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Elementary Aged Kids Your little ones have grown up right before your eyes! They are no longer those little babies they once were, and soon they are moving to adolescence.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2003, 05:11 AM
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Good! After work or on you lunch hour call school and ask them if they got the letter.

Stay on top of things.

How much you wanna bet that the girl's parents have no clue what's going on and she's probably a perfect angel to them!??

Stand firm!!!

You're not doing this to be mean to the trouble girl, you're doing this first of all for your daughters safety and other school kids, and second, obviously, the girl needs help, so you're helping her too!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2003, 11:31 AM
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Miracle, I am very sorry to hear about what your daughter is going through. My first reaction is a parent's reaction and it horrifies me to think of my child going through something like that. Since I have not had to deal with a situation such as your daughter’s on a parental level, I am reluctant to give any advice on the matter because I do not know exactly what I would do and how I would react to the school’s handling of it. I could guess but my experience with how I deal with stressful situations is that I don’t usually react the way I thought I would have.

Being a grade six teacher in a public school, I would like to make the point that issues get resolved in a quicker and better way when parents and school staff work in collaboration. It is therefore very important – even crucial – that both be forthcoming with any helpful information from the very beginning. It is true that a full-time teacher spends more time with a child on weekdays than his/her own parents. That being said, when there are twenty/thirty -something students per class, there’s no way a teacher can keep track of what’s going on in every child’s private life. It is therefore imperative for parents to talk openly with their child and to let the school know as soon as a worrisome situation begins to develop.

It always distresses me when I read about a parent who feels let down by the school system. Any teacher who cares about her students – and I truly believe most do – would do anything they could to prevent and stop a child from being bullied. Yet, I am quite sure that there are children in every school and possibly in every classroom who are being bullied to some extent. Unfortunately for your daughter, the extent is extreme. It breaks my heart to realize how children can be so cruel towards one another. It also bothers me that as a teacher, I deal with these situations as best I can but I’m always left wondering if what I said or did will have a positive / neutral / negative effect. It is my experience that starting at these grade levels (5&6) children are reluctant to tell you when they’re being bullied out of fear that it will only make matters worse. So, until a student or a parent alerts the school about a problem, there is no way for the staff to know that something’s wrong. My feeling is that many parents decide not to do this for whatever reason.

When a student alerts me of a bullying situation where I know the bully has the potential of making his/her “victim”’s life miserable, I always proceed with caution. I let the child know that I’m glad they came to tell me and that I will do something about it. I let him/her know if I feel I need to confer with the counsellor and/or the administration. The irony here is that as much as I want that child to feel secure in my power to make things right, I don’t feel at all secure about it.

If it was as simple as telling the bully: “ No more bullying or else!” , I would do it in a heartbeat. It is not that easy however because if I confronted the bully immediately, without thinking out what would be the best thing to say or do, there’s probably a good chance that things will not get better and might possibly get worse for the victim. Expelling the bully is a popular choice and is a relief to everyone involved in the short-run but what about the long-run? In between an immediate confrontation with the bully and a suspension, there are a whole lot of options.
Deciding what’s best takes time. It’s at this time, when everyone’s trying to figure out how to best deal with the situation, that there can be lapses in communication between home and school. My suggestion to parents is to call the school, set up a meeting, set up a plan with the school staff so that what is decided is satisfactory to you.

I know that I’ve been long-winded but I feel it’s important for people to know that teachers care about their students and want to do all they can to prevent and stop bullying. There is a lot of training going on about how schools should deal with the bullying issue and things are being done but it takes time. In the meantime, parents and teachers need to work together to make every public school a safe environment for every child.

