Comic 1036 - Aggressive

16th Mar 2018, 9:58 AM in Ch. 34 - Promise
Average Rating: 5 (11 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 16th Mar 2018, 9:58 AM edit delete
Wait. What? Can he do that!? It seems a bit overkill and absolutely an overstep of his power, but... I mean, it happened. Instead of worrying about whether or not he can, it might be better to consider that he already did.

Now, before the rioting starts, bear in mind that it doesn't say "the end" at the bottom of the page. It doesn't even say "chapter end". We don't have the full picture here, and there's still a lot of ways this can all go. So let's all just take a moment. Take a deep breath. Take a walk if you need to. And then we can think about what this all really means. For Maria? For Chanel? For any of the the other kids?

What happens now?

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Aroace127 16th Mar 2018, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
You can't leave us like that before a weekend, Jocelyn! In all seriousness though, very worried about how her parents are going to react...
DocMesa 16th Mar 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
Not unexpected but still horrifying. It is also somewhat resonant with my own experiences of bullying.
Anon 16th Mar 2018, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
St. Hallvard is a Private school right? (I can't remember if its ever been said for sure) This seems like the sort of thing that would go to a board of directors demonstrating Father Quenton's inability to perform his job "fairly" ? "properly" ?
Icefall Kitsune 16th Mar 2018, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Icefall Kitsune
While St. Hallvard IS a private school, it is a CATHOLIC private school I think. In this case the BoD is the Church. It is known to be pretty stodgy when it comes to discipline, especially when it comes to Father Quenton types. As Jocelyn said, it ain't over yet.
Kyle 16th Mar 2018, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
I don't think they'd give a shit. If any, if not all of them, are like Quntion, then they'll applaud him for expelling Maria. I bet once her parents arrive and tell Quinton about what they found on her phone,then the BoD will send Quintion on the warpath and allow him to purge the school of the "sinful" and "impure." Maria was the first, and the way I see it, Rain, Rudy, Chanel, Ana, and Emily, are all in danger.

Brother Arthur is actually a good man, but he needs to find his balls and do something to protect everyone, because the way I see it, he's their only hope.
Anon2 16th Mar 2018, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Depending on the School and the Archdioceses the board could have different makeups. Usually its both members of the church, and members of the community. They are though usually appointed by the Archbishop of the area.

Depending on how the case is presented, and how they feel about the LGBT, this case could go either way.
Kyle 16th Mar 2018, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
God damn Jocelyn, once again you leave us with a cliffhanger that has your fans begging for more!!
Seikueon 16th Mar 2018, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Can I just put out that, despite how her parents have proven to be, being treated like this might finally flip a switch? Sure *they* can treat their kids however they see right, but this can't just go smooth for him.
Kyle 16th Mar 2018, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
I'd be very surprised if the Strongwells actually fought this.
j-eagle12212012 16th Mar 2018, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
First Panel has a grammar error
j-eagle12212012 16th Mar 2018, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
As for my opinion on the page itself

I'm not surprised Maria is being punished, I am surprised at the harshness

Good on Maria for calling out Quentin for turning a blind eye to the abuse Todd put Rudy through, there are plenty of people in positions of power I wish I had the guts to stand up to

Also Good on Brother Arthur for standing up for Maria and challenging Quentin on his decision. I have a feeling that if word gets around the school other teachers will back up Brother Arthur and possibly push Quentin into a corner where he has to either reverse his decision or he is forced to resign his position... hopefully both
William 16th Mar 2018, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
Because the case can (and probably will) be presented as a case of student violence I would be surprised to see Father Quenton overturned. After all, it is possible to see Maria as in the wrong (as well as Todd) even with all details known.

