View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The nut doesn't fall far ...

Yesterday I was called upon to don my official "Principal's" hat.

One of the younger primary students - who had a history of aggressive behavior - had hit a girl over the head with a book, then locked himself in the boys' bathroom. The female teachers could not get him to open the door, and they were nervous about popping the lock and going into the bathroom.

I asked him to open the door. He asked why. I repeated my request. He asked why again. I used my dad voice.

He unlocked the door.

I kept the door propped open - don't want any accusations lodged -and squatted down to his level, leaning on the wall opposite him. I asked him a few times to tell me what had happened. He refused to talk.

After a few minutes I left the bathroom and spoke with the teachers to get more details, then with the girl who had been hit.

By this time the bell had rung, and he had fled to the safety of mom's van, and they quickly departed.

I called the girl's mother to let her know what was going on, then tried calling the boy's mother. Repeatedly. When I could get no answer, I called dad at work. He was too busy to come to the phone (to talk to a mere principal?). I said it was important and that I would be at the school until a certain time. I then tried mom again, finally leaving a message asking her to call me today.

Dad never called. Mom never called. One of the teachers who has dealt with this family before asked if I really expected them to respond. I had to admit that I was not surprised that they had not.

The boy had lunchtime detention with me. No recess. He still refused to talk.

One of the boy's older siblings kept making jokes about school rules and hitting people over the head with books.

Like it was a family joke.

Imagine what it would be like if I wasn't teaching at a Christian school.



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