Friday, May 6, 2011

You Never Know What Will Happen

by Jan Shoop
As a Principal, you never know what is going to happen next. You never know who will be on the phone or what unexpected visitor will show up. You never know when a student or teacher is going to have a meltdown.
Anyway – it was Monday morning. I was on my way back to my office, after dealing with a couple of students on the playground, when the office called. The school secretary said there was a problem. So, I headed for the office instead. I walked in and the secretary said, “Omar is on the phone and he wants to talk with his girlfriend.” Omar was a former student. I was not about to pull Omar’s girlfriend out of class to talk with him, so I picked up the phone.
Here is the conversation I had:
Ms. Shoop       “Omar, what’s the matter.”
Omar               “My brother and I have been stopped by the police and they’re taking my car. I need my girlfriend to come pick me up.”
Ms. Shoop       “I can’t take her out of the classroom. Are the police still there?”
Omar               “Yeh.”
Ms. Shoop       “Put the police officer on the phone.”
(Mumblings and then a loud voice saying, “You called your School Principal?”)
Police Officer  “Yes, sir.”
Ms. Shoop       “This is Ms. Shoop.”
Police Officer  “Oh – yes, ma’am.”
Ms. Shoop       “What exactly has Omar done?”
Police Officer  “He was driving without a license and he has outstanding fines. We’re compounding his car and arresting his brother.”
Ms. Shoop       “Do buses run close to where you are?”
Police Officer  “Yes.”
Ms. Shoop       “Ask Omar if he has bus money.”
Police Officer  “Omar, do you have any money?”
Omar               “Well…no.”
Police Officer  “No money.”
Ms. Shoop       “Ask his brother if he has any money.”
(Police officer walks over to the police car and asks Omar’s brother, who is hand cuffed in the back seat.)
Police Officer  “Ma’am, his brother has bus money.”
Ms. Shoop       “Put Omar on the phone.”
Omar               “Yeh.”
Ms. Shoop       “Omar, take the money; get on the bus and GO HOME. Good-by.”
I hung up the phone and walked to my office to sort through paperwork and wait for the next surprise phone call.
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