Monday, March 19, 2007

School Days

I’m telling you, nothing feels worse than when your child is hurting. Nothing.

From the minute the boys burst open the front door, exactly 2.2 minutes after their bus drops them off at the corner (that is if they weren’t distracted by any trees or rocks or random treasures found lying on the side of the road) they are coming at me with a play-by-play of their respective school days. It is sometimes hard to listen to both of them at the same time, so I try to give them turns, reminding them to “let your brother finish what he was saying” and “slow down, I can’t understand you when you’re talking so fast” so that I can get a somewhat clear picture of the things that mattered to them on that particular day.

After they’re done with the re-cap, they grab a snack and head on outside to throw basketballs at each other’s heads and get a few more grass stains on their pants, which delights me to the ends of the earth.

The other day though, something unusual in McRae’s “what I did at school today” rant caught my attention.

“Today at recess, some kid whipped me IN THE FACE with a jump rope.”

Wait a minute, what did he just say? Some kid did what? To my baby?

Of course, after interrogating him just a little to make sure that it wasn’t something he started (by saying “hey you, big, mean, older kid over there, yeah you, what are you lookin’ at?”) I listened to his story.

Apparently this “really bad kid” decided to unleash his anger upon my little boy. He has been suspended from school and McRae was not in any sort of trouble as his involvement was purely that of a victim. A victim. My boy.

I don’t know what bothers me more about this, the fact that things like this happen on the playground all the time or that nobody bothered to inform me of it (meaning I did not get a call from a concerned adult regarding my child’s injury). Granted, he was not sent to see the school nurse (whom I went to high school with and I am sure would’ve called me) but obviously one of the “playground teachers” saw what happened or heard what happened and dealt with the situation. No, he wasn’t hurt badly, on the outside. But from his description, it sounds like it was a fairly violent incident. One I am not willing to just ignore.

So, next week is conference week and I will be discussing this with his teacher, that is if anyone bothered to tell her about it.

Our school has a very strict no bullying policy and for that, I applaud them. But what they need to have is a better communication policy, because if a child can be whipped in the face with a jump rope (twice) and then be expected to go on with the day as if nothing happened, I think that’s ridiculous. Just because a kid does not have blood pouring from his wounds, do you think he’s okay? Should we assume that because a child is a boy (as opposed to a girl) and he gets injured but does not cry, that he is not in pain?

If we want to prevent violence in our schools, we need to keep these lines of communication wide open. They need to be as wide open as possible so that parents and care givers can empower their kids with support and understanding when bad things happen.

If he wouldn’t have told me, I would’ve never known. And he would’ve bottled it up inside and let it fester.

Thankfully, my kids still like to tell me about their day. They tell me the good and they tell me the bad. They tell me how many times they went to the bathroom and who won at tetherball. They tell me what their teachers had for lunch and if someone was having a bad day. They tell me all kinds of things that make me roll my eyes inside my head (when they're not looking) and think "do I really need to know this?". Guess what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

14 comments:

Becky said...

oh man i know how you feel. i hate to even hear about my nephew beating up hannah when she's at my MILs. i can't imagine when they're in school with more kids to worry about.

Redneck Mommy said...

The school should have sent home a note if not a phone call.

Good luck with that conference.

mk said...

I would be so upset too! Please keep us posted on what happens.

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. Its great that they tell you everything. If I was the mom of the kid who hurt yours, I would be so upset. I would have called the parent of the child who was hurt.

I hope you do bring this up. I can't believe they didn't tell you.

sweatpantsmom said...

I agree - you absolutely should have been notified. Especially if what happened resulted in the suspension of the other child.

Something similar happened to my daughter last year and we were called immediately to the school. They also called us in immediately after they had conferenced with the other kid's parents as well, to let us know what transpired.

jen said...

wow. you did a terrific job handling this. truly, an example for what comes next for many of us.

wow.

Mamacita Tina said...

I can't believe you weren't notified, and yet I can. Once upon a time, when I taught elementary school, I didn't hear about a lot of the things that went on during recess, and probably should have. Parents definitely have the right to know when their children are hurt. I understand the playground aides have a lot of children to watch, but at least they should tell the teacher and let him/her notify the parents. I don't know why, but it was always a battle with our administrators to make sure this happened. I hope things work out for you.

Oh, The Joys said...

I turn into a mama lion...ROAR!!!

Undercover Angel said...

I agree. You absolutely should have been notified. The fact that you weren't notified is negligence on the part of the school.

Have fun at the conference. I sure wouldn't want to be that teacher right about now...

radioactive girl said...

My daughter comes home all the time telling me things that I would have thought the school should have called about. I am thankful that my kids are so open with me. If I didn't know what happened at school, their bad mood wouldn't make sense, but since they told me, it makes perfect sense.

Kristin said...

In Kindergarten Jake came home and told me that 2 boys moved to another table when he sat down with them at lunch... to this day, I hate those boys.

Of course, they are all fine and dandy but me, I get my back up just looking at them...

Let us know how the conference goes!

Pendullum said...

So sad...
I really do beleive that since a kid was suspended for an action against your son, a note should have been sent home informing you how it was dealt with.

Left Coast Sister said...

Ai yi yi yi!! I would have been a bit enraged to think more energy was invested in the bullier than the bullied... I hope you voice your concerns... think of the bullied kids who don't have the parents (or the personality) to talk about their day... Yikes. how's McRae now, btw?

Grim Reality Girl said...

I'm with you. I would rather know it all than not know... but you are SO right that NOTHING feels worse than your child hurting. I don't get why the school doesn't call the parent of the victem? If we know, we can help our kids not to feel like a victem. If we don't get the head's up, what happens to our dear sweet child if we fail to ask the right question on the right day? Ugh. How will we survive our children's pain? How will we have the strength to survive the teen years....? I am afraid. I guess this is a good thing.... I love that my kids tell me everything... but what if they stop?