Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Really?

Sometimes things go down that make you wonder about where society is heading. Of course there is a sliding scale with things like genocide and the Holocaust on one end and much, much smaller things, like jacking someones epi pen, on the other end.

But still, even the small things make you wonder what the hell is up.

Sunday night we received a phone call from dash-1's preschool when your kids preschool teacher tells you that they have some disturbing news that they need to speak with you about you'd be amazed at the places your mind can take you.

His school is in the basement of a church, it would seem that the pastor's son has a teenie weenie drug problem on top of a teenie weenie problem stealing things. In some bizarre attempt for a high he stole dash-1's epi pens.

When I gave the school dash-1's medicine I wrote his name on the actual epi pen tubes, I'm very grateful I did this now, his mother found the tube in his room and put two and two together.

At first I was just relieved that it wasn't some of the other things that my mind wondered too. That was short lived relief. Now I'm pissed. Real pissed.

And as time goes on and we are seeing how this is being handled I'm getting more and more irritated.

We went into to school on Monday to meet with the boy and his parents only to meet with the mom. The dad stayed home with the boy {for obvious reasons they aren't leaving him home alone, which I understand} however I don't understand why the boy didn't come to face us. The mom said that he was very angry and pulled the covers over his head.

I don't so much get this, I can speak with all the certainty in the world that my mother would have dragged me there my my nose hair. {Had she allowed me to live that long}

My heart breaks for his parents. I can't imagine what it's like to watch your child spiral downwards. However I too have a child to be concerned about. A child that he placed at risk.

Dash-1 doesn't carry his epi pens because he thinks they are a great accessory, he carries them for a "what if" scenario.

We brought this up to the mom, that our main point of anger and what we really want him to understand {which we are both smart enough to understand that he clearly isn't at that point} is that his actions placed our child at an immediate risk. I'm pretty sure my eye started twitching when his mom tried to counter that point by saying that she thought other kids used epi pens in the room so in case of an emergency he could use theirs.

I don't want excuses. I don't want to be made to feel as though I'm over reacting. I don't want blood, I just want sincere understanding.

He went into a ziploc bag, saw little dash-1's school picture staring back at him from his allergy action plan that is clearly marked "SEVERE ANAPHLAXSIS REACTION" as he dug around and took his epi pens.

Our house was broken into last year {and in case your wondering, we live in a lovely charming area, no really} and compared to this that was nothing.

Please, come into my house, take my stuff, hey, take my car {I mean I'd rather it not get stolen but I'm making a point here} here's my wallet. But my baby's epi pen is different. Much different.

God forbid they hadn't discovered that it was missing and God forbid there had been an incident at school. What then? What excuse are you going to give me then?

I can buy new tv's, I can replace the contents of my wallet, I have only one dash-1.

It would appear that the school isn't going to take any legal action against the kid {who in case your wondering has had run ins with the law before and actually has a criminal case pending} and I get the very distinct impression that the parents would like to keep this on the down low.

Flyboy and I are torn. We want to do the right thing but the right thing isn't so clear cut.

We tend to be very follow the rules kinda people, perhaps it's the military in us, I tend to think its just both the way we were raised, but actions have consequences. However we also feel as though we are in an awkward position with some pressure on us to let the parents handle it. I can't help but think he maybe past that. But maybe he could get more help outside the system then from within it. What would having this on his record do to his life?

But then again this apparently wasn't his first tangle with epi pens, what if the next time it didn't have such a clean ending? What if he moves on to something harder or stupider? What if the dash boys hear about this years from now and wonder why we didn't hold the boy accountable, after all aren't we teaching them that actions have consequences?

And don't actions have consequences, I mean real consequences any more?

Oh and I'll send out the rest of the invites for the other blog in a day or two, as you can imagine the flyboy house has been hunkered down in back and forth debate and discussion.

35 comments:

  1. wow I can't believe a kid would steal that and on top of that the parents aren't really doing anything. I don't think you are overreacting at all!!

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  2. Just reading this makes me angry for you.

    It sounds like this is a small private run school. There is no doubt in my mind the boys parents want to keep this quiet...if nothing else, it allows them to save face. The fact that the boy failed to show up to the meeting shows the whole family is not sorry about the incident, but they are sorry about being caught.

    Obviously, you and your husband are the only ones who can make the decision on how you want to handle the situation.

