Yesterday, my nephew along with another student, were assigned a day of ISS for a “lunch infraction”. My nephew’s principal took the time to call my sister and basically back up her decision with part of the story… including an admission of guilt that was more coerced than bribing a kid with candy in a candy store. This is my open letter to her after hearing from Braeden. (She won’t speak to me…trust me)
I know that every parent says that their kid is innocent in school infractions and typically, especially in the case of the other children in our family, we take the punishment…suck it up and learn the lesson. Today was different and not because it was Braeden but because you didn’t even really bother to investigate beyond your own agenda. Your decision to send both children to ISS was a cop out and yet another poor decision on your part as a school leader.
Had you taken the time at all to get to know the students in your school, you would have known about Braeden’s character. He doesn’t speak often and not because of your “fear tactics” but because he’s often analyzing who you are in his head while you speak. Yesterday, you were Judge Judy…his words…and that wasn’t a compliment. It’s interesting that you made a point to tell him that you didn’t know him because you’ve never seen him in your office.
You claimed to have watched a video, yet you admitted that you couldn’t really tell from the video who did what so you immediately told Braeden during “interrogation”…
“It had to be you. You were the one responsible. You were the one bothering her. You did it, didn’t you?”
He didn’t speak up so you took it as a sign of guilt. You had an agenda and you wanted this situation to go a certain way…so you made it so.
Had you taken a moment to really look into this you would have known that all year long, this little girl has harassed my nephew so much that she has been told time and again to NOT sit near him in lunch. Had you watched the tape closely, maybe you would have seen her repeatedly kicking him under the table so hard that he has a bruise on his leg. You would have seen him raising his hand multiple times and being ignored by your staff because there is a thing against tattling, right?
If you had a relationship with our child and talked to him in lieu of AT him, you would have heard how he kept trying to look around and ignore her to avoid being in trouble while she kicked him. You would have heard him say…”I know that she wanted my attention because she wouldn’t stop kicking me but I kept trying to ignore her.”
Just to be clear…
A little girl, with a history of harassing a boy, sits across from him at lunch and repeatedly kicks him. She calls him bipolar to which he retorts back…”no, you’re bipolar”. She continues to kick him. He looks around to ignore her and tries to tell. He’s ignored. She continues to kick him and with one hard frustrated kick, he lifted his leg back in reflex. He raises his hand to tell and she lifts hers right after. A teacher comes over and takes the little girl’s words as law. Both children are taken to you.
You watch the video and see nothing. So, you interrogate and place your own ideas of what happened into the equation.
Not one time did you seek the actual truth before deciding that both children would spend a day together…side by side…in ISS.
Even with what happened, this would have been a great moment to discuss conflict resolution where both children could walk away learning a lesson instead of being locked up…in a room.
Braeden has never been in trouble a day in his life and you’ve accomplished nothing today but further breaking his spirit. The boy who is so meticulous about the details in his homework, being on time to school, playing by the rules and trying to do his best on everything that he does….gets to spend a whole day in ISS for something that could have been settled outside of that system.