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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bueller? Principal Pulls a Rooney, Invades Sick Kids' House



Principal Ernest Jackson runs a tight ship at the Chester Academy up there in Orange County. And when a parent calls in to say her two boys are "sick," he sees no reason to take the explanation at face value. So, just like fictional Principal Ed Rooney—the heroic, determined protagonist of the Hollywood epic Ferris Bueller's Day Off—Jackson saddled up and went to personally verify that Michael DiQuattro's two sons were indeed too sick to learn. For that, he may face criminal charges.

DiQuattro says that his wife called in one morning this week to report that that their two sons, ages 12 and 16, would not be attending classes that day due to illness. A likely story! And how could Principal Jackson even be sure that was really the mom's voice? ABC 7 reports that Jackson allegedly went to the DiQuattro home accompanied by the school's guidance counselor, and let himself in. He found the two loafers asleep in their beds—or, at least, what appeared to be two boys sleeping in their beds. Some of these kids are adept at arranging pillows and mannequins under blankets to resemble sleeping children, while they gallivant off to lunch at fancy restaurants masquerading as Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chester.

According to DiQuattro, the guidance counselor left, but Jackson remained at the house in an attempt to motivate the truants to attend class. Instead, they called their mom. "He wasn't invited, didn't knock, didn't let anyone know that he was in the house until he got upstairs," DiQuattro tells ABC 7. "My kids were in their underwear, again you are talking about a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old, where does he get the right to violate my children's rights?" (Incidentally, the actor who played Principal Ed Rooney in the movie, Jeffrey Jones, is now a registered sex offender.)

We called Jackson's office this morning and the receptionist told us he would not be in today. Let's just assume he's gravely ill and there's no point in going to his house to check on him. In his weakened condition, he could take a nasty spill down the stairs and subject himself to further school absences!

Here's the ABC 7 segment. It's worth watching for DiQuattro's outraged interview: