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Official Article

The Principal's Office

There I was, heart pounding, palms sweating, with a slight headache creeping up underneath my Orlando Magic hat. As I looked back on the events of that morning which led me to this moment of anxiety outside the principal’s office, I couldn’t help but think, “Why am I such a spazz?” I knew it wasn’t my fault, or was it? Was I a victim of circumstance or a guilty man of 8 years trying to justify his moment of insanity? More importantly, what was I going to tell the “big man” when he called me into his office?

I’d never been in this much trouble before, at least not at school. There was that time I climbed atop our vertically tilted couch during carpet cleaning day and swatted our dining room chandelier so hard it crashed to the table in a million pieces, but this was different. Public property had been damaged and I was the main suspect. As Mr. Perry, the towering red haired giant with a mustache for the ages motioned silently for me to enter his chambers, I quickly considered if I was I willing to point the finger and risk my social status to become “a tattle-tale” or bravely take my licks. Ultimately I fell somewhere in between.

“Now tell me, how did the bathroom mirror get broken?”, said the Principal. “Well, there were a bunch of girls chasing boys around the playground and I had to go to the bathroom.” Setting the scene bought me some time. “And when I was about to leave, the door swung open and Sharif ran in to me.” Presenting my role as the innocent bystander was a safe move. “But when he ran into me, I bounced off the trash can and my leg accidentally kicked backwards into the mirror when I tried to stop myself.” It was simple physics, one force acting on another. “But I think one of the girls pushed Sharif through the door, he wasn’t trying to run into me”. It was nobody’s fault and I cleared my accomplice’s name, so there could be no wedgie or noogie related repercussions.

Mr. Perry stared at me with that look of disbelief that most educators have perfected from years of listening to terrible pre-teen liars, “And that’s how it happened?” I thought for a second, to scan my mind for any additional embellished detail that could erase the rapidly approaching red mark on my permanent record, “Yes, that’s what happened.” There, I had sealed my fate. The book was closed and I just had to see how hard it was going to be thrown at me. While the Principal mulled over the facts as he knew them and cross referenced them with my convenient tale of innocence, I relived the more accurate version of the incident in my mind.

The truth is that yes, girls were chasing the popular boys around the playground. I had hoped to become the prey to some pretty blond, but this was not to be. I noticed that the guys being chased were running to the bathroom as a safe spot away from their side-pony-tailed pursuers. I thought that if I was in that area I might be included in the fun. When the next guy came barreling through the door I jumped in his way to create what I thought was a great moment of physical comedy. But it wasn’t the force of the body impact that sent me flying, it was my own hyper-active theatricality. I launched myself backwards on purpose and kicked the full-length wall-mounted mirror as I came to a stop. It was then that I heard the sickening crack of reflective glass.

Within seconds of the incident, I heard the familiar taunts every child fears, "Oooooooo, I'm telllllliiiing!" I was completely helpless with nowhere to hide. There is nothing schoolchildren live for more than seeing other kids in trouble and taking the attention away from their booger picking or persistent lisp. Soon a "Yard Teacher" had arrived to inspect the damage and I was marched off the Principal's office, where I now awaited the verdict from the most powerful man in the universe. Had my story worked? 

"Well, all I can tell you is that you need to be more careful." Wait a minute. That was it? No phone call to my parents? No week of detention? No steam shooting out of his ears? It was actually kind of let down. Movies and TV really made these kinds of scenarios much more intense. As I walked out of the Principal’s office and back to my classroom that day, I realized that authority figures were not out to get me in trouble, as I had always assumed. Mr. Perry wasn’t looking to doom me to a school career as the “bad kid”, he just had to do his due diligence. I’ll always remember that experience as the day he really put the “pal” in principal.

It was also the day I began my super-villain career as “The Smasher”, breaking mirrors nationwide with no fear of reprisal, “Ah-ha, no one can stop me now, fools!” Oh, I mean, I realized how lucky I was to have walked out of that scenario unscathed and just tried a little harder not to “spazz-out” so much. Yeah, that’s it.

So tell me about your brushes with the Principal. Were you the troublemaker? Did you have your own personally engraved chair in his/her office? Let's hear it.

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DirtyD79 Posted on Nov 18, 2015 at 08:34 AM

I had quite a few trips to the principal's office as a kid too. Mostly it was for fighting but sometimes also for when teachers got tired of my class clown routine. I also heard stories about kids getting spanked but never knew anyone it happened to nor did I ever see the paddle or whatever they'd use anytime I was in the office.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 19, 2015 at 10:18 PM

I don't recall the reason for the name change, except that the later incarnation of our group added a new member who was excited to change our name and give us all "bios". LOL

Best place to hide was the top floor. Teachers were less likely to travel all the way up there unless it was necessary to do so. That floor had the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classrooms and the Principal's office (of all things). But his door was almost always closed, or his office empty. Hmmm. I wonder what he was doing in there with the door closed all the time... come to think of it.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 19, 2015 at 02:08 PM

@comic_book_fan Shady action figure business deals and trades deserve their own thread in the forums, I think. Glad to know your buddy "fessed-up" and that you returned the stolen Joes. Sounds like you were a trustworthy duo.

