John & the Message
Based on the Book of Jonah ORIGINAL STORY

John is a seventh grader at Kirkwood Middle School. His teacher, Mr. Borden, asks him to deliver a message to Room 113. Room 113 is the detention room that is full of bullies and troublemakers. John has always feared Room 113, because he has had his share of being picked on!

Therefore, instead of going to Room 113, he goes the other way to the office, hoping the secretary will bring the message down. However, he does not have a hall pass, so the hall guard stops him in his tracks.

“Where do you think you’re going?” the hall guard asks, and John ends up in the principal’s office for three classes. One of them is lunch, so by the time John gets out of the office, he is hungry and thirsty.

He still has to deliver the message, because he told the principal that he would do it himself. He tells the bullies that Mr. Borden is very angry with them and if they want to end their detention today, they need to show him that they will no longer bully and instead help others. Therefore, the students join the community service club and are trying to be friendly.

On the way back to class, John spots a water fountain. He is very thirsty because he did not have lunch. Surprisingly, the water fountain does not work, so John gets mad, and then Mr. Borden is coming down the hallway.

“You are so concerned about the water fountain — which by the way has been broken for days,” Mr. Borden says.

“That’s not all I’m mad about,” John says. “You gave the bullies a break, even though they have hurt many kids.”

“Don’t you know that I gave them the detention in the first place? How can you expect me to punish them when they have changed?” Mr. Borden explains.