Emily came in from school Tuesday and showed me her finger. The middle one. She and her friends had hugged goodbye and were moving toward school busses. She hangs with an extraordinary bunch of huggers! A girl Emily knows from band asked for a hug, too. Moving in the line into the bus, Emily said no and the girl aimed a kick that Emily deflected with her hand. Bent the middle finger right back, Emily said.
Dr. Grandma diagnosed a well stoved finger. In addition to ice, we rounded up a finger splint so old the foam had dried and fallen away. The splint was resuscitated and applied, and I told Emily to go to the school nurse the next day and report the injury.
The report I received from Emily when she came in Wednesday night was completely unexpected. The nurse offered her pain meds and sent her along. She had a test in another class, explained her problem to the teacher and was told to do her best, writing with the injured digit. The same thing happened in another class. In spite of complete information on the cause of the injury, three teachers and the nurse took a pass.
School is closed for the day by the time these end of the liners get off the bus. I knew I would be making a phone call first thing Thursday morning, but gave school a last chance. Emily had band practice Wednesday night and I told her to tell the band director, who had not been there during the day. The band director (you remember her!) sent Emily along, telling her she could just march with her flute at the game Friday.
Thursday morning I was on the school website looking for a counselor to call when I received a call from a principal. Emily had just left his office; her friends had convinced her she was doing all the heavy lifting over a damaged finger that wasn't her fault, she must see the principal.
The principal told me the staff involved would be retrained, the other girl would be disciplined and Emily should report any incidents in future to his office, even if it meant missing the school bus home. I told the principal I considered Emily’s teachers her first line of defense; I was not happy they did not come to her aid.
Emily filled in the details Thursday night. The other girl received two days in-school suspension and must play her instrument from the sidelines while the band marches at halftime tonight. Apparently playing your instrument from the sidelines with the band on the field is a mark of shame.
We saw the doctor today; x-rays show no break. Ice and routine finger flexing and a supporting splint is the protocol for recovery. Sadly, well stoved fingers recover slowly, and Emily will be paying the flute playing and class note and test taking price for some time.
I stopped at the drugstore tonight after I dropped Emily and Joe off to march at the football game and got her a new splint for the homecoming dance tomorrow.