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Sunday, June 25, 2006


My friend's daughter who was in sixth grade broke her right arm and for a while was able to keep up with class work with the help of her wonderful teacher. One day, while her arm was still in a cast, she and a friend who happened to be waiting their turn on the orthodontist's chair, chatted about school.

"You've got it made," her friend teased. "No reports to write, no written tests to take". "Yes," she laughed. "And when this heals, I might just break it again!". "...and all that special attention I get from the teacher." "You're being jealous," she joked. "After all, I'm unique!"

A few days later, my friend and her daughter were called by the principal. In a stern tone, she relayed that a woman who had been in the reception room at the same time they were had telephoned the school to report what she overheard and she was disappointed at how the teachers in the school were tolerating students who think of themselves as unique and deserving of special attention.

My friend at first was too stunned to speak. But then she realized that the woman had not deliberately lied. She had only repeated her daughters' words out of context and in a manner that totally changed their meaning.

Has this happened to you? What about that something you've recently heard and plan to tell a friend? Are you sure that you have it right? Will the tone of your voice or its injection amend the real meaning? Will your repeating it embarass or hurt someone else? If so, it's best to leave it unsaid.
12:53 PM | Permalink |


  • At 6/25/2006 3:15 PM, Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD

    I really don't know. I think that lady was also right in telling the principal. Maybe if i would be in her position I would do so too. My reason - this 6th grader is no longer a child. She already has a mind of her own. Her mother should have taught her gratitude. Gratitude to her teacher who gave her special attention instead of feeling over and above her classmates. I wouldn't even call her being unique. Unique in the sense that she doesn't know what gratitude meant. Upbringing comes in here.

  • At 6/25/2006 10:09 PM, Anonymous chelle

    I am so thinking that people really need to mind their own business. This lady totally misunderstood and is not in the class room everyday. Since becoming a mom and enduring temper tantrums based on over tiredness not my parenting choices, I have learned to have a great deal of empathy for others, always thinking to myself that I do not know what happened before I arrived or what will happen after I go.

  • At 6/25/2006 11:50 PM, Blogger Reverberate58

    I think that it should have been discussed but only with all parties and the child given a chance to say what she really meant! Children speak so easily not seeing the full take on their words (it is called innocence) and how they can be taken the wrong way. Some times we judge our children too quickly before they are given a chance! Hopefully the principle did give the girl a chance to speak!

    Side to this I have to say. We are only human and sometimes take it upon ourselves to repeat because we think we are suppose to. We give no thought to the pain or concern it might cause! Gossip is gossip no matter the intent on repeating what one hears. Lives have been ruined by repeating what was heard but was not necessarily the truth! There are always two sides to everystory!

  • At 6/26/2006 1:41 AM, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard

    Some people do need to stay out of things that they were not meant to hear.