There was this fat boy in Grade 7 where I taught Grammar. He’s a really pain-in-the-neck student; very hyperactive, lazy, sloppy, talkative, forgetful and worst of all, very pampered by his family. Since I only taught Grammar one hour per week, I didn’t really face much problem with him but my friend who taught Literature, practically saw the class approximately two hours per day. Imagine her suffering with this boy coupled with the fact that that class had about 5 hyperactive and notorious boys. She had such a terrible time getting him to pay attention in class, do his homework, discuss during group work and other class work. All efforts had been expended-report to the principal, report to the office, reprimanded and punished by the director, gave feedback to his mother (who by the way is very, very protective of him), in-school suspension and out-of-school suspension – but nothing worked nor did he change a bit or felt remorse over his behavior. (His mother always reiterated that her son is good, an angel, doesn’t given her problem at all at home, obedient, hardworking and that it was this teacher (my friend), who didn’t like him and favored other students, – a lie because his Math teacher, Social Studies teacher, Arabic teacher and few other teachers, including me, complained about his behavior too.
So there was this incident that happened when I was not in the staff room that day. When I came back to the staff room, another colleague told me that the boy’s mother and her mother (the boy’s grandmother), were there a few minutes ago, shouting, hurling abuses and accusing my friend of trying to run over her son with her car and trying to kill him the day before. The idea itself was preposterous. Of course, my friend defended herself and said that she never saw him at the road nor car park the day before (and nobody could actually miss him, because he’s really obese and walks very, very slowly with his water bottle slung across his body). But the mother and grandmother refused to believe her. They were so dramatic, attacking my friend and making a huge scene, shouting and cursing my friend continuously. Imagine two loud-mouthed, 40-something and 60-something big-sized Egyptian women attacking my slim (although tall), young friend of 30 years old.
But luckily, my friend is not the coward type, as she is a typical Egyptian woman too. She shouted back at them denying the accusation. My colleague said it was horrible as both parties were shouting and talking so loudly. When both did not want to take back their accusations, other teachers intervened and all of them were brought to the Director’s room and it was settled there. The Director first of all reprimanded the two women for going straight to the staff room and spoke to the teacher without the office’s permission. That was not acceptable and against the rule. Then after hearing from both sides, the Director of course trusted my friend and assured the two women that that was an impossible scenario and that boy must have been mistaken. The two women, somehow, were convinced and dropped the matter. But before they left, his mother made it known to the Director, that indeed, my friend did not like her son and was always picking on him or ignoring him or reprimanding him for no reason at all as she said her son is an angel. The Director offered that she come another day and view the classroom recording anytime she wants. (There’s a camera in all our classrooms). She never did.