A) There is a vein of evil running through the school that stems both from The Vigils and from the administration - namely Brother Leon. Most teachers and students seem to have abandoned hope, perhaps because they feel that they have no choice other than to obey the dogmatic authority structure that is currently in place.
B) The chocolate being sold was originally packaged for a different purpose - Mother's Day - but since the holiday has passed, Brother Leon has been able to secure a good deal. From the beginning, the chocolate sale is thus fraudulent. The boys are forced to sell a huge number of useless products for the sole purpose of inflating the ego of a power-hungry dictator.
C) Jerry's father is both physically and emotionally remote: he keeps strange hours, and has never recovered from the death of his wife. The fact that Mr. Renault sees himself as a failed man - a pharmacist who never became a doctor - gives Jerry a distorted, hopeless view of adult life which may influence his decision to not seek out help from adults.