Today at 3:30 an office worker came bouncing into my room to tell me that the principal wanted to see me "promptly at 4:00." Of course I spent the next half hour trying to think of every questionable thing I may have said or done in the last, oh, forever. By the time I got up there I was certain that I was about to endure some kind of talking-to from him and/or the Academic Coach, which would, of course, be designed for the sole purpose of covering their
respective asses when all my kids bomb the MCT next week.
When I got up there, he said, "There's a parent here who wants to talk to us about something that happened with her daughter yesterday. Was there some kind of incident with [Angelic Daughter] in your class?" I told him no, there was no incident. I had no idea what he was referring to. So he says the child has told her mother that I made her empty out her pockets in front of the class, and that her pockets had contained some personal items, so the student was embarrassed. After making the student empty the contents of her pockets onto my desk, I allegedly snatched the items up angrily and tossed them into the trash can.
Here's what really happened: Angelic Daughter was wearing a long-sleeved sweater type thing with one of those big pockets in the front that you can put both hands in. She had it packed full of miscellaneous items, which she was tinkering with during a reading assignment. I gave her The Look, and even verbally warned her to focus her attention on the task at hand. The third time I saw Angelic Daughter with her head down looking at whatever was in her pockets, I asked her to empty her pockets onto my desk. With her back to the class, she did this. And the contents of her pockets included a chewed up straw, a single, rusty earring, and a tube of lip gloss. I thanked Angelic Daughter and she returned to her seat.
There were no personal female items. There was no angry snatching of her belongings. The items were not thrown away. Okay, the straw and the rusty earring were thrown away, but not in the angry way the child described. In fact, they remained on my desk until this morning when I threw them away and placed the lip gloss in my drawer, where it is even now.
I thought it was kinda strange that this child had fabricated this story and taken it home to her mother. Why would she? It's not like she had some expensive item taken and had to explain it to her mom. And I didn't embarrass her and give her a reason to feel she had been wronged. She literally pulled this out of her ass and took it home to start some shit.
Then she told on herself. Middle schoolers do that sometimes if you listen. While raving on about how I had humiliated her in front of her peers, she slipped up and said, "Just like when she said we cheated on that test! I ain't cheat on that test and she got in front of the whole class and said we cheated and she threw my paper in the trash in front of everybody!"
Oh. Now I remember. And now I see why Angelic Daughter needed to make Mrs. DeadpanAnn seem like a raving mad woman. Because she did, in fact, get cold BUSTED cheating on a pop quiz yesterday. I hadn't even thought of it until she said it.
The class read The Tell-Tale Heart, by Poe. For those of you who have not read this, or for whom it has been a very long time, the story is about a madman who kills his roommate (I guess) and hides him under the floor boards. After reading the story, we took a pop quiz, just to see who had listened. During teh quiz, I saw Angelic Daughter and her neighbor, Wayward Child, looking at each other in a suspicious manner. I had also noticed them taking notes (making a cheat sheet) before the test. Everything was put up, so the cheat sheet was supposed to be put away too but I was keeping an eye out for it just in case they got brave.
Well, number 3 on the quiz asked the question, "Where did he hide the body?" The answer is "Under the floorboards."
Angelic Daughter's paper said, "He shot him."
Umkay. Let's back up. The question was, "Where did he hide the body?"
Her answer: He shot him.
I sighed and moved on to the next quiz when I saw that. The next one happened to be Wayward Child's paper. Her number 3 answer? "He shot him."
Well, well, well. Two identical, off-the-wall answers to the same question on two kids' papers who happened to be seated next to each other and also happened to be
caught attempting to make a cheat sheet before the quiz.
So I gave them zeros. And yes this was done in front of the class, but only because I was going back over the questions with the whole class and reading out their answers and asking them to explain them, so I happened to catch this while talking to them about their other answers.
The best part? Once they were busted in front of the class, they actually acknowledged their evil deed and the entire class had a good giggle about the fact that they got caught cheating.
I told the parent and the principal this, and also noted that the student was no longer laughing but had come up with a fictional story of her own to detract attention from her admitted wrongdoing.
The student became enraged, and swore up and down that I was making it all up. I also told the mom that I hadn't thrown the paper in the trash, but it was setting on my desk at that moment. Mother requested a copy.
That kid got busted. I just hope the mother whipped her ass after she made a fool out of her in that conference room. But I don't hope that as much as I hope that quiz is still setting on my desk. I was cleaning it off today...