    Personally, I don't like how the school is dealing with this situation. Since the boy has had obvious problems before, something needs to be done.

    I'm sure that other parents out there would be horrified at this situation. Just out of curiosity, have you said anything to the other parents? I know the school and the boy's parents would prefer you not.

    I don't know, now I'm very upset about the situation. I do not think it was handled well at all.

    And I do NOT think you are over reacting.

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  3. Oh, how hard. No wonder you were seeing red. I've got no advice for you--this is a hard, hard one. But I'm very sorry you're having to deal with it at all.

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  4. I don't think you're overreacting. I don't like how the school or that boy's parents are taking care of the situation. The idea that the boy didn't have to face dash one or you and flyboy really bothers me.

    Frankly if you took it to the police I don't think that would be overreacting. I don't know what help he is getting now but if he isn't being forced to face those that he has hurt (and could have severely hurt) then he's not getting the full consiquences.

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  5. Oh man. That's a tough situation. I'd be really upset too. Maybe even upset enough to look into another school seeing as it doesn't seem that this is being taken very seriously. (of course you'd have to weigh that against how disruptive it would be to Dash-1 if you moved him in the middle of the year...)

    Can you get high off epi pens?! I never even knew that was possible! I must live a very sheltered life...

    One thing I do know for sure is that kid isn't being done any favors by his parents right now. My brother is a perfect example of what happens when "bailing out" and "keeping it quiet" is the order of the day for years on end. He's 30 now, can't hold a job or pay his own bills, lives with my parents and they support both him and his 4 year old daughter while he gallivants around with his rock band every weekend...A very sad situation all around. If my parents had held him accountable just once for one of his poor decisions and let him feel the burn a bit maybe he would be a functioning, happy member of society today.

    I honestly don't know what I would do in your situation though. Sucks that you've been put in this position.

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  6. Maybe I missed this but how old is the little thief? I mean I understand you not knowing what to do but this cycle will continue and if it gets easier it will happen more often . . . I won't even get on my soapbox BUT think this is why we have a generation of kids who always expect things or feel entitled! I am just glad Dash-1 did not need that pen while it was missing! Keep us posted on the situation . . . and I can't believe the boy did not come to the meeting . . . sounds as if the parents are enablers!

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  7. Even if the school doesn't take it into the law's hand's....you can! It's your child's epi's that he stole. PRESS CHARGES. I know it sounds harsh, but this may be the only way that boy learns. His parents are letting him off to easy by not getting a higher authority involved. He knows he's not going to get the max punishment, so he'll continue to do it.

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  8. That kid is seeing absolutely zero consequences!! What if dash-1 had died?! What kind of lame a** F-ing excuse would his idiot mother give you then? Would he have gotten out of bed for that? And my mom would have broken bones to get me there.

    Even if the school isn't going to persue anything, could you alone?

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  9. As a high school teacher, I am mad at the parents and the school. They should be handling this; they are enabling him by not pursuing further action. They are bailing him out when he is undeserving. I see the consequences of things like this every day in my classroom. And they are not helping that kid at all (not to mention harming your baby and your family.) This has to be stopped; he will continue to abuse his privilege and endanger himself and others unless actions are taken. Keeping it on the down low isn't helping anyone, least of all that poor, drug-addicted teenager.

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  10. Are you freaking kidding me??????

    Along with with Mrs. SSG, I didn't know you could get high off of them, or can you even?

    Anyway, if someone took Junior's epi pen, I would freak. I would be livid. I would need blood.

    How can he put Dash 1 in danger, not that he probably cared or will ever care since he has parents that, while embarassed by his actions, don't hold him accountable.

    It's insane.

    I'm pissed for you.

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  11. OH HELL NO! Just the fact that the mother tried to say that your child could just use someone else's epipen in case of an emergency is a big HUGE step over the line. Add to that the fact that she can't even FORCE her child out of bed to apologize to you and your family for putting your child's life at risk!

    Are there no other school's in the area you can put Dash-1 in? Secondly, this boy and his family obviously can't handle the drug addiction he is facing and trying to make this incident go away isn't going to help him. Can you file charges on your own?

    Ugh, if I could kick ass and then take names for you I totally would. Don't let these people or the school pressure you into a decision you think is wrong.

