Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

What a spectacle of note!

So there seems to be a not so pleasant situation developing between Quinn and another child T at school.

I have just mailed the headmaster about it, to see if we can get it dealt with fifth-with (slightly faster than fourth with)....

Quinn and T have known each other since they were around 2 years old, as they attended the same nursery school, along with T's cousin C. C's Mom (S) and I worked together at the time. Tragically T's mother passed away when he was about 4 years old, and from what I can tell S and her mother (the granny) now share the responsibility for T. We mostly lost contact for several years but now T and Quinn are in the same class again.

A few weeks ago the deputy head of the school phoned me to inform me that Quinn had been caught passing rude notes around class, and he was given detention for this. I was sent a copy of the notes, and they were indeed rather shocking - especially for their age. In questioning Quinn he told me that T was involved and that T had started the exchange. Quinn was chastised and dealt with at home, and I decided not to take the matter further at the time, but made it clear to Quinn that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable on any level and will not be tolerated. He seems to have understood and has been working hard ever since, and toeing the line, from what I can tell.

Then yesterday I went to collect Quinn from after-care and discovered that T had broken Quinn's R1800 prescription spectacles during the PE class at the end of the day.

I was told that T tried to trip Quinn, but Quinn dodged him and so T tripped himself. Then he said 'Hey I'm going to wear these' and grabbed Quinn's glasses, ripped them off his face and put them on himself. He then refused to give them back. Another child, L, apparently got involved and tried to assist Quinn to get his glasses back, also to no avail. T then ran off wearing the glasses and slipped on the floor. L tried to restrain T and told him to give the glasses back, but he didn't. T was holding the glasses onto his face, when L let go/lost his grip of T he fell forward and broke the glasses between his hands and the floor.

The left arm off was completely snapped off and the rest of the frame was distorted and one of the lenses is chipped.

We had to make an emergency visit to to the optometrist to get them patched and bent more or less into shape so that Quinn can see at school today, but they are going to need to be replaced, as they have a special frame which is not easy to repair. (Note that I don't have medical aid and have to pay these kind of expenses out of pocket.)

Now I understand that accidents happen, and I understand that T has a complicated family history, as well as Quinn having been through a difficult year himself (with me now being a single parent and sole breadwinner etc), but I am concerned that further issues could develop between the 2 of them, although Quinn has agreed to keep away from T and to call on an adult for help should any kind of uncomfortable situation arise.

So I have sent a letter to the school's headmaster asking him to investigate what is going on between them and also to discuss either with T, the class, or the whole school that that glasses are effectively a piece of medical equipment (and very expensive at that) which is medically required by the child in question to function normally in the world, and should not be touched by anyone else. Certainly not without permission, and never in a rough or aggressive way.

When I spoke to Quinn last night about it and asked what he thinks would happen if HE had done that, he immediately said he thinks he would/should have to pay for it (for a long time). I am pleased that if nothing else I am teaching him to take responsibility, and he has already learned that 'if you do the crime, you do the time'. At the time of the rude note incident he volunteered to write a letter of apology to his teacher, which he did on his own and without supervision from me.

Whew parenting - not for the feint hearted!


  1. Well done for Qs answer :) It is a good sign!

    But argh at having to replace the glasses!! So sucky!!

    Hopefully the school will step up and help get resolution!

  2. this would make me cry. and stress. well done for emailing the head to sort it out.

  3. Sorry about the glasses! I feel your pain on that one! I really hope the issues with this other young boy can be sorted out!

  4. Not for the feint hearted at all.
    Nicely handled.