@massreality So basically you were a member of the A-Team? Wrongly accused of a crime you did not commit. As a former fat kid I feel that girl's pain, but she should have just let it go and drowned her sorrows in another package of Dunkaroos like the rest of us.

@Vaporman87 So what prompted the name change of your group and where was the best place to hide inside without getting caught?

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 18, 2015 at 07:25 PM

It's funny to imagine an underworld in schools with kids selling hot merchandise like stolen G.I. Joe figures. LOL

comic_book_fan Posted on Sep 18, 2015 at 03:39 PM

i had been to the principal office a few times my first time happened when i was in the first grade me and a couple of friends were coming back from PE and were ran by the library when miss cox came out and said busted dude she only called me this as a nick name because i said dude a lot well anyways i just got a warning for that.

the next time me and the school bully got sent to the office because we were supposed to be cleaning up the room and set the chairs in top of the desks anyway he kept poking me in the head with the chair leg i finally lost my temper and tried to take the chair from him and it led to us going to the floor and the chair broke we got a small writing assignment and his dad had to pay for it because he started it which he admitted to.

then there was the time i bought 4 stolen gi joe action figures from the same bully for a dollar i knew that was too good of a deal.
see the kid who owned the figures wanted them back and i wouldn't budge until i got my dollar back and the bully already bought a pop with 50 cents of it i agreed to give back the figures because the principle knew my family and threatened to call my mom and tell her i was accused of stealing which would have been very bad for me plus i was about to miss the bus i don't know what the bully's punishment was they sent me and the gi joe kid back to class but the bully was back in school after that without missing any school so it must not have been too bad

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 17, 2015 at 02:27 AM

@massreality: So basically we can't believe a word you say. LOL. You are probably lying about not lying in this story even. For shame.

Seriously though, that seems like a poor way to handle the situation on the part of the Principal. Especially if the student does not have any record of causing trouble. Then again, I've known my fair share of crappy Principals. So maybe it's just part of the job desription.

massreality Posted on Sep 16, 2015 at 07:34 PM

I got sent to the principals office once in fourth grade. It was a horrible experience. Here is how it all went down:

At lunch, we were all sitting at those long lunch tables just chatting like usual. One of the boys at the end of the table made a nasty comment about a rather large girl who was sitting at the other end of the table. I was in the middle of the table, so I heard the comment and snickered. You could see people turning and looking towards the girl and whispering, and she instantly knew someone had made a joke at her expense.

She started getting upset and wanted to know what was said, but no one would repeat it or even look at her. After lunch ended, she cornered me with tears in her eyes, and begged me to repeat it. I told her not to take it so serious and forget about it. The guy who said it was a jerk. She got a little hysterical and out of desperation, I repeated it only once she agreed not to pursue the situation any further. I was a stupid, stupid little boy.

Five minutes later, we're in class and suddenly both myself and the boy who made the comment were summoned to the principal's office. We were both forced to stand, while she wanted to hear what happened. He lied and said he didn't know, and I decided to cover my own butt and just tell the truth. The problem was, I have/had a hard problem keeping eye contact. I was scared and had never been in trouble, so that didn't help. Once I finished, the principal began calling me a liar and said that I wouldn't look her in the eyes, so she knows I'm lying. She dismissed the other student, and then proceeded to chastise me and call my dad.

Lucky for me, my grandma was living with us and she took the call. She knew me well enough to know that wasn't something I would do. I walked home from school and she was waiting on the porch, with a switch, just in case I had made the comment. Once I explained the situation, she just nodded and I went to my room to play Sega.

I asked my dad just a few months ago if she had ever told him about that call. He was shocked to hear about it and said not once had she mentioned it.

The bad thing about that experience is it really affected me. I have this extreme irritation with getting in trouble over something I didn't do. Like, it sends me into a furious rage, which then, makes me look guilty, which doesn't help.

So, my trip to the principal office taught me that lying is the best policy and nothing good comes out of telling the truth. :)

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 04:22 PM

In my teenage years, I don't think I was ever escorted to the Principal's office (except one "faux" escort that was done to scare me - that's another story).

But in my elementary school years, I was there a time or two. Mostly because we were horsing around in the school when we were supposed to be outside for recess.

You see, we had this club that we called The Destroyers (and later... C.Y.G.A. "Citizen Young Guardian Avengers"... LOL). Our mission was simple: Stay inside the school during recess, and don't get caught. Well, while we were quite stealthy for our age, we didn't always escape the roaming eyes of the teachers.

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