Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to Talk

I came home and laid on my pillow, face down. I realized that what Kristy had done was a potential breakthrough. So I waited until I was sure they had phone privileges at the group home where she lives to try to call her. They told me she'd gone out for her evening walk, so I decided I'd wait until later.

Meanwhile, I told Harriet what Meredith did, and then wrote about it in my blog. Harriet in my bedroom and Wendy and Sophie on my blog all agreed that Meredith had now gone too far and I needed to tell an adult. Indeed, the entire situation was now officially beyond my control.
So before classes started this morning, Harriet and I decided to go and talk to my homeroom teacher, Mrs. Baldwin. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought to talk to her before since I can never find the guidance counselor and the principal is always busy. To my surprise, though, Mrs. Baldwin seemed as though she wanted to talk to me. Before I could say anything, she asked me if something was wrong.
I broke down in tears as it all started flowing out. Mrs. Baldwin reached for me and Harriet put her hand on my back.
"How long has this been going on?" she asked.
"Since the beginning of the school year."
"And you haven't told anybody?" Mrs. Baldwin asked.
I shook my head no.
"We need to schedule something with the principal, right away."
When I got to the principal's office, though, Kristy was already there. She looked me in the eye. "Haley -- we need to talk."
I was all ears. "When?"
"After school. Can't say much in here."
Just then Mrs. Baldwin, Principal Ballard, and Meredith arrived. "I understand from Mrs. Baldwin that you girls have been having an issue."

Neither of us said anything. But after a few moments Meredith yelled, "Kristy pushed me."
"But not before you started it," shot back Kristy.
"Okay," shouted Principal Ballard, "enough! Now, one by one I want you to tell me what's been going on."
I started first, remembering events that had been going on since the beginning of the school year, when I first arrived at Adams. Then Meredith and Kristy said their pieces.
Principal Ballard scratched his chin. "So this is what last week's fight was about. I see."
"These tensions between these two groups have been building since school started," said Mrs. Baldwin. "And the election didn't help."
"I agree," he replied, "this situation must be dealt with. As for today's incident, Hopkins, since I don't think this is the first time you've bullied, I'm suspending you for two days."

Meredith hopped from her chair. "What?" she asked in disbelief, stamping her feet. "You can't do this!"
"And you're to spend the rest of the week in after-school detention. As for you, Van Dyke, you're suspended for one day. You've got a history of discipline problems. Madisyn Baker's parents have taken her out of Adams because of last week's events. A couple more skirmishes like this and you're expelled."
Kristy slumped in her seat and sulked. Then Principal Ballard looked at me and he said he was glad I finally got the courage to tell someone about my being bullied.
All this reminds me, I need to finish my project. Any suggestions?

Anyway, after the meeting, Kristy called me aside and said we needed to talk. She dragged me out to the hallway -- finding a quiet place in Adams' hallway is quite a feat -- and then started. "You know --"
"I'm sorry, Kristy," I said, "I'm sorry you got in trouble."
Kristy shrugged. "It's no big deal. You'd be surprised how often it happens. People like Madisyn and Meredith just make me mad, y'know?"
"I know what you mean."
"They think they run the school. Sometimes you gotta take 'em down a peg or two. And I don't like the way they treat you."
"Kristy, I appreciate you taking up for me," I said, "but you can't go around beating people up."
She put her hand on my shoulder. "You gotta admit, though, Madisyn Baker deserved what she got, and I was about to give it to Meredith too --"
Right then and there, I realized, I need to confront Meredith, once and for all. Not Kristy, not Harriet -- but me. But where am I going to get the guts?
On top of all this, Hilary's twelfth birthday is next week -- and I have no clue what to get her. She told me her parents might be moving at the end of the school year. It's funny that she was basically just a replacement class rep after I was named class president, but she's actually sweet and has become a friend. If she moves I'll miss her.


Sophie said...

I do agree that you have to be the one to confront Meredith, but be careful! Don't get yourself into trouble.

Avery V. said...

I'm glad you and Kristy are friends now!

Karen said...

I agree with Sophie, the only way this is going to end is when you tell Meredith to stop, and mean it.

I'm glad you and Kristy made up!

Katie said...

You are so brave to confront a teacher. I'm way to shy to even look my teacher in the eye. Plus...all my teachers don't care anyway. Tell Meredith just to get a hobby that doesn't include torturing others.

Yay! I'm back into blogging!

Wendy said...

I hope you can find the courage to confront Meredith! She can't keep getting away with so much. I'm glad she got suspended... she deserves so much more than that.