DH arrived home from Switzerland last Friday and was immediately set upon by Josh who press-ganged him into rushing into Winton to purchase not just one but two baby gerbils. They are now safely installed in a spacious sawdust filled des res in his bedroom. Josh insists upon calling the sweet babies Gizmo and Roadrunner but the babies and I have a pact and the names I call them are much more suited to two little girls - Valerie and Ethel. At the time of writing, I have no evidence to suggest that they're not both girls and whilst I do love all my animals, I am fervently hoping that they are. Two gerbils will do very nicely, for now, thank you! They are dear little things and really enjoy being held and stroked. Josh has committed to taking care of them - much in the same way that he promised to take care of the rabbit who lives in our shed. I'm hoping that this time he means what he says!
We had a quietish family weekend and DH let me have a couple of much needed lie-ins and we had a curry from our favourite take-away in Wallisdown on Saturday night. I couldn't let all this generosity go unmarked and spent a goodly part of Sunday ironing.
Yesterday started off as a normal hum-drum Monday. Josh was happy enough to go to school in the morning, I spent the day doing some admin and a little guilt-free tweeting and DH cleaned the patio with a high-pressure thingy. When I collected Josh from school, I discovered that all was not as it should be.
I don't know whether my son is a bully-magnet but he does seem to attract more than his fair share of quite bad trouble at school. He was SO thrilled to be attending a specialist Arts & Media College which has fantastic facilities for a kid with a leaning towards all things artistic but I've watched him become more and more disillusioned since he started there last September.
He was beaten up badly in January which resulted in a boy being suspended for two days and yesterday he was rather roughly placed in a large rubbish bin by two "Goths". He'd committed the heinous crime of saying to one of them that he liked the leather coat he was wearing. A bad error of judgment ... I hate to think what would have happened if Josh would have said he didn't like the coat. He was told by the two charming youths to co-operate in being placed in the large bin or they would throw him into it head first. He co-operated. Fortunately a prefect saw what had happened, helped Josh out of the bin and as punishment a member of staff gave the two Goths a buckshee day off school today.
I am finding it more and more frustrating to discover that the bullies - at school and throughout life - are winning. The school's hands are tied regarding punishment and these kids are pandered to at the expense of the education of children who really do wish to work hard and get on. Instead of an education system that helps kids to aspire to achieve, the "looked after" kids and those who misbehave ensure that the only common denominator being adhered to is the very lowest one.
Bad kids need to be punished. Giving them a day or two off school whenever they misbehave is not seen as a punishment by them - and I suspect it isn't seen as a punishment by their parents either. They need to feel just a tiny bit frightened and no-one within the school system seems to be able to frighten them. I would quite happily volunteer to be the "Frightening Tzar" but I suspect that this would go against some civil liberties charter somewhere, so could we not embarrass them instead? Rather than saying to them "You've done something wrong, have two days off" couldn't there be a system whereby if they bully another child they're made to wear a fluorescent pink hi-vis vest for a week with the words "I AM A BULLY" boldly written thereon? They wouldn't look quite so cool to their friends then, would they?
I tried to see the head teacher this afternoon when I collected Josh as he is understandably somewhat nervous about repercussions when he goes to school tomorrow when the bullies will have returned from their day's punishment at home. There wasn't a member of staff available to see me. However, I am to expect "a 'phone call". I wonder if and when it will arrive and how far I'll get with my pink-jacketed embarrassment programme suggestion? I don't feel too confident that I'll get very far at all.
So once again I'm in the middle of another week struggling to understand a faddish upside-down education system in a world that's seems to me to have gone entirely mad.
I wonder what the remainder of the week has in store for us?