May I have your attention please


fireworksNow that I have your attention….

I have written briefly about this in an earlier post. But I felt the need to write just about this one particular problem this time. To support my daughter and to learn from all of our mistakes through my written word.

Rebecca is late….she is never late…

My 9 year daughter has a young man in her class that thrives on getting attention. There are a lot of children and adults that are like this. But this particular young man thrives on stalking my daughter. That is really the only word, besides bullying, that I can think of using for this particular young man, let’s call him “A”.

“A” has been, oh let’s call it, interested in Rebecca since the firt day of school. Now keep in mind we just moved here. She’s the new kid and she is a pretty little girl. Long brown hair, sage green eyes, pretty little smile with braces on her teeth.  A few days into school “A” proposed to Rebecca. Rebecca thought it was sweet and just smiled at him, they are in 3rd grade, how else should she respond? Then it got a little more intense. It went from telling her that he loved her, to making it so no one could play with her at recess because he stood guard and chased everyone away.  Soon after as they were in a group setting sitting on the floor, “A” reached up Rebecca’s shirt and touched her bare hip, Rebecca swatted his hand away and moved. (no she did not report it then but boy did I report it the next day). He has secretly cut her hair and saved the locks for himself, threatened her, called her names, told horrible lies to the entire class about her and gone back to saying he loves her.

worried girl
Worried, scared, frustrated…

Needless to say: Rebecca is frustrated and scared. She doesn’t want to go to school anymore, and she loves school and she is a very good student. She (we) have talked to her teacher, the principal, and the school counselor. They say- and I, personally, hear this as an excuse- that “A” has issues and doesn’t understand boundaries. Okay, as an educator I understand that, but then if he has a history shouldn’t there be some guidelines, some precautions already set up for this young man “A”? He had a different girl of interest last year with some similar issues… so you would think that a set of guidelines was already in place.  Not so. Except for the fact that he, apparently, talks with the counselor occasionally about what are appropriate boundaries and the best way they have found to do this with him is through stories of examples. It appears to not be working very well.

I am sorry that he has to be in the position that he is, but does that mean that my daughter needs to feel the way that she does because of this one young man?  You know the addage, can’t see the forest for the trees? That is where Rebecca is at the moment. There is another young man in her class that keeps a close eye on her. He makes sure that “A” stays away from her when they stand in line or go to Specials. Rebecca won’t speak up because that would interrupt the class and she feels like she would be an annoyance. (How do I get her to realize that she has to stand up for herself in all situations. To protect herself by not allowing herself to be in a position that “A” can do, whatever “A” can think of doing.) This young man is being a good citizen, he has no other reason, i.e. he doesn’t have a crush on Rebecca. He is being kind. But does my daughter look at the beauty of the forest, her classroom? No, she thinks about what “A” will do next. Last week he wispered in her ear: “I heard some 5th graders say that they were going to beat your  a**. Don’t worry I’ll protect you.” Of course no 5th graders said that, they don’t even know her. She has a brother in 5th grade and I work with the 5th grade classes often enough that they know that if someone did say this….well, let me just say…. no one would say this. It was another ploy. Another tactic to cause more discomfort for my daughter. And now he has stepped up his bullying with all of Rebecca’s best buds in class. And Rebecca is worried that she will be isolated.

Where is my sweet little girl? Where is the darling that rose with the first alarm and dressed sweetlly and was ready to walk out the door before it was time? I hate-yes I said hate- the fact that she has gotten lost in all of this rigamarole. I want my baby back. But I don’t think that I will get that. I think that I will get a war battered girl at the end of the year. I can tell you this… she WILL NOT BE IN THE SAME CLASS AS HE IS NEXT YEAR!!! If I have to go over heads to make it so I will.

Bullying has become an epidemic. And although I know that most school systems have a no bullying policy I have yet to see any real action take place in our instance. He has been talked to. The teacher knows about everything and keeps them seperated, as much as you can in a class of 25. But isn’t there something else that can be done? If he is doing the things he is doing, all year long, in 3rd grade what will his “knows no boundaries” mind come up with in 5th, 7th, 12th? I would be afraid to find out. An intervention is in order.

sunrise-mountain
Sunrise through the forest, or shall I say, the trees.

Rebecca may, and hopefully will, come out of this a stronger girl. I would have preferred to have her have her childhood a few more years but that apparently wasn’t the plan. God has a plan for her life and this will help her build on whatever that plan is. So there is a sunrise on the horizon and we will stand firm and face it with resolve to a better day.

