Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Retaliation? And its Worthiness.

A good friend -neighbor, actually -sent this to me this morning. I'm not advocating anything here, just thought it was funny. (And, I don't really think any air traffic controllers would do this either - although I suppose there are times in their jobs that the thought might just cross their minds, ya know!)

Southerners can be so polite!
Atlanta Airport

ATC: "Tower to Saudi Air 911 -- You are cleared to land eastbound

Saudi Air: "Thank you Atlanta ATC. Acknowledge cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R - Allah be Praised.

Atlanta ATC: "Tower to Iran Air 711 --You are cleared to land westbound on runway 9R."

Iran Air: "Thank you ATC. We are cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R. - Allah is Great.

Pause:

Static..

Saudi Air: " ATLANTA ATC ATLANTA ATC"

ATC: "Go ahead Saudi Air 911?"

Saudi Air: "YOU HAVE CLEARED BOTH OUR AIRCRAFT FOR THE SAME RUNWAY - GOING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. WE ARE ON A COLLISION COURSE. INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE.

ATC: Well bless your hearts. And praise Jesus. Be careful now and tell Allah "hey" for us -- y'all hear?

All of the above though does bring to mind a situation encountered in the household lately. Seems another young female -same age as the teen here -has been acting quite obnoxiously on the school bus and at school and other places as well to the teen.

Yesterday, when Kate came home she informed me that she had just cause to get into a fight with the other girl -should she become really confrontational and what did I think about that. My first response to her was "Do you really WANT to know how I feel about things like that?" Her reply -"Well, just wait a minute till I tell you what happened and then you'll see I'm cleared, justified to swing back."

Okay - tell me all about it.

Seems this girl (Let's call her Girl #1) was sitting with yet another girl (henceforth, Girl #2) with whom the teen has had a goodly number of run-ins over the past several months and
#1 was ranting that she knew the teen had been saying all kinds of nasty things about her, gossiping, as it were. I'm not going to say that is an impossibility -we all know how teens do like to do stuff like that - but considering who #1 has been frequently associating with of late, I'd be willing -without fully researching this stuff -to venture a guess that #2 has probably been filling her head with all kinds of things that she thinks she can attribute to the Teen here. Are you following my thought progression here?

Apparently some of the things #1 says have been stated about her have been to the effect that she is somewhat promiscuous and her comment to the teen was to imply that she is saying these things about her because she is jealous because she can get a guy and CAN do such and such things for or with him, etc.

The Teen says she denied having said anything at all about #1 and the girl continued her rant, in the same line of thought.

Until that is a much younger boy - 7th grader I believe (whereas #1 and the teen are in 10th grade and I think #2 is in 9th grade) spoke up with a comment to the effect that no one needs to spread rumors about #1 because she broadcasts the fact she is a slut all over the place to start with!

That is not exactly what the lad said - but to that effect - and I had to laugh upon hearing it at any rate and the teen said the whole bus, including the driver, cracked up too!

However, as the kids were getting off the bus, the driver then told Teen and Girl #1 that she really didn't care if they decided to duke it out but just to please make sure they didn't do it on her bus.

Now that ticked my daughter off! She was angry that the driver allowed #1 to make all these loud and perhaps ridiculous accusations, even threats against the Teen on the bus to the point where the Teen does tend to feel quite threatened by all of this. The teen did ask me again what did I think she should do should #1 come after her, start a fly-around and my response to her was to walk away from it; do not strike back. Go to the administration at the school and report what was happening but DO NOT allow herself to be in a retaliatory situation at all.

