Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Me vs. The School, Part 2

We now return to our regularly scheduled program in progress...

Well, I called the principal of my kid's school, as promised. In an unprecedented wise move on my part, I actually waited two days before making the call. Had I not, I'm quite certain a few of you would have seen me on the local news with a graphic proclaiming, "Preposterously Pugnacious Parent Provokes Public School Principal into Pugilistic Pairing". Those Channel 3 guys love alliteration. And the letter "P".

I have to hand it to this guy... He's quite the diplomat. Before I even had a chance to get worked up, he had me eating out of his hand and saying things like, "Oh, definitely. I completely understand." and, "No, no... Of course. I can't see it being any other way." and even, "I must kill the Malaysian Prime Minister."

(That last one is a lot funnier if you've seen Zoolander... trust me.)

The long and the short of it is, I have a Parent Teacher Conference to attend this Friday, during which I have been encouraged to have the teacher provide her "evidence" for the marks given (all "3's", in case you've forgotten). I'm looking forward to the imperical proof of my child's absolute averageness, I tell you.

While I had the guy on the phone, I decided to bring up another issue that my daughter has been complaining about lately, namely the fact that she has been the victim of some bullying on the playground. It seems that a few of the boys have been pushing her down on the ice, or grabbing her ankles when she's on the monkey bars. I'm not ready to explain to her that these actions are likely indications of affection, so I'll just let good ol' Mr Principal deal with it for now.

Wait... There's more.

I happened to be telling a co-worker about these bullying problems, and he related the following story to me.

Apparently, when his son was about the same age as my daughter is now, he too was being bullied at school. His dad (my co-worker... come on, follow along here!), tried giving all the politically correct advice he could think of, from, "Try to stay away from the kid" to, "Tell a teacher when you get bullied".

Not surprisingly, especially with children this age, whose grasp of logic is somewhat less than fully developed, the bullying continued. At the end of his rope, the dad (my co-worker... remember?), finally sat his son down and said, "Look, violence is not the answer to your problems, but, sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself when you are being picked on. The next time it happens, if you can't resolve it any other way, just give the kid a smack. Maybe you'll get beat up, but maybe showing that you aren't afraid to defend yourself will put a stop to all this."

Some time after that, the dad went to pick his son up from school, only to find out that he had been to the Office for fighting that day. "Well, what happened?" the dad asked.

"It's like this,", his son replied. "She just kept trying to kiss me. I warned her not to 3 times, like you taught me, and then I hit her."
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