One of my girls is having.....issues (to put it v. mildly) with two other girls at the school. Long to short, Athleta was BFF with one of the other girls, they grew apart, both shared inappropriate secrets, a cafeteria fight was narrowly avoided, and the other two got suspended while mine only got a warning.
The conflicts have continued, and today it came to a head. At lunch, Athleta came into my room looking super upset. I asked if she'd come in to watch a movie (we'd discussed that earlier), and she shook her head. She grabbed her binder and started to head out. "Everything okay?" I queried. She gave me this look that was a mix of horror and deep irritation and stormed out.
For a second I thought about just letting her go - she's really mad at me right now (I wouldn't allow her to speak to me in an extremely disrespectful way on Thursday....yeah, I suck) and I didn't really want to have another conflict. But this seemed more than that.
So amid calls from some of the boys in my room ("Did she just roll her eyes at you?" "She's muggin' you, Miss!" "Dang, what's her deal, muggin' like that?"), I followed. "Athleta!" I called. She was already halfway down the hall but stopped reluctantly and waited. I caught up. "You okay?" But as I said it, I knew she wasn't - her eyes red and her eyeliner smudged halfway down her cheeks, she was anything but okay. I paused. "Honey, what's going on?"
And the story spilled out. The other girls had accused her of calling them names when she hadn't, and now she wasn't allowed to go on a reward field trip, which was unfair because she hadn't done what they'd said and the administrator in charge hadn't listened to her or even given her a chance to tell her side. Her mom was super mad, both at Athleta and the school, and she wasn't sure if she was going to be allowed to finish the year. Everyone hated her and she only had one friend left and she was so sad all the time and so mad too. The tears spilled over again as the words tumbled out, and all I could do was listen.
When she finished, I hugged her (sometimes you have to), and tried to find something to say. I offered to talk to admin with her, offered to talk to her mom with her, offered to take a witness to Athleta's side to the office. But she shook her head to everything; I don't think she could understand, not right then. So I told her we'd talk tomorrow, and I let her go.
I don't know what to do. It's not my fight, I know that, and I don't really want to get involved - administration's a little....touchy right now and I don't need to be on anyone's bad side. But I like this kid a lot, and she's miserable right now. I remember what that feels like, to be a teenager and have all of your friends turn against you and to feel like no one cares, like you don't matter to anyone at all, and I just don't want her to feel like that.
Should I still offer to go to admin with her? Should I talk to her mom (not to tell her what to do, just to make sure she's okay if I'm involved)? Should I just bow out?
Any input would be much appreciated. Because right now, gah.
(Image credit to megyarsh)