If you’re interested, you might like to look up Michele Borba and /or Jane Bluestein. They are two leaders in anti-violence in the schools. Both have appeared on several popular talk shows and are called on for their advice throughout America and other parts of the world. In fact, Michele Borba was called in to help people deal with the Columbine tragedy.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2003, 02:34 PM
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thanks for the info as a teacher. DD's teacher has seen the harassment go one all year. The girl is not listening to what she is told to do and not do. DD told me yesterday when she got home that the girl was now throwing stuff at her friend, the other girl who was threatened. She just will not stop. I'll scream if I hear her teacher say "the problem is not going away(the girl) so we must remove dd from the problem". Heck no. They want to disrupt my dd because they dont want to rock the boat with this girl. Well, if thats want they want they'll get it but it will be done my way. Removing her from school. The girl clearly needs removal from the school and some inpatient therapy. Even the police agreed to that. One more screw up from her and they said they will file charges. The juvenile officer said that if she does anything else to my dd she is bypass her teacher and go staight to the principal. DD should not have to watch her back every second in school. Enough is enough. Nothing like instilling paranoia in a young child who is not at fault. Nothing like telling a young girl that being harassed/abused for along period of time and telling friends/family and the police is useless so then(hypothetically) 1 day when she is grown and finds herself in a abusive situation or harassment she think back to this time and say.."oh well. Theres nothing I can do about it".

The school keeps giving this girl room and time to terrorize these 2 girls. I told her teacher.." It's not IF she does something drastic, it's When". This girl knows she has only till June 10th to do what she wants. They keep reminding me to get my letter in to the principal for next school year so that this girl and my dd are not in the same cluster next year. If they are so concerned about nexy year why are not they concerned NOW! They told dd and her friend to tone down their friendship for the sake of the girl since she is so sensitive. BA HUMBUG! My God, they want dd and the other girl to apease this girl. Bow down to her. I think NOT!

Sorry for my tone. It's not directed at anyone. I'm just furious.:mad:
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2003, 10:19 AM
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So from what I understand, the teacher and the principal and I assume the counsellor are well informed about the situation. What about the school board? What did the school say they will do about the situation other than keeping an eye out for your daughter and putting them in separate clusters next year? What have the consequences been for the bullying? Has there been talk of getting that bully out of the school? Can they not demand that the girl get medical help?

It's not at all clear to me what the school intends on doing about this scary situation. I recommend that you document everything this girl says/does to your dd. I would call the school and/or the school board every day until something gets done that is satisfactory to you and your daughter. What type of contact is your daughter having with this girl now? Can they not put your daughter in another classroom starting now?

Again, I feel for you and I hope this situation gets under control very soon.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2003, 10:45 AM
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It's me again. I reread the previous posts to see if I was missing anything.

I'm glad you filed a police report. Since the emails occurred out of school time is it not their responsibility to deal with the threat? Have they talked to the girl at all? They seem to say that when they talk to someone that age, it often makes them change their ways. I think they should take the time to talk to her. As someone else mentionned, they probably can't do much else. Have you asked them what type of consequences there can be if this keeps up? Can they not require the girl to get medical help?

Reading back your post from March 19th (I think), it sounds like the teacher told you everything she could including that it's over her head - this tells me that she is taking this seriously. Other than keeping her eyes and ears open, I feel that she's done all she can do. The responsiblity now lies at a higher level - you should be dealing with them and them with you. What is happening at that level?

Was the first you ever heard of the problem in November? Did this girl not bother your daughter in previous years?

This must be all-consuming for you because I find myself thinking about this a lot and I'm far removed from the situation! Please don't think I'm being judgemental - it is not my intention - I'm just trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

