So this background is sort of long, my apologies for that!
We did an activity in class yesterday that is one of my favorites (it's called The Great Fossil Find and if you're into or teach paleontology concepts it can be found here: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/gr.fs.fd.html
At the beginning of the period, during the announcements, the orchestra assistant (Muffy) came and asked for one of my students (Lulu). They went into the hall. At the end of announcements as I was pairing kids up, she still wasn't back. I peeked into the hall and they were having an intense conversation. Started working. Peeked again. Now Lulu was crying and Muffy was looking cross. TWENTY MINUTES LATER, Lulu enters my class a sobbing mess. I stepped back outside with her and ask what's up, she said, "I don't know Mrs. GSNW, I keep thinking this conversation is over but she won't stop talking to me about it."
Obviously that is not a lot of detail, but the rest of the class is waiting for me to continue with guided activity, so I have Lulu wash her face and tell her it'll be OK (Lulu, by the way, is a GREAT kid -- she is an exemplary student, very bright, courteous, etc). By this time I am PO'd. Lulu missed 20+ minutes of my class for some sort of confrontation that left her unable to function for the remaining time in class, and she is obviously extremely upset.
I spoke to the dean during passing period and asked her what to do? Gave dean the basics - kid pulled from my class, very upset, freaking out, etc. At the end of the day Lulu came in and said, "Mrs. GSNW, are you the one that told Ms. Dean about what happened?" I said yes, and Lulu gave me a hug and said, "Thank you SO much." I didn't get more details but Lulu said she felt much better and "it's finally over."
So now I'm sure you can guess, Muffy is furious with me for stepping in to the situation. She sent me a very nasty email (over school mail no less!) which I have pasted below:
Ridiculous - if you have a problem with how I deal with a student deal with me about it because your class is not the only thing happening on campus. I talk to kids when I need to and I NEEDED TO TALK TO LULU. She cried so what. I thought you and I were better friends than that -
I did not respond to the email, because really what is there to say? I don't know what the conversation was about and I'm not super interested in the details. If something required that much discussion or was serious enough to warrant that level of upset, it was not handled in the right way. I would not be surprised if Muffy confronted me, so can I say...
"I'm not going to talk about this with you."
"I really don't see the point in discussing this."
"I don't feel I owe you an explanation."
Nothing, walk away.
I don't know, any other ideas?