Shaddup Already!


The State of Affairs

I was leaving school this afternoon at about 4:10. I needed to go to the bank and then I was to meet my National Board mentor and her family for dinner. I was really looking forward to that because they are all lots of fun.

Anyway, I pull out of school and about a block away, there is a huge group of kids surrounding what seems to be a major fight.

The two cars ahead of me pull over and I follow suit. The fight breaks up and everyone scatters. Truth be told, I really didn't see much of the fight, just the scattering part.

I got out of my car and asked if 911 had been called. The person I asked, who happens to be a teacher at my school, said she didn't have a cell phone.

So I get on my phone and call it in. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the street I'm on. So it took me some time to just get the location clear.

The dispatcher asks for my name and tells me they will send someone right out. At this point, everyone is gone except for two young ladies who were my students 2 years ago in 6th grade.

At this point I start hearing the story of what happened. This is the best that I can piece it together.

A white girl and a hispanic girl are having words. The hispanic girl's mother gets involved. At which point the white girl comments that it is pathetic to have your mom fight your battles.

The white girl tries to walk off and she is accosted by the hispanic girl. I really down and dirty catfight breaks out. If you've never seen teenaged girls fight, you have no idea how ugly it can get.

Well the hispanic girl's mom gets into the tussle, pulls the white girl up by the hair and starts hitting her. The hispanic girl's father has to pull his wife off the other girl.

This is where my major concern is. It sounds as though an adult assaulted a child. I wasn't so concerned about the girls fighting, even though that was wrong, it was mutual. What gets me is an "adult" attacking a kid.

Recently we had an incident of a mom who got on a school bus and started beating another child up. That child was in pretty serious condition. All this because the girls had been fighting and mom was protecting her cub. Yeah, whatever.

How about you protect them by teaching them about appropriate conflict resolution and what to do if someone assaults you?

Back to my story. . . I hang up with 911 and realize that all the adults that stopped to intervene are gone. So it's just me. I'm pretty pissed about this. I mean I feel like it's a teacher's responsibility to be a good role model and to help out in a situation. Not just stop and gawk for a couple of seconds and then drive off.

So me and the two girls are waiting. . .and waiting. . .and waiting. So I call my school, let them know what happened and ask if our resource officer is still around. C, the person answering the phone, told me she would check on it.

I hang up and wait a bit. Then I call the school back--Officer T has left and told C that I need to call 911. Um, okay, done that, they still aren't here.

Well, now it's nearing 4:30--I've been there at least 15 minutes and I have to meet my friends at 5:00. So I shoot the shit with the girls a little bit longer and call back the school.

C asks if she wants to send security down there. I say yes, I need to leave but I don't want to just leave without some sort of resolution to this.

We hang up and I wait some more. Meanwhile, all these teachers are driving by in their cars, looking at me, clearly recognizing me and not stopping. Grrrr.

Finally, one of teachers stops to ask if everything is okay. I let her know it is and give her a rundown of what happened. So she leaves.

I get back on the phone to find out if security is on their way. C tells me that PrincipalMan is going to be coming down. I sigh. Finally, someone who is higher up in the chain of command than me. Because at this point, the girls are looking to me as if I know exactly what to do in this situation.

So we wait. . .and we wait. . .and we wait.

Now it's about 4:45 and there is still no sign of the police and no sign of PrincipalMan. So I call the school again. C is pretty shocked that PrincipalMan hasn't left yet, but assures me he is now on his way out the door.

At this time another teacher stops. She gets the low down on what's happening and asks if I would like her to wait with me. I tell her that would be lovely.

Another 5 minutes pass and PrincipalMan shows up. He gets the information and keeps referring to the lady that called the school. Now I'm confused as to whether I'm that lady or someone else called. If someone else called, why didn't they stop? So I'm thinking he just didn't realize it was me who called.

He gets on his phone to Officer T, who tells him that since all the participants are gone, the police won't file a report, so we may as well leave.

Now it's 5:00. Keep in mind that I called 911 around 4:10-4:15. We all leave.

I head out to the restaurant and obviously I'm late since we were supposed to meet at 5:00. Next thing I know my cell phone is ringing.

Now I know a lot of people claim to use their cell phones for emergencies only. Except for three personal phone calls, the only two calls I have made were to 911. This is since December. So I'm not used to my phone ringing.

I answered it and it was a police officer on the phone asking if I had to leave the scene already. Um, I've been there for nearly an hour and yeah, I had to leave.

That's not what I tell him, I tell him that my principal called the school resource officer who advised us to leave.

This cop says "So the police were already there?"

Not exactly, I reply. The principal called our SRO and he told us to leave. It took a little repeating, but I think he finally got it.

So I'm still heading to the restaurant and there is a HUGE traffic jam. I cannot figure out the problem. I travel that road daily and it is almost always around 5:00. There usually isn't more than just tapping of the brakes.

Then I see it--car accident #1.

I get out of that mess and drive down another mile or so and see car accident #2.

I'm guessing this is part of the reason it took so long for the police to get there.

Anyway, I got to the restaurant, my bank was right next door to it and actually open. That meant I could cash my check and eat at the restaurant.

Luckily, my friends were also late--later than me. So it all worked out in the end.

My biggest hope for today is that the girl goes home and her mom makes her press charges against the grown "adult" who went after her. PrincipalMan said they would look into it on Monday, so maybe there will be some consequences then for the girls--who both need to be punished, IMO. But the adult needs to be punished more.

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