When Sunnybuns is done with his day at school, I try to engage him in conversation on the way home. The conversation never lasts long, because he tries to forget school the minute he leaves the building.
Last week, however, when I picked him up on Wednesday, he had a look on his face like I’d never seen before. He pulled my sleeve and led me down the sidewalk with some urgency.
“What’s up?” I asked, looking back to see if we were being followed.
“I have something to tell you!” he said, with this kinda OMG grin on his face.
When we were finally out of earshot of the playground, he said, “Oh Mom, you aren’t gonna believe what happened today!”
He could barely even get it out, he was still so overwhelmed.
“Well,” he started, like someone with a really juicy bit of gossip, “this morning..? The principal..? Well, he called all of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade boys out of class to the front of the school.”
I looked at him quizzically and said, “What for?”
He put his hand up to his mouth and giggled and said, “Well, he said, ‘Today is Toilet Day!’ and then we all started laughing. Then he got really serious and he started yelling. He said, ‘Someone, and I don’t know who, has been defiling our bathrooms.’ What does ‘defiling’ mean?”
“It means that they’ve been doing ugly things to the bathroom. Making it ‘not nice.’”
“Oh. Well, then he said that the janitor had come to him and told him that someone had been pooping on the floors and then smearing it on the floors and walls, and had peed all over the walls, too.”
I was aghast.
I said, “You’re joking!”
“No, I’m not! And then he talked about how gross it was and how the janitor was upset that someone had done it and how he thought that the kids at the school were raised better than that.”
“Exactly! It’s just so gross!”
“Yeah, and then he said, and I couldn’t believe it, he said, ‘You are supposed to (expletive) down the toilet, and not on the floor!’ Man, he scared the beejeezus outta me! I thought for a minute he was gonna cry cause he was so mad!”
I said, “Well good for him. I hope it scared every single one of you boys.”
“Oh I think it did. Who would do something like that, Mom?”
I shook my head and thought, “Some poor messed up child, that’s who,” but said, “I really don’t know, but I hope that if you ever see it happening, you’ll go straight to the office and tell what’s happening.”
“I would,” he said, shaking his head, “that’s just sick!”
Then I commented that I hoped it wasn’t him doing it, and he swore on his xBox that it wasn’t.
He knows I’d have him in there with a toothbrush cleaning that place on his hands and knees.
I stopped by the school on Friday to pick him up and mentioned to the secretary that I thought it was very commendable how the principal had handled the situation. She begged me to tell him, as he’d gotten some really ugly responses from other parents. It was my first meeting with him, and I have to say, he was truly grateful that I was so supportive.
I told him that it showed a lot of backbone on his part to say what he did, knowing full well the repercussions that would follow from some of the parents who want to softsoap things and not make their kids face some harsh realities. It made me angry to think that parents would get upset over a principal cussing about a situation that obviously needed to be seriously addressed.
It had happened several times over the course of 10 days, but they’d narrowed the suspect down to one particular young man. The principal was concerned about the health and safety issues of the students first and foremost, but then quietly added that the child in question must have some serious emotional issues as well, and they were determined to help him sort it out.
Again, a very commendable thing.
I told him that if he ever needed to get tough again and felt like he couldn’t, to call me. I got a boomstick in the closet to knock some sense into some parents.