She thinks if she walks away others will brand her as a coward, a wuss, a wimp ya know and I told her again, it's quite possible because she would be choosing the high road, opting to not get her fanny in any kind of trouble at school that she would be setting a better example in the long run that way for others who perhaps are very ill-prepared for any physical confrontations to start with, to be able to do that too, holding the head up high and just walking away. To respond in kind there to #1 would be giving her satisfaction whereas to walk away and give no response would actually fluster her more, probably make her more angry in the process too but at least the Teen would come away the better for her actions -i.e. not be in any hot water with the school anyway.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, one who tends to resort to revenge. Occasionally, I may rant about something but I do not advocate for any type of retaliation in things like this. To me, that just lowers you to the other person's standards -which from all reports #1 evidently has very few standards. (Actually, I've seen her (#1) in action and from what I observed, I'd say the accusations she says have been leveled against her are most likely true.)

This morning, Mandy did contact the school and complained to the administration that this stuff is happening on the bus and the teen feels quite threatened by it. She also called the manager/owner of the bus company too and let him know her opinion about all of this - telling him if the woman who had driven the bus when she was in school had been driving, the bus would have been pulled off to the side of the road, the driver would have confronted #1 and told her in no uncertain terms that she would not tolerate her actions then or later or again on her bus! And, Mandy wanted to know why the driver did absolutely nothing to stop this from escalating. The manager did say that this morning, the driver had filed a complaint against #1 -adding to the manager that she could file a complaint after each and every run against #1 girl too! The manager also informed Mandy that they have video cameras running on the buses at all times and have #1 making her threats against the teen all on tape as well.

All this type mess just makes me think back in time to my own school days and riding the bus - which I had to do from 7th grade through 12th. Back then, the driver had ultimate control over the students on the bus and I can only ever remember one instance in which he stopped the bus, grabbed on kid by the collar and very strongly forced him into a seat with orders that he'd best stay there and be quiet. Actually, in comparison to my school years and what the teen tells us about the school today, there was very little fighting that took place back then; also no accusations at all about others and their behavior whether warranted or not.

I doubt very seriously that the kids of my generation would even have know or understood what a "slut" was then - what someone who was considered to be a slut maybe doing ya know.

Yeah, we were a very sheltered generation back then, for sure!

6 comments:

david mcmahon said...

Aye, Jeni,

Sheltered to a certain extent - and definitely as aware of our rights and our place in the world as our children are. Bless 'em, they are world-savvy.

Maddy said...

Alas my age of innocence is gone.
Cheers

Theresa said...

I cheered for the 7th grader- what an amazing statement.

To me the tape is the evidence, and I am pretty sure it is against school policy to threaten. The girl should be suspended from school and or at least the bus for a week.

What I have learned as an educator-principals want the schools to run smoothly and will only act when parents complain and throw the ed code at them.

Posolxstvo said...

Maybe this is due to my having a "male" perspective, but I think that it's important to be able to stick up for yourself and give as good as you get. The victim or martyr role is not one I am willing to shoulder, and not one I think anyone should shoulder.

Many years ago, when my 11 year old was five or so, some kids at the local pool were taunting him. Harrassing him. They were the same age as him, but much bigger. When it turned physical, my son turned to one of them and gave him a shove, which knocked him on his ass. Since that time, no one harrasses my son.

Am I proud that he knocked a kid down? No. But I am proud that he stuck up for himself and refused to just sit there and take it. Now, if my boy had been the aggressor, had been seeking out a confrontation, we wouldn't be talking about this now, because I cannot tolerate bullying of any kind.

So I may have counseled the teen differently than you did. I might have counseled her to look to the root of why teen #1 is bullying her -- what is teen #1 insecure about. And I would have told her that there is no shame in a defensive maneuver, but that she should not inflict unneeded harm. Responding to "You're a slut" with something meaner doesn't cut it. You need to find something that defangs the attack. Not always easy to do. But opportunities do come - especially when emotions run high.

lattégirl said...

I say good on Mandy for taking things in hand. Some schools ignore parent complaints, thank goodness others at least promise to take action if need be.

As for taking the high road... so boring but often so necessary!

Dave said...

To skip the important part of the post, and not to mess up the joke; but, runway 9 "Westbound" is runway 18.