ZB was suspended on Friday. A half day in school suspension that he’ll serve on Monday. That’s the end, so let me go back to the beginning.
About 6 weeks ago, a really good friend of ZB’s, one he hangs out with outside of school and sees a fair amount of b/c I am friends with his mom, started bullying ZB (verbally) about not having an HFD-120-Q. It was really surprising to me, and hurtful to ZB who had never dealt with something like that before. In the end, all was made better (but I still told ZB to keep his distance and the teacher moved their seats around).
I don’t remember when, but we attended a party for one of ZB’s classmates. I was really struck by the behavior of one of the little girls. She was sophisticated and sassy, what I would call facety when talking to West Indian friends. She made commentary on all the gifts in a snarky future mean girl way, and her father just sat and watched. I think that was the most surprising thing. He purposefully ignored her behavior.
Not long after, ZB started to have problems with this child. You see, she had a friend that was always with her and ZB wanted to talk to this other friend. Mean girl would block access and so this upset ZB. Eventually, he ended up kicking her desk and then spitting (!) on her when he got mad (teacher was absent that day). We were really shocked by that as was his teacher since that kind of thing, well, he has never done before. His teacher was supposed to write it up, but didn’t since it hadn’t happen before and as she told me “Mean girl has a personality that is…difficult to mesh with.”
This cemented for me that I wasn’t just imagining things, but that the girl really was somewhat annoying, lol. She still chases and annoys ZB and his friends, but I’ve told him to ignore her, or go to the teacher, guidance counselor, or some other adult in charge if she is taunting him.
This past Thursday, ZB’s teacher was absent. The sub he had was the same one present during the spitting incident. She’s also the parent of a girl in his class. During afternoon snack time, ZB took a snack that fell on the floor (it wasn’t his) and ate it. He also took a Lego soldier that wasn’t his and played with it during free time. The sub didn’t notice, but ZB later confessed to her. She told me after school and I said I would talk to him about it. We decided on a punishment and he seemed remorseful, even telling me that I should punish him for a whole week (I did). He didn’t go to school Friday due to an appointment.
Friday morning, I got a call from the assistant principal (who handles student discipline) and was shocked when she told me he was being suspended. She told me that stealing was considered a serious offense and that she was giving him the minimum punishment. (It annoys me that the same rules can apply to second graders that apply to twelfth graders.) I guess that was the point where I was supposed to fall over myself thanking her? Yea, that didn’t happen, heh. Anyway, I asked her to tell me where I could find this info and she referred me to the conduct handbook and I agreed that per district rules, suspension was the thing.
She went on to semi lecture me about how he is 7 (so old), in second grade (so big), and in the TAG class (so smart), so he should know better. Yada, yada, yada, I’m sure she was a perfect seven year old. By no means do I think my kid is innocent, and yes, he is being punished for his actions, but her tone was really…I don’t know, over the top? She also told me that she had heard about his “academic difficulties” which confused me. I really had to think for a second there. “Ooooh, you mean his penmanship?” Yes, that was it. Now that made me mad. I told her bad handwriting isn’t an academic difficulty, and she sort of backpedaled.
To end our conversation about the Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat, she told me she looked forward to meeting me. What a laugh! That showed me that she had no idea who I was or who my kid was. I volunteer at the school, and even when I’m not doing that, I’m in the school building once or twice a week for something or other. The secretary is my next door neighbor, the guidance counselor taught ZB last year. It’s a small school. My kid has been there four years, two years longer than she’s been working there. So, I smirked, said goodbye, and shook my head again wondering at school administrators.