Sometimes it seems like Toby is never not in trouble. Like most 8 year old boys, he does everything at 78 rpm in a 45 rpm world (anyone born after 1980 probably has no idea what I’m talking about.) On top of that, he’s also HUGE. He’s probably the tallest boy in his grade, and I’m about 98% certain that he has lead in his bones. The result of this is that people in his general vicinity often get injured. Most of the time, it’s an accident. So when he told me on Monday that he’d been given in school suspension for giving another boy a bloody lip during Phys Ed, I was angry – and then furious after he told me his side of the story.
There are 4 or 5 second grade classes in PE at one time – 100 or more 8 and 9 year olds crammed into a small gym, with 2 or 3 teachers. (Does this sound like a recipe for disaster to anyone else besides me? ) Here’s Toby’s story: They were running around the track, and another boy was hitting Toby with the piece of paper. (The kids have to keep track of the number of laps that they run.) Toby had told the boy to quit several times, and may or may not have twisted his shoulders and elbows to try to keep the other boy away from him. Then, the boy tripped, hit Toby’s elbow, and ended up with a bloody lip. Although Toby had run towards the teacher at about this same time because class was over, he went back to help the other boy, and ask if he was okay.
Here’s what the office referral slip said: Toby punched other student in the face and split.
Ummmm…… Huh?? I admit that Toby is certainly capable of punching someone and giving them a bloody lip. He is more likely to trip and give himself a bloody lip, but there you have it. Toby is not violent or cruel; he’s clumsy and built like a linebacker. So, I did what ever good mother does – I believed him. Then I demanded a meeting with the principal.
I was supposed to meet with the vice principal, but she was out sick, so I met with the principal instead. She had no idea what had happened, so she called the PE teacher. From her office, I heard him say, “well, no, I didn’t actually see what happened”. Then the principal talked to one of the witnesses, who confirmed Toby’s story – the other boy had been running too closely behind Toby, and tripped. I was tempted to do a little jig in her office, but didn’t think she’d appreciate it. I understand that the school doesn’t want the kids beating each other up, but they’ve gone so far to the other extreme. (Don’t even get me started on the time that Toby tripped and fell against a brand new “memorial bench” and needed 8 stitches. On the last day of Kindergarten. And the nurse wouldn’t make eye contact. Suspicious much??) In the end, Toby’s suspension was lifted, and the principal sort of apologized. I wouldn’t call it a victory, necessarily, but maybe now that PE teacher will pay attention to what Toby has to say, and not just automatically assume that since he’s bigger, he must also be meaner.
In other news: I’m going to try to put together a tutorial this weekend. (!!!) I made a stuffed shark for Mason for Valentine’s Day, and Toby wants one as well, so if I can remember to take pictures while I’m making it, I’ll put them all together and post them. Aren’t you brimming with excitement?? I knew you would be!
Finally, here’s a picture of the Toby’s snowman from several weeks ago – apologies for the bad picture quality. Thank goodness I had carrots and black buttons, or it would not have been an “official” snowman. Also notice that Mason is a cannibal.
Have a good weekend!