"I ’ll see what I can do,” Rivky says finally, and the girls sit back, satisfied.

The final bell rings a few hours later, and Rivky pokes her head into her mother’s office, relieved to find her alone.

“Mommy,” she says, at last able to say it with no one else listening, “I think I might go to the newspaper meeting.”

Her mother looks away from the computer she is typing on and smiles. “Honey, that’s great. They’ll be lucky to have you.”

Rivky tries not to make a face at her mother’s obvious relief. She realizes suddenly how in a way she had wanted to be miserable here; wanted to punish her mother for putting her in this position. New girl, principal’s daughter… could it get any worse?

“Thanks,” she says. “So I guess I’ll get a ride home or something.”

Her mother nods. “Okay, or I can take you home if the timing works out. Text me when you’re done.”

Rivky hesitates as her mother watches her. She thinks back to the conversation at the lunch table, to Aliza’s bold stare as she emphasized how important it is to do something about Mrs. Schwartz. She flashes back to Aliza’s face that first week of school when Mrs. Schwartz demanded that Aliza move to the front of the room.

“Was there something else?” her mother asks.

Rivky shakes her head, reluctant to change the mood. Her mother’s pleasure at knowing that Rivky is joining a club is not something she wants to ruin.

Rivky continues down the hall until she gets to the newspaper office, already filled with the staff.

Leah looks up as Rivky walks in, her expression a strange blend that Rivky cannot identify.

“Hello,” she says coolly, and then continues talking with the girl next to her.

Rivky sits and waits for the meeting to start, beginning to doubt this decision. But soon Chana gets up and begins to outline the different articles the girls will be writing, and Rivky feels excited. No one mentions her mother or looks at her strangely, and instead they seem happy to have another writer on board.

“So, Rivky, you’ll write an opinion piece on something that affects the students... let us know what topic you decide to write about. And soon.”

Rivky nods, her head spinning with thoughts. Something about the uniform? Or perhaps the school’s policy on behavior outside of school? She looks over at Leah who seems to be avoiding eye contact.

“Hey,” Rivky says. “Thanks for telling me about the paper. I’m already planning my article.”

“That’s great,” Leah says. “I’m looking forward to reading it.”

“Is everything okay?” Rivky asks. “You seem upset.”

Leah lets out a breath and looks around. She leads Rivky to the hallway and says, “Look, it’s not like you need to sit with me at lunch or whatever, but sitting with those girls... you’re new, I get that, but they’re trouble.