Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nosy Rosy and the Other Side of the Story

As I'd suspected, I found out this morning that there were a few details H left out of her McDooDoo Head story the other day. I called the regular teacher - Mrs. S - and began by asking her if she knew what had happened, and it turns out things were much more complicated than H led me to believe. Here's how it all went down:

McDooDoo was home doing research on animals and stumbled onto some sort of "inappropriate" content on the National Geographic website (the teacher wasn't specific, but I'm guessing the boy saw some tribal nudity or something similar). The next day at school, he decided to write about said content in his journal, then shares it with Boy Buddy #1.

Obviously intrigued by the whispers of "inappropriate" content, H decides to squeeze herself a bit closer to the boys, clearly hopings to hear something juicy. Achieving eavesdropping victory, H joins a few other kids, who promptly ask what the boys were discussing. Well, who is H not to fill them in?!

When McDooDoo hears H telling the others about his online adventures, he feels (rightly so) like his privacy has been violated (and my guess is that he was a bit embarrassed), and he writes in his journal: "H is a troublemaker. H is a gossip spreader. I don't like H." What does he do next??? What everyone does with a journal, right? Whip it out at school, of course! He's shares it with Boy Buddy #1. Not to be left out, Boy Buddy #2 comes along to read the journal, but isn't allowed access. Instead, Boy Buddy #1 simply summarizes the journal's contents, and Boy Buddy #2 never actually sees the journal.

For God only knows what reason, Boy Buddy #2 decides to make things interesting. He takes out a piece of paper and copies down the comments Boy Buddy #1 described, and then he adds some extra stuff just for kicks (i.e. "H is gay. H is a loser. H sucks."). He folds the paper, takes it to H, and simply says: "Here. This is from McDooDoo Head." And there you have it folks....the rest of the story. H is traumatized by what she sees on the page and is convinced that this is all McDooDoo Head's doing.

It also turns out that, after hearing about what had happened, the student teacher DID INDEED have a talk with McDooDoo later in the afternoon. H just wasn't there to see it, and the student teacher didn't make any effort to let H know that the situation had been dealt with (albeit in a lame way).

So, when H went to school today and told her Mrs. S, "My mom will be calling you today," Mrs. S. was a bit surprised and asked H to explain. After hearing H's side, Mrs. S also talked with all parties involved, pieced together the events, and explained to each child what he/she had done to make the problem worse. McDooDoo Head and Boy Buddy #2 both apologized to H, who also got a lesson on keeping her nose in her own business.

A 30-minute phone call and much relief later, all was right with the world again. The lesson of the day for all parents: Make sure to get all the information before deciding on a course of action. I'm so thankful I hadn't yet called McDooDoo's parents :) In fact, he's no longer McDooDoo....he's now Journal Boy.