How do you handle this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child told me the other night that there is a boy at school carrying around a bottle that says Vodka on it, has a clear liquid in it and is trying to sell it to the other kids. He wouldn't tell me who it was. But, he wanted his Cash for his allowance- normally, I keep the money and buy him what is approved by me for his amount of allowance. I spoke to him about the need to report this (the Vodka issue), but he wasn't to thrilled over that so I told him to spend a little time thinking about doing what was right.

    Today, I had to pick him up from school and the principal came out to talk to me about the email she accidently sent me- (maybe I'll post about that on Special Education form). Anyway, I told her about what difficult child said- boy; I don't know who, might be going around school (middle school) trying to sell what he claims to be alcohol. I felt bad in a way because difficult child really didn't want me to report this- so I asked principal not to question difficult child because I don't want him to quit confiding in me.

    This evening, difficult child told me who it was, the boy is in 7th grade and that the boy had tried to get difficult child to buy alcohol from him and that he had seen other "buy" transpire and that it was happening in the school building. Ok, I tell difficult child that I think we should report this to school. difficult child gets upset and says "no"- that this is a "good kid". I say, no, not if he's doing that. difficult child says but "that's the same thing people say about me because of everything wrong that I have done". Ok, difficult child, then maybe he isn't all bad, but, he needs some intervention to help him if he's doing this. difficult child is still upset.

    Do I tell the principal and bargain on her not questioning difficult child? I already told her that I can't guarantee the truthfulness of it, but difficult child has been opening up and been honest with me for several months- the best I can tell.

    Advice? I am concerned about why he had to have his allowance money in cash and given to him- at the same time this subject came up.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    What a difficult position in which to be put.

    Think about what could happen if this student were selling wood grain alcohol to his classmates... or someone got so drunk so as to develop alcohol poisoning. Or a girl being taken advantage of by another student that gives her some to "relax" her. I think you tell the principal what you know. The student's locker and book bag will be searched. There will be consequences for such irresponsible behavior.

    And if difficult child is lying, then he needs to face consequences. This is dangerous stuff. No one would question him if he said the other student had a weapon. Drugs and alcohol are the same thing. difficult child will need to find a way to make amends if he's lying but you, as a parent, need to make sure the school administration knows everything you've been told because that is the right and responsible thing to do.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You are definitely between a rock and a hard space. Obviously, if this were a weapon, there would be no question about reporting it. Nor if it were a threat towards another that your son felt was valid. The same is true if it were drugs. Although alcohol is in fact of drug, it is acceptable in our society. Sadly, many parents don't even see anything wrong with their kids drinking.

    If it were me, I wouldn't report it. Your son trusts you rigfht now. If you break that trust, it will be pretty hard to regain it. You've given the principal a head's up. I'd leave the investigation to the school at this point. Honestly, I'm not entirely comfortable saying don't report it, but I'd put my relationship with my son ahead of the punk selling booze.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't agree with mb. In that age group alcohol IS a weapon. Make sure you know he needs to do the right thing. That you will support him and try to keep his identity a secret. But part of growing up is doing the right thing. Letting this go is NOT the right thing.

    I would NOT give cash at this point. Does he have a specific reason why he needs to change the current pattern? If it is a good reason, I might let him have it.

    How would YOU feel if your son bought vodka at school, then you found out another parent KNEW and did not report it?

    Your son needs to trust you. He especially needs to trust you to do the right thing, even when it is hard. This is how we teach our kids to be responsible adults.

    I would not mind bargaining/influencing the principal to keep my son out of it. It is a way to keep your child safe. In fact, I might INSIST on it and let the principal know that any fallout on my kid will be laid at HER doorstep.

    I am sorry you are in this pickle. But it may be a test from your son to see what you think is the right thing to do.


  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wouldn't have any trouble reporting this to the principal. However, I would let the principal know that your son wants to remain out of it and silent. No reason, with reasonable suspision, that the principal can't do a body and locker check on this boy based on "things he has heard."

    Can't remember which poster it was, but I do agree that we need to show our children that it is difficult to do the right thing, and oh so much easier to do the wrong. It's a tough choice, but one I don't think you have a choice on.

    Alcohol at this young age is a dangerous thing. I would insure that your son is kept out of it. Obvisouly there are numerous students who could have, should have, reported this.

  6. I'll have to vote with reporting this to the principal. The principal doesn't need to involve
    your son in any way, and I would make certain of that. The fact is that the substance may not even be alcohol - knowing kids - but this needs to be stopped before a bigger problem ensues.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Yep, another vote here too for reporting this. If you don't feel comfortable doing it for fear of difficult child getting involved, maybe have a friend call it in annonymously. But I would definately get word to the principal.

    Another thought....even if what this kid has ISN'T could possibly be saving him from a beat down if the wrong "customer" got mad after he found out he bought flat 7up.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I absolutely agree with reporting it. There's right and there's wrong. Period. (OK, so I'm kind of a stickler for this kind of stuff ;) )

    Principal should be able to address the issue without involving difficult child, in my humble opinion.

