My eldest son was suspended from school yesterday, unexpectedly.

This troubled me more than it should have and I couldn’t figure out exactly why.

See if you can help me out.

  • The powerlessness I felt when the principal used the term “zero tolerance”.
  • The powerlessness I felt sitting in her office and being there on her terms .
  • The powerlessness I felt knowing I couldn’t use the words digression or tolerance.
  • The public servant choreography of a one size fits all policy.
  • The walk of shame he took with all his books and bags and chattels, which must be removed from the school for the duration of a 2 day suspension.
  • His delayed breakdown and emotional outburst in the car when we decided which days to take the suspension.
  • Her later admission that she knew of a student who was similarly suspended and ended up getting 600 point in his leaving.

But mostly, it was the ghosts of that dammed place come back to haunt me. I looked at the pictures on the walls, those confining and imprisoning walls, plastered in valedictorians and other cunts whom I hated then, and whose spots have not changed since.

I know he’ll be fine, being well able for that horrid place.

11 responses to “Ghosts

  1. What exactly happened?

  2. zero tolerance has got to be the worse idea ever! especially when it comes to school children. there has to be discretion and COMMON SENSE. i have no idea why y’all’s boy was suspended, but i can understand the frustration as a parent. with 3 sons, i knew the inside of the principle’s office very well! (and all 3 turned out just fine!) xoxox

    (good to see y’all again, sugar!)

  3. dammit, i meant principal!

  4. Hi Ann, caught fighting – he wasn’t the aggressor, he never is but it doesn’t stop him retaliating . Lesson for him is to figure out how to read a situation. Wrecking my head at the moment at home. He’s in that teenage serpent place.

    Hi Sav, thanks much. Yep, zero tolerance is strange concept, period . I have a feeling that it mightn’t be the last time I see the inside of that office  . But you know, he’s bright and curious which means his academic is good which is important in this particular school.

  5. I wouldn’t worry too much about teenage boys and their fighting ways. At that age it’s usually about finding their feet, and establishing the alpha-male role with the other bairns.

    All of my boys unfortunately carry my old ways (to a point) and fisticuffs was common during their teen years. They now run the family business, and have good heads upon their shoulders.

    Take it all with a wee pinch of salt.

  6. Horrible school obviously. But then, so called teachers/educators don’t have a clue about what to do with teens that fight, not a clue.
    But some know all about control and how to make good use of it in an abusive manner when promoted to the elevated position of principal. It’s a sure sign of a very weak character. I’ve seen that several times and in other places too. Nothing you need to do just retain it for future reference, you will most likely get a payback opportunity eventually; it’s called natural justice. I’ve seen that too; quite a bit too.

  7. Jaysus, suspended for fighting?

    There’d have been no one left in my school by the end of any given week if that was common practice.

    I’m as sure as any stranger can be that it’ll work out, schools can be rotten places.

  8. not a lot I can add to the sentiments already expressed….I saw a teacher of mine a year or two ago….became quite angry just looking at him and his snarly bitter face……that cant be good can it?

  9. @ Jimmy – Good to see you out and about man. You want them to be happy and safe ,that’s all really. Thanks for the good advice.
    @ unstranger – Good call on the principal. I don’t like the school, but it was his decision from a long time ago. He’s a competitive person and I think he’ll get on okay. Needs to learn to be wide though, but don’t we all. I’ll take your advice on the retention too.
    @ xbox – Thanks man . Thought it was OTT and that the “system” failed him. Not like it used to be , correct.
    @ Manuel – Snarly bitter face – thanks – that’s exactly what she looked like . Funny the way we hold onto these teenage sleights.

  10. You could appeal the decision, if you think you have grounds?
    I would, but sometimes it’s not black and white, so easier to file away for another day?
    Not all teachers / principals are wizened and bitter. I wish none were.

  11. really good to have finally met you old chap!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s