Monday, July 20, 2009

"It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down." ~George MacDonald

What do you do when you are sitting at the dinner table and your 6 year old tells you that another student stated that he was making plans to kill the whole class tomorrow? Would you take the threats seriously? Would you contact the school or police or would you take it lightly?

This happened to me today and I am still a bit unsure of how I feel. At first I wasn't sure if I should make my fears known to my son or if I should discuss it more with him or act like it was no big deal.

The child who made the threats honestly scares me. Last month at a class function he kept staring at my 2 year old and telling me I need to give him a spanking. He kept going on about it with this look in his eyes. Then he placed his hand over my sons and held his gaze. He then looked at me and told me if I wasn't going to reprimand him, someone had too.

What was my son doing to deserve this? Well being a normal 2 year old, he was play tapping his brothers and close friends. They were all laughing but this child didn't find it amusing. He then pushed in front of my tiny 2 year old and leaned in to take one of those hits to himself. When it happened he grabbed his arm and started squeezing it hard. I got his arm free and then my oldest got in his face and told him to stay away from his brothers. I separated this argument that wasn't looking like it was going in the right direction before the teacher even noticed what was going on. When the bell rang I quickly picked up my kids and got out of there. Then told my oldest that he could forget about me forcing him to invite said child to his birthday party. He was not allowed NEAR my children.

Back to today.

After sharing this information with my mother, I called the teacher at home and explained the situation. The teacher told me their was an altercation between this student and the rest of the class earlier today but it was taken care of. He wasn't aware that it escalated to this by the end of the day. He further informed me when I confided with him my past with this child and my fears, that their are 8 students in the class and 4 teachers so my son was safe to go to school tomorrow.

I'm just not sure how I feel about having this child in class with my son. I know a lot of 6 year olds play with words and show signs of rage and are completely harmless but I know their are a few that are dangerous. I have looked into this child's eyes. I see he has a very disturbed home. I see he has a lot of anger issues and I could see a child like this losing it.

Do I trust my child in the hands of another adult? Do I let fear control my life? I can't keep my children in bubbles. I can't raise them to fear society and life because their are a few bad eggs out there but when is it walking the fine line? I know my son will be okay tomorrow because the teacher will have a steady eye on this child. But what about next week or the following? What about in September after a month break when this child has not been around peers and may be going through more things that bring on more anger? Am I being over-protective? Am I looking into this too much? I want my children to be safe. They are my life and as their mother it is my duty to protect them. But how long do I let this fear harbor inside of me?


Lit and Life said...

Some do tell me that I am overprotective so I don't know that I'm able to give you a rational, average parent's response. I would imagine that your child is safe with that kind of student/teacher ratio. But I would still escalate my concerns to the principal. That child needs counseling. And the ratio will not always be 2 to 1; at some point it will be much harder for the teacher in the classroom to focus on that child. It's been my experience that it's much easier to deal with problem children if all previous episodes are well documented. That said, I would say as little as possible to my child about what is going on between the adults. I always just told me children that that kind of behavior was not acceptable and that I would prefer they not socialize with the other child. Sounds like that poor child is in a bad place and it's really starting to show.

Holli said...

I actually feel a little sorry for the child who made the threat...its obvious his home life is horrific and that he truly does need counseling. having said that I would feel as you do about your child being around him (although i think with the ratio of teachers to students he would be ok) this is still concerning. I think that talking to the principal about it is an excellent idea and I truly feel for you on this dilemma. Wow. That's a hard one....

Brandie said...

this is hard, and i have no mothering experience to go by. i think talking to the teacher was definitely the right thing. in this world, you can never be too cautious.

that little boy definitely sounds like he needs serious help. and love.

Jo said...

I'm glad you talked with the teacher. How horrifying at 6 years old?! I feel and understand your fears. It's so hard to know what to do, how much to hold on & protect and when to back off. You did the right thing. What's happened since?

Anonymous said...

has anyone considered that perhaps the six year old has a mental illness and is struggling to get by each day in a world that alienates him because of a behaviour he can't control? Yes perhaps he has a sad homelife, but then again he may have loving parents who are trying to get help for him in a society that shuns people who are not "normal". I do feel for you as I am also a mother, and I think you need to do what you feel is right to keep your children safe. Having said that,I understand both sides as I have a son who suffers with what we are discovering is a mental illness, and it is equally difficult and painful for those of us who reside on the other side of the fence.