Tornado S turned 11, nearly two weeks ago. The night before his birthday he asked ever-so-sweetly if I would make brownies for his class. I did. I have a habit of undercooking brownies slightly as I love gooey brownies; so I made sure I cooked them well for the class.
Because of the Walk Out, teachers are suppose to stay at school until 4:30. As I’m an honest person, I was planning on sticking around until 4:30, even though it was my kid’s birthday. Even though it was a Friday.
With the school day over, I was checking email and grades when I decided to turn my phone’s volume up. I noticed I missed 6 calls from my mother.
That’s not good.
She texted me: Check your email. Tornado S is crying and won’t tell us why. Something happened at school.
I clicked into my personal-professional email to find an email from Tornado S’s teacher. “I’m so sorry…. There was an incident…. Three boys told Tornado S that he put bloody mucus in the brownies…. Principal is taking care of it ….. Tornado S cried all afternoon…. Got Tornado E to come in and take care of him …. Come to the school…. I’ll be here until after 5.”
With in moments I was calling the school.
Secretary: School. How can I help you?
Me: I need to talk to Mr. S right now please.
Secretary: Whom may I say is calling?
Me: Full name. Tornado S’s Mom.
Secretary: One moment.
Seriously I’ve never been connected so quickly. So this is bad. I pulled on my authority voice.
Me: Mr. S. This is Full Name. Tornado S’s Mother. I heard there was an incident. I was hoping you can explain it to me.
So apparently a boy, who was getting over being sick, mentioned his mouth was bleeding after eating the brownie. The three other boys heard it and teased Tornado S about it. The 5th grade girls overheard it and told the teacher on duty. Tornado S was very hurt by the incident. There will be a consequence, and it will happen on Monday. But rest assured, there will be a consequence, and Tornado S did not do anything.
And let me say, I wasn’t assuredly rested as there had been an incident earlier this year with Tornado E and another boy. I stared at the email. I shut down my computer and grabbed my stuff and ran out of the school. I made it to the boys’ school in record time.
Hell has no fury.
I walked in to the office like I was wearing my combat boots instead of Mary Janes. I told the secretary that I was there to talk with Tornado S’s teacher; she waved me on. The principal saw me and made I contact with me. I smiled like murder was on my mind and gave him a nod. He ducked into his office. I marched on to Tornado S’s classroom.
And she wasn’t there.
I sweetly asked the secretary where she could be; the secretary suggested I check outside.
Where I found two of Tornado E’s classmates and a mother of a different classmate. Apparently Tornado S’s teacher was working on the talent show. The girls offered to let me go before them, but I declined and waited until they were done.
When Tornado S’s teacher saw me, she immediately apologized. She told me everything that happened, which was a slightly different story than I got from the principal. Shocker. And that the principal was going to let it go, but the teacher was adamant that these boys have consequences. These boys had been causing trouble all year, but their parents defend them. These boys decided to take down Tornado S, who is sweet and kind-hearted. The teacher loves Tornado S. The girls in the class love Tornado S.
When Tornado S refused to tell the teacher what happen, the teacher called for Tornado E to come and talk with Tornado S. Apparently there were tears on all sides. Tornado S was allowed to accompany Tornado E to art class.
The teacher was so angry. She told me I could keep Tornado S home for the last week of school. But I told her Tornado S had to stand his ground. So she told me the art teacher could take Tornado S if he wanted. I said that the bullies needed to know that Tornado S wasn’t pushed around by them. She nodded. She planned on dealing with them in her own way, but she was insisting that the principal suspend them. If she couldn’t make the principal do that, then she would let me know, so that I could throw a fuss. Fine.
We talked a little longer about my boys, about middle school, about high school, about the walk out. Tornado S told her all about the walk out and the protest. “He’s so proud of you.”
When I got home, I let the issue go. Until the next day. After we read Harry Potter, I asked Tornado S about what happened. He lied. He couldn’t remember. I told him I needed the truth. He lied. He said it was no big deal. I told him I needed the truth. This dance went on for 30 minutes until he finally told me what happened. His story was like the teachers. Except no one knew how it ended. Tornado S got up from the lunch table and walked away, leaving the boys to make fun of him to his back.
I hugged Tornado S and told him that was brave.
I sent an email to the principal with Tornado S’s side of the story. I reminded the principal that kids take advantage of the end of the year to cause trouble because they think they would get away with it. I asked him as a mother and a teacher to discipline the boys and give them consequences. They were suspended.
And then the teacher emailed me. She would separate the boys when they got back and monitor them every moment. Another little boy went home and, crying, told the story to his mom. That Monday the boy brought Tornado S a birthday present. The girls formed a tight little gang around Tornado S, making sure the bullies wouldn’t mess with him. I fear if these boys do not go to another school, they will never have a date.
When I got home, I learned the teacher also got Tornado S a present.
I’ve been expecting Tornado S to be bullied for sometime now because he has a bunch of weird quirks. He’s been lucky to have classmates that understand him. These bullies are new to the school, and the leader will not be back next year. I am so glad Tornado S has so many friends.
Next school year, I’m throwing a huge pool party at the beginning of the year to celebrate these awesome kids.
Also I’m going to use this as a wedge to drive Tornado S away from the Dark Side.