[The following is one of my favorite posts, originally published 10/07. The chuckle is worth the repeat!]
Yesterday, I wrote a referral for a 6th grade (female) student who just won't stop farting out loud in class. (Yes, I said farting. And female.) So, the principal gets wind of it (haha) and sends me a note, inquiring as to why I took such a drastic measure in response to a natural human function that is certainly not within the child's control. Here follows our email exchanges:
Me to The Boss:
In regard to the referral for Susie “passing gas on a regular basis,” “polite sounds only” are part of her Behavior Plan, given her desire to fit in socially. Sorry I forgot to add more detail to the referral. I’m trying to teach her to cope with her gas problem in a polite way (such as going to the restroom or stepping out in the hallway.) However, she doesn't make any effort to try my suggestions. On a regular basis, she stands in front of me (or her peers) and makes very loud, distracting “emissions.” She always follows it up with a big smile and “I knowwwww….” I phoned home, and her mom was fully supportive of the referral/detention as one thing to try, since other interventions have not worked. Last year, this behavior was simply ignored by her teachers. I’m just trying to address it. Detention may seem extreme, but I’m just trying it out. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but I think it’s a good idea. Hopefully, she won’t make a stink in detention, and this will all be behind us.
The Boss's Reply:
Thank you for the explanation. I thought something smelled a little funny with that referral. I hope I am not the butt of any jokes regarding it.
Don’t worry. I would never make fun of an old fart.
I’m glad you’d PASS on that!
Me: I'd better quit farting around and get back to work!
Teaching middle school is such a gas!
P.S. Update: After this student served this detention, she never committed such a foul again! In light of the fact that this was a pattern the previous year (at her other school), I am quite pleased with the result. Guess someone just needed to put and end to it!