This may, however, be the straw that breaks the camels back for Brother Arthur. As Father Quenton would probably see this as a power struggle, I expect that Maria is not the only person leaving the school.
Jessica Bright 16th Mar 2018, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
*takes a deep breath, walks around, stretches out, and then promptly screams, "WAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!" and throws herself through a window*
zophah 16th Mar 2018, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
I don't care how conservative or confrontational a school policy can be. I have NEVER seen or heard of an expulsion for anything short of repeated, egregious offences. This is something that the school can get sued for.
William 16th Mar 2018, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
Note that under many "zero tolerance for violence" policies Maria's case would be cut and dried. I do not see this expulsion as a stretch.
Dersney 16th Mar 2018, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
The problem with "zero tolerance" is that it's nothing but an excuse for laziness or unwillingness of those in a position of authority to actually do their jobs.
FishEye18 16th Mar 2018, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
We finally see Arthur's spine, but at the same time there is still a cliff hanger. Arthur could still convince Quenton to not do this. The chance however, is highly slim, Quenton is clearly a hardliner Catholic, and clearly does not care at all for the impact this is causing. He also appears to either ignore the problem, or only see with his eyes. Arthur brings up the fact Todd has been "troubled", Maria brings it up as well. In my view I think Quenton has a bias towards the girls, and possibly a stronger Bias against Maria, helping to his decision to kick her out of school.

But either way we now have an innocent person, who in defense of another innocent, is being punished for it. This is the crap that breaks people's spirits and causes them to let others walk over them like door mats. It hits even harder for Maria, that she was defending her loved one and now has to suffer for it. Watching her prom dreams and lover be separated from her even more. If she stays expelled, she'll have to see Chanel outside of school, and that already proves highly problematic due to her parents. Given her parents, they likely will try draconian methoods to control her even more, the same reasons they sent the Strongwell kids to the Catholic school.

Jocelyn obviously does not pad this comic from the - very - real shit people deal with, and said shit often makes us question if we really are "civilized". And while I hold my doubts that she'll have the Strongwell kids go through a conversion/correction camp arc, she just may.

If she did I certainly hope such an arc would end with the gayest riot since Stonewall as Maria unites the kids into burning the camp to the ground. Then again, Maria's family name is a lone syllable off from Stonewall, and we're simply trying to connect the dots we have.
Guest 16th Mar 2018, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
People like Father Quentin no longer have the right to live in the modern day, give them a chance and if they blow it then make sure no one else ever needs to deal with them again.
William 16th Mar 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Who will bell the cat?
Queen Wolfen 16th Mar 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Queen Wolfen
doombird 16th Mar 2018, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm'a fite that crusty old miscreant. Turns out nothing gets me worked up like conscious, deliberate double standards.
Lemonado Girl 16th Mar 2018, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
Lemonado Girl
Yeah the moment Chanel says Todd was grabbing her shit'S gonna fly
Royal Bee 17th Mar 2018, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
It depends. Todd's white. Chanel's a queer woman of color. Even if her family has the economic advantage, that makes that immediately harder. Her supposedly-large chest also could be a problem - horrifyingly, victim-blaming is an extremely common legal tactic, and just existing as a potentially-sexualized person means she was "leading him on" to some people. Which... again, shouldn't matter, but this is the US legal system we're talking about.

The immediate concern here would be to make sure Maria is safe and secure. That means getting her out from under her parents' influence immediately and figure out the economic situation. She needs food and housing ASAP, and IIRC Fara doesn't have the money to support her very well, especially with the added expense of hormones now. Even that is assuming Fara doesn't quit in protest (which she really can't afford to do, but knowing her I could see her doing that or saying something that could get her fired when she finds out). Probably the best bet would be finding a way for Maria to take advantage of Emily's mother's eternal absence, but that brings its own set of safety problems.

The next concern would be schooling. I don't really understand how the US school system works in these cases, though, so I'm not gonna go into that.

Legally, the Montoyas have a few options. Criminal charges against Todd and civil charges against the school are the most obvious, but that could bring unwanted attention from the legal system onto Maria. Obviously an actual lawyer would know better, especially since they'd have insight both into the school's policies and the local laws (and also be a professional who knows how to law on a scale that I don't).