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  12. i'm trying to wrap my head around "stealing," "drug-problem," getting high (off an epi pen? that sounds so dangerous! who does this??) and A PRESCHOOLER all in the same situation.

    how OLD are these kids? four? five? how do you even press charges against a preschooler? how has a kid this young already DOING things like this?

    i too can't believe that the parents won't make their kids face the music and honestly, i agree with with Mrs. SS - if the school wasn't supporting me and my child, as the wronged party and the kid who could have had serious (ie DEATH!) health consequence, i would have to look elsewhere for education. the trust seems to be gone.

    i'm sorry for you guys and hope it works out for the best!

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  13. oh. my. gosh.

    there's not much else I can add that others already haven't...but I will say this. If it were me, and we were not going to involve the cops, I would at least - AT LEAST - make sure to contact every. single. parent. in that class and let them know what happened. A) You'll probably hear stories of this happening to them as well, but they thought it was "just them" and it was a "one-time incident" and agreed to keep quiet, in which case B) you'll probably find some allies in going to the administrator if not the school board in getting action taken against both the student and the teacher who is trying to hush this up, and if nothing else C) those other parents have the right to know who their children are in class with so they can take steps to protect their own children.

    That's just my suggestion, so take it for what it's worth.

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  14. What that boy did is terrible, but the reaction from the others is just appalling! I would feel so violated and scared for the safety of my child in that place. I hope this is all resolved in the best and safest way for you and your family

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  15. So here are my thoughts and I'm aware people may not agree with me.

    1. Im pissed on your behalf, and just thinking of the what ifs are nightmare worthy for anyone with a child

    2. What the boy did was WRONG. All actions have consequences. He will not learn if he does not realize straight up how wrong this was.

    3. His parents are doing him a major disservice by trying to keep this on the downlow. Whats more important? To keep a good public profile of the entire family or to teach your child important values while at the same time get him help for a drug addiction?

    4. Sometimes the right choice is also the hardest. And sometimes we are the ones who have to step up and make those choices when the obvious people refuse to be strong enough to do so. I hate making waves and I can truly understand your position in this. I just wonder how many other boys like Dash-1 will potentially be put in a dangerous situation until this boy (and his parents) realize that this is not something that just goes away on its own?

    Big hugs to you! Im so sorry this happened. Whatever the outcome is, Dash-1 is safe, he's got awesome parents looking out for him, and you need a glass (or 4) of wine.

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  16. Oh WOW. I would have come out swinging when the mom said dash-1 could have used another kid's epi pen. It's bad enough that they didn't drag their sorry-*ss kid out of bed to apologize, but to make excuses that could endanger your son? COMPLETELY unacceptable.

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  17. Wow! I'm really appalled by the kids behavior but the parents are even more appalling. I mean I can understand the lady wanting to try to cover and protect her kid (to an extent) but they need to lay down the law.

    If this was his first incident I would say not to go for any legal action but since you mentioned this isn't his first run in with the epi pen situation then I say go for it. What if there's a next time and the next kid isn't so lucky?

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  18. You are not over reacting. I think that as mothers and as military wives, we are always thinking of the "what ifs". We are experts in it. Because it CAN happen.

    This whole thing is BS. If I were you, I would tell the school that something absolutely needs to be done to ensure that this NEVER, EVER happens again. I'd tell those parents that kid needs to apologize to your family's face and that you get the opportunity to tell this kid exactly what the cost of his actions could have been. And then, if the kid wasn't waving goodbye to his parents on his way to rehab immediately after that, I'd be calling the police.

    What I mean to say is, call the shots here. Tell these people that this needs to be remedied, that it is unacceptable and cannot happen again, that if they don't resolve the situation to a point where YOU and flyboy are satisfied, you will take legal action until you are. That's the bottom line. Don't let them make you feel bad for the kid or worry about his future.

    What happens if he does this again? What happens if somebody elses' kid seriously suffers as a result? I know you, and that would haunt you. I'm not saying that you need to start a witch hunt over this, but make sure that when the matter is "closed" that you're the one closing it and that you feel it was concluded the best way possible.

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  19. Parents today worry so much about test scores, teacher choice, and grades, but they miss the biggest opportunity of all, to teach responsibility. This seems to be a widespread issue. In this case, the parents should have dragged the boy's sorry butt out of his bed to apologize to you and your son, to take responsibility. He should be brought up on charges, choices have consequences. We take responsibility for our actions. Instead, it's someone elses problem (like the government), there is an excuse (like a diagnosis), or they are just flat out lazy. It makes me angry, really. We are preparing our children to be a society of dependent, lazy, excuse filled children. RESPONSIBILITY is not an option.