Blessed….

Mary Anne~

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89 thoughts on “May I have your attention please

  1. This sounds horrible, the only positive I can see is that it’s an early opportunity for your daughter to learn about standing up for herself but that’s not much of a silver lining. I hope you both find a way of getting this dealt with. There is a huge difference between a child who finds it hard to learn about boundaries and a child who takes over another child’s life, he needs removed from the situation and the boundaries need to be explained to him in more detail. Like you said it’s better this happens now than in a few years when new boundaries appear for him to push against.

    1. John, I agree. I just wish it didn’t have to happen. There will be people in her life, in all our lives, that we just have to deal with and this is one of them for her.
      Like I said in the article, hopefully she will come out more…. rounded. We can only pray.
      Mary Anne~

  2. This is just terrible, makes me scared even just to read.And think what would come out of this boy when he grows. I would have been at school every day at this stage, shouting at everybody. Well I may not be a very calm person, this would have taken ME completely off my boundaries. Did you speak to his parents? Would you like me to reblog this at Parentingandstuff to hear what other parents suggest? There are 6000 followers there, so I guess we will get some comments, perhaps some will be helpful? Let me know to my mail.

  3. Reblogged this on Parenting And Stuff and commented:
    Mary Anne is a contributor at http://www.parents-space.com. Her 9 years old daughter is being stalked by a boy in her class for a long time now, making her school days unbearable. I got crazy when reading this, which got me thinking about our ancient protecting- our -children’s instincts. Anyway, thought to share this with you; Perhaps Mary Anne could get some good advise? I got a lot of helpful advise from you so far 🙂

  4. I’m so SO sorry this is happening. As a parent, the idea of this is terrifying and I pray she comes out unscathed. On the “up” side, I’m told children are resilient. Maybe, just maybe she can bounce back from this faster than an adult would. This is a reminder that children are far to often forced to face the real world way too early. Because of that, the only suggestion I can give that I don’t see on your list of actions taken ( and I commend you strongly for the awesome steps you’ve been taking. Great job mom!) is to talk to her about the crap she will likely face as she grows. And do it honestly. Explain not everyone is someone she can trust and she will come across situations that could put her in danger. ( parties with drugs for example) explain the possible outcomes and how she can keep her self safe. Remind her again and again you are there to back her up. Even when she makes the wrong choice, you will be there always. And keep having these talks. And put her in a self defense class. This is an absolute must. The hardest and scariest thing to face as a parent is the idea that we can’t protect our babies all day everyday. Unfortunately, those that will surround them won’t always be interested in what’s best for them. But you can arm them with knowledge, love without fear of anger when they make a mistake and the ability to protect themselves when they realize they can’t talk their way out of it.- this doesn’t just mean fighting. It means knowing she can call you if she realizes her ride to a party has been drinking. Having the confidence and love in herself to not fall for the lies of some random douchebag and the understanding that there is more to life than what she is facing today. That she can get thru it.
    Best of luck to all of you 🙂

  5. Bless your heart! I have worked with differently abled kids for a long time and while some do have issues with control, our parents never let that be an excuse. It may take more work but it is doable. All I can think is switching your daughter’s class and while I as a mom would hate to have to disrupt my child’s sense of normal due to the acts of others, I do feel that her sense of normal probably is already disrupted. And it would probably be much harder to get the school to agree to move the boy because they tend to be very passive when it comes to aggressive kids. It might, at the very least, give her and this kid some distance which would probably be healthy for BOTH of the kids.

    1. “A” was in a, separate class, last year. One where all the children have behavioral issues. They thought that one year was enough and they integrated him back into the classroom. I don’t know exactly why he was put into that class last year, I do know that the Teacher is amazing but limited in what he can do. It’s much like a tough love boot camp. But all the students adore him in the end.
      We have decided to try to pull Rebecca out of the situation and have out in an application to a Charter school, upon her request. I know that life is full of people that are not nice. But doing this for her has seemed to empower her. And if I can do that for her I will.
      Thank you for your response.

      1. I lived through a lot of abuse in my home as a child. They teach you one thing at survivor therapy. Sometimes empowering yourself doesn’t mean fighting back. It means having the common sense to remove yourself. And I think that is what you have done for your daughter. Given her the gift of knowing when to fight back and when to use her power to remove herself. Both are equally brave. I applaud you, mama. God bless you and your family.

