Maggie’s first fight. Hopefully…her last.

Maggie has been complaining about this little boy since she started school.  In fact, on her first day there we were greeted by the head master and in the corner of his office we saw this boy sitting on a chair.  Obviously, a sign of things to come.

His name is Leo and he is only 9.  He looks like he is in middle school…huge, beastly child.  Bless his heart.  (I learnt, from living in the south, that I can say mean things as long as I say “bless his/her heart” afterwards.)  He was sent to board in Portugal, while his parents are living thousands of miles away in China.  Maggie feels terrible for him, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t scared of him.  He has declared war on all girls.  He threatens to kill them.  Cut up their brains.  Hit them with baseball bats.  She has been the victim of a few of his rants.  He has also pushed her a couple of times.  She comes home and details the terrible things he does.  He litters.  “Can you imagine?”  This is Maggie’s question to me.  Well, yes I can imagine he litters…seems low of the list of awful things he does daily.  He takes his soda cans and throws them over the railings at school where they land on parked cars.  She has never told on him because she is really just trying to stay away from him.  She did help a little first grader who was almost hit by Leo with a baseball bat.  But, let’s be honest, she had to do something then.  The little girl was almost pummeled.

I went to the school to address these issues.  They are aware of his problems.  He is in therapy.  He has had a rough childhood.  I am sympathetic, but not happy.  Fast forward, to yesterday.  Maggie comes home with a pretty bad cut on her arm.  It was bright yellow…the results of a cleaning with iodine.  Iodine! I haven’t seen that used on a cut since I was a kid, except of course when Pippa got an injury from one of her fights in Portugal.

She tells me that Leo tripped her on the basketball ball court.  Once she was on the ground he proceeded to kick her.  She yelled for him to stop and a teacher came over and intervened.  Thank God.  Besides the nice cut on her arm, she has a pretty nasty bruise on her bum.  The assistant head master told him to apologize to Maggie, instead he threw his soda can over the fence.   When she told him to pick it up, he refused.  The real head master was called.  Maggie said he screamed at the kid to pick up the soda can.  Leo then took his finger and turned into a knife and dragged it across his throat and told the head master he was going to kill him.  Then, he was sent home.

To say I am disturbed is sort of a gross understatement.  I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about Leo out for revenge and coming with a bat to hit Maggie.  I decided to keep her home for a day.  She is scared.  The boy is deranged.  Pippa thinks she should just beat him up and get it over with.  These girls really couldn’t be more different.

Alas, my priest husband called the school the next day to report why our daughter was absent.  In his far too gentle way, he said that Maggie was upset about the fight.  He expressed concern, but then he expressed compassion for Leo.   He hoped he was getting help.  He said he would pray for him and he understood the school needed to do what was best for all students.   The head master said he had all of the students safety in mind, but wanted to give Leo a chance at redemption.

HELP!  I know I married a priest and I know I am sending my daughter to a Christian school, but the kid wants to kill all girls!  I am all for compassion, but what about the baseball bat?  What about the kicks to my kids behind?  What about pretending to cut off the head master’s head?

I sent her to school today.  I told her to avoid Leo at all costs.  She didn’t need to be nice to him.  This goes against everything we have ever taught her, but so be it.  Fingers crossed.

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