Monday, January 28, 2008

What To Do, What To Do?

This was a Christmas present from the great white hunter. I ask for it so I could set it on my vanity where I do my hair and makeup every morning. I have tried to live my life by this prayer, not always successfully but this helps remind me. I call it my "know when to shut up" prayer.

There is a situation going on in my neighborhood right now that is testing that prayer for me big time. I just don't quite know the right thing to do.

Your gut tells you one thing but then you know that you don't know the entire circumstance and maybe you are sticking your nose where it should not be. But to not do something might mean harm for a little boy.

I live in a subdivision where the kids are bussed to the nearest schools. At about 3:20 every day two buses, each from a different school, drop off kids on the street that leads out of the subdivision and at the end of my cul-de-sac. Last year I would go to the school to pick up my grand daughter everyday as she was just in kindergarten and we were not comfortable with her riding the bus.

Every so often, if I went out after the buses had dropped off, I would see a little boy about seven or so, sitting on the curb all by himself long after the other kids had gone. When I say long, I am talking anywhere from a half hour to a hour. This was in 110 degree heat and he was on the sunny side of the street with no water. Other neighbors mentioned seeing him there also. Several called the school where he goes and I guess the principal talked to the mother. She even came out one day and sat and waited with the little guy until his older brother (of driving age) came to get him.

This year I am not driving Julia to school so haven't seen him, until last Friday. My DD and I drove by at 4:20 and he was sitting there waiting. The school gets out at 2:50 on Friday so he had been there waiting by himself on a busy street for a hour and a half. Today I called the school and the principal told me she would AGAIN talk to the mom. She said this lady was a good Mom and a nice person...........OK, a good mom does not leave her small child out on the street alone for a hour and twenty minutes but, she said it, not me.

It was pretty clear that the school was going to do nothing. So, I called the Child Abuse hot line to see what could be done. They said it was a law enforcement issue and I should call the police next time it happens. Then the cops would contact them if need be. They also said if I had notified the school, as well as several of my neighbors, the school had a mandate to contact them. She also said that unless I had a name, I could not file a complaint. I don't know the name, nor do I want to know.

Mom knows I was watching today to see when he was picked up, she made sure that I knew she knew. I expect things to change for a few days, then go right back. When she left from picking him up, she drove out of our subdivision, I don't think they live in this neighborhood, if so he could go home and wait. The mother was angry and basically told me to mind my own business. She was driving a really nice car, so I don't think this is a single mother with no other option. But, you never know.

So, what do I do next? I worry that someone is going to harm this little one and if that happens and I don't do something, I will never forgive myself. Then again, should I get involved in such a major degree in a situation that I don't know the circumstances? The school knows and is not doing much, the bus driver dropped him off today and drove off. This has been going on now for at least a year that I know about.

Another question is, is this one of those things that no matter what you do, is going to fall through the cracks until something bad happens and then the involved parties are going to go around saying "Why MY child?" Grrrrrrrrr......


Hazel said...

I don't know what I would do ,the poor little thing sitting there all that time .Don't you just want to slap the mom ,there really is no excuse , at least not here in Canada .I'm sure there must be a after school program or friend who can look after the child .Follow your heart and do what you think best ,in the mean time just keep a watchful eye .

Katie said...

I don't understand why he isn't dropped near enough to his home so he can walk home. Is he left near you in the morning to catch the bus? Sounds like a poor system. Glad you are watching.

When my kids were very little we lived in a subdivision where a bus picked up the neighborhood kids. One day I watched a car park around the corner where the driver could see them get on the bus. After the bus left, he drove away. I discovered this same car with only a male driver did this a couple times per week. I called the police who checked it out. Turned out the man was having an affair with a woman and wasn't allowed to go in until he saw her kids had left on the bus. Not sure if they found another system or stopped the visits but his car never returned. Big Sigh!

Amelia said...

Oh what a terrible situation! You want to get involved - but it appears you have done all you can. What about writing a letter to the editor of the newspaper? I bet the child is supposed to go to another school...does the Mother drop him off in the morning - or do you know?

Keep us advised!

Belvie said...

Oh my! Don't know what I would do with this one. I would feel awful if something happened to the child. I know my instincts from reading this would be to jerk "Momma" out of her nice little car and kick her behind! How can a mother leave her child where he could easily suffer from heatstroke or be abducted...or even worse. Apparently there is something in her life that is more important to her than this little boy! And the school calls her a "good mom"! Sure would hate to see what they consider a "bad mom".

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Oh dear! You worry for the little boy. You have done all you can really, by the sounds of things, apart from continuing to watch over him. It's a sorry state of affairs.

Kristie said...

I just don't understand some of these parents! The poor kids are the ones that suffer from their stupidty. Sounds like mom needs a swift kick in the rear! I can only imagine what must be going through the poor little guys mind while he is sitting there. Such a shame.

Linda_J said...

That momma felt like she needed to come yell at ou and tell you to MYOB shows she knows she was wrong---not wronged--wrong! With all the perverts out there, how can she do that to the poor kid? Perhaps the school knows the situation or her reasoning better but it still doesn't sound like the child is being well served. The police don't want to overstep their bounds and who knows is Child Protective Services is already involved. What to do? Keep your eyes open as the other neighbors must be doing too.

Happy Zombie said...

Oh the poor little kid. He's lucky you have him looking out for him.

I've been in situations where I don't know what does more harm then good. I feel for you. I read your follow up post on this too... and hope it's all going to work out. Great how you have support with your neighbors!