  6. OMG!!! I can’t imagine this can happen to a 9-year-old. You must teach your daughter to stand up for herself because this is only the beginning and she will be in innumerable situations like this in future. Changing her class is a good option but there is no guarantee that there will not be another A in that class. It’s truly a difficult situation. Usually bullys/ stalkers thrive on a sense of power on their victim and like to get reactions out of them all the time. Tell your daughter not to react and if there is a need to then she has to react like a strong girl. Tough I know but that’s what often works. meanwhile tell her to keep you up to date about what’s happening and tell her not to let one unimportant person occupy her thoughts all the time There are definitely lovely kids out there who can be her great friends and supporters.

  7. Reblogged this on amritaspeaks and commented:
    While it is disturbing to hear about children being raped in India every other day it is equally disturbing to know that a 9-year-old is being stalked by her classmate. A mom talks about her woes. Can you give her a solution?

  8. Hi, this boy has what is called Narcissist Personality Disorder. Truly said: his problem! Who cares about his problem, He can’t see it, understand it or even seek help for this. The ONLY problem here is your daughter. Even if she is only 9 years old, you need to educate her on what is a Person with NPD, because she already suffered from one, he will destroy her self-esteem and, later on in life, she will end up in relationships with even worse people. Educate her now, educate yourself, what are those people. Try and understand what you are up against, and support your daughter. She needs to learn how to get away from hi and not be his prey anylonger. You can check out my blog: pnsurvivors here at wordpress.
    This type of people are a disaster for humanity, and I am truly sorry to see now after reading your post that it does not matter how old they are,, they are dangerous.
    Protect your daughter, she needs to know how to not give him a platform to exercise his nasty powers. But, also be aware that they do not like to lose, never.
    Do not expect the School or teachers to help you, because they probably will think you are crazy if you told them what Kind of personality you are facing. So little people understand.
    Good luck!

    1. Thank you. We are doing our beat to keep them separated. We have applied to a Charter school for her next year to get away from the young man but that doesn’t solve his problem does it?
      I guess I can’t save the world.
      Thank you for responding.

  9. My daughter started being bullied by another ‘over-confident’ girl during the last term of playschool. The girl went to the same infant and junior school as my daughter, and she continued the bullying there. I tried to ‘manage’ the situation – talking/explaining/arguing with the parents and the school, and explored many ways to get it all to stop. But the girl and her parents didn’t care about boundaries or rules, or anyone else! And the teachers felt intimidated and disempowered by the aggressive reactions of the parents, when they were asked to keep their daughter’s behaviour under control, so eventually they suggested I keep my daughter away from this girl – simply because they didn’t have the balls to throw this horrible child out of the school. They didn’t care who was getting hurt, and as long as thechild was allowed to do what she wanted to do, the more she got away with it, the worse her bullying behaviour became! My daughter’s personality, her feelings of personal safety, were shattered by the antics of this girl, who like A, threatened and coerced other children to ignore or hurt my daughter. Eventually, when my daughter was eleven, we moved house to get away from the situation. I so wished I’d done it earlier – it would have saved her years of having to endure this abuse!
    She has grown up damaged by the constant fear of what this girl would do to her next and her feelings of not being good enough! She is still angry about her past and acknowledges how it sapped her confidence! It’s ok saying stop the boy, as he could do it to another girl. But he’s not stopping is he! And I don’t think ‘teaching her to cope’ should be an option after this time, as it appears that she’s not coping is she! So what has to happen before she is removed from this situation? Is she to have a breakdown, eating disorder to show her pain, become a bully herself, kill herself because she can’t cope anymore? I’m sorry if this sounds extreme, but knowing what I know, I would get your child away from that boy asap! She needs protecting from him, and it sounds like the only way to do it is to separate them – before too much damage is done to her personality. If I was faced with that situation again I don’t think I’d worry about the morality of it. I’d just get her out of his way – he is a dangerous, nasty little boy, who will probably grow up to be a dangerous nasty little man!
    Is it possible for you to get other parents to unite with you, to get a petition together to get him out? Isn’t it about time that the troublemakers were removed to protect the other children? Only you parents can make that happen – put more pressure on the school to accept responsibility for the situation they have set-up! The boy was obviously a problem before your daughter arrived there. He’s still doing it – why is he still there?? Start fighting for your children’s right to feel safe in their school – get the bullies out!! Sorry I’m ranting. It hurt me so much to see what happened to my child, and the consequences! Yet bullying is still rampant! Why, after all this time, is it still so….?
    I do hope you can sort this out quickly, for all your sakes!