How is your daughter?
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2003, 11:35 AM
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Everyone but the school board(as far as I know) knows about this. There have been no consequences thus far for her actions. I have requested the girl be removed from school. They can not demand medical help or tell them what to do outside of school. Thats what I was told by the counselor because I asked her if they were getting the girl help. As for contact they are in the same classroom/have all the classes together and their lockers were right next to each other till last thursday when I had to walk dd to class and tell her teacher that my dd had been tripped the previous day at the lockers by this girl. They can put my dd in another class BUT I feel it should be the other girl who gets moved. She is the one causing all the problems. It's not clear to me either what the school intends to do about the situation. Her teacher keeps saying the problem is not going away so we must remove my dd from the problem. They are dealing with the harassment but not necesarily the email threat since she sent it to dd from her house and not from the school. Only the police can do anything about it. Police have not talked to the girl. They have contacted the school and they relayed the message to the girls mom who had a scheduled meeting that day with the principal and counselor that I filed a police report and the police are taking it seriously. The only consequences she will face is if she emails my dd again. Then they will bring her up on criminal charges. The police officer told me(left a message) that if this girls does one more thing to her at school like tripping ect she is to bypass her teacher and go straight to the principal. The first I heard of the problem was in November, however at that time my dd and this girl were friends. They just met this year. Here, the 5th grade is middle school so all the 5th graders are merged in 1 school.

Yes, this is all consuming for me. I feel sick sending her to school. All the horrible scenarios run through my head of what could happen next.

By no means do you come across as judgemental.

This girl has a history of being controlling and alienating friends. When she was friends with my dd she would tell my dd who not to be freinds with and the friends she had the other girl would make fun of . My dd was not willing to do the things she demanded so ever since she has harassed her and got to the point that she threatened her life. Just last thursday she told dd's teacher and the counselor a lie and they knew she was lying and she basically admitted that she did trip dd on Wednesday. They told her 1 more thing and you will have to talk to the principal. Well, her 1 more thing was Friday when she throwing things at dd's friend who was also listed in threatening email. So hopefully this was her ticket out of the bldg.

Thanks for talking to me about this. It helps.

Last edited by miracle; 04-07-2003 at 11:38 AM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2003, 06:17 PM
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Well, I did it and I won eventhough they will not admit it. Since there was no school on Monday and a half day on Tuesday for conferences I found out then that the girl was moved to another classroom. They claim it was not my letter of intent to remove my dd from school. They say it it was the girls decision to be moved and her parents agreed. Her teacher pretty much contradicted everything she had told me the last 3 weeks. She asked me where and why I call what the girl did to dd as harassment. I did not answer her. She is the one who told me 3 wks ago that she has seen stuff go back and forth all year by this girl to my dd and that my dd wanted no part of it. The police said this was harassment. Then she tells me she showed my letter to the principal and that she said they dont move kids to another classrom for tripping and rolling eyes ect at each other. Well...she wanted to remove my dd last week for those reasons and she was not one doing the tripping! Even more so did she play up this girl as the victim(total attitude change from Thursday). I was told from the start that my dd and her friend were NOT the instigators of this and were doing their best to ignore her. So, her teacher is bitter that I did not let her handle this any further. It was obvious. DD says her teacher has been in a bad mood since Friday. Eventhough I got the result I wanted and should have gotton 3 weeks ago I am still NOT pleased how this matter was handled. I will be writing a detailed lenghty letter to the superintendent and school board members. So, mnpw the interaction with this girl and my dd is at lunch/recess and should they end up in the bathroom at the same time.

She was giving dd and her friend the evil eye today at lunch. Think I'll make a note of that.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2003, 11:13 PM
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I am coming in late on this but, if you don't mind, I do have a few comments.

I have an 11 yr old DS also in the 5th grade. What you have described gives me the shudders!

# 1 thing is to document, document, document! Document every thing that girl does to your matter how minor it may seem at the time. Document each and every conversation you have with the teacher, counselor, principal, police...etc. Also document anything that you may notice when you visit the school. Document everything with the date and the approx. time (as close as you can get).

I would send a certifed, return receipt letter to both the school and the school board explaining that although they are aware of a serious problem, they don't appear to want to seriously address the issue. I personally would inform them that if any harm came to my child at school because they failed to address the issue, then my next stop would be to see an attorney!

Your DD should be able to go to school each and every day without any fear! Her biggest worry should be if she will be asked to the end-of-the-year school dance!

Ok, I am now stepping down off the soap box!
Hook 'Em Horns!!!!
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