During what I recall as my 6th grade year at Zela Elementary in Nicholas County, West Virginia, a new school was being built on the same property as the old one I attended. The new school was nice; carpeted and tiled floors, spacious classrooms and air conditioning.
It was a world away my day-to-day learning environment.
One of the neatest things about the new school building was that we boys could sneak inside once in a while to engage in exploration and mischief. We never vandalized anything, but we made real nuisances of ourselves. It was fun to hang out in there, mostly because it was a different environment.
Once--and it was a very warm day, so I'm guessing it was in late Spring--we boys jimmied the lock and crawled through one of the easy to open back windows. A young boy named Conard was with us, following behind as usual. Conard had it doubly tough: not only was he a bad student, but most of the guys made fun of him because of his name and because he was poor. He was powerless and we knew it.
Worse, though, was that Conard knew it.
The bully of the group--Flavia, also oddly named, but such a bully that no one mentioned it--lead us down the hallway. Once at the farthest end of the darkest part of the hallway, Flave and several other boys grabbed Conard and shoved him into an unlocked janitor's closet. After tying him up with some rope-like materials found near-by, the boys left Conard alone in that closet for more than ninety minutes.
And I stood and watched.
While I could have helped him, I didn't. Although I could have reported the bullying, I didn't. When Flavia told the teacher Conard went home with his dad, I could have pointed out the lie. But I didn't.
Just like in Rendition.
There was no dramatic repercussions that resulted from the bullying of Conard, I suppose. He was released from the closet unharmed, the bullies--including me--were not severely disciplined and no one spoke of it after that day.
Also just like Rendition--all's well that ends well. If, that is, one can live with one's actions.