Saturday, June 02, 2007

More Tales from School

On the one hand, gossip makes me crazy, but on the other hand, I do love it. It's a very bad weakness of mine.

I was in a meeting last week with my erstwhile principal. (There are OTHER principals in this District, but I swear, *my* Principal shows up at practically every meeting I go to. She's a really hard worker.) I went to a negotiations meeting with the teachers and was told that if I just hung around, they were about to settle, and there should be a signature page for me to sign. While I'm waiting, the principal gets a call on her cell phone.

"Uh. This is bad. It's the school, and it's an hour after school gets out. Hold on." She turns her attention to the phone, and we hear, "You're kidding. On ice cream day?...Really?...In front of the whole school?...Well, did you call the police?" Then she looks up from her phone to see two administrators and two Board members looking at her with slackened jaws. "Um. I have to go outside to take this call. It's a doozie."

Yeah. Police? Ice cream sales? Wha? I must know. (Our school's PTA sells dollar ice creams after school every Thursday, so of course there's a zoo out front with kids and parents and cars trying to pick up kids, kids who aren't paying attention to the cars because they're trying to bum a buck off their friend. Crazy. But...police?)

Principal comes back into the room giggling. "Ok. Almost thirty years in education, and this is a first. Parents...PARENTS, mind you!...Two parents got into a fist-fight in front of the school today. In front of the kids."

The other board member, a retired fifth grade teacher, says, "What grade are the kids in? I mean, I assume this is about their kids, right?"

"Second grade!"

"Whoa. What's the deal? Was it about sports?"

"NO! It was the Moms. Two second grade moms started calling each other names, started questioning each other's parenting skills. Because the kids wanted to play together."

"Let me guess," says the retired teacher. "The kids used to fight, and are now best friends, and the parents can't get over it."

"Exactly. The acting principal had to drag them into the office by force, threatening to call 911 on them, and now, goodie, they are both meeting with me tomorrow afternoon. Apparently I need to explain to them that this is not the way we behave in Elementary School."

"Geez. Make sure there's a policeman in the office when you're meeting with them."

And just as a reminder here folks, I live in white suburbia. The school this happened at has an ethnicity profile of 72% White, 9% Hispanic, 7% Filipino, 5% Asian, 5% Black, and we have a grand total of 4 students (!) who qualify for "Free and Reduced Lunch." Basically we're middle-class/wealthy and white. These ain't no ghetto girls -- these are bleached blond ladies with Prada handbags. Fighting. Over playdates.

This is a very weird town.


CindyS said...

As a woman with no kids, I learned fast that you never comment on someone's parenting. Just let the kid burn the house down around you and keep the lip zipped.

And physical anger is getting way out of control.


Kate R said...

Hot shit! Fun stuff for the poor principal to deal with but honestly, you have to riot a novel about this stuff.

Suisan said...

And just know that these are the same sort of ladies who show up to our meetings and tell us not to disagree with each other (no matter how civilly) because we are setting an example to the children. Yeah. Like children watch Board meetings and ignore their parents. Uh huh.

(Apparently children only like unanimous votes.)