Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Code "Bear"

Yesterday I went to pick Bear up after school. Normally he takes the bus, but being banned from taking his beloved bus for two days was part of his punishment for hitting a friend in the face for no reason on Friday. The other part of his punishment was that he lost his last recess of the day for two days. Now, before you start in on me about how you should never take recess away from a child with ADHD, chill out. I know that. The school knows that. But this is the last recess of the day, the one right before the kids get on the school bus. Might be a problem if he were taking the bus, but he's not. And even if he was, it's a five-minute bus ride. Bear is a very difficult child to discipline because nothing bothers him, so we hit him where it might at least sting a little.

But I digress.

So I go pick up Bear and I get to talking with the resource teacher. Our conversation went something like this. (Keep in mind I get along really, really well with this teacher.)

Me: "So, how was his day today?"

Her: "He had a great morning, but then for some reason he tried to run away this afternoon."

Me: "He tried to what?" (Not sure why I was surprised given recent events involving AWOL Bears.)

Her: "He only got to the front door. But don't worry, we take it very seriously. We have a plan in place in case he should ever get out."

Me: "You have a WHAT?"

Let me tell you, there's something both incredibly reassuring and yet completely disturbing about finding out your child's school has an emergency plan in place in case he should ever decide to vacate the premises. Bear does have a tendency to run away from his teachers (and his home, apparently) when things really aren't going his way, so this certainly shouldn't come as any surprise. To date, I don't think he's actually made it out of the school, but I guess they need to be prepared for the possibility (eventuality???).

What I learned is that all staff members have been advised that an announcement over the PA system about someone having lost a red bag (code red?) actually means that Bear is on the loose...on the run...on the lam.

I probably shouldn't have told TheODDDad this while he was eating. Poor guy almost choked on his spaghetti. (Imagine trying to explain that to the paramedics!) He suddenly had visions of the school having "Bear drills."

For the record, when I asked Bear where he had been heading when he was leaving the school, he had no idea what I was talking about.

Me: "You know, when you were running down the hall towards the doors and they caught you. Where were you going?"

Him: "Oh, that! I wasn't leaving. I was just going to run into the doors and bounce off of them."

And he really was. Cause running out of class, down the hall and into the glass doors so you can bounce off of them seems like a perfectly logical thing to do when you're Bear. But next time? Who knows what will be going through his head next time he goes running down the hall towards the doors.

Has anyone seen my red bag?


  1. oh my word I seriously laughed through this whole piece... because you know what? Our school totally has an emergency "Aiden is trying to escape" plan in place too. I should totally suggest the red bag code to them! lol

    The only difference is my son has actually successfully ran away from school several times before!! When he was in kindergarten and grade 1. It was terrifying for all involved. He hasn't done it in a few years though so that is a relief.

    Gotta love it.

  2. Hi Tara. You're not the only one to tell me your kids have done it as well. Gee, you think the ADHD impulse control thing is to blame? ;-) One of the things I really like about the red bag code is that it goes out over the intercom, so all staff are alerted immediately, but no names are used.

    Bear has yet to make it out of the school, although he's tried a few times. He's wandered away from our house a few times though, which meant two calls to the police in as many months.

    Good times!