Friday, October 16 - Under the Bus

Getting thrown under the bus - I'm beginning to hate that phrase.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we can thank reality TV for it.   I've been accused of throwing one of my teachers under the bus.  Not to my face, mind you.  But word gets around quickly.

My job during fire drills is to stand in the main lobby across from the office and monitor the exits that are visible from that position.  I have a walkie-talkie in hand which I use to communicate to the principal who, with the custodian, has tripped the alarm and is monitoring the back exits of the school.  When everyone is safely out of the building we turn off the alarm and give the classes time to line up outside before calling them back in. 

We are required to have two fire drills a month and the exit from the building must be done within a certain amount of time.  Every classroom is assigned a particular exit so that we can clear the building as quickly as possible.  With that in mind, when the principal comes back in he usually asks for the time and if there were any laggers or problems.

During our last fire drill I was positioned in my normal place.  I checked the rest rooms and cleared them before we pulled the alarm.  I noticed that there was a teacher who was coming toward me who should have been going out another exit.  She had four students in tow, literally holding them by the hand and dragging them down the hallway and out the door.

When the drill was complete and the classes came in I checked the fire exit map in the office and it clearly showed the teacher had taken the wrong route.  But, I felt I needed to check the exit map in her room before I said anything as I am responsible for putting those maps in the room and I thought it might be possible that I had made a mistake. 

I knocked on her door and asked to check the map and said that I thought she might have used the wrong exit.  She explained that she was looking for a student that she had sent to the office and I left the room.

On the way back to the office I met up with the principal and, as he usually does, he asked how things went.  I explained to him what had happened and he said he would talk to the teacher.  You don't go looking for anyone during a fire drill - you exit the building at your assigned exit as quickly as possible unless it is blocked. 

This happened two weeks ago and she is still telling people that I "threw her under the bus" with the principal and that I should apologize.  Oh, and she's not speaking to me either. 

I've been in a school when there was a real fire and I take these drills very seriously.  There's no room for deviation or debate.  No one but the principal, the teacher and myself would even have been aware of his talk with her if she hadn't made it a point to tell everyone. 

Tell me if you think I'm wrong, but I don't think I should apologize for doing my job.


Dorrie said...

I do not think you are wrong. If that had been a real fire, she would have been jeopardizing the lives of those 4 students. My sister also works in a school office and also agrees with you. Was she also the one who had a problem with the garbage bags/cans?

Lorraine said...

Dorrie, your question made me chuckle. No, it was a different person with the garbage cans.