One possible path to pursue would be up the Church hierarchy. I don't have a lot of hope for it, since the Roman Church is a bit of a corrupt mess, but in theory that's one of the two main advantages to their system. Honestly, though, that's mostly a path for Brother Arthur to pursue - I don't think many other people here are going to get the Church to actually listen and investigate rather than just assuming their chosen leader is right. Of course, that's assuming there are people in the Church who care more about justice or the integrity of the Church than they do about their prejudices and a chance to hurt queer folks. Brother Arthur might be risking his position if he pushes too hard on that. idk, everything about it depends on a thousand local factors that we just don't know anything about.
RubyRuthNeal 16th Mar 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Maria needs to punch Quentin instead. I would.

Just a thought... imagine this possibility if you can, it shouldn't take much of an imagination given the established history of the church and a number of its priests...

This sick reason why Quentin has never disciplined Todd, and the reason why Todd is such a bitter jerk and a bully is because Quentin has been diddling Todd. Makes reasonable sense doesn't it? If this is the case, let's hope Quentin gets exposed and busted bigtime, and quickly too. Evil incarnate indeed.
Feli 16th Mar 2018, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
Is there a "you" too much in the first panel? I am no native speaker so I am not sure.
SayTaylor 16th Mar 2018, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
It's grammatically correct but it does look that way.
SayTaylor 16th Mar 2018, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
Wait, I just re-read that. There is an extra you in it :)
Space Unicorn 16th Mar 2018, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Entirely coincidentally, the moment I got to the panel where Maria is declared expelled, my computer got a BSOD.

It's a fault of my computer, but dang was it fitting.
SayTaylor 16th Mar 2018, 6:08 PM edit delete reply wide protest anyone? I can think of at least 8 students and 2 staff that would join in.
Kyle 16th Mar 2018, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
A protest would be cool, but it might be too dangerous for Rain. Quinton already expelled a lesbian, and Debbie can keep the ball rolling by exposing Rain as trans.
Gwen 16th Mar 2018, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Alphadoodle 16th Mar 2018, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
This is the point where everyone needs to spread the word, call the school's board of directors, call the media, and generally make as big a stink about things as possible, until nobody can ignore how incompetently this school is being run anymore.
Kyle 16th Mar 2018, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
Therefore so many possibilities for the fallout of this incident. I just hope it ends with Quinton being fired, Arthur getting his job and expelling Todd and making the school a friendlier place, and Maria dancing with Chanel at prom.
Sarah 17th Mar 2018, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
I hope that we get to see Nelly's parents because if I sent my daughter to an expensive private school to get her away from bullies only to find out my daughter was essentially sexually harassed and assaulted (is date me or I get violent sexual assault?) and the person doing so got no punishment when the person defending her got punished the school would find out what hell is really like.
Royal Bee 17th Mar 2018, 3:29 AM edit delete reply
I mean, he committed battery when he grabbed her arm and forcibly yanked her like that. "Date me or I get violent" is definitely assault (though not sexual assault), but it could be hard to get a jury to see it that way depending on the local demographics.

The biggest concern is that if it goes to courts, Maria could reasonably be charged with assault out of this. Raising her fist creates a reasonable apprehension of immediate harm. idk that it'd ordinarily stick just due to the situation, but if her parents testified against her and asked that she be sent to a "reform school"? Then that gets much scarier.
mecaterpillar 17th Mar 2018, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
So I have a question. Why does brother Arthur have to contact Maria’s parents? Maria is an adult. AFAIK, issues of her enrollment should be hers alone to deal with.
Guest 18th Mar 2018, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Oh, it's cause even though she's 18 she still lives in their house and is claimed as a dependent.
mecaterpillar 18th Mar 2018, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure that from a legal point of view, Maria would be well within her rights to ask that her parents not be informed of the situation and the school would be required to respect such request. Granted, she would have take affirmative action to do so if that's what she wants. It wouldn't be automatic. But schools are legally required to keep student records private including from parents of adult students if said adult students ask for it.
riotgrrrl_joyce 17th Mar 2018, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
Quit Jocelyn my heart strings... Maybe Father Quenton is the one who deserves punching...
Guest 17th Mar 2018, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
I'm willing to bet Todd's family is wealthy and probably donates a lot of money to the school. Hence, no punishments for Todd.
Rayga Tana 19th Mar 2018, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
Oh god I am legit shaking right now out of anger.
Drake Zephyr 19th Mar 2018, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
So, security cameras aren't a thing here?
Jocelyn 19th Mar 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
@Drake Zephyr

