Thursday, June 30, 2011

A peek into my future

So yesterday I had to accompany my brother to school for a disciplinary meeting. His mother was supposed to go but she had to work and I am the next oldest girl at home. So I was voted to represent mom. The thing is I have not been in a parent teacher meeting since I was a student and I was the one getting in trouble! Even in America I am not totally sure how these things are supposed to go.

My brother Jefferey had a note saying that he had been dodging classes many times and so his parent was needed at the school at 8 am on Tuesday and until then he could not come to school. It seemed strange to me to punish a kid for skipping school by not letting him come to school for a couple days. I got the story from Jeffery and he explained that he had been late for lessons on Friday morning so they would not let him in the classroom. Then Friday afternoon he and 12 other kids did not know there was an afternoon lesson so they had all missed it.

We showed up at the school at 9. One hour late but no one was bothered by this. An administrator immediately started scolding Jeffery and demanded to know where his mother was. I jumped in and said I am his guardian because his mother and father are both busy. Then I was scowled at and Jeffery was scowled at and we were left to wait on a bench while another parent got reamed out for her child's absence on Friday. Jefferey whispered a translation of their conversation to me. The mother was pleading saying that she beats her son all the time but he is still so stubborn. And the teacher was saying you don't beat him enough, discipline is the key to success.

So finally it was our turn and for some reason I was the one who was in trouble. How could I let my son (seriously do they not see the skin color difference?) miss school so many times??? I asked when did he miss school other than Friday? I asked and I asked and I asked. No one could give me an answer. I think in America I would assume that the teacher was telling me the truth. But here.... it seems that they want to be strict and they embellish the reasons for punishment.

Later I realized that I was supposed to be trying to get Jeffery back into the school. It was him and I against the school. They were threatening to kick him out for his "many absences" and I was supposed to plead and insist that I will punish him and they should let him back in. This is how it goes anytime you get into trouble. Your parent is also in trouble and you have to try to get not kicked out of the school. The school which you have already paid for and probably for many people can not afford to pay again somewhere else. So the teacher's embellish what the kid did wrong to prove their case that the kid should not be allowed to return to school because they are such a trouble maker.

Anyways they told Jeffery that he had to write an apology letter and then he was good to go. I had to sign book with lists of other kids names with their parent's signatures. Not once did I promise to beat him when we got home. :) I also managed to not yell at anyone or call them a liar throughout the whole ordeal. So I am going to pat myself on the back for that one.

When Jeffery got home from school that evening he said all the kids were saying that they did not know that he had a white mom. He said yep, my mom is white but I resemble my dad. Never mind the fact that I would have been 13 when I had him! Hopefully my future parent teacher meetings will be more pleasant.

- Kels

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