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  20. Wow, I was actually speechless for a minute! Unbelievable. This is obviously a private preschool, but the fact that a known drug user had access to a preschool class at all gives me shivers. I know it may not be the "right" thing to do, but I would be a stark raving lunatic and go for the jugular on this one! lt doesn't sound as if it is being handled at all and they are fearful of addressing the problem in case it "gets out"... of course enrollment in that school would nosedive! Only you know what is right in your situation, but you are definitely not overreacting - but I will say you are good in thinking things through before acting, something I am not very good at! Good luck and prayers for you.

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  21. That is unbelievable...I think I would probably be feeling the same way....without knowing this family...it seems that part of his problem is that his parents don't know how to deal with him, or even down play the severity of his problems....

    My question is...were the other parents notified of this situation. I think all of them should be aware of what has happend...and what could potentially happen again should this child not have consequences....

    Wow...that's hard...I think I'd sleep on it...and if I felt like it just got swept under the rug...I might go back to the parents and say I would feel better if he had to apologize to us...at least....

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  22. My heart hurts for you. This is such a tough place to be put in. It is not right at all that the boy is not suffering any consequences. The fact that everyone seems to want to let the boys parent's deal with his actions is not sitting well with me. Obviously they aren't hard enough on him to make him show his face, so what makes people think they are really going to make sure he is accountable for his actions?

    Now, I grew up with a sister who had a serious drug and alcohol problem. My parents tried everything in the book. But, she didn't come around until my dad cut her off completely and showed tough love. You can't be worrying about what this being on his record will do to his life. He has chosen to take these actions and he must be held responsible. My sister had plenty of stuff on her record, but she has overcome that and is now a stand-up citizen and someone that countless people look up to. He can overcome this, but only if people stop enabling his actions. That's just my opinion. I know that the decision is ultimately up to you and flyboy. And I will back you up on any decision. This just really irks me! I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but I am so thankful it didn't end much worse!

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  23. I too am curious as to how old this kid is.

    Sounds like the parents are trying to sweep this under the rug and I would be very concerned that this is one in a long string of coverups.....and because the family is not disciplining their child, I would probably demand that either they take steps, tell me what they are or go to the authorities.

    Another thought....did they even offer to replace the epi pens?

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  24. I have some q's:
    Are they going to replace the pens?
    How old is the kid with a drug issue?
    How long was this pen missing?
    Have you thought of switching schools since they do not cater to his allergy ailment?

    Sorry you had to deal with this. I think whatever decision you come to will be for the best.

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  25. I agree with most of the people who have posted here already.
    I would ensure #1 that they are going to replace the pens that he took.
    Whether that happens by you contacting the police and letting them know of the situation or if it's by you having an agreement with the parents. I would first and foremost get a lawyer to document whatever does happen in the situation and whatever agreement you come to with the parents (or the police). You want to make sure that his actions are on file somewhere so that if (or in my opinion when) this happens again, you have everything documented if you are called as a witness.
    Personally, I wouldn't bother coming to an agreement with the parents. They clearly are doing their boy no favors by always keeping it on the DL. Someone needs to step up and teach this boy and his parents a lesson.

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  26. The number one thing I believe my parents did wrong was allowing their own guilty feelings and pride to get in the way of looking objectively at the behavior of their kids.

    By allowing this kid to hide, they are letting him get away with it. The hardest thing that he could've done was face you and Flyboy. And they let him out of it. I think if you feel action hasn't been taken, you need to demand at least a face-to-face with the kid (dad or no dad). He needs to suffer the pain and embarrassment of hearing someone tell it to him straight. And I know Flyboy, as a Marine, will have no qualms with setting him straight.

    ARGH!!!! This just makes me crazy... parents who have this intertwined need to protect their kids from the consequences of their actions, and also protect their own reputations from how their kid's actions reflect on them. A teenager is only less than an adult in the eyes of the law. I believe once you hit 15-16, you should be standing on your own two feet as much as possible. Especially where choices and decision-making come into play.

