So…wanna hear something great? My daughter got a “pink slip” for punching some kid.
Yeah. Not that great. Or really at all.
The good news is it wasn’t in the face. It was in the arm, which somehow, in my mind, makes it better. And she was provoked, which makes it better only when I consider the alternative: child randomly punching people without being provoked (totally more alarming, don’t ya think?).
So…she was trying to do her work (which is totally believable given her oddly driven, focused and responsible approach to the world), and some kid started making farting noises in her face repeatedly. She tried moving; he followed her. She walked over to the teacher but the teacher was busy – the kid kept on and on – she grew enraged, hit her max – and punched him. The end.
When I first heard this story from Ava, entertained the image of some boy tormenting my child, invading her space and disrespecting her requests to back off, the first thing I wanted to say was “Good. Sounds like the lil’ fucker deserved it. Next time, kick him in the teeth too.” But if I regularly followed the first thought that entered my mind, I would undoubtedly be in jail, so I waited for something more suitable to creep in.
Winning Idea #2 was that it was the teacher’s fault. She wasn’t watching. Why the hell was she letting some spaz walk around bothering kids who were trying to work? Clearly she’s a bad teacher and I should call the school and yell empty threats.
Upon more careful consideration, however, I realized that one was a fail as well.
“Because the bottom line is, kid, no matter what, you just can’t hit people.” (Unless they are touching you, in which case you have every right to go to town wailing their asses into oblivion.)
This one is kind of complicated though. Of course she shouldn’t have lost it like that. On the other hand, I hear this kid has ADD and didn’t take his medication and was, apparently, pretty much batshit crazy toward her. And everybody has their limits. But no matter what he did, Ava can’t hit people. That’s obvious and I told her as much.
What bothers me is that it feels like my kid spends more time dealing with the antics of her classmates than doing any actual learning. Maybe it’s an age thing (4th graders, anyone?) or maybe it’s a public school thing (this is my first time with kids in public school, though I went there as a kid).
Her old school was really structured and traditional and strict, which has its own drawbacks, but at least I can guarantee every kid was given ample space (metaphorically and literally) to do his or her work, and there is no way a teacher would not have intervened if some kid was chasing another down making farting noises in the classroom.
Part of me wants to stick it out and see how it develops, see if it calms down, see if she adjusts. Part of me wants to get her the hell outta there.
You guys have any experience with this sort of thing? Would love to hear it.