This will be the final chapter of this series. It is resolved in my mind, and should further issues from this arise, then those do not merit public attention. However, I wanted to inform those who have followed the account and expressed concern what I’ve done and offer the readers some closure to this drama.
I did contact the principal of the school, apologized for having to share, requested he maintain this as a private matter but be aware there was the possibility of an incident. I didn’t like doing that, but felt it was really the responsible choice.
Finally, I wrote this letter, which has yet to be delivered but will be sent by certified mail in the morning.
Dear [name withheld]:
In my last correspondence I made it perfectly clear I do not agree with your allegation that my daughter’s actions alone caused the damage to the phone. I further explained that you have failed to deliver an invoice, details of the repair, or any credible evidence the incident even occurred – a reasonable request since you have demanded I pay these damages. Because you refuse to provide these rational requirements, I refuse to pay your unreasonable demand.
I did not ignore or avoid this incident. When I explored the happenings however, I found many details vastly different from your description. “All the other girls” turned out to be one person, who said Rachel did not damage the phone. “We know exactly when it happened” turned out to be no one even knew there was a problem until days later. “Something broken inside the phone” turned out to be a small piece of molding from the seam of the plastic case. “The technician said Rachel’s action was the cause” turned out to be a guy at [business name withheld] who doesn’t remember, couldn’t find a record of repair and certainly never wrote an analysis.
The alleged incident occurred over a month ago, but I have received not one single plausible indication that I should pay for whatever actually happened. If you were requested to pay another parent’s demand, if that parent provided no evidence and if your inquiries turned up inconsistencies and contrary explanations, would you agree to pay? I seriously doubt you would, and it is for these reasons I will not either. It is for these reasons I said bring your evidence before a neutral court if you still feel I should restore the financial loss.
However, that is not what you have done. You left an angry, threatening and profanity-filled message on my daughter’s voicemail. You sent fourteen text messages in the middle of the night, defaming my character, criticizing how I raise my child, making racist comparisons and blaming my child for your hateful language – delivered to a number you knew went to my daughter’s device, knowing she would read it, intending to inflict emotional damage to twelve-year-old girl.
Prior to those occurrences, as I said in my last letter, I was seriously considering paying for everything out of goodwill – or at least finding some agreement that was acceptable to both sides, even though I had never been satisfied this should be my responsibility. But your actions, threats and mean-spirited behavior boggle my mind. I cannot fathom what sort of strain could exist in a reasonable adult’s life to drive that person to treat a 6th-grade girl with such disdain over a material possession and an expense of four hours’ work at minimum wage.
How much time have you and I already lost? How much is our time and our emotional sanity worth?
What has transpired has left me uncompassionate to your circumstance. I no longer want to talk to you after such action, and I certainly will not instruct my daughter to give you additional methods to contact me.
This is why I am asking you to let go of this situation. You have already received your payment in the exercise of vindictive actions against a little girl who had no forethought to cause you harm. Even if my assessment is wrong and she is solely responsible for damaging the phone, it was neither intentional nor malicious.
Can you claim the same? Yes, you have received your payment. Let us call a truce and walk away before this escalates beyond its already unreasonableness.
But if you are not satisfied – and if you still seek vengeance, remuneration or whatever you believe it is required for your contentment, I ask you to conduct yourself in a civil manner, file your grievance with the court, but do not contact this family.
Let there be no misunderstanding. Do not speak, write, text, send pictures, email, facebook-poke, use third-party parlay or exploit any other form of correspondence. My tolerance is at an end, and any contact will be considered further harassment. My response will be to seek a Victim’s Protective Order against you on behalf of my daughter and to request the District Attorney file criminal charges against you for violating Oklahoma Statutes §21-1172 and §21-1173.
I hope you hear and understand my position. I hope this will end. I implore you to stop. No more name-calling; no more lecturing; no more harassing my daughter.
In one of your text messages you said, “Let’s deal with this.” I agree. You feel we’ve wronged you because of a broken phone. We say it was a no-fault accident and part of the cost of ownership. We say you have harassed and emotionally harmed a young girl. I can only imagine your response because frankly I don’t want to know it.
It rains on the just and the unjust alike, whichever side you see us be. But let’s deal with it; damages exist on both sides. It is time to let it go. No more harm need be done.
In Stern Resolution,