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DW_a_mom
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29 Oct 2009, 6:12 pm

Today a teacher pulled my son aside and directly asked him about something that had, apparently, been going on in the locker room. The question was if he had been involved/hurt, and the honest answer to that was no. But my AS son, who tells more than the whole truth once he starts talking, had witnessed what went on and told the teacher exactly what he saw. Long and short of it, doing so brought his best NT friend into it all, and THAT backfired, of course. The wonderful, popular child who has always defended my son now feels he is a snitch (he wasn't the instigator, but down the chain he had been dragged into it). In middle school, you don't want to be a snitch. Of course, my son didn't know that ... sigh. Man oh man, untangling this is going to be hard. And you know who I find myself mad at? The teacher who asked my son. Did he ask him because he was worried he got hurt, in which case I'm sympathetic even if it backfired, or did he ask him because he knew my son was incapable of holding out on him? In which case, I'm furious.

So, I'm venting. My son and I are going to write an email to his friend together, in part apologizing, and I am debating sending one to the school to find out WHY my son was dragged into this, and expressing upset over the social issues it causes him.

Teaching my son the fine line between telling the truth (just a "no" to the question would have been honest) and maintaining social conformity to the extent possible (he did not have to share, in this case, what he had witnessed, since he wasn't involved and it sounds like no one got hurt) is going to be very, very difficult. I love his honesty, I just don't want him outcast because of it. I hate walking those lines, and I'm not sure how good I can be at teaching them.


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DenvrDave
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29 Oct 2009, 6:33 pm

DW, I feel for you and your son :cry: Unfortunately, I have no advice, having watched helplessly while several of my sons' friendships went down in flames simply because he didn't know what the social "norms" were in those situations. Its downright heart-breaking. All I was able to do for my son was pass him the tissue box, let him vent/rant, talk to him about the situation, and coach him through how he might handle a similar situation differently if/when it arises in the future. Sometimes I feel like I'm his only true friend in the whole world and, sometimes, maybe that's the best we can do.



Last edited by DenvrDave on 02 Nov 2009, 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gina-ghettoprincess
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29 Oct 2009, 6:53 pm

I still experience this sort of thing, and I'm 14. I never actually go out of my way to be a snitch, but if a teacher directly asks me what happened, I'm not going to lie.


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29 Oct 2009, 7:32 pm

I've accidentally snitched on people.



serenitynow
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29 Oct 2009, 8:50 pm

I know, I love the honesty too. But they tell way more than anyone wants to know, except when a teacher wants to get to the bottom of a situation. I really hope he was not asked because of this, as I would understand your anger.
Since we walk the fine line in teaching them to tell the truth and/or how much is enough, teachers should learn that the consequences can be devastating to a child who has been cornered into "snitching". Even if that was not the intent on the teacher's part, they need to take great pains to avoid dragging our kids who don't know any better, into a situation.
My son was, I think, coerced into writing a note to the teacher on behalf of the class, that one student had pot on him and had smoked it at break. He felt he had to, but he never even saw any pot, or would know the smell! It was all based on what he was told by other kids. :x
The situations do get sticky. I'm sorry that his friend ended up upset and think you're doing a good thing to show him a friendly way to try to resolve it in an email. Hope it works.
And I know EXACTLY the feeling of having to be the best friend. I have had to be his best friend for his whole life, and try not to make him a momma's boy. And he's not, but he loves and appreciates me. :)


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annotated_alice
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31 Oct 2009, 9:24 pm

That really sucks for your son! :( I hope you can help him repair his friendship.



LadyMacbeth
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02 Nov 2009, 8:03 am

Did she tell the other kids it was he who told her? Or did she ask him in front of them all? Either way, that's so unfair and downright wrong for her to do.


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gramirez
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02 Nov 2009, 9:40 am

If she didn't tell the other kids who told, and she didn't ask him in front of them (if she pulled him aside), I see nothing wrong with what the teacher did. Teacher asked a perfectly reasonable question ("Were you involved/hurt?") and all he had to do was say "Yes" or "No". Only if the teacher told the person that your son said it was him, or the teacher asked your son in a setting which could easily be overheard by others, would it be the teacher's fault.


