The Herdmans – Part 4-1
Billy K’s behaviour continued to be an issue. He could go several days without incident but then WHAM. I suppose his belief was, go big or go home. While his brothers needed academic support in the classroom their behaviour wasn’t much of an issue.
By this time, one of the measures we had in place for Billy consisted of an intervention worker (IW) meeting him when he stepped off the bus. An intervention worker was a teaching assistant who specialized in behaviour intervention. She had several students on her case load and her day consisted of quietly moving from class to class and connecting with kids for whom behaviour was an issue. We tried to make it look like she was connecting with most students but there were several she was monitoring closely. The intention was to have her intervene before behaviours became disruptive. Her day began with meeting B.K. when he first arrived.
You could tell what type of mood Billy was in within seconds. When he was in the zone he presented differently. His eyes seemed wider and he held his upper body differently. The IW could get a fairly good read on him before they even spoke. If he seemed to be in the right frame of mind to participate in class then off he went; however, if he seemed to be in that somewhat hostile space, he had to initially spend some time with the IW. They would go to the conference room to talk (decompress?) before he was permitted to attend class.
I would stick close to the main office at the beginning of the day. If Billy was in need of some intervention then I would see (hear) them heading toward the conference room which was located next to the main office. On this particular day I saw no sign of Billy and the intervention worker so I assume all was good.
About ten minutes after the buses unloaded a parent arrived. She reported that she was driving toward the school and was flagged down by a woman who said that she worked at the school. “She told me to tell you that she is chasing Billy.” Had I been strapped to a heart monitor it would have been interesting to see how it changed at this point.
I jumped in my car and off I went. Sure enough, I caught up with Lori and she was, indeed, chasing behind Billy. She explained that when he parachuted off the bus he quickly declared that he was going home and started running down the hill. Not sure what to do she took off in pursuit.
When Billy saw me talking to Lori, he picked up the pace. I’m sure he thought I was going to chase after him. I told the worker that I would take her back to the school and that I would handle matters from here. When we at the school I asked the secretary to call Billy’s mother and to call the police detachment. I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out but if someone reported that a middle-aged man with a moustache was seen following a nine-year-old boy along a country road I wanted the authorities to have been informed beforehand. In my car I returned to the chase.
By this point he was about a kilometre away. When he heard my car he looked over his shoulder and proceeded to run as fast as his little legs could carry him. I wasn’t sure how I was going to proceed but I was quite certain that I didn’t want the little gaffer in my car, so I drove past him and pulled over to the side of the road about 70 metres in front of him. He stopped running; after all, if he continued to head in the direction of his home he would be moving TOWARD me. He continued to ponder the situation, looking back and forth between me and the direction from which he came. He obviously made up his mind when he bent over, picked up what I assumed to be a rock and came charging toward me, full bore.
………… to be continued
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