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Friday, September 19, 2014

Not the NFL, but…

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.


  1. I am glad that it isn't broken, and very sad that too many teachers took the 'too hard' approach. I love that Emily took it to the principal (while deploring the necessity) and that the principal DID take it seriously.

  2. I think you were restrained, at least in your description. Ibuprofen if she can, ice, rest, elevation, etc. Tell her also deflecting a kick with one's hand or arm is the way to go, things kicked at can be more problematic.

    I don't envy you, Joanne. Dealing with these issues on a first responder basis. I doubt I could do it. You have my admiration and respect.

    Wish you the best.

  3. Pitiful, isn't it?

    And, regarding the band at the game, at first I thought - why is the offender allowed to play at all? Then I thought - if she was simply absent, no one would realize the punishment; they might think she was just ill or away. Maybe it works after all.

    But the teachers' responses? Pitiful.

  4. It good that the principal stepped up to his duties. It is a shame the teachers didn't.

  5. A well aimed kick?? What is wrong with that girl? Kicking another? so wrong.
    Wrong also of the teachers to not take any action.
    I'm glad the finger isn't broken at least.
    That's a sweet photo of younger Emily.

  6. THAT SUCKS. Poor Emily. Hopefully she'll show her injured finger (yes, the middle one, it's completely innocent) to those who did her wrong.

  7. Also, no one should have to hug someone they don't want to hug.

    Also, your flowers are gorgeous.

  8. Grrrrrr.

    Tough job you have, but I think maybe the kids and their growing up problems is keeping you young.

  9. I hope the girl writes a letter of apology and the parents offer to pay for the medical care. That's the least they could do (making sure the girl doesn't do this again and gets any psychological help she might need is high on my list of things they should be looking into too myself).

    Emily was totally in the right to refuse a hug if she didn't want one. The other girl must realize it is okay to get a no and not to act out in a violent manner like this.

    I am sad Emily will be "out of the running" in so many things while the finger recuperates.


  10. Ouch. That sounds really painful. If it had happened to a teacher I think there would have been lots of sick leave and probably a law case as well. We seem to expect children to put up with pain and injuries as part of growing up. There is a sign for the staff in my local hospital that says "Don't waste pain killers on children." Unbelievable. When my 11 year old sister broke her arm many years ago, she couldn't sleep because of the pain. I was tasked with taking her to the doctor who just said "She is too young for pain killers."

  11. I'm happy that the principal took the reins.I hope Emily heals well. If I were the 'other' girl's mother, I would insist that she apologise to Emily,and help Emily until her finger heals.
    Jane x

  12. That last photo is darling... a mug shot of Emily and she's not even the perpetrator. Schools sure are teaching strange lessons these days....

  13. That girl sounds like the least deserving of a hug ever - Emily has good judgment.
    I think the most guilty here is the nurse - not that the teachers should be excused either. Doesn't the school have protocols?
    And good for you!

  14. Odd that the teachers didn't pick up on the incident. Sounds like all they heard was her explaining her injury and how it would effect her ability to participate in class and not how the injury happened. Maybe you can embellish the new splint for Homecoming.

  15. The teachers reactions were despicable. I hope she doesn't have trouble with that child in the future.

  16. Oh my gosh, I would have been absolutely livid!
    What is wrong with these teachers who did not act on the information your granddaughter gave them?
    Good that the principal stepped in.

  17. Hari OM
    ...what Cathy OW said! Strewth, but am glad that the Principal at least seems to be up for the job...and that Emily's friends have got that much sense at least. YAM xx

  18. I have to add that I thought vigilance against bullying is in the vanguard of educational principles, and when the child appeared before the nurse with a demonstrable injury and a verifiable story, the process should have begun. When we went to the doctor her first question was, Were the authorities notified? Her second, Were the police involved, startled me. It's a sad reminder of the seriousness of stupidity. I hope this is the end of it.

  19. At least the Principal had it right. Bullying in any form is despicable.

  20. Were the police involved? the doctor asked. really? is that what we've come to, calling the police when one child acts out against another? granted, Emily sustained an injury but c'mon, the police? can we, as a society, not solve small problems without getting the authorities involved? and I can't believe the school nurse gave her pain meds. not allowed at the schools here. don't even know why they have school nurses since they aren't allowed to do anything besides give you a place to lie down.

  21. Oh dear passing the buck is done a lot these days.