The Big Meeting 
A few weeks ago, Bronwyn had been at work, and was putting the children to bed. But another woman was off on a break, and so Bronwyn had to collect and prepare the children as well. It's a little difficult to get children to settle - if one starts playing, the others do too. Our daughter Sarah didn't want to go to sleep, and started screaming and scratching at Bronwyn. So Bronwyn tapped her on the hand.

The leader happened to be in the room at the time (and apparently chatting about something else and not helping). She saw the tap on the hand. So she charged Bronwyn with gross misconduct, and gave her a formal letter.

That weekend, several people looked through the letter, and the procedures, and agreed it was completely over the top. They had quoted the wrong procedures, and the statements conflicted. One friend phoned her son, who happened to be a lawyer. He wasn't able to take the case, so he phoned a friend of his who could.

At this point the company got really defensive, and threatened to contact the teacher's council, which could have ended Bronwyn's career. So it was well worth hiring the lawyer, even though it cost us quite a bit.

The meeting started with the company presenting case, in a manner which suggested they'd already made up their mind. But the lawyer stated the case quite plainly, and Bronwyn managed to stay calm as she described the incident. After a short break, the company people came back, and said that in the circumstances (i.e with the ambiguities in the statements) they were going to make it just a First Warning. So Bronwyn went back to work on Thursday.

It seems the leader of the centre wasn't too pleased, and hasn't said a lot to Bronwyn since! Bronwyn is planning her escape. I've told her to keep her head down...

Spent most of yesterday sanding and painting the bunk beds for Rachael. Got through four cans of purple paint. Will probably need two more. Decided not to do any painting today, so I've been over to Bronwyn's mum's to transplant some tree seedlings that have grown in her garden. I now have 38 trees growing on the windowsill, plus the seeds that I sowed a few weeks ago.

Bronwyn and the girls are currently off looking at some kittens. We've had a long saga with cats this year. Perhaps it might go more smoothly if they start young rather than rescued as strays!

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