    1. I have applied to a Charter school to remove Rebecca from his reach. We have 25 days left of school and I have define toy stepped up my complaining to the school and so has my daughter and her friends. I am not sure what else to do. Maybe point the school to my blog and let them read it all in one place. And see the effects that “A”is having on my daughter.
      Thank you for your response. And I am so sorry about your daughter.

      1. I was bullied as young as that and it had a lasting effect on me. I am so glad that you are the sort of parent that is doing everything in your power to protect her. She is too young to do it herself with such a persistent and disturbed boy. If it was happening in the adult world, the victim would be able to seek a protection order from the local police. Or take it up with human resources if it was in the workplace. The perpetrator would end up in jail if they persisted (or at the very least unemployed). Children should have the same rights and protection. Too many children become suicidal from bullying and there should be no tolerance for it. It is a difficult situation for the school to have to handle, but that really isn’t your problem. Your daughter needs to be protected.

      2. I agree. My only concern is for my daughter. I was at first impressed with the schools response to the situation, but now am not sure. Friday my daughter and 2 of her friends that he is bugging because of her spoke with the counselor. They pulled “A” into the meeting and asked him to bring his math notebook with him, apparently he writes things in the back- not very nice things. Here is my frustration- if they know this…. Why is he integrated in the classroom? (Pull my hair out).
        I substituted in her class Friday, first time, and saw first hand the situation that my daughter deals with every day. And you know the adage hind site is 20/20. I see very, very clearly now.
        Thank you for your response.

      3. Thanks, and good luck to you all. It seems to me that schools seem to listen to those who shout loudest – so make sure you’re shouting louder than equal ops policies, inclusion policies, limited power policies! Let them know they are failing their children by allowing this situation to continue, tell them you’re going higher (wherever that may be) to get it sorted out. Tell them you’re getting in touch with the local newspapers to tell them bullying is still rampant in your district! Then, give them the choice – either they take action to remove him or you will do what you promised and take action to expose them! This makes me sooo irritated, because it brings back so many bad memories where I felt powerless to protect my child! By the responses you’ve got so far, it seems I’m not the only one!

  10. Mary Anne –

    You sound like a very nice person who has raised a very nice daughter. But do not keep her in that situation. I feel strongly that not even the littlest bit of bullying should be a rite of passage for elementary school students and we should not have to hope that it strengthens their character. Talk to any person, not just the ones that are damaged in observable ways, about being bullied and they will still be able to recall with cringing detail these events years later.

    Trust me, even in schools where the kids seem to be nice, they might in fact say, “I’m going to kick your a**.” You are probably right that the 5th grader didn’t say this, given the source, but do not think it can’t happen. When my daughter was in kindergarten, when I picked her up from school one day, she was scared to death that one of her classmates had told her he was going to “put her down” because she did something to annoy him in gym class. I knew the little boy (nice enough kid) from volunteering at school but I immediately spoke to the gym teacher because my daughter’s fear suggested I should. The teacher told me she would keep an eye out for it, and my daughter never had that problem again.

    In 2nd grade, my daughter was friends with a little girl who had been positioned to be “popular” and one of the highest achievers by being held back from entering kindergarten for a year by her parents. This was done purposefully. This was not a child who was not ready to enter kindergarten at the right time. So, by 2nd grade she was more knowledgeable of manipulation of her peers to get her way. My daughter had not had this girl in her class up until this time, but the girl sought my daughter (a well mannered, respectful child – sounds very much like yours) out for friendship. My daughter was routinely pushed around by this girl, especially when it came to things on the playground. Example: My daughter had to be an “agent” while the popular girl and another of her victims were movie stars” (always at the whim of the popular girl). So, my daughter and I discussed that true friends share, etc., etc, and that from then on she should insist that they take turns. The girl turned this into an opportunity to use the “Democratic process” of voting among three girls (well, you can guess how that turned out).

    I approached the teacher and the school counselor to make sure there was nothing else I could do and they both advised me to read, “Queen Bees and Wannabees”. I did. And let me tell you, that that book cemented my decision to start homeschooling my child before she entered middle school. The book, while a good resource for parents of girls in middle school, never said ” this MIGHT happen to your daughter”; it worked from the position that your daughter would either be a Queen Bee or one of her minions and maybe, just maybe, she would be lucky enough to move around between the cliques.

