Leland is a bad person. That's pretty much the underlying theme of the story.
Please understand that this is a work of fiction and I do not condone the actions Leland takes or the opinions he expresses. If you all like it I will add to it. Believe it or not, I have an actual plot in mind if it goes well.
As Leland attempted to take a belt of whiskey from his flask he realized that the small, silver container had run dry.
"Damn," he thought to himself "It's only lunchtime and I forgot to bring a backup". He pondered for a moment if he had time to sneak out to his car for a cigarette, but ultimately decided that he would be cutting it too close. He didn't have much regard for rules concerning the use of illicit substances, but punctuality was important to him. The stark reality that the next four hours of his life would be boozeless and smokeless began to set in.
It was moments like this that he was left with no choice but to reflect on the decisions he had made over the last ten years that led him to this point. Eight years of college, three changes to his major, more debt than he would ever be able to surmount, and for what? This was never his dream. He never really had a dream, he just thought this would be an easy gig until something else came along.
Why couldn't he have had it as easy as John? I mean, sure John's parents were dead, but at least they left him enough money to keep him out of ever needing to do any real work. He was probably sitting at his piano at that very moment writing songs about how awesome it was to be a rich orphan. It wasn't a hard-knock life for him, that was for sure. What a dick.
Leland continued to let his mind wander. Surely if John could switch places with him for just one day he would see who had suffered the real tragedy here. However, before Leland could spend too much time lamenting his parents' good health and mediocre income the bell rang and the third graders began returning from lunch.
"Good afternoon class," he started his lecture, "I hope you were all able to sufficiently stuff your faces and continue to push America into the upper echelon of childhood obesity." The children gazed back at Leland confused, but this did not deter him.
"This brings me to an interesting subject, and it's called statistics. How many of you know what statistics are?" Several children raised their hands, but Leland did not bother to call on any of them.
"That was a rhetorical question, children. I would call on one of you, but it would only lead to disappointment for all of us. Statistics is the practice of analyzing large amounts of numerical data in order to infer proportions on a whole from those in a representative sample."
The children stared back at him even more confused than before. Leland grew frustrated with the ineptitude of the class. He had accepted the fact that he occasionally held his expectations of the children a little too high, but he did not anticipate that this would be a difficult concept for them to grasp. He furrowed his brow, rubbed his eyes, began pacing around the room, and continued.
"Allow me to provide an example; the divorce rate in this country is roughly fifty to sixty percent. That is what is known as a statistic. This means that for those of you whose parents bothered to get married in the first place, less than half of them will actually stay married."
The expressions of the class slowly turned to horror. Several of the kids began to well up with tears. Leland knew he had to say something.
"Look; I know that might be a scary thought to some of you, but if you ever happen to find yourself in the overwhelming majority of this room that will end up the product of a broken home it's not a big deal. All it means is that your parents don't love you anymore and that you'll get twice as many presents at Christmas... unless you're Jewish, in which case it doesn't matter because statistically your dad is probably a lawyer, an accountant, or a part of the Hollywood Illuminati. Bobby; you don't have to worry about any of this because your dads aren't allowed to get married in this state because it's supposedly a slight against some phony-bologna god or something."
The kids stared back at him, mouths agape. At first they were too shocked to react, but as the cries began to fill the room Leland took a deep breath and suddenly remembered why he truly chose a career in education.