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gina-ghettoprincess
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02 Nov 2009, 10:03 am

gramirez wrote:
If she didn't tell the other kids who told, and she didn't ask him in front of them (if she pulled him aside), I see nothing wrong with what the teacher did. Teacher asked a perfectly reasonable question ("Were you involved/hurt?") and all he had to do was say "Yes" or "No". Only if the teacher told the person that your son said it was him, or the teacher asked your son in a setting which could easily be overheard by others, would it be the teacher's fault.


I think the OP's anger is based on the fact that if that was why he was asked, it's kind of like the child was being used and manipulated because he is honest.


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gramirez
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02 Nov 2009, 10:07 am

gina-ghettoprincess wrote:
gramirez wrote:
If she didn't tell the other kids who told, and she didn't ask him in front of them (if she pulled him aside), I see nothing wrong with what the teacher did. Teacher asked a perfectly reasonable question ("Were you involved/hurt?") and all he had to do was say "Yes" or "No". Only if the teacher told the person that your son said it was him, or the teacher asked your son in a setting which could easily be overheard by others, would it be the teacher's fault.


I think the OP's anger is based on the fact that if that was why he was asked, it's kind of like the child was being used and manipulated because he is honest.

I apologize, I must have missed that.


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DW_a_mom
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02 Nov 2009, 7:10 pm

It turns out they asked him because ANOTHER child had named him as being involved. Even if he had stopped at a simple "no" after the first question ("did someone shock you?) they would have asked more questions, so I guess there was no way to avoid giving the whole story without lying. I've told the school I do NOT want him questioned about these sorts of things in the future and that, in my view, the valid solution to the fact that boys are misbehaving in the locker room is to have an adult present the entire time. The teacher involved told me they would start doing that, but my son reports that it has not happend. uurrgghhh!! !

The teacher assured me that these things pass quickly and I refused to accept that. My thinking being, even if the kids forget, is his angry friend going to go back to DEFENDING him against other kids? It turns out kids do forget. The second day was worse, with most of the school confronting him about it, but he said that in the process he discovered a lot of kids who supported him, and who made a point to tell him he had done the right thing - often kids he's never even talked to before. As for his good friend who got pissed off ... I think the boy's parents talked to him, and, well, he's a great kid, and after a few days of ignoring each other the boy decided to go back to normal. My son feels the friendship is intact, and that is a HUGE relief. If he'll ever go to the measures he has in the past to defend my son, that I don't know. My son is just happy they are still friends.

Is is possible to put in the IEP that my son shouldn't be questioned on discipline issues without a parent present? The whole thing just worries me. Even though we've tried to practice non-committal avoidance responses (that aren't lies), my son just can't do it. He will always tell the truth. A good thing - as long as it doesn't get taken advantage of.

Oh, and I never got an answer on how the kids knew it was my son who told. My son thinks the teacher outright told them. And I've told the teacher that is not appropriate, in my opinion.


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0_equals_true
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02 Nov 2009, 7:26 pm

I blurted out things before without thinking. Even when I knew it was not going to win me friends. But I didn't have any friends to loose. So it was mostly bulling I worried about. One of them was accidently mentioning in class that students had climbed on the roof to smoke.



DenvrDave
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02 Nov 2009, 8:20 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
...after a few days of ignoring each other the boy decided to go back to normal. My son feels the friendship is intact, and that is a HUGE relief. If he'll ever go to the measures he has in the past to defend my son, that I don't know. My son is just happy they are still friends.

Awesome :thumleft: Very happy for you guys!

DW_a_mom wrote:
Is is possible to put in the IEP that my son shouldn't be questioned on discipline issues without a parent present?

Good question, please let us know the answer if you find out.

Thanks for the update DW, you sound like an awesome mom and your family is very lucky to have you!