    Just before 3rd grade started this year, the school eliminated a 3rd grade class (so there were only two with about 30 kids in each), so I made the decision to homeschool earlier than expected. It has been a great experience for both of us. My daughter has blossomed to something closer to her full potential (this is not necessarily a result of not having to deal with the negative affects of an overbearing “friend”, but I can’t rule out that it has been part of the benefit).

    Your situation sounds a bit different, but the effects could be the same or even worse than I saw for my vivacious, outgoing daughter; a loss in self confidence and a breaking of will. I cannot believe (I do believe you) that the school has allowed this to go so far. Is this the only class? Couldn’t they have moved your daughter to a different class? Couldn’t they have assigned an older student to be your daughter’s “buddy” to help her stand up to this kid? How is it that this kid managed to keep “all” children away from your daughter at recess without any adult seeing this and putting a stop to it? Couldn’t the teacher, principal and counselor (if your school has one) have talked to several of the girls in her class to include your daughter in their games regardless of what the boy said? Did they do anything other than acknowledge you? If the principal is afraid of this child’s parents, then I don’t see how anyone can expect anything to change. You have to make them change. Just the incident where the boy groped your daughter under her shirt should have been enough to give the principal an “out” because it should have been the type of incident with a “zero tolerance” policy.

    I don’t know what your situation is in terms of working outside the home or switching school districts, but I would pull her out of that situation ASAP. Sounds like this boy has managed to keep her from forming any real friendships anyway. Good luck.

    1. I have made an application to a Charter school and am praying that they have room for her. It is a 40 minute drive but I am willing to make the trek. We just moved here this year and I was hesitant to move her again but she asked, so we are trying. This one move seems to have empowered her. So I will pray that this works out for us.
      Thank you for your response.

    1. I have asked for that to happen but they said that they had it under control. I even suggested moving my daughter, but they said to see how this new plan works. It doesn’t seem to be working.
      So I have my own plan in the works. I have put in an application to a Charter School, about 40 minutes away, but worth it. My daughter feels empowered now that the application is in and we are praying for a positive response from the new school.
      Thank you for your response.

  11. I’m so sorry your daughter is going through this. I was bullied as a child. It got so bad that my parents had to get me into another school during the school year. It took me years to learn to stand up for myself, but then again, the damage had been done over many years. I am not writing this to scare you, only to let you know. I also work in a school. As a teacher, I can tell you that there is only so much you can do when you have a classroom full of children. BUT the school could do much more. The time for punctual discussions over boundaries is over. More needs to be done. I understand that this child most likely has issues that may be difficult to understand (believe me, I’ve seen so many as I work in a special ed. classroom) but that is not YOUR problem or your daughter’s, for that matter. From my experience, the best way to get things to move in a school is being “that annoying mom”. It’s really quite amazing how quickly things move when the principal, vice-principal, secretary… are flooded with daily phone calls and emails. Best of luck. No child or parent should ever go through this.

  12. If this situation were happening in the workplace and not to a 9 year old girl, it would not be tolerated. “A” should not be in that classroom with your daughter and I would insist that “A” be be moved to another classroom, or have your daughter moved if necessary. Rebecca, or anyone else for that matter, should not have to accept being harrassed. That’s my two cents worth. But then again, I homeschooled my children for many years. For some reason we seem to tolerate things in a “school setting” that would never be tolerated otherwise. Good luck as you work through this………

  13. If the teacher and counselor and principal are ineffective, go to the school board. School Boards usually consist of parents as well as educators, and will be more sympathetic and inclined to take action. Go to the school Superintendent. Go to the newspaper. They are trying to sweep it under the rug. Don’t let the fact that school is almost out be a deterrent, speak out, and keep speaking out until you get what you consider appropriate action plan. You shouldn’t have to put your daughter in a charter school unless you are doing so for a better quality education. You have the right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), there are laws. Make the school enforce them! Good luck!