Are they usually? I've never been to a school that had them.
Jessica Bright 19th Mar 2018, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
this may be a more recent addition to high schools what with the mass shootings every other day.
Jocelyn 19th Mar 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Ah. That's a fair point.
Some Ed 21st Mar 2018, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
Even with security cameras everywhere, I have heard of some incidents where a school's administration decided to take disciplinary action without bothering with looking at the cameras, since they "saw" the last 5% of an incident.

This does not always go well for the school, of course.
Emily 9th May 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, Maria's reaction to questioning made me just . . . flinch. Silently scream out "NO." Because no matter how satisfying it may be, that is the WRONG way to deal with religiously motivated bigots; the slightest dig at their faith will understandably inflame them.

I just . . . wish she'd stuck with cold facts. "He had grabbed Chanel's arm and was threatening her. I was afraid for her safety, and she clearly was too. I'm sorry if I was out of line, but I acted according to my own best judgment; I'm not trying to cause any trouble. I just wanted to protect my friend."

. . . but I guess that sort of defusing would be bad for the story.

(sure, I know she wouldn't need to apologize in a perfect world, but in the world we live in, it really helps.)
Jocelyn 9th May 2018, 11:00 AM edit delete reply

In fairness, Maria's pretty riled up at the moment. It can be really hard to have that kind of foresight and clarity of what not to say when you're mad enough. It's less about satisfaction, and more about literally not thinking it through.
Samantha Jane 31st May 2018, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
To all you crazy fundamentalist Christians out there, coming from a Christian family myself (but a sane and logical one), just remember that Jesus ate with the outcasts like the tax collectors and prostitutes. You might not like someone’s lifestyle. You might not agree with their choices, but your being a hate-filled ass isn’t going to help anyone.
Christians are sinners, not holier-than-though. You’re meant to be sinners who recognise that sin in yourself. You’re meant to chaperone others. Even if you disagree with someone’s life choices you should listen to them and try and understand so you can better your own faith and chaperone others with more wisdom and understanding.
I just don’t get prejudice :(
Sara_L 29th Jun 2019, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps even more than being malicious and evil, Father Quenton is an incompetent idiot blind to the consequences of his actions and decisions. What he's doing to Maria here is wrong and horrifying, but terrifyingly it isn't the worst thing he is doing right now.

He's creating a monster. Todd behaves terribly, assaults people, clearly has no respect for anyone else's feelings wants or wellbeing, feelings entitled, likely resents females in general... And now he is basically being told he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants by the most senior authority figure in the school, possibly his life, with absolutely no repercussions.

This is how you create rapists, this how you create serial killers, this is how you create MONSTERS.

While I don't think Rain (the comic) will actually go this way it is a horrifying thought.

There have only ever been a handful of fictional characters I have genuinely actively hated, but well done on making a character that may well have topped that list.

Probably doesn't help that I was bullied in school and seemingly the only time teachers realised anything was going on was when I fought back. (nothing was ever anywhere near Todd-level, fortunately)
Waffle 19th Sep 2022, 3:59 PM edit delete reply

Is this one of those places that has a Board of Governors or Shareholders or something, some higher mortal authority that can be appealed to?
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