    OK, end rant. I hope you guys can come to some conclusion about what to do... I can't believe the mom tried to talk you down from the seriousness of what her son did. That would've set me off, and I think LT would've went to that kids house himself if he didn't show up...

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  27. I only skimmed the other comments so this has probably already been said but I don't think you would be over reacting no matter which option you chose to follow. I personally think that the kid needs to be given an ultimatium (sp?) either by his parents or by you. (I'm assuming he's older and was in the church b/c of dad the pastor?) I would probably tell the kid its either some sort of rehab program or I'm pressing charges. I understand the parents wanting to keep it private but I agree he put your childs life in danger.

    Then again I also am the person who things people who do that kind of crap should just be shot and save society the cost of jailing them so who am I to judge...

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  28. My opinion: File charges of theft against the boy. I don't care that he's the PK (preacher's kid). What I care about is that this has happened before and it's been buried and hushed. I care that this boy (obviously an older child, likely a teen or older) KNEW how to get high, and found it in a PRESCHOOLER'S life saving medicine.

    You are VERY right...what would have happened had they not known? What if the mom or dad decided not to let the school know? What if you hadn't had the foresight to label his meds?

    It is akin to stealing oxycontin...valium, ritalin...any of those are meds, but in the wrong hands are DRUGS.

    This boy needs to be taught a lesson, and whether the school wants to admit it or not, they have some liability and culpability here.

    There should never, EVER be a "what if" when it comes to anaphylactic reaction. The school, the parents, and the boy need to know the consequences. Sacrifice Dash-1 for the PK? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

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  29. Okay that is just unbelievable. I've heard of stealing candy from a child, but stealing life saving medicine? REALLY?

    I don't blame you one bit for wanting more than just a slap on wrist and a grounding from his parents.

    Sorry you guys have to deal with this. It just totally sucks.

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  30. Who would have ever thought that someone would steal that?? I'd be so angry, too!

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  31. It's pretty obvious that the boy's parents have lost control of the situation at home. I know no one likes to be the "bad guy" but he put your child's life at risk and this should not be swept under the rug just so the parents can save face. At a minimum the school needs to inform the parents of all of the other children regarding what happened.
    I completely agree with you that actions have consequences and that the boy should be held accountable for his. One of the biggest problems facing our society right now is the the lack of personal accountability. Accountability for actions is learned, or in this case not, at an early age. By letting the boy "off the hook" now you're not doing him or anyone else any favors. He has already shown a blatant disregard for the lives and safety of others and things will only get worse if there is no punishment for his actions.
    Sorry for rambling. This just made me so angry that he put your child at risk and that his parents are just compounding the situation by not making him own up to his actions and take his punishment.

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  32. This makes me so angry. I can't believe someone would do this. I don't think that you are overreacting. I had a roommate in college who had severe allergies- I don't think anyone who has experience with what happens when someone has a severe allergic reaction would think you were overreacting- no matter what you decide to do. If the parents do, they haven't seen full blown anaphylactic shock before, because if they had, they would've strung their kid up for you.

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  33. Wow... lots of comments. I agree with the other posters. You wouldn't be overreacting by calling the police. I probably wouldn't have in your situation... if the kid had showed up to the meeting and felt ashamed. But not showing up? Not caring? Yup, po-po time.

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  34. I don't think you're overreacting at all.

    Ultimately, I feel it is up to parents to teach their kids right from wrong. By not dragging their son to face you guys, his parents are saying loud and clear they aren't willing to take on that responsibility. When you do something wrong you should right it. Even if that means embarrasment on your part. Isn't that part of what teaches us to not do wrong in the first place?

    When the parents aren't willing or capable to take on that job, then I think it's up to the "community" to step in. I guess that can be inconvenient at times, but isn't it worth it if it means we have a community that is full of right-doing citizens?

    I think you guys have a responsibility to report the incident. If not to the cops, then at least you have the right to demand action from the school and parents to somehow correct this wrong. The boy needs to learn what he did could have ultimately killed your child or even another child next time. That may be harsh, but it's a lesson that needs learned to, hopefully, stop any future incidents.

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  35. WTF?!?! Ummm did I miss the epi pen is the new hot recreational drug craze?

    For one I would be pissed. You don't mess with the health of my child.

    But I would too feel bad for these kids parents. My brother is a drug addict and it breaks my heart watching what my Dad and step mom go through.

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