Friday, March 26, 2010


After having friends watch over my youngest for two years as caring teachers, I was more than a little nervous to see how he would do on his own now. I counseled with the school about my concerns and requested that careful consideration be given to who would be chosen as his teacher. I knew that it would make all the difference in how he would do. A male teacher was chosen. One who was soft spoken and kind.

Kyle did so well. When I went in for Parent Teacher Conferences in the fall, I was so pleased to find that there had not been any issues. Kyle had never not followed directions, or not completed an assignment he was asked to. He was kind and well behaved. I was thrilled, although prayerful and concerned that he was not all the way there, yet. He was just on a good path. But, to have made it a couple months in and YET to have an incident where Kyle refused to participate or engage was good news.

About a month later I was at work when I received the following phone call: "Hello, this is Mr. X, the school counselor." *** "Yes, Mr. X, how are you? What can I do for you?" *** "Well, I was hoping you might be able to offer us some advice. Kyle is in the lunch room and won't leave". At this point my mind is asking all kinds of questions, like... Did he eat? Is he still hungry?... The counselor continued, "His class left an hour ago, but we can't seem to get him to leave". I really didn't know what to say, as I could not understand the cause of this behavior. I simply offered, "Do you need me to come there" *** "If you could, that would be great". *** "I will be right there".

I drove to the school confused... not understanding what was going on. When I arrived his teacher and the counselor were at the door waiting for me. As I walked in, they explained that he had gotten in trouble from the lunch lady and was asked to sit at a desk in the corner for the remaining time of lunch. He put his head down and had been sitting there for an hour and a half. He refused to speak to or look at anyone. He had missed recess and library. He just wouldn't leave.

I walked into the lunch room feeling a bit intimidated as the teacher and counselor both watch anxiously, wondering what it was going to take to get him to leave. I walked over to him, pulled the chair out that he was sitting in, took his hand and told him it was time to leave the lunchroom. With a solemn face, he stood up and walked out with me. I asked the counselor if I could borrow his room to have a few words with Kyle. He quickly agreed. When we walked in and I shut the door, Kyle broke down in tears and I just sat there holding him. He sobbed.... letting out all the frustration from the day. I just held him.

When he was done, I asked what happened. He explained that he told a joke at the lunch table (alright, think back to third grade and repeat what I say "I"... "P"... get the idea?) It was a joke that had been told by many... for many generations... but the kid he told it to, didn't like it... and told on him. The lunch lady had yelled at him and sent him to the desk in the corner.

He didn't feel like he should have been yelled at and ostracized that way. He was embarrassed... and as he had in the last couple years, when things were too much for him to deal with, he curled up in a ball and shut the world out.

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