Bear left early for school today, which got our attention. As Hubby was leaving the driveway to take Bob to Middle School, he noticed that Bear was hanging out near the end of the block instead of at the bus stop. Of course his first guess was that Bear was planning on skipping school. I'd stayed home today so I could get Kitty's room ready for her (just in case) and Hubby had a meeting about the foreclosure downtown and I didn't want to go along for the ride (in our unairconditioned car).
So I padded out in my bare feet toward Bear's bus stop. He was slooowly meandering toward it, and I almost decided to just hang out and watch from afar just to make sure he got on the bus, but decided I'd talk to him instead. Before he noticed me, or maybe just after, he blew a big puff of smoke, took one or two more hits and then flung something I hope was a cigarette into the bushes. I had watched him the whole time he was there so I know he didn't bum them off one of the other kids.
I walked up to him without saying a word. He looked at me, and probably knew he was busted. There were 2 other high school students there, neither of which were paying any attention to him/us, but I wasn't going to say anything t him in front of them. Neither seemed to notice my presence either (I may look young, but I do NOT look like a high school student). Bear and I had a staring contest until the bus came.
Bear got on the bus and deliberately sat down with his back to me. I waited until the bus was down the block and tried to find the butt of whatever he was smoking (he eventually admitted to smoking marijuana a less than 2 years ago). The butt was lost in the bushes though. However, there were a lot of Marlboro butts around that weren't fresh so I can only assume he's been smoking there for awhile.
Bear is only 16 so it is illegal for him to smoke. His precious ROTC does not allow it and the school does not allow it. He was headed to the high school so I do not know if he will be searched, but I called his special school and they will try to arrange him to be searched. This is NOT OK, and I will not allow it to continue if I can avoid it.
Yesterday he came home with his new girlfriend, because she'd "missed her bus." When Grandma told him in no uncertain terms that that was not OK and she was taking the girl home, and he could not come with her, he went off. He called Hubby and ranted for 45 minutes. Hubby had just gotten off the phone with the insurance about Kitty so he was not in a good mood and raised his voice right back.
Hubby told Bear that he WOULD accept Grandma's discipline, and she had every right to yell at him (although she probably just spoke harshly, not yelled). That Bear'd brought this all on himself for treating her so badly and ignoring her when she spoke in civil tones, and not doing his chores as requested. Bear does not have the excuse that Bob has of having homework. That's one advantage of being in all remedial classes - no homework.
Grandma mentioned that the new ditzy girlfriend lived pretty far away, had trouble with knowing where she lives because they move a lot, and had a father who was a strict disciplinarian (actually she highly suspected the girl is physically abused - which since she is one of Bear's girlfriends makes sense - the only girls he dates are ones with major issues). I guess the girl told Grandma that she would be beaten if a boy had dropped her off so that turned out to be a good thing. Bear has been trying to find her dad a local job so he won't take one out of state as planned.
So I guess it's now a waiting game. We'll find out if he was searched and still had cigarettes and a lighter on him. I requested that they also watch for cell phones, Ipods or any other electronics too because they would be stolen. He knows I search his room so he always keeps his stuff in his bag or pockets. My guess would be pockets because I've been known to randomly search his bag.
I did search his room and found less than the usual contraband, but it hasn't been that long since I last searched/stripped is room. As always, I found evidence he's eating in his room, including an elderly bunch of grapes, a Coke (we don't allow caffeine), and an empty icing can.
The biggest thing I found though was a note from a girl who lives in our neighborhood. She introduced him to a girl that became Bear's girlfriend. In her note to Bear she states that she will provide condoms and her car if he wants to be with his girlfriend. She also mentions smoking marijuana with him. It's a note to him so he has "plausible deniability," which he will of course take advantage of.
I've reported all of this to the school so some of his consequences will depend on what they find if they search him. One thing we have to decide is if we continue to let him take the regular ed school bus or do we request the special ed school bus (which might be an option and picks up and delivers right to our doorstep), or do we take him to school ourselves.
If the school doesn't catch him, we have to decide what to do next. Do we just let this go? How far do we go with consequences? Do I just punish that which I have proof of? What should his consequences be? Every time he gets away with something it makes him a little sicker, and a little madder that we don't trust him (because we can't prove things we don't always give consequences so he feels he should be off the hook completely - sorry Bear, life doesn't work that way).
Everybody knows that adopting special needs teens is sooo easy. So why am I having so much trouble?