Thursday, August 30, 2012

School Discipline

Although I cannot specifically find the reference in the 2012-2013 Elementary Student Code of Conduct that prohibits a student from borrowing exactly three hash browns from another student’s lunch tray in order to line them up vertically in a perfect pretend stoplight, I am sure it is in there somewhere.

I almost feel bad making light of the situation, because when David came home from school on Monday, I knew immediately that something was wrong.  And, although David has made such great strides in communication the past few months that he eventually manages to tell us what is wrong, my mind can fill those intervening minutes—approximately 47 in this case—with horrible images of what might have happened to cause such distress, that when enough details of the Great Hash Brown Caper of 2012 began to emerge, I am sure I could not suppress my smile.

In fact, I may have even been gleeful.  Not that I am pleased my son had to be reminded that you should not take food from someone else’s plate (allegedly).  But to me the infraction seemed so minor—a first grade misstep that compares to Andrew learning the valuable lunchroom lesson that it does not matter who started the game of footsie under the table, if the Assistant Principal sees you “kick” the cute little girl sitting across from you, there will be consequences.

I know that we live in a world where we must take school discipline very seriously.  Gone are the days where you can bite the boy in front of you on the bottom because he is holding up the line at the slide and, rather than be suspended, actually be advanced a grade—another true first grade story taken from family lore.

These days, I know that I cannot send a pair of safety scissors to school in David’s lunch to facilitate opening the yogurt stick because it could be considered a weapon.  I understand that I cannot have someone run to pick him up who is not already listed on the approved emergency contact form submitted at the beginning of the year—both sad statements about our society, but I appreciate any efforts to keep students safe.

So, I will remind David that we do not take food off of someone else’s plate, even to make a beloved hash brown stoplight.

But please forgive me if I am smiling while I do it.


  1. And I am laughing out loud. Poor David. He has always had a real love affair with stoplights! Maybe he should always carry just the right M&M's. Oh dear. Bad suggestion. Just had an image of the mess that could cause. Anyhow - great post! (and I'm giggling about Andrew as well. Yup - don't get caught is the mantra!)

  2. Bless David. I'm sure that one day he will write the great American novel...How Green Was My Stoplight.
    He constantly reminds me how lucky we have no kids in the school system! You have two great kids. ml

  3. I remember when I asked to borrow some legos from a boy, he bit me. The teacher told me off for going near him!

  4. Love your writing :) things seemed to have gone too far with policing kids just being kids! You described perfectly that feeling though as you decipher what's wrong that pause seems to last forever in my head too xx

  5. Great Story Kathy! I guess we just have to laugh! I am new follower of yours. Cannot wait to read more. Forgive me,I have been out of the blogging loop for a while. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  6. Funny story! I bet you'll remember it for a long time. One time Parker got in trouble at school for pretending to smoke a woodchip. Silly school.