    I would explain to difficult child that actions do not necessarily define the person - good people can make bad choices. This may well be a "good" kid, but he's making a really bad choice and could potentially harm someone else.

    I wouldn't hesitate to address this with principal.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, Ladies, I woke up this morning in agreement that it has to be reported- well, the additional details- I had already told principal difficult child said that someone was doing this, I just didn't know who. Anyway, I tried to contact principal today but she was in meetings. I have a message left for her to return my call.

    How do I deal with this re. difficult child, though? I tried to discuss the importance of reporting this last night, but in his difficult child'ness I guess, he doesn't seem to get it. He is only looking at it like this one kid is doing something wrong, with no safety risk to anyone and I really don't think difficult child gets how wrong it is. Right now, it seems like if he finds out I told about this, he will not trust me to talk to me in the future. I don't doubt at all that they CAN handle this without involving difficult child, but we are not on their list to do favors for right now (they know I'm at least considering filing a complaint) so it would not shock me for her to deliberately make sure difficult child knows I reported it- they have discussed things with him in the past RIGHT AFTER I specifically asked them not to.

    One good thing, difficult child came home with $5 and a pocket full of candy and mints that he'd gotten at school, so I know where that money is going. (Sure is a good thing he doesn't go to school where buying skittles is a major offense, huh?)

    Thanks for the words of wisdom and support to do the right thing...
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I think as far as difficult child goes, all you can do is keep reinforcing right versus wrong. Not saying that will work, as I just had a conversation with thank you about doing the right thing because it *is* the right thing, rather than doing the wrong thing because it's easier. Might as well have been talking to a stone. I think all we can do is keep reinforcing how to be a law-abiding person who makes good choices and not only knows the difference between right and wrong but who also chooses right over wrong.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911


    WOW what a quandry. I don't envy your position in this. My first thought about allowance and vodka in the same sentence was - the kid is selling shots for a buck. (what a little entrepreneur).

    I think you did the right thing telling the principal. Personally? Since you already feel you breached trust with your son, I see no reason not to call the principal and give her the name. If she's worth a thin dime - she'll watch this kid and make her own judgements. If she went right to your son it may be that she has seen him with that boy, so I think you're safe.

    Middle school is the hardest years of anyones school life. Everyone is changing, hormones are out of control, you're not a baby any more but you're not grown up. It's hard, and anything someone can do at that time to "get" noticed - they seem to do. Some seem bolder than others. It's almost like proving grounds for who gets to be in what clicke. Sad but true.

    It may be a good time to start checking out books on how to talk to your kids about drugs. The government has a web site that offers TONS of free literature and POSTERS - that you can donate to the school. They are fantastic....and target a tween audience.

    If you still feel odd about talking to the principal again - I would write - Vodka - Joe Blow......and hand it to her. You may be doing this kid a favor. If he's getting drunk at this age - wow.....or maybe he stole it and his parents don't know - either way it's time to get the booze out of that house.

  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Star! That is good advice.

    PS- Interesting avatar for you- not what I would have guessed, but interesting-
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK, after two days of calling, I finally figured out- let's say it became obvious- that principal is avoiding my phone calls and won't return them. Go figure.
  14. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    When difficult child tells me things like that, I do not say anything to him. I GO to the principals office and tell her I heard rumors outside of school that this is going on.

    If I KNOW it is true, I tell principal I witnessed it.

    And yep..I would be there in a heart beat. Not an email, not the phone. If it is true, someone could get hurt.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, KJS. I have a meeting at the school for a different reason first thing tomorrow morning and I plan to make sure someone in authority knows the additional details then. It just annoys me that I had told the principal Wed. after school the part that I had heard and she knew I was going to discuss it more with difficult child to try to find out who was doing this and if it was on the bus, in the school, etc., so I tried to call the principal both Thursday and Friday and after being put on hold both times, I was told she couldn't come to the phone so I leeft a message asking her to return my call. She didn't return either call. It knid of comes across to me that she doesn't want any more details about.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It is done- the kid was arrested and taken away from school today. He came home and asked me if I had anything t do with that- apparently the kid thought difficult child was a good friend and had met him in the restroom earlier in the day and said he thought someone had snitched on him and asked what should he do.
    Anyway, when I told who he was, I was told that the kid is a diabetic and the parents would desperately need to know something like this, as it could kill him. Also, it did appear to me that principal was acting a little odd- like she either already knew or was avoiding the whole thing.
    I chose to tell difficult child that I did mention it to someone at school, because I couldn't let something go on that could jeoperdize the other kids' safety and this kid needed help, but that it did appear to me that they already knew something was going on. And, the police would not have arrested him just because someone made one report, with no evidence.
    Then difficult child told me that the kid told him in the bathroom that he had about 40 ozs. on him today. Who knows what the real truth is- but it does sound like there was some truth to this. I had told principal that if she looks into this and finds i to be total fabrication, which I could not swear it wouldn't be, to tell me because I would want to deal with difficult child over that. I haven't heard from her on that one.
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the principal knew something she had to be careful not to pass on to you. I'm kind of surprised she told you the boy is diabetic since that could breach privacy laws. Teachers and administrators have a very tough row to hoe in these situations. I don't envy her.