This is another of those posts that may end up being two parts. It will be lengthy. Can't forget lengthy.
Earlier this week I received an email from my kid's teacher saying she wanted to discuss some behavioral issues. Even though the teacher said it was nothing "earth-shattering," I worried for several days until we finally talked. Here is my best attempt at recounting what is going on.
My kid, following the heels of negative comments that a couple of other kids made, told a girl that she had no friends. Jordan said the girl made a similar comment back to her, and Jordan insists she then told the girl she was just kidding. This story came from Jordan; the teacher told me that she did not know the details since it happened during another class.
The teacher was able to tell me this: After that incident, this girl told the teacher that Jordan hit her with a hula hoop and told the girl if she told on her, Jordan would say the girl hit her first. The girl also said that Jordan took a card the girl was making, crumpled it up, and threw it away. Finally, the teacher said that someone told her that Jordan was spilling soap in the girls' bathroom.
When I confronted Jordan about these things, she vehemently denied them. She did say it was possible she accidentally hit the girl with a hula hoop because they were "walking the dog" with the hula hoops and hers did go flying at least once.
The way I have been grilling Jordan the past two days, that I can pretty much tell when my kid is not coming clean, and that these are not things my kid would typically do lead me to believe that my kid is telling the truth. However, the teacher said that several kids (two? three?) told her about these things. And therein lies the bigger problem.
I scheduled a meeting with the teacher because Brian and I feel pretty strongly that this girl is getting back at Jordan, and I intend to share this theory with the teacher. I am not one of those parents who thinks my kid can do no wrong. Rather, I know my child very well, and those actions are not things she would typically do. However, as I told Jordan, if the teacher tells me that two or more kids saw Jordan do any of these things, I will have no choice but to punish her. Jordan is worried that the girl may have told others that Jordan did these things, and these others may have then told the teacher. I will share that thought with the teacher, but in my mind, it may not be enough.
I have no idea what will happen at this meeting. Unfortunately and sadly, someone is lying. I hope and pray it is not my kid. But I have to say I would not feel a lot better knowing that a girl in Jordan's class lied about my kid in order to get back at her. I would feel even worse if more kids are lying (perhaps about the bathroom, to cover up their wrongdoing). Of course, I see lying almost every time I sub.
The idealist in me suggested to Jordan that she tell this girl that she (Jordan) is getting a severe punishment because of what the girl said. Jordan said that if the girl lied about what Jordan did, why would she then admit to it. I, on the other hand, like to think that might make the girl crack. It worked for Jack Bauer...
I may never really find out what happened. My kid could get punished because others have lied about her. Or I may end up taking Jordan at her word, and she really is lying about some or all of this. I certainly am disappointed that if nothing else, she would say a mean thing to another kid, knowing how others are sometimes mean to her.
And to think this is only third grade.