Dear Sammy,

So Sammy, there you are again, standing outside her office door, waiting for permission to enter. The blood on your shirt and mud on your face shows another chapter in the story of ‘Sad Sammy’s life at school’. Your presence in the staffroom corridor was also another excuse for Mrs Parks to rant on about why you should be sent down the road. I can still hear her words.

‘No loving mother would do this to her child Is it too much to ask Mrs Grone to transport her own kid down to St Cuth’s? That woman can only think about herself. It’s wrong you know.’

Looking at the number of nodding heads, I guess that Mrs P was representing most of the staff’s views. When you read this Sammy, you may be tricked into thinking that this is another case of bullying. This time by teachers. Believe me Sammy; we’re on your side. We don’t like to see you standing out there waiting for your execution, because you have defended your mum, fighting back at her critics. Fighting back hard. A little too hard.

Sammy, I still remember that group from year six, shredding your clothing as retribution for the new uniform regulations.

‘It’s your fault,’ they cried.

The ‘no football’ rules resulted in you tied to the goal posts; a defenceless defender. They blamed you for the own goal.

Then they got you again, forcing you to eat an interesting cocktail of Smarties and grass, when the closure of the school tuck shop was announced. You didn’t take that lying down and showed a few of them that teeth did more than eat. If you could only bite your tongue, there may not be a ‘next time’.

So little Sammy, as the head’s door opens and you are called in, will you run in, throw your arms around ‘our boss’ and hug her like only a daughter can hug her mother?

And will you ask her to let you go to St Cuth’s?

And will your mum finally, through her tears, whisper ‘Yes, my love’?


Originally published: The Times Educational Supplement