1. My son's elementary school: Super laid back, outlines the dress code in clear terms about exactly what is and isn't allowed. The teachers are great, the principal's great, I have never had an issue. The school is a fun environment, kids are free to be kids as long as they follow the rules that are set out.
2. My son (9 years old): I know a lot of people rave about their kids. However, my son is the only kid I've met who consistently has everyone else rave about him as well. From friends, to family, to teachers, to seriously - random people on the street. Daycare teachers and school teachers make a point of pulling me aside and telling me that they have never met a kid like my son, Tree. (Not his real name, his nick name though). He even skipped the terrible twos, he has never thrown a tantrum, never whined, it's seriously rare. He's smart, he's studious, he's quiet, and he goes out of his way every day to help out where he can without being asked. From cleaning up at home, to packing his brother's lunches. At daycare, he cleans up other kids' messes when they act up and refuse to. At school, he finishes his work quickly because it's easy for him, and then he'll walk around to the kids who have problems getting it and will sit and help them through it. Without ever being asked. Seriously, everyone who meets this kid absolutely RAVES about how amazing he is. And he is definitely amazing. He is really, really proud of how well behaved he is. He's also popular with all the other students, despite being quiet and shy, the daycare tells me every time he comes in from school the rest of the kids yell, "Tree!" in unison. He's just that kid that everyone loves.
3. Us: We're fun. We have a fun family. We do random things, we enjoy life, and we're definitely a little weird. I'm a volunteer at the school often. An example of our weirdness? I chaperoned a school wide field trip to the zoo a month or so ago. My group included my son, and 5 other children. We called ourselves the mustache crew, used purple glittery eyeliner to draw mustaches on everyone, and decided we would spend the rest of the day talking in random accents. The teachers love me coming along, because the kids have a blast and behave with me, even if they're usually problematic kids, because they're too busy having fun to sit and be disruptive or refuse to listen. The kids love me coming along, and will actually beg and plead with the teacher to be switched into my group. My family life is no different, Tree, his younger brother Teddy and I are constantly just having fun with life, we're carefree, we don't take life too seriously, but we all know the importance of living within the set rules and guidelines. As a family, we don't even jaywalk, and the kids will chastise other kids who do. But we have a ton of fun with everything we do.
So on Sunday, I bought temporary mustache tattoos from Old Navy. My boys loved them, put them on, went to daycare and school, his teacher had no issue with it because it's not against dress code and is just FUN, they went all week with having these and no one had an issue.
Yesterday, Tree had a substitute. She had an issue.
I picked my son up from daycare, and instead of his tattoo - he had open, bleeding wounds on his face. Long ones, deep ones, parts that looked burned, they were still bleeding and he looked in pain. I asked him what happened, and he said that his substitute said he was not allowed temporary tattoos, he was disrupting the entire class, and he was to leave class and scrub it off and come back when it was gone.
The problem with that, that the majority of adults should know, especially ones that work with children - temporary tattoos are DESIGNED to NOT COME OFF WITH WATER. You need baby oil to remove them.
So my poor 9 year old son, who wants to please absolutely everyone and who was worried about being in trouble for the first time in his life, went to the washroom and sat and SCRUBBED and removed half his skin in the process because it wouldn't come off and he was worried about being in trouble.
He went back to the classroom BLEEDING and in pain and in tears, and she just told him to sit down and keep working.
Oh, I was mad. I was beyond angry. I'm like a little mama bear, these boys are my LIFE and no one, NO ONE better cause them any type of pain. I'm amazingly protective of them.
Right away, I called and lodged complaints with the substitute placement program, the Calgary Board of Education, and my son's principal. I'm FURIOUS that my son was injured at school for doing what a teacher forced him to do, and not only if she was too ignorant to realize that temporary tattoos don't come off with water, the second he walked into that classroom injured, I should have been called, first aid should have been given. He didn't even get a bandaid, he had to sit there for the rest of the day with this.
I'm not exaggerating the wounds, y'all, he has one hole in his face about half an inch in diameter that as of this morning, despite my cleaning it, putting medicated creams and band aids on, was still bleeding. I ordered his favorite food last night for dinner to try and cheer him up, he's sad because he's never been in trouble before and he doesn't like the feeling that someone wasn't happy with him. Despite it being his favorite meal, he could not eat it because moving his mouth put him in too much pain. And my son is strong, he's the type that will suck up any kind of pain and laugh it off.
I had a meeting with the principal this morning, and she was just as appalled, because she knows Tree and knows what a well behaved boy he is. She actually said she wishes he wasn't so good at that point, because she would have preferred him telling the teacher a big fat no, being sent to the office, so that they knew what was going on. If he had been sent to the office, he would have been sent right back to class, because temporary tattoos are NOT AGAINST THE SCHOOL CODE and she could have had a chat with the teacher, that she was not within her right to even ask that. She says she confirmed, what she did violated the code that they all have to abide by in the regulations. It could be considered abuse against the child with regards to discipline.
So now she's filed another complaint through HR with the Board of Education, one that will stay on her record forever.
I'm still angry. This teacher messed up in so many ways. 1. It wasn't against code, so she had no right to get him in trouble. 2. Temporary tattoos do not come off with water, my son should not be injured because of her ignorance. 3. If there was an issue with it, he should have been sent to the office instead. 4. Once he returned to class injured, I should have been called, or at the VERY least, he should have had the wounds cleaned up and bandaged.
My son is a good boy, he's an amazing boy, he did not deserve this happening.
The one silver lining out of all of this, that my son and I both think is hilarious, the sub had such an issue with a temporary tattoo mustache, but because of his wounds, I had to leave medication and bandaids on today so hopefully they don't scar, because one is deep enough that it might.
The funny part? All I have at the house is bacon bandaids.
So my son, instead of rocking the temporary tattoo, is now rocking a bacon mustache, and if she's there again today, which I guess due to privacy they couldn't tell me, there isn't a damn thing she can do about it. I told him this morning, that if she returns today and if she so much as talks to him wrong, that he is within his right to walk to the office and demand that they call me, and I will come and pick him up and take him out of school in a split second.
I'm angry though, I still don't feel like just a strike on her file is enough, I want an apology from her to my son with me in the room, and I'm going to keep pushing until I get that. She needs to own up to what she did to my little man.