My son was five and in public school Kindergarten. I volunteered a LOT, and like most mornings, was there a few minutes early with Michael. I always slipped up a back hallway with him, to avoid the crowds and overwhelming noises from the crush of kids, and this morning was no exception… only we got caught by “Gilda, the Hall Police”.
This lady… took her job way too seriously, and demanded that Michael sit on the cold floor with about 100 kids and wait for the bell to ring. He looked at her and said “I can’t!”. I knew what he meant, and tried to explain to her: the crush, the echoing sounds, the hard cold floor… he would go OFF if forced to do that.
“Well, he MUST!” Gilda said.
I tried again, to let her know, the school officials knew we went straight to his room, so he could have a few moments to transition before the other kids arrived, and his teacher would NOT appreciate getting a freaked out, stressed out Michael at 8 am.
“I DON’T CARE!” she said, “He’ll SIT in that hall, with the rest of the kids!”
I put out my hand to Michael, and said “Let’s go, buddy, no we won’t. We’ll go back to the office and wait.”
And then “Gilda, the Hall Police” did the unthinkable:
She made a grab at him, trying to prevent him from leaving with me. That did it.
He jerked away like she was on fire and RAN.
He ran past the kids and through the lunchroom.
He ran out that door and up the hall and into the Library.
He ran through classes, in the back door, out the front door.
He ran into, then out of the Teachers lounge.
And ran, and ran, and ran.
I saw what the “scamp” was doing, and positioned myself in the middle of a campus style school, so I could see him, as he careened out of one class and then ducked into another. Of course I TRIED saying “Michael, STOP! Come here to me!” but no luck. He was a RUNNER.
The more he ran, the more people joined in the chase after him. “Gilda the Hall Police”, teachers, various students, the crossing guard… and it GREW.
He ran, they chased, and I stood in the middle… and started laughing.
The school people were not laughing. He kept running, it looked like the entire school was chasing him, and I laughed harder and harder. Why didn’t they all just stop chasing? Hahahaha, you guys just don’t get it!
After about 20 minutes of this nonsense… and I mean THEM chasing HIM. (I understand why he was running, but I never did understand why they all felt the need to chase like that. I mean, where was going to go anyway?)
Anyhow… he was barreling down the long final stretch, heading for his Kindergarten teacher’s class, so I slipped in the back door to her room, and waited. He came FLYING in, grinning from ear to ear, and crashed headlong into his teacher’s tummy.
“Oomph! What’s going on?!”
Here they all came, oh who knows how many, sliding into the room, crowding to get a look at this KID-who-defied-all-of-them. With “Gilda, the Hall Police” screaming “Get the PRINCIPAL!” She raced forward trying to snatch my child, and I blocked her with an arm locked straight out towards her face, and said, “I’LL take him. Don’t you touch him!”
Well, Michael and I, “the Hall Police”, and the entourage made our way to The Principal’s Office. I’m still trying to keep that smirk off my face. He listened to everybody else’s version of Michael’s high crimes and misdemeanors, while we stood silently. Then told them all to leave, so he could talk to us.
When asked why he wouldn’t mind the Hall Police… sorry, the wonderful Hall Lady, he simply and correctly replied, “I just couldn’t”. I also tried to explain the issues and “why my child would run”.
He sighed deeply, and started talking about various punishments. This school is All About Punishments. So, hehehe, he started naming off punishments he thought would be appropriate:
“I can make you come in here and stay with ME!” “Yea!” Michael said, “I’d like that!”
“I can make you help the groundskeeper rake and mulch!” “Oh please?! That would be great! I love raking and mulching!”
“Young Man! I can suspend you!” “Oh, yes, I choose that please, so I can stay home with my mom?”
This went on for awhile, and there was nothing he could do that frightened, or even remotely intimidated my son. He LIKED all the punishment options presented to him.
He eventually sent us back to class, very unsatisfied with how that went, and no resolution to The Big Problem.
Well, needless to say, there were many more occasions, and that school finally DID find ways to belittle, demean, and isolate my child… which, in the end, was a big factor in why I pulled him out. How sad, really, when understanding and positive behavior strategies work ever so much better with Michael.
But I tell you…from that day to this… I still feel that my child outwitted, and certainly out-ran the bunch of them. LOL
And I don’t blame him one bit. Just wish I had my camcorder on me that day!
The more we understand them, the more we can see the WHY in their behavior, and sometimes, sometimes it’s just TOO funny!
— Written by Michelle Morris
This article can also be found on Sensory-Processing-Disorder.com