Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"D" Part  I

Deonte was a skinny, bouncy eleven year old with that urban swagger only urban eleven year olds can have.  His mom assured me he was a good kid, somewhat misunderstood, would be an asset to our sixth grade, and even though this was his third school, there would be no problems.

Mom was a scary lady with very menacing eyes, and she had a tough demeanor.  I had a school full of great kids, so why not another?

So the year started out pretty unspectacular with "D".  Oh, did I mention that he had a million dollar smile?  The kid's infectious grin stole my heart.

Fast forward after Christmas: "D"'s teacher came to me stating that "D" was getting out of hand:  Talking out, talking back, and generally developing a disruptive attitude in the classroom.  After lunch that day, "D" came down to the office saying he had a bad migraine.  We called mom, she came in and said "I'll call his doctor."  Everything was hunky dory.  (Yeah right!)

After dismissal I was chatting in the office with teachers while we waited for the stragglers to get picked up.  A loud voice came roaring down the hall "Who the f*** put their hands on my kid?  i want to see them right now. "  I don't think the statement registered the first time, but the roar kept getting closer to the office with the "f" bomb leading the way.

I ran out into the hall and said "Ma'am, you can't talk like that.  There are children all over the place."  She replied with more "f's" and who dared to lay a hand on her child.  A small voice came from behind me "Ma'am, I put my hands on your child."  I nearly fainted.  The Music teacher, Mr. F.  had spoken those words.

I felt a lot like a border collie trying to herd the confrontation into my postage stamp sized office.  The mother, the child, the teacher, and I crowded into the cramped space with mom yelling the entire time.  Finally, it quieted, and I asked the teacher to explain.  It seems "D" decided to enter the building backwards with half the school walking the right way behind him.  Mr. F. said he told him numerous times to face the right way and "D" ignored him.  "So", Mr. F. said, "I put my hands on his shoulders like this (and he demonstrated with pinkies out) and I gently turned him around.  Mom started roaring again, she was going to press charges, her husband was on his way...........

The school psych, a soft spoken gentleman, walked (squeezed) in and introduced himself.  "I'm Mr. J.  the school psychologist.  How can I help?"  Mom looked like someone hit her.  She kept smacking and rubbing her forehead, then said, "I can't stand this. I have to leave."

Dad showed up about a half an hour later.  He was much calmer, sat down with the teacher and me and listened to what had occurred.  Though dad was reasonable he made his wishes very clear, "My son is not to be touched by anyone."  I said that was noted, but this was a safety issue, not a punitive one.  We did not use any kind of corporal punishment in our school.  I asked dad what he wanted us to do when "D" became uncooperative.  He said, "I don't care how many times you calll me.  I will be up here and I will deal with him."

My directive to the teachers followed his request.

(See Part 2)

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