Thank you for your comments yesterday. I got a lot of advice and support both here and on Facebook and I appreciate it. I want to follow up with you so you know where I'm at with this lesson. I think I did pretty well yesterday with my "calm and objective" plan.
First, I went to third parties to verify my kid's story. I went out of my way to get actual copies of reports and other documents so I could go to the meeting with all the facts. I wanted the facts because I know that if I plant myself in truth professionals cannot argue with, I do better. When I try to get professionals to "feel" something, I almost always leave defeated.
I was relieved and happy to learn that everything my kid told me was documented. He told the truth. And as I read the documents and listened to my own kid speak at the meeting, it became clear to me that his response in this "incident" was trauma based. I verified that when I mentioned that perhaps my kid was responding to something in the past and his eyes filled up with tears.
Damn trauma! Trauma has re-wired both my boys' brains and causes them to think differently than those of us who haven't experienced it. It has always been easy for me to "get it" when it comes to trauma. When one of the boys makes a choice based on their past trauma, I can usually spot that and tie the current situation to the past. Some professionals are understanding. Others call it "justification" or "reasoning" or some other term that means "excuse". I took Essie's advice and "disregarded" those opinions. I know my kid.
My kid has agreed to work on his trauma in some specialized therapy. I feel ok about most of the consequences he will receive. What he did was wrong. But, explainable. Even understandable given his past experience. Part of taking responsibility includes acknowleging the past and moving to resolve the trauma. I'm very proud of my kid for being willing to take that step. My husband and I intend to stand by our son through every bit of the process.
I also have to mention that I'm so thankful for one particular member of the team. He will be working very hard in the coming weeks to put the plan together. I appreciate his efforts and his support.