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.