don't do it!

They are mesmerized into inaction as Cesar grits his teeth
and pulls the trigger. Click.

PACO
(instant adulation)
You the man, Cesar! You the man!
Orale, vato!
(to Trevor)
He got character, homes.

STEVIE
Crazy mutha fucka.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 120.

151 CONTINUED: (3) 151

Trevor looks at Cesar in disgust as he takes another
bullet and blindly loads it into the cylinder chamber.

CESAR
Yer turn.

He spins the cylinder and slams the gun on the table.

TREVOR
You think you got respect now?
Your kinda respect is bullshit.
Only thing you honor is stupidity.
You ready to die for stupidity,
Cesar? I am, if it'll teach you
somethin'. See you can't kill me,
homeboy. Yeah, my body... but
what I am, who I was? That's
been dead for over a year. And
I'm never gonna get it back -- no
matter how many of you I get rid
of. I realize that now...
(furious)
... I was a teacher! I wanted to
help you!...

He snatches up the gun, puts it to his head and pulls the
trigger again... click. Trevor slams it back down on the
table.

TREVOR
You can't kill me... and you can't
scare me.

Cesar's sweating now, glancing between Trevor and the gun
on the table. Stevie and Paco shift uneasily.

PACO
Don't do it, homie.

STEVIE
He's crazy.

TREVOR
Yeah, but isn't that what you
respect? Bein' loco? Don't listen
to 'em, Cesar. If you gonna live
stupid don't do it half-assed --
take it all the way. Take your
turn. Pull the trigger.

Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place,
Cesar's hand inches toward the gun. Suddenly Trevor is
screaming at him.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 121.

151 CONTINUED: (4) 151

TREVOR
Macho is bullshit, fool! Your
whole way of life is BULLSHIT!

Cesar explodes to his feet and screams right back.

CESAR
It's all I got!

Silence. Trevor studies him with an enigmatic look.

TREVOR
Well then, I'll take your turn for
you...

He snatches up the pistol and puts it to his head...

CESAR
No!

... pulls the trigger. BLAM!! The SHOT knocks Trevor
out of his chair.


152 OMITTED 152
thru thru
167 167


167A ON PACO AND STEVIE 167A

PACO
You see dat! He's out! He's
fuckin' out! Snuffed hisself!
Aw, shit!

Stevie's stunned.

STEVIE
What'd he do that for?

He walks toward the back of the house like a zombie.

STEVIE
... Let's get outta here.

Paco pulls at Cesar, who's staring at Trevor's dead body.

PACO
C'mon, homie.

CESAR
He took my turn.

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 122.

167A CONTINUED: 167A

PACO
... What?

CESAR
It was my turn. He took it...
He dissed me.

PACO
So fuckin' what, man! He's dead!
Let's go!

Cesar shrugs him off, picks up the .357.

CESAR
I gotta do this.

PACO
Fuck dis shit! Leave it!

He tries to pull Cesar away, pleading with him in Spanish,
but Cesar shoves him off.

CESAR
I got one chance in six. I'm
'onna beat 'dis bitch... For
honor, vato.

STEVIE
No!!

Paco rushes toward him, but is stopped by the BOOM!
of the .357. Frozen in shock, Paco stares down at
Cesar's body as Stevie re-enters the kitchen.

STEVIE
Cesar?... Why'd he do it? Why?


167B ON PACO AND STEVIE 167B

Not knowing himself, Paco stumbles out of Trevor's
kitchen toward the back door. Finally Stevie follows
him as we PULL BACK to reveal the crumpled bodies of
Trevor and Cesar lying on the floor.

NEWSCASTER (V.O.)
... Last night tragedy struck in
North Hollywood where a high
school teacher and one of his
students were both found shot
to death inside the teacher's home.

V.O. continues through the...

1 8 7 - Rev. 9/4/96 122A.

168 EXT. J. Q. ADAMS H.S. - MORNING (GRADUATION DAY) 168
TWO WEEKS LATER

... the marquee outside the school reads...

HAPPY GRADUATION -- CLASS OF '97

NEWSCASTER (V.O.)
... The teacher has been
identified as forty-one-year-old
Trevor Garfield, formerly of
New York City. Most recently he
taught science at John Quincy Adams
High School in the San Fernando
Valley...
(beat)
Confidential sources reveal that
the teacher had publicly been
accused of foul play in the
death of another student whose
body was discovered just last
month in the L.A. River...


168A EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - AFTERNOON 168A

Graduation in progress. Standing room only.
Administrators have begun to take their seats up on a
makeshift stage. Garcia, Hyland, Assistant Principal
Ford, etc...

(CONTINUED)

1 8 7 - Rev. 7/11/96 122B.

168A CONTINUED: (A1) 168A

Bleachers now as guests and family members fan themselves
against the searing heat. A banner strung across the top
row of seats reads...

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF '97

Faculty members are seated in the first two rows down
on the field. In front of a sea of mortar boards.

(CONTINUED)

123.

