My phone showed me pictures from four years ago. Usually, the reminders are beautiful memories of special moments captured in a specific instant. I’m sure that’s the point of the automatic reminders. But when I saw the pictures a few days back, from four years ago, they were pics of my son’s bruises. The reminders that my son’s kindergarten teacher hurt him. Every year I tell myself to delete them, and I don’t. I don’t know why I can’t.
I use these reminders that there are ugly people out there. I need to remember that not everyone that smiles is a friend.
Since then, I have been thinking a lot about the principal at that school. How when I met her I thought she was the kindest person. I trusted her with my most precious treasure. And when we were in the middle of this horrible nightmare, she did everything in her power to make sure the school covered its tracks. Her goal was to ensure she was protected.
I remember when she confronted me. I took flowers to the para-professional, the aid who reported the abuse. I thanked her for speaking out when no one else did. I thought she was so brave. I thanked her for being my son’s voice.
After that the principal asked me to see her. We moved to an office nearby, she closed the door, and then she chastised me for the flowers. She told me I was bringing unwanted attention to her and the situation.
I was so shocked at this. How is it possible for someone, attends school for four years to get a teaching degree, to become this? I’m sure she thought about helping kids when she decided on this major. When she graduated, she then continued to become certified to be a principal. I’m sure her thoughts were on how to be a better educator. She probably thought of all the possibilities in helping her students succeed.
But yet when it mattered, she cowered away. She hid behind the “district polity”.
I remember asking her about her two daughters. I asked her if they knew the kind of mom that they have. I was so upset. I asked her what they would say, if they knew that she failed in protecting her students. How she was more concerned of what the staff and administrators said, but never cared at what her school did to my son. I asked her how does she sleep at night knowing that this teacher violated my son, and she violated us?
My husband is now in administration. And just now, he just received a call from a concerned parent. It is past 6 in the evening. He is on the phone with the other administrators, scheduling meetings for tomorrow to discuss the concern. I can see how he carries the weight of parents, of teachers, of his students with him. I can see how his goal is to protect these students, to ensure they are safe in his school at all costs. I see how he fights to change things when he knows they are unjust. I can feel his passion for these kiddos.
My son’s principal showed my husband what kind of admin not to be. My husband’s thoughts are that regardless of any consequences, his job is to protect his kids, and to do the right thing.
And how I wish that was the mentality my son’s school would have had back then. Because then we would have not wasted so many hours and hours in trying to hold the school accountable, as opposed to focusing all of our energy on healing.
I try not to think about this much. But I keep the pictures to remind myself that I need to be vigilant.
I actually thought I was over this, but the wound feels like I reopens.
Last year, during one of the renovation projects, my husband had gone with a friend to a home improvement store, when he saw the teacher that hurt our son. We had been having such a great summer. We had been working on the house, the monkey was swimming, we kept saying how blessed we were. Everyone is healthy, we have a roof over our heads, food on the table.
And this man, out of nowhere, came and broke us. My husband was so upset that he had to leave. He was nervous that if he stayed, he’d want to hurt this man. His anger was uncountable.
So he left.
And for weeks after that, we had to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts.
During Christmas Break, the monkey would get his shoes, his coat, his backpack and want to go outside and wait for the bus. I would tell him that the bus wasn’t coming. We would explain that it was Christmas break, and school was closed. He’d get so upset and still ask us to wait outside.
This is his way of telling us he loves going to this new school. He loves his teachers, bus drivers, classmates.
He is safe. He is loved.
I know that there is no deadline for someone to be completely healed. I understand that it takes time. I read that the greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
And my monkey, has both.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Jaya says:

    Good to know that M enjoys school now. He has left behind the bad memories. Resilient child ♥️
    I’ve been a teacher for more than 3 decades now. And it’s the sorry truth that not all teachers have a vocation – for some it’s just a job. But then there are rogue students and even rogue parents, aren’t there? Sad truth of our world. Nevertheless, one carries on.
    My respect to M’s father who is so conscientious. All the best to him and you all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s