I didn't understand what Noda had said, but it sufficed to make me angry, and I jumped to my feet without being fully prepared. I started with "I thoroughly disagree ..." and then suddenly the words stopped coming. Then I added "... such topsy-turvy, settlement is unpalatable," and the entire staff broke into laughter. "The fault does indeed lie entirely with the students. If they're not made to apologize then there won't be an end to it. Even if we have to expel them all. ... what insolence, think just because it's a new teacher ..." And with that I sat down. The natural history teacher to my right voiced a weak opinion. "The students are clearly in the wrong, but too severe a punishment might cause a backlash. I agree with the head teacher that leniency is the best approach." The classics teacher to my left added his endorsement of a gentle approach. The history teacher also followed suit. The cursed lot were all in Red Shirt's camp. With this sort of crowd the school was a lost cause. I had decided I'd either have my apology from the students or offer my resignation. If Red Shirt prevailed I would immediately return to my room and start packing. At any rate, I didn't have the verbal skills to win their support. Even if I could win them over, I had no wish to endure a long-term association with their kind. If I were on my way out, then what did I care of the outcome. If I spoke further they'd no doubt just laugh again. I put on a look of indifference and kept quiet.