Ella's coerced confession

Kind of a funny story over the weekend (depending on how you look at it). Ella's teachers put things in her backpack that they want to send home, calendars, letters, homework, stuff like that. Well, on Friday when I got home for work, I opened her backpack to see if there was anything in it. There were two little toy ponies that were definitely not ours. Last year, they had toys in the classroom to play with, so my immediate thought was that she brought them home from school. I honestly did not think Ella would have plotted to steal them, but it seemed a little weird.

I decided to ask her about it, and she just said that she didn't know how they got there. That seemed a little weird to me, so I kept pushing. Ella kept changing her story on me, first she didn't know, then she claimed our friend Tracey put them there, then she said something about Katie (we didn't know who Katie was). Sarah started questioning her about this time too. It was pretty late, past her bed time, and she was starting to get pretty stressed out and whiny. We kept asking her if she took them from class, and she would say no and look all nervous. Then she finally said that it was a secret, that did not sound good. Ella was pretty frustrated at this point, so we just let her go to bed, figured we would deal with it in the morning. Then, at the last minute, she said that she took them from class. We decided to let it go for the night and address it in the morning.

The next morning, we woke up and I set her next to me on the couch and talked to her about stealing and lying. I told her that as long as she always tell the truth she would not get in trouble, and how it is never OK to take things that do not belong to us. We decided not to punish her, but told her if she ever did it again she would be in big trouble.

We let it go from there, by the time her next class rolled around on Wednesday, I put her in the car to take her to school (usually our friend Tracey takes her in the morning). On the way there I talked to her again about not taking things that do not belong to her, and that she needed to give them back to the teacher, tell her what she did and apologize.

So we finally get to her class, we go in, I give Ella the ponies to give back. She is looking pretty nervous, but it is a good lesson for her, so I let her toughen up and take it. She hands them to her teacher and said she was sorry. Then the teacher said "these are not yours?". I told her no, Ella took them from the class, and then she said that they were Katie's (took her a few seconds to remember), Katie had brought them in for show and tell, and the teacher must have put them in the wrong backpack. I bent down to get level with Ella and tried to make sense of the whole thing in Ella's head. I told her that I was sorry, that she had indeed told the truth, to which she simply replied, very emphatically, "I know".

Sarah and I felt pretty horrible for pressuring Ella into a confession. I guess it ended up being more of a lesson for us then it did for Ella. Sarah told the story to someone at work, and he said that we were running a little guantanamo bay.


Anonymous said...

Now she feels like Kwame

Chris said...

Well, Kwame was actually guilty.

Anonymous said...

Kwame was setup by the white media and aliens....

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