The following is an account of two periods in the deans office today:
I brought my pizza back to the office today because I wanted to save money by drinking water from the office instead of buying it at the pizzeria. But I’ve been a dean too long to make such a rookie mistake. Never be in the office if you aren’t “on”.
As soon as I walked in I saw a girl who was part of a mediation yesterday that would have exploded into a beating if I hadn’t been watching through the window and run in and dragged the other party out of the room, kicking and screaming, in the nick of time.
I didn’t even want to know why she was there today. I didn’t ask. I just went to my desk to eat. You have to take your breaths when you can. Otherwise you will drown.
But as I ate, I felt the situation creeping closer and closer as I heard my name being mentioned by the safety agents who were with her. Eventually Dean Dave , who had taken the case, came up to me to fill me in.
“This girl’s friends stopped her from going to lunch because the word is that the girl from yesterday and her sisters are in the caf ready to jump her. Apparently they’ve all got their hair covered and their jewelry taken out and they’re cruisin’ the lunchroom talking smack. And apparently the third sister is back at school today, so there’s some extra buzz.”
“Wait, there’s three of those fuckin’ sisters?!” I yelped.
“Actually I heard there’s eleven of ’em. No, wait, twelve siblings in all, I think I heard. And each one is crazier than the next. And they’re all coming to Patriot. Eventually.”
“Jesus,” I said. And I meant it.
“The only thing we have going for us,” Dave continued, “is that they’re all special ed, so we don’t have to deal with them.” We have a separate dean for Special Ed. Dean Fickles. “Fickles told me that the mom is a giant and that she’s missing her entire top row of teeth. So that’s what he’s dealing with.”
Dean Fickles was supposed to have the three sisters escorted by security from the cafeteria to his office as soon as they were done eating so he could have a talk with them. In the mean time, I had to keep our girl safe in our office. Not that students haven’t been known to rush into the deans office to attack, breaking doors and knocking over secretaries as they do it. But we do our best.
There was a knock on the door and three friends of the girl in the office said they wanted to come in to “just say one word to her”. I was reluctant because I didn’t want them to egg her on. Then, as I stood at the open door talking to them, I saw the three sisters plunging through the crowd like a snow plow.
I frantically grasped for my radio, pressed the button and yelled, “The Wilson Sisters are in front of the deans office! They are up here in front of the deans office with no escort!” I ushered the friends into the office and peeked through the cracked door to see the sisters stomp harmlessly by.
“Man!” said one of the girls I had just pulled in, “I ain’t been in this office since that time I got locked up!” Then she turned to the girl I had been hiding. “They’re too big, girl. Don’t fight.”
Undeterred, the girl yelled out, “I will beat that fat bitch’s ass.”
Before I could talk her down, I got called to the main entrance to deal with a kid who left the building and was trying to re-enter. “I had to take a shit!” He was yelling. “The bathrooms here too nasty!”
As I’m calling my boss to ask him if I can let this kid back in, another kid who’s always giving me shit ever since I called his mom and told her he was selling black-market cell phones at school walked by.
“What are you doing in the halls right now?” I ask.
He played dumb for a while and then grinned a mean little grin and slowly pulled a big yellow bathroom pass from inside his sweatshirt. “Why don’t you go on upstairs and mind your business,” he said to me with a sneer.
I was thinking about how to deal with that little asshole when I got called on the radio by a safety agent. “I need a dean in front of room 137!”
When I got there, the safety agent started complaining about a pouting girl sitting next to her. “She was disrespectful, Mr Pistol. Saying, ‘You a flashlight cop’, and all this. I don’t need this Mr Pistol. I want something done with huh.”
“That’s cuz you all up in my face!” The girl yelled.
“Mr Pistol, I am fair with these kids. You know that. It don’t matta race, creed, nothin’ like that. I admit, I was tawkin with my hands, but that’s what I do. There’s no disrespect there. That’s just what I do.”
After I got the student into the deans office she yelled, “I have to go take a test!”
I let her to go take her test and told her to come pick up her suspension papers later because she’s been warned too many times. She stormed out, swinging the door into the wall as she left, knocking a nice chunk out of the plaster.
As I started the paperwork, the same girl gets escorted back into the office along with another girl.
“They was about to fight in the classroom,” the agents tell me.
Just then, the girl who I had been keeping in the office all period to keep her safe from the 3 sisters asks me if she can leave. I call Jerry to find out the status of the sisters. He tells me that the fighting rumors were just rumors and she is safe to go.
Now back to this girl who was suspended and then almost fought in her class. Apparently it was her cousin that got jumped in the girl’s bathroom yesterday and the other girl was there when it happened and yadda yadda.
I am just trying to talk them both down (in separate rooms) and get them to promise not to fight. The suspended girl, who is missing most of her left front tooth, has tears streaming down her face, and both the girls keep interrupting me and going on loud tangents like “How she gonna get loud when the security show up? Why you not loud when they aint theah?”
“Sweetie,” I say, “no one wants this day to get any worse. You’re not having a good one. She’s not having a good one. Can you just put this behind you and have a good rest of the day?”
Office phone rings. I am busy, but no one else is answering it, so..
“I wanna talk to Greene!”
“Hold on please. Can I ask who’s calling?”
“… This is Nicole!” I can tell this isn’t going to be good.
“He’s actually with a parent right now, can I have him call you back?”
“No! I wanna talk to him now! Or I wanna talk to somebody! Because these girls are sayin’ they’re gonna jump my daughta! And something’s gonna be done about this! Now it ain’t just one girl anymore! Now it’s awll huh little friends too! And if something happens to my daughta aftah you all be knowin about this ovah theah, I swear to God! The principle, the administration, the deans, I’m takin ALL y’all to court! So I – ”
Dean Dave joked later that I should have said, “Just make sure the court date is on a school day please, ma’am’.” Instead, I yelled “Ma’am! Before you start threatening me, why don’t you give me your daughter’s name, so I can actually do something about this.”
“I’m Not Yelling!! OH MY GOD!! YOU PEOPLE – ” At this point, I just held the phone out into the air, reducing her screams to a harmless distorted squeaking.
I brought it back to my ear in time to hear, “Do You Agree?!! Do You Agree?!!”
“I still don’t have a name, ma’am.”
She went back to the shouting so I held the receiver out at arm’s length again.
“Squawk, squawk, squawk..”
I brought the phone back to my face. “Are you just gonna keep yelling, ma’am?”
“I wanna talk to someone else! Transfer me to Greene’s office!”
As I begun the transfer, I remembered I would get in trouble if I transferred an irate parent to my boss without warning him first, and as I tried to figure out how to warn him without losing the call, I lost the call.
Back to the other girls. They agreed to go their separate ways, which in this case was right back to the same class to take that test they were supposed to take.
I had a whole bunch of parents to call about a whole bunch of crap, and I had to do all the paper work for my suspension, but then a girl walked in who needed me. She was bringing in a picture I had requested of the ex-boyfriend who used to beat her. After he fathered her child, she broke up with him. Since then he has been stalking her and then he threatened to murder her. She brought us a police order of protection a few days ago. She is sixteen.
I asked her if I could keep the picture. “No, that’s the only one I have of him. It’s for my daughter.”
Later, as I was leaving for the day, I saw Dean Fickles. “Oh man,” he said, “When you called out on the radio that the sistahs were up heah, you sounded like Custah at Little Big Horn!” He laughed. “I mean, just one of those sistahs takes up half da hall-way, so I understan’!” He laughed. “There wuh a lotta Indians! And there’s thirteen of ’em back at home!”