Over the past couple weeks, I’ve had a rough go of school events. Not good school events either. The events you don’t want to hear from your school and even more so that you don’t want them involved in. But this time, it was my school and it was my kid. I was putting off saying anything until this was resolved. Even then, I really thought about it before saying anything. Not to do an eye-for-an-eye but if the other mother can go public with her story, I can go public with mine as well.
Matt rides a bus to and from school. On that bus they have assigned seats (since shortly after the school year started). We’ve had some drama with the bus since they assigned the seats. Numerous times I have made a request to have the seat changed because there was an issue with Matt and the little boy he shares the seat with. Numerous times we have been told that the boys won’t fight forever and they would have to stay in these assigned seats.
I didn’t know how bad the issues on the bus had elevated up to until a police officer showed up at my door on a Thursday night. When I say night, I do mean night. It was 9:30 when he showed up knocking on my door. The officer asked me if Matt lived there and I said yes. I then called Matt to the door so that I could find out what was going on. The officer asked if Matt if he had threatened “so and so” on the bus. Matt denied ever making a threat. He did say that both boys had said things back and forth that weren’t nice. The officer asked if Matt could sit in another seat to avoid confrontation in the future, so he explained that the seats were assigned and he couldn’t move without getting written up. I told the officer that I would be in contact with the school the next day because this was ridiculous that this keeps going on. The officer told me that the mom was concerned but mostly that she wanted to make others aware that the school had been involved but that no one had received a call about it.
I called first thing Friday morning to request to speak with the principal. The office worker had stated that the principal wouldn’t be in that day. I told her that much was fine but that something had to happen that day for my bus issue. I explained what I had been told. I explained that the police showed up at my door. I explained that I wasn’t even told there was a problem from the school. I explained that I had made the request numerous times for the change prior and nothing was ever done. I explained that it HAD to end! She assured me that she would have their seats on the bus changed by the end of school that day. I never heard anything else. But I did follow-up with Matt at the end of the day to make sure that his seat had been changed.
I didn’t hear anything else until Monday actually. When the Dean of Students called me finally. This is where I gathered most of my information. I will be honest and tell you that up to this point, I hadn’t really even punished Matt. There are several reasons why I delayed any action on this event but besides the police officer coming and telling me what the other parent had said I wasn’t able to get any further information about the event. I didn’t feel right punishing him ALL weekend over something that might not have even happened. But the biggest reason why I didn’t take any action besides a warning to make sure that if it did happen to never let it happen again was… this same child had done something similar to Matt last year. When he told the school that Matt had threatened him with a knife. That resulted in an in-school suspension. It also resulted in Matt being searched, his desk, and his locker. Only to find out that he didn’t have a knife (he had never carried a knife to school before either). I couldn’t, in good conscience punish him when this was our second go-round with the same kid, with the same kind of thing. I wanted to wait until I got ahold of the principal and discuss what actually happened, what actually was said, and what actions were being taken. So, when I heard from the Dean of Students I was glad that I hadn’t punished him all weekend.
So, I’ll have to start by backing up a little bit in the story. On Thursday morning, Matt got on the bus to go to school. A scuffle (verbal only) occurred on the bus. It was in the morning (as far as I can tell from the timeline) that this “threat” was made. In the end, they did have an argument. They did say inappropriate words to each other. After getting off of the bus, the little boy went to the office. They said he was upset about the argument. He then told them that Matt had threatened him “but he couldn’t remember the threat”. They did call Matt down to the office, where he denied ever threatening anyone. Where he admitted that they did have an argument and said inappropriate words. Shortly after that meeting the office tried to get both boys to come down to the office but the other little boy wouldn’t come down to have a discussion with both of them at the same time. I guess that because the other little boy didn’t say what his threat was and then he wouldn’t come down to discuss it with everyone any further, the school thought they didn’t need to share any of the information thinking it would stop there. I guess it did while they were at school until the little boy went home. Where I guess he told his mom– late in the night (right before the police showed up at my house) about what happened on the bus. Except that he added in the part about the threat was made with a gun.
I don’t know why I didn’t hear anything on Friday about the incident further. I only say that because the Dean of Students told me she was out on Friday. But then in the same little paragraph told me that she had made contact with the other little boy’s mom on Friday. But I am a big part of this equation… like it or not. So, I guess sometime between Friday and Monday they pulled the cameras on the bus. They watched it (numerous times from what I can tell). Then they wanted to boys to come down and kind of discuss what was happening when on the bus ride. There is video and audio but the audio is a little hard to hear because of the noise on the bus (which is weird because that bus driver is strict and that is why they have assigned seats to begin with). Matt did show up and went over the video with them. The other little boy refused to come down I guess. What Matt was describing is what was happening throughout the video. So, at no point did anyone hear a threat being made on the audio nor did it fit in with what the video was showing.
I think what started the issue was that the little boy was in Matt’s assigned seat on the bus. They have had this issue before but Matt tried to sit somewhere else and the bus driver/assistant wrote him up for being out of his seat. So he had turned to the driver and said that he can’t sit in his seat because the other kid there. He was told that he HAD to sit in the seat assigned to him. Which caused problems.
Given the fact that we live almost 2 miles from the school he attends, Matt has been worried about being kicked off the bus for his write-ups. This isn’t the first time and typically these write-ups were caused because he wasn’t in his assigned seat (because the kid was in it) and the other was for having his hands on the kid (as the other kid pushed him first). Either way, I did discuss Matt’s concern with the Dean of Students and she said that they aren’t even close to the realm of kicking him off the bus. So that helped ease some of Matt’s worry.
These two boys only have one other class together. For the most part they weren’t having any issues with each other in that class. However, I guess some have started in that class where the boy and his friends sit there and stare at Matt and start saying things about him. But that’s minor compared. I don’t know why these two boys have to have such a bad ending to a friendship. Last year, prior to the knife thing these two boys were best friends! Then there was something that happened and things haven’t been the same ever since! It really makes it stressful knowing that you just don’t know what the next day is going to bring.