Thursday, July 05, 2007

Read about it here, but hopefully not in the newspapers

Son #1, who went back to public school after 4 years at home, missed the first quarter of the school year. Soooo, he ended up needing to take a semester of algebra, over summer school. This has been a pretty positive experience: his teacher is making the work easily understandable. He has 3 days left of class.

This Tuesday, That Girl Who Bit Him Last Year and Was Subsequently Committed passed him her phone number. Then she told him that she was going to check back into the mental health facility, this coming Monday, because she "had a nervous breakdown with her psychiatrist, and told him that she can't tell the difference between dreams and reality, and she wants to kill all her friends and herself."

Son #1 told me this in the car, on the way home from school.

Upon our arrival home, I made three phone calls. First, I called Hubby to tell him what was going on. Then I called the school, reminded them that this girl had been in and out of a mental institution last school year and that she had physically attacked my son in the past, and told them all about what she'd said that morning in class. The Assistant Principal in charge of summer school, Mr. Myers, assured me that they would investigate it, handle it, and report back to me.

Then I called the poor girl's mom, to let her know. She was very apologetic, and it was clear to me that the whole family is trying everything they can, to get this girl the help she needs. She said that they had thought she was getting better, and that she had not mentioned these kinds of thoughts or wishes. She said, "I guess she won't be going back to school, we'll have to take her back to the hospital."

Then it was July 4th, and I was all about going out for pizza and shooting off undocumented alien fireworks with Hubby and the Sons. But I figured the smart thing to do would be to escort Son #1, the boy who stole my heart, into the school building a little early, this morning, to talk with the assistant principal and get his assurance that this girl would not be in the building.

So, today I headed over to the school and asked to speak with Mr. Myers, the assistant principal, and he told me "we have handled it."

I asked what he meant, by "handled it": Did "handled it" mean "we know she will not be in school today, tomorrow, or Monday, because we know she's been committed"?


"Handled it" meant, "we have done all we are going to do, and we are not going to tell you anything, to protect her privacy".

So I asked, "Is she going to be in the building, today? Because my son is not going to be in the building, if she is. He and one other student are the only ones who have, according to her parents, treated this girl with anything approaching kindness, so when she says she wants to kill her friends, MY SON IS ONE OF TWO PEOPLE SHE IS TALKING ABOUT."

The assistant principal and a woman who did not introduce herself, but whom I assume to be the school counselor, offered to let Son #1 take all his assigned work into the media center, and work on it alone, so he wouldn't have to be in class with this girl. But, um, the reason he's in school is to spend time with the teacher. And being all alone in a library is not exactly the same as being protected from a girl who has stated her intention to kill you.

So, I suggested that maybe I should talk with his teacher, and see what she thought was the right thing to do. Maybe Son #1 could meet with her privately, instead of during class time, to complete his last 3 days of school.

We ran into the teacher in the hall.

She had not been told about the threat.

The assistant principal had come to her classroom and asked her cryptic questions about the girl, but didn't tell her why, and didn't tell her where the investigation led. It was all news to her, and if I hadn't told her she wouldn't have known. So, I would say, that is about the most piss-poor version of "handled it" that I can imagine. Wouldn't telling the teacher be the first thing any reasonable administrator would do?

I have to run, but I will post Part Two of the Saga, later today.

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