I got a call from my son’s teacher last week. Apparently, he used an inappropriate word and perhaps a hand gesture to accompany it to another child. That child?s parent had called the principal. The principal asked my son Builder’s teacher to handle it. She did. Builder denied it ever happened.
I know better.
I am sure it is true. The teacher asked my husband and me to speak to him about the incident and remind him of the appropriate ways to handle his anger. Oh, if it were only that simple. That might work for some children, but not this one. The eldest child of the family, he can tell you all the rules and expectations. He can police his little brother for the slightest of infractions. He is the first one to call us out for the rare verbal slip-up.
However, when it has to do with him and his world, Builder will simply make up stories or continue to deny the behavior. I can’t obtain the truth from him. I can’t even get his side of the story. He has Asperger’s and ADHD. It is not like dealing with the average nine-year-old bear. Nope, not so much, is there a sense of the right way to behave or speak in a group setting. Therefore, we get socially awkward plus impulsive from him. It is a lethal combination during unstructured school time.
After I hung up with the teacher, so many thoughts ran through my head. What did Builder do and say? To whom? When and where? Who is the parent that called? Do I know them? Is their child OK? As the parent of the offender, I would like the chance to have Builder offer an apology or to counsel him on how to handle the situation. I count on the school to help me help my child. It makes a difference as to what we say and do with Builder depending on the circumstances of the incident.
So, I called the school to get more details. None were available. Really. I realize it is a fourth through eighth grade building and there are quite a few incidents at this age. But too many to keep straight.
I think there should be a record kept of this type of behavior. Technically, it is bullying. I know other school districts have very detailed forms specifically to record discipline events. As an elementary and middle schoolteacher, I think those forms are a wonderful way to track children who need extra help navigating the social nuances and personalities found in all schools.
At my next meeting with the school, I am going to ask if there are any more incidents, I would like the who, what, when, where, and how. It determines the how, when, where, and who I talk to about my child.