One of our mums came to school today (mums don’t usually have a lot to do with their children’s school here). She doesn’t speak any English so she told one of my assistants that her son had stolen some money from a neighbour.
It wasn’t a large amount, about the equivalent of $12, but it is a significant amount for a student at our school. They normally don’t have ten cents to rub together. We are not sure of the details but it seems the money was left on a table and the boy saw it and went in and took it. He spent a small portion of it. I’m not sure how he was found out, but the money was returned in full. His mum just wanted to let us know.
I took him aside after school for a quiet word. He is the last child I would ever think capable of stealing anything.
“Kitbok, did you take some money from someone?”
Big brown eyes stare at me and brim with tears.
“Yes, but we gave it all back.”
“Okay, I know. But you will never do anything like that again, will you?”
A violent shake of the head.
“You understand you mustn’t take anything from anyone without asking?”
“You promise never to do that again?”
He says yes. His eyes are still moist.
I am hoping the fact that we didn’t beat him or shout at him or get angry (all considered acceptable practices here) will have the desired impact.
I believe he has learnt his lesson, hopefully for a lifetime.