HBO’s new scandal movie doesn’t take place on Wall Street or in a strip club. In the new trailer for Bad Education, the big scheme takes place in a suburban high school, right under the nose of a watchful school board.
Bad Education tells the ripped-from-the-headlines story of Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman in the film), the superintendent of Long Island’s Roslyn school district.
In the film, Tassone is a beloved figure, having risen Roslyn’s ranks to number four in the country. However, when the school board learns the district is out hundreds of thousands of dollars from its budget, it’s clear that someone is to blame for the discrepancy. Is it Tassone? His assistant Pamela Gluckin (Allison Janney)? Are they in cahoots in this scheme? They seem particularly tight during their lunchtime ritual on the bleachers.
Bad Education’s trailer offers no answers, but in real life, Tassone and Gluckin were in on this scam together. In fact, when Tassone was confronted with the information that Gluckin was using school money to cover personal expenses, it was Tassone who pled with the school board for leniency, according to a 2004 article in New York Magazine. In reality, both Tassone and Gluckin were stealing from the school, using funds that could have gone to maintaining the elite public high school’s facilities (the leaky roof, for example) and other needs of the district on lavish vacations, plastic surgery, and cars.
Ultimately, six people — four who worked for Roslyn — were convicted in the scam, according to Newsday. Tassone was sentenced for first and second degree grand larceny in 2006 and was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. He was released in 2010 and still received his pension.
The screenwriter of Bad Education has a personal connection to Roslyn: It’s his alma mater.
“I know the film is called Bad Education,” Makowsky told Vanity Fair of the project. “But it’s a bit of a misnomer in that regard...I had an incredible education [at Roslyn.] And I think it’s in large part, strangely, due to this man, Frank Tassone, who recruited most of the teachers I had.”
Check out the trailer below:
Bad Education airs on HBO April 25 at 8 pm.