On the way to school this morning, I sent Crazybrother a text message that said, "Both of you need to be in my room before school. Do not make me come look for you."
I wasn't 100% sure if they would show up, so I called a friend who has conference period first thing, and asked her to cover my class for a few minutes. She said yes.
I had been in my room about 10 minutes when they walked in. Crazybrother looked relatively subdued, but still too happygolucky for my taste. Buggy, on the other hand, looked nervous. Apparently, he'd had time to think about things.
I told him that, due to the wonders of the zoom function on the computer, the officer was able to identify his face on the security camera....which meant it was only a matter of time before he was scooped up. I said I thought it would be an excellent idea if he would go to MrAP, and tell him the story....that whatever consequence was coming was not going to be totally avoided, but might be lessened somewhat by him showing some initiative.
He said, "If he's going to get me anyway, let him get me. I'm not going to him. Miss, you know I don't like him."
I told him that may be true, but he needed to realize that MrAP held his gymnastics future in his hands. If he had any hope of avoiding alternative school and remaining eligible next year...he needed to suck it up and do what he needed to do...which was go in, admit what he did, and do it while being respectful and NOT attitudinal.
We sat there a looooooooooong time....Buggy hanging his head, Crazybrother watching me, me eyeing 'em both....
I said, "It's your decision. I'm not going to force you. But I think it's your best option."
We sat there some more.
Finally, he looked at me, and said, "Miss. I don't have the guts to go to him."
I looked him dead in the eye, and said, "If you've told me the whole, true, story...and it's like you said...I will go with you to smooth the way just a little. Did you tell me the whole story? I'm not going to be surprised by anything when I get in there, am I?"
"Okay. I'll go with you."
*May the record please note that Crazybrother did NOT volunteer to accompany Buggy to the AP's office. Punk.*
The warning bell rang, so I sent Crazybrother to class with a warning that he better be IN all his classes...or else.
I had Buggy stay in my room until TeacherBuddy got there. When she did, I left my class with a "If Miss TeacherBuddy has to so much as give you the Stinkeye, you're in big trouble"...and we headed down the hall.
Along the way, knowing the kiddo like I do, I was giving him the shortcourse in how-to-handle-yourself-and-not-get-cranky 101. (Given that he had failed it with me LAST Friday, I wanted to make sure he got a refresher.)
The closer we got to the office, the more visible Buggy's nerves got. I stopped him, and said, "You do realize that the reason I want you to do this is not because I'm being mean, right? It's not that I want you to get in trouble..because that's the farthest thing from the truth. You know that, right?"
"I know, Miss."
"I'm doing this because I desperately don't want you to go to alternative school. If you go to alternative school, you're out of gymnastics. Period. And you know as well as I do that that's the only thing that keeps your head on straight...and keeps you from making a whole lot more stupid choices. I gotta tell you, before you came clean with me yesterday, I was ready to call off camp. But since you were honest, even though you're in big trouble, I still want you to go to camp. Because to me, camp is not about you learning gymnastics. It's about you going somewhere where you're accepted based totally on your athletic merit, getting the ability to see a college campus, and realizing that you DO have options past this place. THAT is what's going to get you through next year...is seeing that you've got more going for you than these guys who want to talk trash about you. Ya know?"
"Yes, Miss, I know."
"And you have been trying...you've been laying low, trying to avoid trouble, keeping your grades up...your AP should be able to see that. But you're going to have to be up front with him, and tell him what you've been trying to do...You need to talk to him the way you talk to me...so he sees the same Buggy that I do."
He looks up at me and, through the tears, says "But Miss. I can't talk to him the way I talk to you."
I couldn't take it. The sight of this kid, who so wants the world to believe he is hard as nails, crying...was almost more than I could take.
He ducked his head, and said "I hate this stuff. This is why I wanted to transfer schools."
"Buggy, as much as I'd like things to be easier for you...I selfishly want you here, so I can keep an eye on you. I'm good at keeping track of you, but not that good. And you realize that, next year...even though you won't be in my class, you're not gonna get rid of me, right? I'm gonna be in the middle of your stuff til graduation. You realize that right?"
(Buggygrin through the tears...) "Yeah, Miss. I kinda figured that out already."
"Good. Let's go do this."