It got worse, before it got better resolved or whatever this is supposed to be.
During the last 15 minutes of the school week, the boys apologised, in the presence of the Principal. On the third day after the event, yesterday, the parents were ‘informed’.
After that meeting I blogged about on Tuesday, I came to know much later in the evening from O, that Mr J had called her out of class and asked her to produce a ‘witness’.
Yes, we had the same reaction. WHAT. THE. F***.
R and I had made it clear they were not to speak to O about this without us being present, and we don’t want a ‘trial’, just for the two boys to be disciplined, and our daughter to be assured that her complaint was redressed.
Apparently Mr J was not listening, and definitely had no sensitivity or interest in dealing with the issue, beyond getting rid of a nuisance. And within an hour of us exiting the meeting, he was holding his kangaroo court, asking for ‘witness’. Which O (scared and puzzled) provided, naming a girl who saw the boys in action.
So we went to the school again on Wednesday. And this time we found no need to have a level, civil conversation. I told the school I would escalate this to Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, and to the CBSE board, as I saw it as a failure of education, a failure of educators, and they didn’t deserve to run a school. That got the Principal’s attention, who had the previous day refused to speak to us, insisting Mr J (mis)handle this.
Wishy-washy is the only apt description of this meeting too. The school hadn’t yet informed the parents of the boys. They hadn’t asked the boys to apologise. And obviously they were hoping it would all ‘go away’.
The Principal then said their ‘perception’ of what transpired had changed after we met with Mr J the previous day, and hence action would be taken. The irony is, we only told them what O had already told them repeatedly. After a long and rather tiring exchange of him stonewalling and refusing to see the real issue, we left. Few hours later, he called R to say the parents have been informed and the boys were warned this would not be tolerated a second time around.
And then, he had the gall to suggest that the issue could be closed now, as asking the boys to apologise would mean getting O to face them, and it might be uncomfortable (yes, really!). We set him right once again, and said this issue can’t be closed till they apologise.
Once again R went to school yesterday morning, to emphasise the need for an apology. So at the end of the day, the boys were called in to the principal’s room, along with O, and were made to apologise.
Let me leave you with what O told me, when I asked her if she felt better with the apology.
“No amma. The apology is nothing. The boys were giggling and not sorry. But that doesn’t matter; I am happy they got into trouble for creating trouble. And that the Principal believed me finally.”