Thursday, December 21, 2006

Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.

Just got back from another stint with the John Howard Society.

Before the cop arrived, I conveyed to the JH lady that the Boy was ready to take full responsibility for what he had done but that I was completely offended by being there at all. I wanted to know if she had the notes from the police, that I wanted to see them. I wanted to know what justification they had for sending us through this process again.

"I am just curious as to why we eliminated the middle man this time. I mean, the police didn't even try and contact me to say they were charging the Boy. It just went straight to you people." I find a strategically placed 'you people' helps to convey your opinion in as few words as possible. The mood was set.

That is when she rifled through the file and saw the notes from when I called up after I got this last letter from them. It was a long note, word for word.

And then the cop showed up.

I had to ask what made him pick the boy up. (The boy of course was shooting daggers at me.) I told him I was getting pretty tired of this, that all they were teaching my son was to lie. I made it clear that the boy was completely ready to take responsibility for what he did, but I had a real problem with being there at all.

I wanted to know if they legitimately picked him up because he was drunk (they couldn't say that, cuz he wasn't, I was there.) or was he picked up because he was with the wrong people? I told him that I was aware that the other kid was picked up before and just taken home, why wasn't the boy given the same consideration?

He gave me some bullshit about it being a crackdown, that the kids were starting to get out of control in the town and that night they were not letting anyone go, they arrested 25 different kids. I was about to say, so what? You were just trying to get the numbers?

"I am just concerned with the logistics of it all. The boy was never charged formally, nor was a statement taken, no one at the police station contacted me before I got the letter from (I turn to her) you. I find that curious."

This is when the 'lady' from John Howard lost her mind. She leans forward to look past me and addresses the boy. "Just a minute, Boy, I thought you were prepared to take responsibility for this..."

I am clearly losing patience. I had to stop her, "I guess you were not paying attention, but the first thing I said was that the Boy was fully prepared to take responsibility for this, and that it was me that had the problem with this whole process."

I guess I should mention that, along with the JH 'lady', there was a new guy. He was clearly trying to justify his existence, so he asked the Boy to tell his story.

The Boy proceeds to tell the story, adding that he drank 4 or 5 beer. I just looked at him, I knew it was a lie, but I let it go.

The Boy is a genius, because as soon as it was out of his mouth, the 'lady' said, "I think that is more believable than your first story of just one beer." The 'lady' was all over that. Since that meant the cop wasn't just phoning it in and they were completely justified in bringing this action.

Again, the boy is learning the art of a good lie. This is what the John Howard Society teaches him. Oh, they say they want the truth, but that is not true, they want you to agree with what they already believe, or (they say, although no one can confirm this, since no one has ever refused them before) you go to court. I could tell, this cop did not like where this was going, he did not want to end up in court.

Then they move on to what punishment the Boy thinks he should have. Of course the Boy says, "I don't know." The 'lady' and the newbie both speak at once. They figure community service would be a good choice. The cop takes one look at my face, I lean forward in my chair, I am about to speak when the cop jumps in.

"I think that an essay would be sufficient." I lean back. He winks at me. I am fuming. The newbie suggests 3 pages, hand written. The cop looks at me, I roll my eyes, he stands up. He is pointing to the 'legal' pad the newbie is writing in. "Now when you say 3 pages, that's double spaced, right? And the paper would be half that size? I think one page would be better, don't you think?" He is asking them, but he is looking at me.

By the end of it, it was one page, typed. I could live with that, he winks at me again. I am not impressed. At that point, the cop gives us the bum's rush. He wants me out of there before I lose my mind and demand my day in court.

On the way out, I look at the Boy, "Why did you tell them you drank 4 beer?"

"You heard her. She wouldn't have believed one."
And he was right.

I am still writing a letter to my MP. Their shit needs to be looked into. Someone is definitely cooking the books at the John Howard Society.


Anonymous said...

What does it matter - 1 beer or 4? You are not doing your son any favours. All he sees is that his mother will protect him no matter what. What happens when he gets caught pulling an armed robbery?

Evel said...

1 beer is holding it in your hand and acting like your part of the group without actually becoming drunk and being an idiot.

4 beer is trying to get drunk and being an idiot.

His friend has a problem (he is in a detox program now). My son wanted to hang with him, but didn't actually want to be drunk. He didn't want to be teased or picked on for being a wussy.

I know you say, 'that's what he says' and I agree, I was a teenager once. Unfortunately my son is honest (to a fault if you have been paying attention) and no I don't just take his word for it. I have spies. ;-) What my problem is, is that other kids get warnings for major infractions, my son goes straight through the system for drinking half a cold shot.

part-time thinker said...

Geez, Anonymous, straight from the fourth beer to armed robbery? Beer must be the real "gateway drug", huh? I get your point but you are wrong.

This JH Society thing sounds like they have a quota to fill and the boy got caught at the end of the month.

Evel said...


Kelly said...

they are morons scrambling to keep their jobs. (JH) next time they harass the boy, he should stand his fricken ground and go to court and i betcha the cop doesn't show, they never show, it's a waste of time - hence JH. he's not a bad kid but because he hangs around with one he's labelled. typical BULLSHIT from the "authorities" around here.