yellow day

Discipline in Kaitlyn’s classroom involves a stoplight color system: Have a good day and you’re green, misbehave and you’re yellow, misbehave more and you’re red. Just a few days in her new classroom and I got a phone call from her teacher: Kaitlyn had a yellow day. Two in a row. After “flicking” another student with her finger. Two days in a row. And topping it off by sticking out her tongue to a little boy. We had a long talk with Kaitlyn and seemed to have put a quick end to the little missteps.

Till today.

I picked Kaitlyn up at her bus stop and she climbed in the car to go to tutoring. She said she had a great day. Then she said there was something she needed to tell me. She’d had a yellow day.

She told me a little boy had pulled up her dress. And that was why she got in trouble. No way, I said. There is more to this story. Way more even. “What did you do?” I asked. Kaitlyn insisted I guess. Hit him? No. Kick him? No. Flick him? No. Pinch? No. Spit on him? No. Stick out your tongue? No. I felt like I’d exhausted all my choices. “You’re forgetting one!” she said. I insisted she confess. “I pulled his pants down.” How could I have left that off my list of guesses?

Why didn’t she just get the teacher? There’s, of course, a good reason. The class was in line to go in from recess and she didn’t want to loose her place in line.

Everyone I tell this to laughs and says they understand her response and don’t see it as really that bad. After all, isn’t it good to stand up for yourself? And I do rather agree. Except that pulling down some kid’s pants isn’t met with enthusiasm by her teacher.

It’s hard to talk to your daughter about the severity of her crime when you aren’t so sure it really is one, either.

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