Chapter 16 recounts the events of the day Philip returns to school in chronological order, through the use of memos, letters, and conversations. The Chapter opens with copies of condemnatory letters sent to Margaret Narwin. A conversation between the Superintendant and the Principal reveals that political considerations will influence whether the district will support Ms. Narwin. Philip Malloy gets a pep talk from his parents at breakfast, and tells his running partner that he is going to talk to Ms. Narwin to see if he can do extra work so he can raise his grade in English and try out for track.
Ms. Narwin is informed that Philip has been removed from her classes, and Philip meets friends before school who are angry at what he has done. Philip's new homeroom teacher makes his first day uncomfortable for him, and the Principal is confronted by a very aggressive reporter. Copies of letters Philip has received from supporters are shown.
The Superintendant talks with a candidate for the school board, insinuating that the district will not support Ms. Narwin. This exchange and a faculty lunchroom conversation reveal that Ms. Narwin is being sacrificed so that budget issues will not be adversely affected. Philip approaches Ms. Narwin about raising his grade, but she tells him he is no longer in her class and asks him to leave. Ms. Narwin is called in before the Principal and it is suggested that she take a sabbatical. Philip, after enduring more teasing at the hands of his schoolmates, goes home close to tears and resolves that he is never going back to the school. His diary entry indicates that he still blames all his problems on everyone else, refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. Ms. Narwin is contacted by a reporter, and agrees to give her side of the story (Chapter 16).