168A CONTINUED: 168A

Dave Childress now enters, his usual shabby attire,
nursing another hangover. He takes a seat away from the
other teachers.


168B EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD - PODIUM - SHORT WHILE LATER 168B

As the first speaker approaches the podium...

ON two inch high heels, an occasional wobble as the white
high heels make their way up to the podium. ANGLE RISING
now, LINGERING ON a clinging powder blue dress and mani-
cured fingernails. HOLD ON her clenched essay. Now
CONTINUE UP to reveal Rita Nartinez.

She wears lipstick... and only a moderate amount of eye
shadow. She wears a slightly nervous, preoccupied look.
Now...

Rita at the podium, as she adjusts the microphone, a
nervous reflex. Places her essay on the podium. Stares
down at it...

RITA
... The title of my essay is,
'Mi Vida Loca'... 'My Crazy Life'...

Rita hesitates. Now she gazes out at the graduating
class.


168C FACES IN CROWD 168C

Waiting... Intently fanning themselves...


168D DAVE CHILDRESS 168D

Apathetic. Arms draped over the empty chairs on either
side of him.


168E BACK TO RITA 168E

RITA
(turning to Quinn)
Ms. Quinn, can I say somethin'?
(correcting
herself)
... May I say something?

Ms. Quinn (45) hesitates, now acquiesces with
uncertainty...

(CONTINUED)

124.

168E CONTINUED: 168E

RITA
... There's been a lotta talk las'
couple weeks whether Mr. Garfield
done those things they been writin'
about in the newspaper. He once
tol' me you can't blame everything
on yer environment.
(beat)
But I t'ink you can push a good
teacher too far and he might jus'
go bad like anybody else...


169 OMITTED 169
thru thru
172 172


173 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTERNOON 173

INTERCUT VARIOUS CUTS OF Ellen's hands as she clears a
bulletin board... removes a computer graphics display from
a wall... empties desk drawers... and packs away her
computer in a box.

RITA (V.O.)
... I dunno if Mr. 'G' did all
those bad things. All I know
is dat teachers don't get no
respect. 'At's the simple truth.
And if Mr. 'G' is responsible,
well den he ain't the only one
responsible...

BACK TO:


174 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AUDITORIUM - PODIUM (GRADUATION) 174

RITA
... We're all responsible. You and
me... all of us. I'm up here today
cuz a him. He was dere for me
when nobody else was. Thing is...
I shoulda been 'dere for him
too... but I wasn't. I turned
my back on the only person who
ever cared about me.
(pause)
He said if I could stand up here
and read my essay it would be a
Pyrrhic victory.
(beat)
I ast' 'im, 'What's up wit' dat?'

(CONTINUED)

125.

174 CONTINUED: 174

A trickle of incongruous laughter, awkward yet
cathartic...

RITA
He told me in my case it was
irony... and to go look it up...
so I did.
(beat)
I wonder now if Mr. 'G' was really
talking 'bout hisself.
(beat)
It refers to this guy named
Pyrrhus. He was a king back
'round 300 B.C.

Rita refers to a piece of scratch paper she has tucked
inside her essay...

INTERCUT ELLEN AND:


175 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB 175

again... as she now empties one last drawer, she dis-
covers her teaching credential. Reluctantly picks it up.
Holds it for a moment. Now read across the face of the
credential...

STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COMMISSION ON TEACHER CREDENTIALING
issues this document to

ELLEN HENRY


175A BACK TO GRADUATION 175A

RITA (V.O.)
(verbatim now)
... Pyrrhus defeated the Romans
on two occasions. But those two
victories lost him a large part
of his army. Now whenever people
say something's a Pyrrhic victory
they mean it's a victory gained
at too great a cost.

Childress stares off into space, flickers a pathetic smirk.

And now Stevie seated amongst the graduates. Glancing
up from under his mortar board cap. He adjusts
a gaze into the bleachers.

126.

175B STEVIE LITTLETON'S POV - HIS PARENTS 175B

Early forties, upper-middle class. Stevie's mother
catches his eye. Like an incongruous SLOW MOTION dream,
she mouth the words, "Were... So... Proud... Of... You."


175C STEVIE LITTLETON 175C

... as guilt eats at him, weaving its insidious web.


175D BACK TO RITA 175D

now at the podium. Holding back tears, Rita now carefully
folds up her piece of scratch paper... and fixes a distant
unblinking gaze...


176 OMITTED 176


177 INT. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS COMPUTER LAB - AFTERNOON 177

... Slowly SCAN the walls, stripped completely bare now.
END ON Ellen standing obliquely in the doorway. Brief-
case in hand, files and papers tucked under one arm. Her
face, a solemn vacuous gaze.

Now she drops something into the trash can, shuts off the
lights, and leaves. As the door slowly closes...

MOVE IN ON the trash can...

... and Ellen's crumpled teaching credential. Add another
name to the list of fallen heroes as we...

CUT TO:


BLACKNESS

... and ROLL END CREDITS.




THE END