10.12.2005

Thank You for Reinforcing My Child's Budding Prevarication Skills

All the inner calm gathered from Jo's and Badger's watching Mali while I ate lunch BY MYSELF (oh, thank you!) dissipated instantly upon my arrival at Iz's classroom, when I was dragged into an excellent lesson in picking and sticking with lies.

Iz and her classmate Billy were both at the teacher's desk. The teacher brought me over and told me in front of the two children that apparently someone drew something bad on Billy's eraser and he says it was Iz and she says it was him.

The teacher chose to say that it was Iz (which may very well be true, but she had no evidence and Iz denies wrongdoing). She then spent more than 10 minutes cajoling Iz to admit and apologize. The teacher did not back off or modify her attack when Billy admitted that he didn't see Iz do it, that he was told she did it by someone else. Who was not present. The teacher didn't relent even after Billy said that he wasn't all that concerned, anyhow.

I did not tell the teacher to back the fuck off because I do not consider it in any way helpful to challenge her authority in front of her charges. However, my actual opinion is that she's out of her fucking gourd, and that she has no sense of how children's minds operate.

***I interrupt this rant to let you know that Mali has just crawled into my office with a pair of my underwear strung ever so jauntily around her neck.***

Firstly, where does the teacher get off on deciding, without any tangible evidence, that it was my child who was in the wrong? I'm not denying that Iz may be lying--I'm debating her decision to condemn Iz based on conflicting hearsay.

My choice in a "she did it--no, he did it!" scenario would be to punish ALL the children, because those kids certainly know who did it. The wrongly maligned pack members will then make sure justice kicks the ass of the right person.

Another, more kindly choice would be for the teacher to scale back and tell the children involved that she was very disappointed in the wrongdoer, but, without evidence, she was going to have to let the matter go.

Secondly, few directly confronted children will then come out and admit that, yes, it was them--because why would they want additional punishment on top of the interrogation they're already being subjected to? On what planet would this scenario motivate a conflicted, guilty child to tell the truth? Best to deny, deny, lie, and deny to prevent further humiliation.

For the record, Iz never once wavered from her story, except to add additional details. Usually when she's in denial mode she will spin the story in a different direction each time. I believe she is telling me the truth.

The teacher's final directive was for Iz to go home and write a letter of apology to the other child. I guarantee that Iz will be bringing in a letter, however it will be from me rather than my daughter.

In the mean time I will make sure Iz knows that, while bad behavior is most undesirable, she will never be punished for telling me the truth. A new era of honesty! Freedom!

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Later...

I am done with taking the kids to nice restaurants. Even with both Seymour and Babysitter A attending and at the ready, the meal was a hellish stress fest. No More.

But Seymour got me a Nan0! Yeah!

The past few days have been unusually stressful and draining. I would like a stiff drink at some point tomorrow night.

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