Since January I've seen a lot of sixth graders start to morph into seventh graders. In other words, perfectly good kids I've never seen before got hit by the hormone hammer and start showing up in my room, and showing up a lot.
Brat Boy is one of them. Kid never crossed my radar until January and then it was like he was in my room every single week. It wasn't for the same thing either. One week it was disrespect. Another week it was disruption. And even another was for physical aggression. In other words he was a hot mess. But, from what his teachers told me, he was a bit of a spoiled brat. Mom excused his behavior and pretty much let him run the household. Dad, on the other hand, wasn't buying it. And, you guessed it, Dad and Mom are divorced (or divorcing...I never could get a straight answer on that), so Brat Boy lives with mom - and gets his way in everything - but it takes Dad to straighten him out.
This is not a good combination. Usually when kids have a total reversal of behavior we know something is going on at home, and often it's issues with the parents. Whatever the reason, he was having a pretty serious meltdown as we headed towards Spring. I never really had an issue with him - he seemed to like the quiet and would do his work and not cause any trouble for the most part. But the fact that he kept turning up in my room was not a good sign.
So, yet again, he was scheduled to be in my room for a few days, which wasn't much of a surprise. And I marked him absent because he didn't show up. Not unusual with the illnesses we've had racing through the schools this year. But then I got a phone call from the attendance secretary.
"Hi I wanted you to know that Brat Boy is here, but he's not getting out of the car," she said.
"What do you mean he's not getting out of the car?" I asked.
"Well his mom brought him to school and he's refusing to get out of the car. He actually did this yesterday too, but Coach Cool was able to talk him into getting out and coming to school," she said.
"You're kidding, right?" I said.
"Nope, this is becoming a regular routine with him," she said.
Oh my. One of the funniest stories my mom ever told me about going to school - in a one room school house on the Kansas plains, no less - was about a kid who crawled up in the back window of his mom's car and refused to get out. That image has stuck with her for over 70 years! And now it was happening again in our front parking lot!
About an hour later I got another phone call from the front office. "Brat Boy is going to spend ISS up here in the front office," she said. "They're afraid that he might make a break for it if he's out in your portable."
"Good thinking," I said - which was true. Finally - finally! - someone realized that putting kids who threaten to run away out in a portable was not smart. Since we actually walk outside several times a day to go in for bathroom breaks and lunch, it wouldn't be that difficult to make a run for it. And I'm not chasing anyone down.
"I'll send his work up front then," I said, and then emailed his teachers letting them know what was up.
From what I was told, this has become nearly a regular routine with Brat Boy. He does not want to be at school. What he does want (and oftentimes gets if you look at the attendance report) is to stay home and play video games. Several times he was able to be talked out of the car by Coach Cool, but apparently this incident was different. Coach Cool was getting nowhere. Mom was getting nowhere. So, they ended up calling in Dad.
And Dad came. And within two minutes, Brat Boy was out of the car and in the office.
Amazing what Brat Boy could do when properly motivated.