A Boy Named Ian

When my daughter was in the 5th grade, I received one of the “dreaded” calls from the office notifying me that she had done something horrific enough to earn a referral to the office. Now normally Sarah’s referrals to the office at this age were “M & M phone calls” which students enjoyed and Sarah normally racked up week after week.   Students would receive these positive referrals for things like going out of their way to help another student or teacher, taking initiative in class, getting caught being polite (holding doors for others, etc.) and the like.

However, on this dark day, she was sitting in the office for a more sinister reason: standing up for herself. I know, right?  How dare she!? Well. You guys know me well. You can imagine my response.  But I’m jumping ahead. Let me tell you what prompted the referral.

In my daughter’s elementary school, the students would leave their main classroom to attend Art (or Music) and then return to the main classroom again. In a state of flux, the class would stand out in the hall in a line for a long period of minutes (who knows why, though I think it was simply to test the students to see just how long they could stand still and whoever thought that was a good idea was a complete idiot).  Well, during this period of flux one day, Sarah and her friend were being harassed by a boy named Ian. Great name. Not so great a boy. He kept knocking their books and folders out of their hands and hitting them each in turn with a pencil. Now I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been cracked on my knuckles and my hands with items and it hurts like hell. Not to mention the annoyance of having to pick up your things one too many times to the amusement of the bully harassing you.

Well, I imagine for my daughter and her friend this little game of Ian’s got old and quick. Now my daughter’s friend, being more soft-spoken than my daughter, didn’t voice her dismay over the treatment. My daughter on the other hand had no qualms about speaking up. And she gave fair warning to Ian to stop or face the consequences. Ian, being brave or stupid, pressed his luck one last time and that was…as they say…all she wrote. My daughter snatched the pencil and stabbed him in the leg with it. Oh, not enough to even break the skin (so poking would be more accurate, but stab is what they put on the referral, so stab it was), but it was enough to startle him and make him cry and therefore embarrass him in front of his friends and the other kids.  And, since this big, strapping boy (much larger than my daughter) was embarrassed, by a girl no less, he told on her.

So. A referral was given, to both of them actually. I was a little surprised to tell you the truth. I figured it would just be Sarah since the boy claimed innocence (which he continued to do in the office) and Sarah readily admitted what she had done. And since our school system makes complete sense, they sent them both together, unsupervised, down the hall to the office which was on the other side of the building. What could go wrong there, right? They made it alive, another surprise.  I was told later, that on the long trek to the office Ian informed my daughter he no longer liked her (lo and behold the real reason for the harassment!), and that she hadn’t hurt him, he only wanted her to get into trouble for it.  To which she informed him, “Yeah, I guess that’s why you were crying then.”  My girl.

My response? Certainly not one the office staff was happy to hear. But it was the same one it has always been and always will be for my children. If someone touches you, you defend yourself. Period.

The ironic thing about it all?  Upon return to the classroom, Sarah was named Student of the Month and received a prize.  My girl.

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15 thoughts on “A Boy Named Ian

  1. Give ’em hell, Sarah! Kick ass & take names! (It sounds like “Ian” was the first of many.)

    It sounds like you and Sarah have a much better grasp on the real world than the school system. (This is my Shocked Gasp of Surprise face!) On the other hand, they’ve probably been sued for completely idiotic reasons by morons pretending to be parents more times than they can count, so that may explain part of it.

    Did you at least manage to not high-five Sarah right there in the principal’s office when you found out all of the details of “The Ian Incident?”

    • It was really difficult, but we did manage to wait until we got to the car to laugh and high-five. 😀 The office staff tried to impress upon me the severity of Sarah’s actions and were not happy with my response that they should be more concerned with the fact that she was forced to defend herself and her friend from harassment and assault. “Boys will be boys” but when girls defend themselves all hell breaks loose apparently.

      • At least the incident should have rid Sarah of any fairy tale-like fantasies about how women are treated the same as men. All the more reason to always carry a sharp pencil. You never can tell when the world might need a little poking. (Without breaking the skin, of course!)

        • She still laughs when she talks about it because she says she hardly put any force behind it at all yet he cried…so she wonders what would’ve happened if she had really meant to hurt him. Goodness knows what she could do with a SHARP pencil. LOL

  2. way to go Sarah. I told my kids when they were little don’t go looking for trouble but if someone bothers you( picks a fight with you ) defend yourself. When a situation happened like that I defended my kids especially if the punishment was unfair (If they were suspended and the other kid wasn’t)I didn’t want my kids to get picked on and other kids think it was ok, then they would continue to get picked on. So kudos for Sarah sticking up for herself. And if that boy Ian really liked her he wouldn’t have bullied her in the first place.

    • You and I have the same philosophy. You should never start anything or bully anyone but always defend yourself and stand up for others. I always told my kids, don’t worry about getting in trouble at the office…it’s ME you have to worry about, and so long as you’re doing the right thing, I’ll have your back.

      I know very young boys may have issues with expressing their feelings and therefore show them in odd ways sometimes (pulling on a girl’s pigtails or chasing her with a frog, etc)…but seriously, parents should be teaching their boys these are not appropriate ways to show they care for someone. And once they get to a certain age, they should most certainly know that’s no way to act.

  3. I know you can’t see me but I’m doing the happy dance. Way to go Sarah! Don’t take garbage from anyone! You’re a great mom and admittedly I fought the schools until my kids were both out of them. Ian is a moron and being trained by society to think that girls should just be happy he’s there. I doubt he learned anything and will probably go on to torture someone other female but at least Sarah showed what she’s made of and she deserved an award just one for being a girl with a brain who knew when to take a stand. Way to go!

    • Well, the award she got was for being a good student, but I think she deserved it for lots of reasons. 😀 I did my happy dance all the way to the car from the office that day. LOL I’m like you, I fight the office too. I don’t have to very often, thank goodness, but I don’t let things slide when they arise, I just can’t. It would be easier to just let things go, sooo much easier. But then what message is that sending, both to Sarah and the ummm…people…yeah, the people, who run the school?

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