The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Double Trouble In Trouble, Part 2

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Despite a commenter's suggestion that I should not continue this story, becuase I have the tendency to enjoy fighting with people, I will continue my saga. One, becuase it's a great story. And two, becuase I do love to piss people off.

So, anyway, we are sitting in the conference room while one of the mothers goes on and on about how no one informed her about her daughter's suspension. How could we just kick her out like that? Meanwhile, the daughter is sitting behind her mother, rolling her eyes at everyone in the room. The other mother is also chiming in, with her daughter just staring at the floor. After they were finished, Very Awesome Colleague said to them:

"You do realize that this was not the first time these young ladies have been in trouble?"

Of course, the mothers' jaws dropped to the floor. No, they did not know about the two instances of bullying, with the second resulting in a three day suspension. Yet, they continued to defend their daughters. "Well, they are just young and immature. They are only 20 years old."

Did I mention that one of the girls has a two year old child?

Yeah, see, you give up that whole immaturity thing when you become a parent. You can't be a child one minute and expect to be treated like an adult. Now, that's true for anyone at that age. But, if you are that age and a over.

One of the mothers asked me why it was so terrible for the girls to have walked out of a presentation. I had to refrain from saying "Are you fucking kidding me?" "This is the person who gives the thumbs up/down for students to take their certification exam. I am not going to have the college's reputation damaged because of these two knuckleheads." Actually, I did say something to that effect, although it was more professional and lacked F-bombs.

They still didn't get it. Meh.

Finally, the attorney spoke up, wanting to know about the entire hearing process and how it came to pass that the girls were suspended. Now, Awesome Colleague and I were ready for this one. We had the entire case file, 40 pages for each student, copied and placed in red folders (Red has so many meanings behind it, doesn't it? [nsert evil laugh[) We pulled the folders out and dropped them on the table, which made a very loud "thump".

It's funny how that visual spoke volumes.

I could tell by the look on the attorney's face that she knew we had done our due diligence. After all, being an attorney myself, it's the way I roll. What could she say? The mothers were equally surprised. Of course Double Trouble had not told the whole story. And, they were equally surprised at how thick the file was. Of course, we would give them a copy.

They wanted to know what the girls needed to do to return to the college. I guess they did not see the letter that was sent about the steps the girls would have to take before we would consider readmission. They seemed open to the girls completing all the requirements, although one mother felt that doing community service was something for criminals and these girls were not criminals.

Um, right. Whatever.

So, that was it. The mothers thanked us for the meeting. The attorney found the meeting "enlightening" (I suspect that she regrets giving up billable time). And that was it. Double Trouble are gone indefinitely. We'll see if they actually comply with the terms of their suspension.

Oh, and I got an apology email from the mother of one the students for jumping the gun on the due process thing. And, she appreciated the fact that I am tough but fair to my students.

Yeah, after all, that's my job. (In case anyone out there was wondering why I told this story). It is my job to do what's right. It's my job to defend the integrity of my students, the program and the college. We get so caught up in just teaching that we don't realize that we write on the slate of who our students are. For the demographic that my college services, I have a responsibility to give my students the structure that so many of them have not experienced. If I am not doing that, I am not doing my job.

I don't know if Double Trouble realize that what I did will benefit them in the long run. The things that they are required to do are to help them grow up a little. Maybe someday, they look back at this experience and see how immature they really are.

For their sake, I hope so.


Belle said...

Oh, how'd I'd love to have been hiding in a corner, taking this in. Good for you; thank you for doing this.

Brigindo said...

Great story. I'm glad the one mother apologized. By 20 your children are grown and responsible for themselves but I can see the tendency to go to bat for them if you think they've been wronged. However it takes a lot to admit that you didn't know the whole story and that your child got what she deserved.

Well played.

Anonymous said...

And these students were in a PRE-LAW program??? You need to start looking for someplace with a little more academic rigor.

comebacknikki said...

Sigh. You know where I teach... I've sooo been there. UGH!

Seeking Solace said...

Anonymous: They are paralegals. And, I do provide quite the rigorous program, hence the removal of Double Trouble. But, I suspect that this is a challenge for many.