An Underage-Gambling Story

by Chrystal Downing-Speaks

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Billy.  He came from a very good home where both parents worked very hard to have the better things in life.  His mother was a nurse at the Chris Kids Hospital and his father worked and owned the Speaks hardware store.  

Billy was very fortunate. He, himself, has a paper route that he completed every morning before school.  He was paid him $75 a week.  Every Friday he received an allowance of $40 from his parents, and he picked up extra cash from his dad by working in his hardware store from time to time.  Billy also had a mounting savings account that he added money to every week.  

Billy was a 10th grader at the Speaks Charter School and received good grades in every subject.  He was a star basketball player, was captain of the chess team, and was an all-around team player.  

On Billy’s 15th birthday, he woke up that Saturday morning very excited. He could smell the aromas of his favorite breakfast coming from the kitchen.  All the while his family were making arrangements for Billy to have a gathering later that day for his special celebration.  The party was loads of fun.  Billy received many gifts and over five hundred dollars in gifts.  

One afternoon Billy was coming from basketball practice and noticed his two best friends, Joel and Johnny, were being entertained.  They were playing cards (nothing like uno).  So Joel says to him, “Hey Billy! Wanna play?”.  He answered by saying “I don’t know how!”  Johnny said “I’ll show you.” 

Billy began to play.  He was always a fast learner and began to win.  All of a sudden the boys heard a door slam and it was Mr. Moore, the Principle.  He looked at the boys with fire in his eyes.  Everyone was scared to death and he marched all of them to his office.  He scolded them for illegal practices and underage gambeling on the school premises.  Mr.Moore must have had a good day because no one got suspended.

It was getting late and almost time for dinner.  Billy was $90 dockers richer.  When his parents asked him how was his day? He said PERFECT!  

Billy left his house the next morning with $300.  He had intentions on buying a pair of sneakers and deposit the rest into his savings account.  On his way to school he saw his friend Johnny.  Normally they would have breakfast at McDonald’s but today was different.  They saw a small gathering of friends behind the school’s parking lot.  When they moved closer they found they were shooting dice.  Johnny wanted in on it immediately.  But again Billy didn’t know how to play.  Once he was shown how to play, he became an instant winner.  

When he noticed he was running late for class he decided to skip the first period. He won two more rolls of the dice then suddenly another student that was new at the school wanted to play. He bet double of what Billy had won on the first two games. Johnny had run out of money and decided to keep his last $10.  But Billy insisted on playing more, but was not so lucky.  He lost the first $50 he won, then lost $200 he left home with.  This left him with $50 so he decided to take a break and go to class.  All the while he was thinking of how to get his money back.

After school Billy skipped basketball practice and went back to the place behind the school where he lost a small fortune earlier that day. No one was there so he went home in a very forlorned mood. Billy was in a really tough place. How could he explain to his parents that he lost that kind of money? He couldn’t sleep and didn’t eat much of his dinner.  

The next morning he decided to meet up with his friends, Joel and Johnny. With his pay from his paper route, his birthday money, and his allowance. He began to gamble with the same people from the day before.  He skipped class again and lost more than $400 in playing cards.

Mr Moore was notified of what the boys were up to by surveillance cameras and went to them.  Billy, Joel and Johnny were not going to class and when they did, they were tardy and they started to fail major subjects. They also stopped going to basketball games and chess tournaments.  

Mr. Moore was furious. He immediately requested that Billy and his two friends be kicked off the basketball team. Billy also lost his status as captain of the chess team and they all got indefinite suspensions.  

But once Billy’s parents found out about his underage gambling and how much money he’d lost, his father refused him his paper route, told him he couldn’t get anymore extra money by working at the Speaks hardware store.  Billy completely lost all his birthday money and the money from his savings.  His dad even took the 55 inch tv off his bedroom wall.  

He was in hot water.  All he could do was feel bad about his bad choices and his indefinite suspension.  One evening the phone rang and it was Mr. Moore.  He and Billy’s father had a long talk and Billy was reinstated back to school along with his two friends.  Billy wondered whether this would be the beginning of the end of this whirlwind?  He was to report back to school the next morning.  He had already lost three weeks of instructional training so he knew he had a lot of catching up to do.  

On  the way there he came across the guys he gambled with.  They asked him to join them.  He replied by saying I’ve lost enough money and he kept walking.  

When Billy returned to school he found out that those guys were still suspended and were waiting for another school to accept them.  They were expelled.  When he got to the principal’s office there were his two best friends.  

Mr Moore asked them whether they learned a valuable lesson. They all said in unison “YES, MR. MOORE”.  He began to talk about their self concepts and what he saw in them to be successful.  He also stated that every negative action causes a negative reaction.  And that  they could use more instruction from Mrs.Crystal Speaks in intellectual positive actions for a healthy self concept.     

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