Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thank God I Don't Own A Firearm

Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have to deal with something like this. That my daughter would have to deal with something like this.

There’s a boy that has joined her group of friends; her mostly girl group. One of the girls followed him around like a puppy dog the first semester, and they skipped school a lot of days after lunch. Nothing romantic, as far as my daughter knew, but he still had a loyal little admirer. Well, he’s since moved on and is dating Beth’s best friend. As I see it, this is a somewhat emo kid who wants to have a little harem. Beth won’t step to his tune, though, and I think that’s what ticked him off.

Beth’s best friend has been distant for a while, especially since she started dating this kid, and on Friday Beth asked her what was wrong. She went off on my daughter for “always copying her.” Good Lord, I wouldn’t be a teenager again for anything in the world. Beth, upset, walked away to find a private spot; this boy followed her so he could play big strong comforter. She told him at least three times to go away and leave her alone.

I found out later that he had called her cell 8 times Friday, hurt that she had rebuffed his attempts to comfort her and couldn’t understand why she was mad at him. She suspects that he had a hand in her friend’s defection, and she doesn’t like him anyway. She told him repeatedly to stop calling her. I advised her to let him speak his peace ONCE, then she could tell him all right, I heard you, now go away. She did when he called her on Sunday. He didn’t like her response, and called two more times. He left her a message in a creepy voice, saying, “I hope you’re at school tomorrow. We’d certainly hate to miss you.”

I got his number from her cell and called him. I asked for his parent’s number; he refused. I told him to stop calling my daughter. Granted, I grew up in a different age; I would never have dreamed of refusing an adult’s request to speak to my parents, nor would I have answered anything but “yes, ma’am” to someone’s mom telling me to leave her child alone. This kid argued with me for close to ten minutes. I kept saying that I didn’t care about the particulars of the argument; just stop calling. I finally blew up and told him, “This is ridiculous. Just listen. I am the adult, and you are the child. Do not call my daughter again.” I was about to tell him I’d get the school involved to find his parents when he HUNG UP ON ME. I was shaking, I was so mad.

I told Beth that if he called again, or did anything at school, to tell a teacher and call me. Guess what. Monday at lunch, she approached her former friend, to apologize for any slights, and to tell her she hoped they could still be friendly. EmoBoy popped up, demanding his own apology; and when she walked away he followed right behind her- I mean neck-sniffing close, crowding her from behind- telling her how much she owed him. She got away from him and told her counselor.

My husband went to the school to talk with the officials, and Beth just wanted to go home. We found out the next day from one of Beth’s friends in this group that EmoBoy was planning on skipping class after lunch to follow Beth around. He wasn’t there, but then she heard from another boy, an acquaintance, that Monday afternoon he had boarded her school bus, planning to stalk her home. Thank God she went home with her dad!

We found out later that he received a 3 day in-school suspension, which is why he hasn’t been able to bother her the past two days. He hasn’t called her again, and I’m really hoping that’s the end of it. I’m not excessively worried about this kid; he’s built like a swizzle stick and Beth could break him like a twig. Her brother is a year behind her and in a different school, but he’s built like a linebacker and is itching to pound a little respect into EmoBoy. I gave him the standard Violence Is Not The Answer speech, but I have to admit to a certain pride that he’s protective of his sister.

And I was shocked to learn that her high school- which is middle class suburbia, not east L.A.- has a program where one student can take out a restraining order against another. Good God. Restraining orders, yet. Which we may resort to, if we have to. Although if it gets down to it, I’ll just call the police. And pray. And wonder how we all got to such a place.


Tempest Knight said...

The scary thing is that kids like that can pull stunts like the ones in other schools, with guns and killing themselves.

I really hope that jerk stops bothering your daughter, and things go back to peaceful normality.

StarvingWriteNow said...

Wow. That is some crazy stuff. Makes me glad my kid's a black belt. Hope all goes well.

Missie said...

Wow, honey! That is rough! I am proud of Beth for standing her ground and her baby brother for wanting to stand on Emoboy's face.

Call me if you wanna talk about this. Or not talk about it. Whatever.

Robyn said...

Hi, Tempest!

Thanks guys. All the girls involved have apparently dumped him; we'll see how it goes.

Bernita said...

It's always a judgment call.
Sometimes being reasonable is the wrong thing to do.
So glad you contacted the school.
I'm always for hitting early and as often as necessary.I don't care if it's seen as "over-reacting."
Had to tell one girl who was stalking my son that I'd lay a charge of harrassment if she didn't stop calling, etc.
One of my girls had problems as well.
It helps if you decide before hand how many/much actions constitute a threat and have your ducks in a row.

Robyn said...

I agree, Bernita. We've documented everything, and made sure it's in the school file as well, just in case.

December/Stacia said...

Wow. I hope everything turns out okay.

I never would have dreamed of telling an adult "No" when they asked to talk to my parents either; this is what happens when parents abdicate responsibility.


But your son rocks.

Amber T. said...

What a weird kid. Hopefully he stays away!