It’s The Principal Of The Matter

Learning | May 10, 2013

(I am in third grade at a private school. One day, my principal comes in while we are working.)

Principal: *to my teacher* “Hi, may I borrow a reading book for a student doing testing?”

Teacher: “Of course, just take one off the shelf.”

(The principal takes one of the books off the shelf, all of which are numbered and assigned to a certain student even though we have finished using them by this point in the year. None of us pay much attention and no one realizes the book is never returned until we near the end of the school year.)

Principal: “[My name], please come with me. We need to speak with you. Your book is missing from the class. Did you take it home with you?”

Me: *nervously* “No.”

Principal: “You have the book. You need to return it. If we don’t get the book back, you’ll be in a lot of trouble!”

(The principal soon calls my mother in.)

Principal: “Mrs. [Name], if your daughter does not return this book to us, you will have to pay for it and she will not be eligible to participate in field day.”

Mother: “You won’t let her finish the school year?!”

Principal: “Not unless she takes responsibility and returns the book!”

(We are quite distraught by now. I know I did not take the book, since we never took our books out of the classroom. A few days later, we are called back to the principal’s office.)

Mother: “How are we supposed to resolve this? We don’t have the book, but the school year’s over next week.”

Principal: “Oh, it won’t be a problem. The book has been returned.”

Me: “What?”

Principal: “Yes, it was in my office.”

(It finally dawns on me as I remember her taking a book off the shelf months earlier, which apparently just happened to be assigned to me. Thankfully, I finished the year with no further issues, though we never did get an apology for all the threats and hassle she put us through.)

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