This Business of Children

This Business of Children

ABOUT Chloe JonPaul

Chloe JonPaul
            Chloe Jon Paul, M.Ed., is a retired educator and writer of several published articles and 2 books entitled What Happens Next: A Family Guide to Nursing Home Visits…and More; Entering the Age of Elegance: A Rite of Passage & Practical Guide for the Modern Maturi More...



The four main characters are elementary school teachers whose personal and professional lives become significantly changed in a single academic year.


Vera is a middle-aged, dowdy but dedicated teacher who is ready for retirement. She has never been one to question established practices. She has always faithfully paid her union dues; preferring to let others take the lead in bettering the profession. What causes Vera to vent her anger during a Board of Education meeting with a speech that brings the audience to its feet?


Dee is thirty-something – a sophisticated newcomer to the Blevins District school system. She arrives there with a history of political and union activism she’d sooner leave behind but somehow can’t. Reluctantly, she becomes a key player in the Blevins Teachers Association’s fight for change in an arena where change was thought to be impossible.

She is a sexy lover who admits to not knowing how to love with her heart. She does, however, possess extraordinary compassion for her students and a colleague whose secret she alone shares.

What makes Dee quit her job with such dramatic flair? Why does this gifted teacher leave the job she loves to become a corporate trainer down South?


Next, there’s Mark who feels trapped in a marriage and a job which have lost their luster. He is the perennial job hunter who scours the Boston Globe’s employment ads week after week, vowing that his resume will eventually land him a position with prestige and more pay.

Mark becomes easy prey for Dee and succumbs to an illicit relationship he feels powerless to stop.

What compels Mark to turn down the perfect job offer when it finally comes through? What makes him decide to stay?


Stu is easily one of the most popular teachers at school. Although he is the butt of Mark’s snide remarks at times, Stu is well liked by students, parents, and staff because he is such a caring teacher.

Stu is a closet homosexual who finally confides in Dee when his lover Jeremy dies of AIDS.

Devastated by the earlier loss of his mother and now Jeremy, he finds solace in the tiny back room of his house where he keeps a magnificent collection of antique lamps. That room takes on a special significance toward the end of the story.


At a time when gay men across America are frantically queuing up to be tested for the virus, Stu is resistant to the idea until Dee convinces him to go “for the sake of the children”.


What causes Stu’s untimely death if it isn’t AIDS? What causes near rebellion among the staff against the school superintendent and the Board of Education after

Stu’s death?


If the questions raised here have sparked a curiosity, then perhaps a full dose of This Business of Children is the next logical step. Vera Harriss, Dee Fletcher, Mark Pettingill, and Stu Martel are waiting to make your acquaintance.