Pearls and Dreams "Of coarse I forgive you, I'm a Christian" Those words came out of the mouth of my 14 year old son today. Uttered to a child who'd just caused him some pretty severe trauma. I don't know that I could have said the same thing. I do know that I hope the policeman standing there really HEARD what my son had to say to the child he said it to. Yes, I said policeman. I was sitting on the computer today, expecting my son to come in the door. He was a few minutes late. The phone rang and I figured he'd missed the bus from school. It was my son and he was crying. "Mom, I'm up here at the church office. I was beat up after I got off the bus. You need to come get me!"
"What? Benjamin! Why would you go to the church instead of home?" He told me he ran into the church office when he finally got away. I was really confused ... the church is a half mile away ... why would he go that far? I know you can see the church from the bus stop and you can't see home ...but still .... don't you run HOME when in crisis? "No mom! I'm with the POLICEMAN! UP HERE AT THE BUS STOP CHURCH!" It's registering, there is church offices at the bus stop, it's not OUR church offices. POLICE? "I'll be right there!"
My husband and I ran to the car and got to the front of the mobile home park, but we did not find what we'd expected to find. We found MANY police cars ... 8 policemen, the school bus and many men in suits. The school principal was there and the school bus looked like a riot had broken out. 3 of the 8 policemen and 2 other men were ON the bus. One of the men was a school board member and one of them was the principal of the school. They were desperately trying to get the bus under control. The story came unfolded to me while my son sat in the front seat of a police car. He was on the bus and some kids were picking on him, making threats. They were blaming him for something he'd supposedly done ...but hadn't. They'd been told this, by the kid who'd gotten suspended last week ...for beating him up in school. As he started to get off the bus, these kids went after him .. the driver tried to stop it, and couldn't ... and Bj got jumped. The driver tried to pull the other kid off of Bj and the driver got hit several times himself. The sad thing is, the kid who'd hit Benjamin ... had never been in trouble himself. Never caused trouble ... this was his first problems. One of the kids had been a serious issue, but the one who really pummeled Bj, wasn't a trouble maker ... he just picked the wrong friends. So, things finally got to settling down ...the principal told us one child (trouble maker but not assaulter) would be expelled from district and the other child (not a trouble maker but assaulter) would be suspended for 45 days ..which means finishing this year and into next year suspended. Then we were asked by the principal if we were going to file charges against the other child. We said no, probably not. The other kid wasn't a known trouble maker, they'd not been in conflict before, and to file charges, Benjamin would be put through more trauma. Does a kid who hasn't been known to cause trouble REALLY deserve to get a juvenille record the first screw up they have? So, about that time, the mother of the other child shows up. She gets out of the car and she's mad. She's madder than a wet hen and she goes up to the boy .."what do you think you're doing?" She wound up making him apologize to the police for causing the problems ..she made him apologize to US, to Benjamin and she wasn't happy with his apology to Bj at first ... "I said you apologize and you say it with the REAL meaning! You're at fault! NOT him!" The police spent about 20 minutes trying to talk us into filing charges, while we spent that time trying to explain that all that would do is cause further trauma for an already traumatized child. Finally, after they watched the other child, and realized that the principal wasn't pushing for charges, the bus driver wasn't pushing ...and the mother wasn't neglectful of the child, and this really WASN'T a trouble maker of a kid but a kid that SCREWED UP big time ...they backed off of us ..and told us that we had 365 days to change our minds. The other kid knows, if he does something else, we can change our minds and file assault charges against him. Personally, I think that when you mess up the first time and 8 policemen have to show up to fix it for you, and you're not a trouble maker ... and you have a mamma who's in your face ... you're probably not likely to do something again. And, when finally do get to the point of being able to say "I'm sorry" and mean it ..and the kid stands there and says "I forgive you, I'm a Christian" ... and you know, you could have been taken away in a police car if the child and his parents had chosen not to forgive you ... you are not likely to cause a problem again. I'm not interested in traumatizing my child or putting this kid in the juvenille system. But, I'm not sure I could look someone in the eyes right after causing me so much trauma and say "of coarse I forgive you, I'm a Christian" I am once again put in the position of looking at my kids and wondering where in the world this kid came from and how he got to be such a wonderful person.