Friday, January 6, 2012

Now I am Mad...

As I am standing in line at the bank I get a phone call from Isaac's principal, which is never good. I tell her I will call her back when I get out of the bank. When I call back she informs me that Isaac was involved in an incident today with another student. She tells me that Isaac and some other kids were playing a "tripping tag" game and one of the boys tripped him and he got angry and tackled the boy (Ben) to the ground and then kicked him in the back. Isaac would be suspended for Monday. Typically Isaac doesn't do this type of thing unprovoked, but I am still upset that he reacted this way. Afterall he was playing "tripping tag", what did he expect? We have been teaching him to walk away when someone does something that makes him mad, looks like that failed.

When he gets out of school I express my disappointment with him. I always question him and get him to tell me the sequence of events that lead up to the incident. He tells me that he tackled Ben because Ben and two other boys were tackling him trying to take him to the ground. I figured he was not telling me the truth since this is not what the principal told me he said. After a few minutes I say to him "I don't understand why you would tackle a boy because he tripped you, you were playing a game where you trip each other." He says "Nobody tripped me." And we go back and forth for awhile about what the principal says he said and his account of what happened. He was adamant that he was not tripped and that these other boys tackled him and he tackled Ben because of that.

I decided to call the principal back. Talking to her I clarify something that the paper she sent home says and then mentioned that Isaac had told me the other boys had tackled him. She says that the others boys gave the same account of the story and she repeats to me that Ben tripped him and that is why Isaac tackled Ben. Frustrated with Isaac and disappointed I say that Isaac must be lying to me. After further discussion and making threats to Isaac (that I fully intended to keep if he was in fact lying) to try to get him to just admit the truth, I remember that anytime anything like this happens the kids have to fill out an incident report in their own words and then the principal recaps at the bottom what the student says.

I call her back once more and say that he is adamant that no one tripped him and asked if I could get the paper that he wrote and she says sure she will make me a copy. Heading toward the school I remind him that I will see what he wrote and that lying to me will get him in more trouble, he doesn't change his story. I am thinking that the kid just doesn't give a crap. The principal is saying he was tripped and reacted based on that and Isaac swears that the other boys were tackling him and that is why he tackled Ben. At this point I am fully expecting to see Isaac's words stating he was tripped and got angry and he just didn't want to admit it.

I realize the gas tank is almost on empty so I stop to get gas and ask the hubby to pick up the paper. We pulled up in the driveway at the same time and lets just say that it is a VERY good thing he was the one to pick up that paper. As I stated before, this paper is a written account of what he says happened and her account of what he said to her. I was floored when nowhere did I read (because it did NOT state) that anyone had tripped Isaac, not in his words or hers. Not only did she lie to me (about him being tripped and retaliating for that) she did not acknowledge that what Isaac told me about the other boys tackling him was also what he had written in his account of the incident. She was specific that all the boys had the same story which was that Isaac got mad after being tripped. Sadly she had no idea just how persistent I would be.

This is not the first time Isaac has defended himself and has gotten into trouble without much happening to the other students. While I wish he would figure out a better way to handle himself, I don't want him to let other people hurt him and he not be able to protect himself. The last time was very concerning to me. Isaac had teased another little boy about liking a girl (typical third grade behavior) and the boy shoved him, smashed his face into the ground and then shoved grass in Isaac's mouth. That was beyond just hitting someone for teasing. After school the boy kneed him in the thigh and told him that's what he gets. Isaac went into the office asking for ice and his brother explained to the office attendant what had happened. The next day I called into the office to let the principal know what happened and it turns out Isaac was in there for retaliating against that boy.

When I got the notice home it stated that Isaac was bullying the kid, which knowing the facts I will have to argue that was not what he was doing. Now I will never fault my kids for defending themselves, but there was no imminent danger to Isaac at the time of his retaliation so for that he did get into trouble. My frustration at this point is the principal's handling of these situations and the fact that she lied to me about what really happened (which is confirmed by the statement of incident report). I just can't understand why she would make it out to seem that Isaac was the instigator when it is clear by her statement and his that he was not.

I did call the school district who will be investigating this incident and looking into making sure that there were consequences given to the other students as well as the discrepency in her account of the incident vs what is on the paper. There is no doubt that she lied to me, but I just don't understand why! She knows that he has been struggling in school and that he has referred to himself as "bad", why would she try and make it worse for him? I am just beyond frustrated!!