Yesterday, as soon as I got to work, I received a call from the main office, asking me to prepare work for one of my students. The boy was being held there because he had brought certain items to school. I collected my class from the playground, where they immediately started to tell me that their classmate had worn a black ski mask on the bus, and was pointing a play gun at teachers and kids as they pulled up to the school.
I put together a packet of left-over writing and math sheets, took my kids to art, then walked over to the office to hand the work to the VP. She showed me a photo of the "items" (a photo they were required to take) which included a ski mask with cut-outs for eyes and mouth, black gloves, and a gun that was so real-looking my heart just dropped. (Note: the photo you see to the right is an image I found on Google, not my student.)
They were waiting on the police, the superintendent, the parents, and some sort of juvenile detective. I did not see the boy all day, and later found out that, after the meeting with the parents, the mother signed him out. (So much for in-school suspension.) I also heard that the dad said this was nothing more than "a kid thing."
There's much more to this, I assure you. It has been a tough year for this boy - a refusal to do any work, lack of interest, unsupportive and neglectful parents, discipline issues, and a very low self-image. I referred him to the Child Study Team, and all he got was some tutoring. This boy is lost, and I thought I had done my best to find him.
What if, he had pointed that "toy" and a cop had mistaken it for a real weapon?
There are just two more days of school left. The VP told me he would be back to school on Monday. I don't know how I feel about that. Should he be allowed to be with me and the other kids? Should there be more of a consequence? Is this a big deal or not?