Letters from a Smallville school nurse

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kent —

I hope you’re as excited by the new school year as I am.  We’re so glad to have little Clark back at Smallville Elementary!  I’m sure he’s going to love second grade.

I’m writing to ask if you could please send a copy of his vaccine record to school with him tomorrow?  (It seems we never received a copy last year either, which is an odd oversight.)  We need documentation that he’s up to date, and it seems to be missing from the other paperwork Clark brought with him today.

Which brings me to a delicate question — has Clark been having behavioral problems recently?  The only reason I bring this up is that, when I noticed his missing shot records, I asked if he could remember the last time he got a shot at Dr. Donner’s office.  He told me they’ve stopped trying, because every time they try the needles break.  While it’s certainly not unusual for small children with active imaginations to tell fanciful stories, Clark was rather more insistent that his funny story was actually true than seems appropriate for his age.

I hope you don’t mind my asking about this.  I just want to make sure we are attentive to Clark’s needs and give him all the support we can if there are special issues to consider.

Best wishes,

Margot Reeve, RN
School nurse
Smallville Elementary School

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kent —

I’m sorry to bother you again so soon in the school year, but I’m writing to ask that you get Clark’s vision checked at your nearest convenience.

As I’m sure you remember from the letter Principal Singer sent home last week, today was health screening day at Smallville Elementary.  (Which reminds me, have you had a chance to pick up Clark’s vaccine record yet?  We don’t seem to have received it.)  Unfortunately, Clark’s screening got interrupted by a very odd incident.  I had him stand on the line and look at the eye chart as hard as he could, just like with all the other children.  After I turned to get my clipboard to record his results, I was quite startled when I looked back to see that the eye chart (and my office door) had burst into flames.  (The fire marshal remains quite perplexed.)

We’ve ordered a new eye chart, but it will take a while before a new door can be installed in my office.  Regulations being what they are, could you please confirm that Clark’s vision is normal for our files as soon as possible?

On that note, have you given more thought to Clark’s behavioral needs?  He was understandably shaken by the fire in my office, but was strangely apologetic.  I assured him repeatedly that nobody could possibly blame him, since I know he was standing all the way across the room when it happened, but he remained very tearful and kept insisting it was an accident.  I’m a little worried that this means something, and wonder if you’d like a referral to a child psychologist.

You’ll be glad to know his hearing was excellent, and there was no sign of scoliosis.

Best wishes,

Nurse Reeve

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kent —

I’m afraid I’m writing again with questions about little Clark’s mental health needs.  (Also, we’re still waiting for those shot records.)  I hate to sound like a broken record, but my concern is growing.

Today was Focus on Fitness Day at Smallville Elementary (as I’m sure you saw on the school’s homepage).  Coach Furie has all kinds of fun games and events designed to assess each child’s level of skill and strength.  It’s all part of guiding children toward finding sports and activities that might help them adopt a lifetime of healthy physical activity.  (It’s all on the website.)

Anyhow, at the “Run, Run, RUN!” event things took an unfortunate turn.  The children were instructed to take turns running as fast as they could for a short distance on the playground and back again while Coach timed them with a stopwatch.  When it was Clark’s turn and he was told to run as fast as he could to the seesaws and back, he simply didn’t go anywhere.  He just stood still.  What was very odd is that he insisted that he had run to the seesaws and back as fast as he could, just like he was told, and got increasingly frustrated when Coach told him to stop joking around.  He finally did run as instructed, but was very sullen that it wasn’t as fast as he could run, and when he was given another chance to run as fast as he could he just stood there again.

I’m not qualified to offer a diagnosis, and have a hard time reconciling these strange outbursts with Clark’s otherwise exemplary behavior and schoolwork.  But I really must urge you to have him evaluated promptly.

Best wishes,

Nurse Reeve

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kent —

First of all, thank you for completing the vaccine deferral form for our records.  In keeping with our policy for all parents who cite philosophical objection to vaccinating their children, I’m sent home some materials about the benefits of immunization.  I hope you’ll review them and consider at least some shots at Clark’s next visit with Dr. Donner.

However, the real reason I’m writing today is to let you know about an accident that happened during recess today.  While Clark seems just fine, we wanted to keep you informed so you can keep an eye on him.

While Clark was playing freeze tag with some of the other students, he got to running and wasn’t looking where he was going.  He was running at a steady clip and ran right into the jungle gym, where he banged his head very hard.  I am very dismayed to report that the collision caused the entire thing to collapse.  Luckily it didn’t land on little Clark, and there were no children playing on it.  (Rest assured that we have already contacted the manufacturer and contractor that installed it, and will try to determine how such an obviously unsound structure could have been on our playground in the first place.)

As I said, Clark seemed completely unharmed by the whole ordeal, without even a mark to show for it.  (He really is a sturdy little guy.)  I had him sit in my office for an hour afterward, but when he didn’t complain of headache or any other symptom I let him go back to class like he asked when his hour was up.

There is still a risk of concussion, however.  I’d hate to overlook anything, particularly given his already complicated behavioral picture.  If Clark seems in any way off at home, I’d encourage you to bring him to Dr. Donner for an appointment.

Best wishes,

Nurse Reeve

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kent —

I’m writing to you in keeping with Smallville Elementary’s strict anti-bullying policy, which dictates that all incidents be taken seriously and discussed with parents.

Today during lunch Clark got into a very heated disagreement with another child.  While much of it was not witnessed by any members of our staff, the children who did see it reported that Clark was not the instigator, but was egged on rather mercilessly by the other boy.  Sadly, this boy and Clark have had a hard time getting along since the year began.  Since we understand the other boy has been the aggressor when problems arise, we will be setting up a meeting with his family to discuss ways of helping him share school space with Clark without getting into fights with him.  However, if you happen to know the Luthors socially you might consider sitting down with them yourselves and sorting things out family to family.

I want you to know that today’s altercation has made me rethink some of my previous concerns.  While I still find some of his behaviors earlier this year somewhat baffling, perhaps he just had some trouble adjusting to the new grade.  However, by all accounts Clark did a really great job of handling himself today.  Despite a lot of very pointed teasing, he refused to start any kind of physical altercation with the other boy and said over and over that he didn’t want to hurt anybody, even if they were mean.  This demonstrated a lot of maturity and restraint, and you should be very proud of him.

He really is a good kid, and we’re lucky to have him at Smallville Elementary.

Best wishes, as always,

Nurse Reeve

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10 thoughts on “Letters from a Smallville school nurse

  1. This seems realistic to me. I think if I were to encounter something clearly supernatural, I would struggle to find some natural explanation. The door catching fire would be hard to explain, but I think I would similarly discount the possibility that the kid actually did it.

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