[Student Story] Pants on Fire

What is the right thing to do?

Kidlet #1 is despondent.  He finally lets me know that he has let another student “borrow” his cell phone and she has not returned it for nearly a week.  He is in big trouble at home, but will only tell his mom that the phone is “lost.”  He just wants the phone back.  I make a plan with Phone-Lender Kidlet that I will talk to Phone-Borrower Kidlet, but I will make sure she knows he did not “snitch.”

In the meantime, I check my voice mail at work.  Phone-Borrower Kidlet’s mom had called checking if she was at school the day before since Phone-Borrower Kidlet is, apparently, also Run-Away-From-Home Kidlet. When I returned her mom’s call, I also found out that yes, indeed, Phone-Borrower had a phone and the number of the phone she had matches Phone-Lender’s number.  Easy-peasy, right?

I talk to Phone-Borrower and she calmly explains that she did borrow the phone, but it is at home.  She is contrite, she will return it, all will be well.  I call her mom to let her know all is taken care of.  Her mom is confused though, because Phone-Borrower has just sent her mother a text message telling her that she should not have “snitched” on her.  Her mom ensures me that the text was sent and arrived in the last hour (11:41 am exactly).

I talk to Phone-Borrower again.  She swears the phone is not in her possession.  I know this trick, so I ask if it is in someone else’s possession, or on campus in any way.  She swears it is not.  I ask her how the text message was sent.  She swears she does not know.  I explain how when the facts are pointing straight at you, it is best to just own up.  She stands by her assertion that the phone is not in her possession, it is not on campus, and she does not know how it managed to send a text message to her mom disguised as her.

So.  What would you do at this point?

3 thoughts on “[Student Story] Pants on Fire

  1. I know it's 'bitchy', but I would phone the phone. It might be on silent, or vibrate, but if it's not, then you'll know soon enough whether it's nearby. Is that insensitive, and does it show too blantantly that you don't believe what you're being told…? Probably. Then again, I'm fairly capeless when it comes to teaching…

  2. Ask Lender if he is willing to have the provider temporarily cancel service to his lost phone.Be honest with Borrower; she's lying. She's not learning if her lies work for her.Create a unit on how to know when someone's lying.Teach yourself that you cannot, even should not, always fix these things, and, when such inevitable things happen, vow to teach kidlets to deal with despondency when trust is betrayed or when life is unfair.Oops, sorry… slipped into dad mode for a minute.

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