When the school calls and it's not the nurse
My oldest son had a seizure last Monday at school drop off. It was an awful experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Luckily I answered the phone, not knowing who it was due to "No Caller ID." It took a good 30 seconds to process that is was the Vice Principal and another minute to take in the information. I’ve never had a call from a school vice principal. (The nurse, yes, but not the vice principal.) Even though I’m seconds from the high school there was traffic to contend with getting to the ambulance, adding to my stress. I received a brief overview from the vice principal and nurse and then went to check on him in the ambulance. He was conscious but not coherent. I’ll take a broken bone any day over seeing my son with a gash on his head and looking like a meth addict.
There's no preparing for that feeling when you're completely helpless as a parent. He was in good hands and I had faith that it was going to be okay, but the fear was overwhelming. I held back tears and focused on my breathing as best I could. It was enough to get back in my car and drive. I had to drive back home to get a hold of myself. I was scared and realized I had no one to lean on for support. It was the worst feeling. I had to snap out of it quickly and get to the hospital. After a few deeps breaths and a reminder to focus I got it together and drove to see my son.
Fortunately he came-to on the ride to the hospital and he cleared his tests, including a possible concussion from the fall. It looks like this was a one-time thing but he’ll have to do a follow up with a neurologist. There was concern that had been vaping, the latest problem at the school, at the time of the fall and the police were brought in to check him as he made his way to the ambulance. Nothing was found in his possession.
That’s part of one my week.
Part two is the second call from the vice principal on Thursday, when I learned my son was suspended. He was called into the office early Thursday morning about concern of an Instagram post. It was a poor choice on his part and he volunteered to take it down. From there the conversation moved into the topic of vaping. From what I understand it was more of an interrogation. My son was asked to name names of known vapers. When he wouldn’t, the principal yelled at him and the vice principal, according to my son, had the principal leave the room. She came up with a system for my son to signal who had vaped. He wouldn’t budge but in the course of this he admitted to having used on school property months prior. For this he got suspended. Along with the suspension is a report to the police.
This has been the most stressful parenting week yet. The shock from the seizure is enough to recover from but the suspension is too much. Trust, doubt, worry, new problems, more worry. It was all I could do to get through work. I have to get a clear head before I can tackle this. And a good night's sleep.
I’m stunned that they would lean so heavily on him following a seizure. And that they would keep him there until he “confessed.” The upside is he has learned a lesson. As have I. (And that is, there is a zero tolerance policy at school and nothing is kept in confidence.)