Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I never suspected that any of my children would have trouble at school. I was very quiet and tried pretty hard to stay out of trouble. I never wanted to be noticed doing anything good, let alone anything bad. Who knows - maybe Seth had a different school experience...

At the beginning of the school year, I received a very uncomfortable phone call from the Vice Principal because Gordon was taking and hoarding some erasers. After talking to Gordon about it, we figured out it was because Gordon had to take a lot of erasers to school and then his teacher took them all. Gordon and I both thought that he would be using these erasers for the school year. He was just taking them back.

During that same phone call, Gordon had to tell me that when he washed his hands at school, he would shake them and some water got on the mirror. I also shake the water off my hands before I dry them. I was sure I knew who he learned that from. I went to school after it was dismissed that day and helped Gordon clean the windows. A project that I thought would take 10 or 15 minutes turned into 1 1/2 hours. We were at the hands of the janitor.

Then I found out that when his class was getting ready to go wait for the bus, Gordon was out the door, waiting for the bus. The teacher was a little embarrassed when I asked why I was hearing about it for the first time when it had been going on for weeks.

Now, fast forward to today. I went to lunch with Seth today. On the way home, I received a phone call from the lady in the Skills Room (where you go if you are in trouble). Naturally it was about Gordon. The conversation basically went like this:

"Hi Mrs. Leary. This is Mrs. (Blank) from the Elementary School. I am calling to let you know that I work in the Skills Room and there was an issue with Gordon today."

Me, "Oh no. What happened?"

Her, "During his class, another boy pinched Gordon on the neck. So Gordon went over and pinched him on the chest." At this point, I was sort of chuckling to myself. Not that it was okay, just that I never expected to be called for pinching. Then she said, "Another kid noticed that Gordon's neck was red so he started to rub it. Gordon thought he was going to hurt him, so Gordon choked him." Yep. You read that right. Gordon tried to choke another student.

Me, "Wow!"

Her, "We have worked it out and I don't think that this will happen again, we just wanted you to be aware."

Me, "Is there anything that you need me to do?"

Her, "No. He isn't going to be suspended or anything. We will, however, be keeping a record and if anything else happens, we will have to come up with another course of action."

Me, "Well, uh, thanks for letting me know."

Then we cordially said goodbye to each other.

I can't believe that he would even think to choke someone. It's not like we go around choking people here at home and we don't watch TV that involves people choking each other.

He did come out of primary one week with a red mark all the way around his neck and when I asked him what happened he said, "(Blank) tried to choke me and I couldn't breathe!"

Gordon is so physical. He is huggy and loves to be touched when he is happy and he is a hitter and a kicker when he is unhappy. I know it doesn't condone what he did, in fact I am appalled by it, but it does explain a little of it, at least to me.


mommaquincy said...

Sounds like he is frustrated by lots of people bugging him about stuff lately. The eraser thing seems pretty trivial, and then it was just one thing leading to another. He's lucky to have such great parents to help talk to him.

Ambs said...

He is a physical kid for sure. I'm sure he has no idea what choking really is either. He'll learn how bad it is from the consequences and hopefully never do it again! :)

Also, when I was teaching seminary I had some bad students that I tried to deal with by myself for quite a while. One of their parents called me up once screaming at me for not informing her right when it started. She thought that I should have called her right after the first time, just so she knew about it.
It was really frustrating to me, because I never would have wanted to call a parent and tell them their kids were being bad, and I didn't have that kind of time to call them every time they did something bad (every day). Talking to parents, as a teacher, can be horrifying. I'm impressed that you've been called for as many things as you have been!

Jessica said...

I often feel like I'm raising an ax murderer, this probably sounds unsympathetic but, it makes me feel better that Sophie's not the only one choking people. :) I'm sure Gordon will be fine. Sophie's mental health person (at her PREschool) talks to the kids about what to do when they are angry, "We get to be angry, but we don't get to (choke/hit/pinch)." They have a whole routine (with a rap associated with it to help them remember) about how they can stop and think and eventually "solve the problem!" We also have a whole list of things she CAN do when she's angry instead. Anyway, you probably already have stuff like that, but I know when my kids do crazy things I just like to have a "line" of sorts to give them to go off of. Just thought I'd share! You're awesome! Love your blog!!

Sharon said...

Just wanted to let you know that I sympathize! Sounds like a lot of frustrating misunderstandings. We missed you this week!