School suspensions and girl fights; is there a correlation?

The plot thickens, apparently Karen isn’t the only girl feeling rejected by an “in” group. Several parents contacted us over the weekend after Karen had another incident at school. But this time, they called to support us, and to tell us that Karen’s behavior isn’t the main problem there. Several girls report being bullied, some in real time, and some over a chat network that the kids with access use to communicate. Karen has reported being bullied, but we always go back to the fact that she acts out, and it’s hard for us, from afar, to know who started what. But when I hear from other parents stories so similar to how Karen’s been ostracized, I realize that Karen has been very brave, and has worked tenaciously to control her desire to deck some of the girls who have been particularly cruel to her. I’m so proud of her for the self control she does manage to exhibit on an almost a daily basis.

But this news came to us only after I recieved another call from the school to pick Karen up because, “she can’t stay here due to behavior”. That’s it, no further info. When I arrived, there was still no one to tell me what she did. I took her home, and only later heard that she walked out of her classroom, and locked the door on a classful of kids and the teacher. From what other children said, the teacher freaked out and then some of the kids got hysterical. Considering that all teachers and half the kids have cell phones, I don’t understand the panic, especially by a teacher. I’m certainly not condoning what Karen did, and she’s been grounded for the last two days because what she did was wrong and dangerous, but did it really warrant pulling me out of work for a third time in one month? Not only that, but do I want my child in a classroom with an hysterical teacher next time we have a real air raid siren? I know Karen, and she’d help the teacher get the kids out, but I want a teacher who can be relied upon to keep calm in much more challenging situations than a locked door.

My first question to Karen was whether she understood why what she did was dangerous. I assumed that if the principal suspended her, someone would have explained to her why what she did was dangerous and wrong. So that’s the talk we had when she got home, mostly on the dangers, etc. No one at the school even told her why she was being sent home, let alone why what she did was wrong.

I wanted to schedule a meeting with the school immediately, but Hanukka starts in 5 days, reason enough for the school to put us off for another two weeks. By then, our world will have a different hue.

Gotta thank the great parents for their support during what has been a really hard week for all of us. It totally warms me to know that some of the parents I most admire have been so supportive.

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