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Appropriate handling of school incident

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 08:47 am
My daughter told me that a girl in her class pulled her into the bathroom in the aftercare program. This girl then pulled her pants down to show my daughter her underwear. My daughter had no interest in seeing. This girl then pulled my daughter’s pants down to see her underwear which my daughter wanted no part of. They are in the 4th grade.

Now what to do? I don’t want to make a big deal about it as I prefer kids to handle things on their own. This girl is only girl in her class that causes trouble " she is quite a handful and I have witnessed her being manipulative to the other girls.

So far I sent a quick note to the principal " pretty much stating, I don’t want to make a big deal, but wanted to let her know about it. I also made it clear that I understood I am only hearing my daughter’s side.

I also spoke with my daughter about the behavior being inappropriate and that I may speak with the principal. My daughter did not object and actually seemed to welcome me speaking with the principal. I am concerned that she could allow herself to being pushed around. I plan on speaking with her more to ensure she stands up for herself more.

Do you think I went overboard sending a quick note to the principal? I am also concerned about potential bullying. What else should I speak to my daughter about to give her more of a backbone?
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:10 am
@Linkat,
No, you did not go overboard.

First, if this happened at your work would you handle this on your own- or would you expect your employer to provide you a decent work environment? Having your daughter handle inappropriate behavior "on her own" doesn't teach her any valuable less or do her any good in real life.

Second, it could be that this strange behavior is a sign that this girl is a victim of abuse herself. Of course this is just speculation, but telling the principal is a good way to have a responsible authority have evidence that, taken together with other evidence, could help this girl get the underlying problems addressed.

I would absolutely tell the principal-- it is the best thing for everyone involved.


Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:47 am
@ebrown p,
Thanks, that was my instinct. However, I don't want to be one of those parents harassing the teachers/school about every little thing. But I guess after attending this school for 5 years and this is the first incident I mentioned, I would assume I am not a habitual complainer.

I do now (directly from this child's mother) that the dad has had issues with drugs - he is back home with the family now, but honestly don't know any more or the details. I do know that all three of the children in their family are not well discplined and tend to get in trouble alot. So I was also concerned that my knowledge of them in general could cloud my viewpoint of the situation.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:49 am
@Linkat,
I think you handled it perfectly, without going nutso because it was about underwear.

The element of coercion, or at least doing something your daughter did not want to do, is concerning, and it is helpful for it to be known to the school and the other child's parents.

I think it would be helpful to go through in some detail what your daughter's feelings were (eg not wanting to do it, being uncomfortable or whatever) and talk through different things she could have done to respond assertively, and what might get in the way of her doing that, especially if the girl would not stop, and rehearse them with her. That is something to do re ordinary bullying, too...and gives you a good chance to see what her experience of her peers is.

Don't forget she may have been kind of curious even though she told you she wasn't....and just give her guidelines about appropriate behaviour in this area as well as helping her learn how to be strong about responding to other kids.


Don't forget to let her know how great it is she told you, and how she can always get support from you if anything makes her feel uncomfortable or confused.



Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:01 am
@dlowan,
Thanks - great thoughts!

I'd tried to keep it so I wasn't attacking anyone in the email. I even wrote in it, that I understand I only heard my daughter's side of things.

Yeah I tried to probe the question to see if my daughter was curious or not if was more of what you said. I asked her first if this girl showed her underwear so she could see a certain character on it. And asked if this girl may have wanted to see the same thing.

Not sure if it was or not. And I understand there is a certain curiousity thing especially as they are starting to mature a little.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:34 am
I heard back from the principal and she said (of course names and summary only included)..."It is not a minor incident and I will speak with both the parent and the teachers in the afterschool program. Please let me know right away if anything else should happen."
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 05:51 pm
@Linkat,
Agree with the others. This isn't acceptable behavior. I couldn't imagine this happening with any of the 4th graders I know except for maybe the one who had a history of being abused.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 06:32 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
My daughter told me that a girl in her class pulled her into the bathroom in the aftercare program. This girl then pulled her pants down to show my daughter her underwear. My daughter had no interest in seeing. This girl then pulled my daughter’s pants down to see her underwear which my daughter wanted no part of. They are in the 4th grade.

Now what to do? I don’t want to make a big deal about it as I prefer kids to handle things on their own. This girl is only girl in her class that causes trouble " she is quite a handful and I have witnessed her being manipulative to the other girls.

So far I sent a quick note to the principal " pretty much stating, I don’t want to make a big deal, but wanted to let her know about it. I also made it clear that I understood I am only hearing my daughter’s side.

I also spoke with my daughter about the behavior being inappropriate and that I may speak with the principal. My daughter did not object and actually seemed to welcome me speaking with the principal. I am concerned that she could allow herself to being pushed around. I plan on speaking with her more to ensure she stands up for herself more.

Do you think I went overboard sending a quick note to the principal? I am also concerned about potential bullying. What else should I speak to my daughter about to give her more of a backbone?

IF u consider it to have been BULLYING -- done in that oppressive spirit--
then u were absolutely right.
Nothing is more important than defending your child.
Did she deem it to have been bullying ?
During my childhood, I was not above threatening litigation
for violations of my rights.


On the other hand, if she were not guilty of bullying,
if she were only fooling around with no malice,
then I believe that u shoud not take action that might be inimical
to her well being and contentment. Was there anger displayed
at the time n place of the occurrence ? Any THREATS ?

I remember once in school, when I was ten,
I playfully and very lightly hit another boy (same age).
To my shock and chagrin, he began weeping copiously.
I felt terrible -- just awful. I apologized several times,
very sincerely, explaining that I had not meant to hurt him,
and again the next day, and again on the 3rd day.
I had not intended to make him unhappy.
I had a bad feeling about that for several days.

Your description does not necessarily bespeak a malicious attack,
as if she had slugged her in the mouth or had given her a black eye.
Does your child believe that the offender was malicious,
or " just fooling around " ?








David
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 11:09 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I think I brought up bullying because of incidents with this child in the past. Nothing physical before but more manipulative. She will pit the girls against each in the class for instance. She sometimes does things that are just plain mean. Although at other times she can be really sweet. She came over one time for a play date and pit my daughters against each other. One time when my daughter was over her house (this was over a year ago), her older brother was about her hit my daughter (don’t’ know why), but their mother walked in (fortunately).

All those things made me think she is primed to be a bully. My daughter didn’t mention it herself, but did make it clear she didn’t want this girl touching her. It is difficult to tell if this girl did it mean spirited or not, but I have seen her do things mean spirited. It may have been innocently just wanted to see cute underwear (as she showed hers) or to humiliate my daughter " there is no way to really know. All I know is she forced it on my daughter against her will.

I do have full confidence that the principal will handle this appropriately. She is a wonderful principal and the kids love and respect her. I have known this woman for 5 years and honestly have full confidence in how she handles the entire school and the children.
0 Replies
 
 

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