News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2007
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TOM WRIGHT

Notes spawn parental apprehension

The dreaded first note home from the teacher has shown up in Savannah and Suwanee, Ga., where our two 5-year-old grandsons live.

Lynn had to go to Trey’s school in Savannah to consult with his teacher, and Mary Grace visited with Wright’s teacher in Suwanee. In the period between notes and conferences, the boys’ mothers, with disappointed hearts, visualized their sons wearing prison stripes.

Their innocence was gone at age 5.

Whether it was love at first sight or a female bully, Wright couldn’t take all of the attention he was getting from a member of the opposite sex. He snapped.

He knew he wasn’t supposed to hit, kick or shove a girl, so he improvised. He forked her while they were at lunch. It wasn’t a vicious stab, just a not-too-gentle plastic thrust.

Out of prison after telling his side of the incident, receiving the proper punishment and a lecture, Wright’s parents paroled him, and his teacher issued a pardon.

Life was good again in Suwanee and his tormentor moved on.

Meanwhile, in Savannah, another hurricane brewed with Trey in the storm’s eye. The note home said Trey threw sand at his teacher and told his best friend to run from her because the friend was in trouble.

The consultation went well without Trey having to snitch. His friend, the teacher said, is partially responsible for Trey’s bad behavior.

Trey’s on parole now, also, and his teacher issued her standard pardon for first-time offenders.

My advice to Mary Grace and Lynn was the same that Barrett Shelton Jr., our newspaper’s publisher, passed along to me years ago when I was summoned to Oak Park Middle School.

“It’s not nearly as bad as you are thinking it is right now,” he said.

His was the voice of experience, and he was right.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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