  14. Ok, I’m a Dad an I am told we dads think differently about things like this. I think it’s time to hire an 11 year old to punch this kid. Probe,s or not, it’s not fair to your little one. Is it appropriate to condone punching? No. But it can be effective,

  15. I was horrified but not surprised by your daughter’s experience. I’m so sad for your daughter; what she gets to learn is that the people who do bad and inappropriate things are protected. The victims end up having to remove themselves from their familiar surroundings and start over, thereby living out the consequences that belong to the perpetrator. It’s a good chance this “A” has an IEP and so is under protection from being expelled or suspended. It’s pathetic that children who do the right things and behave themselves don’t get to witness fairness and justice. What they see is that “good” people have to make way for the “bad” and that we good people all need to just “be quiet and leave”. It seems to me the school is waiting for your daughter to “handle” this herself and make the boy stop, because they’ve run out of options and ideas. Pathetic and disgusting. My best to your brave daughter and I hope that she truly understands that she has done nothing wrong, although I’m sure she’s been getting a very different under-message from the school that she will be living with for the rest of her life, whether she consciously realizes it or not. Such are the lives of women.

  16. First, get your daughter some therapy, and admit these events might have traumatized her. She has you, but you have your own feelings from your own childhood that may influence how you talk to her. A therapist would be trained to deal with her traumas in the most efficacious way. The therapist might also become an ally in communicating the seriousness of the injuries to your daughter by the lack of effort on the part of the school system. Second, consider getting a child advocate to sue the school system and get them to pay for the Charter school and perhaps pay for bussing her there. You might not win, but they will move that boy pretty quickly to avoid doing so. I agree that you should email daily (calls are easier to pretend never happened). Get your daughter to tell you what happens daily, and document — email everything that happened to the school principal with copies the teacher, therapist, etc, on a daily basis. Document a pattern of bullying. You can start your email “The persistent pattern of bullying by A, which is severely traumatizing my daughter, has continued today….” and then document all incidents, verbal, physical whatever. The more documentation, the harder for the school district to ignore you. Also, switching class may not be enough if all 3rd graders share the same recess time. Not only should he be in a different class, but there should be a “no contact” order. This is where a therapist could back you up, and give your opinions professional support. Good luck! Your daughter is lucky to have you on her side.

    1. Wow. I am not sure if you read the same article that I wrote. I have definetly admitted that she has been traumatized, hence my intercession. I, personally do not have any issues from childhood that influence the way I speak with her, my childhood was pretty awesome. I do agree that a therapist would be less prejudice in speaking with her, she is talking to the school counselor and feels like this is not helping her(because “A” seems to be untouchable-shouldn’t he have been suspended for touching her?- shouldn’t he have been suspended for threatening her?) I am going into a meeting with the principal with a written list of incursions that “A” has done. We talk about “A” every day after school and some days there is nothing to report, some days there are. Like every child, “A” has his good days and his bad ones.

      1. A school counselor is not her therapist, but rather an employee of the school. I was advising you to find someone unbiased, paid for by your insurance rather than the school, so the bias would be in your favor rather than the opposite. Of course, you are the person best able to help your daughter. I merely meant that an outside therapist could give you additional support in convincing the school that she has been injured and is being injured, and needs to be protected. Emails are documentation, but phone calls and face-to-face meetings are not as good, because they are subject to confusion about who said what. If nothing happens, you don’t send one, and if an incident happens, email rather than call. One of my kids has his issues. I’ve been negotiating with school systems for my child, and I’ve found the advice of a child advocate very helpful in informing me of my rights and what is a reasonable request to make. A child advocate would know the answer to your questions above–when schools can suspend or expel and how to best separate your daughter and A. Although I don’t know your exact circumstances, I was trying to pass along some useful information about how to advocate for your child in a school system. It seems a shame that your daughter has done nothing wrong but feels the only way to be safe is to move to a different school. That’s a sad indictment of the way our society deals with bullies and victims. She should not be the one that has to leave her friends. I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for your daughter, I was trying to help.

      2. Yes I understand that. And I am sorry if I came across like I didn’t appreciate it. I guess I was just a bit overwhelmed by the number of responses to the post. I certainly am very thankful for your insight. And, once again, I apologize.
        So you would advise cancelling the appointment with the principal? Or should I keep it and make copies of the “report”. Shoud I have a third person in the room so there is not a “he said, she said” or rather “she said, she said”.

      3. You are in a tough bind given you work for the school, but if your daughter doesn’t get into the charter school, then you may be facing another year of A’s presence in your daughter’s life. I would take notes at the meeting and then send a confirming email: “we discussed the following points today…” That provides some documentation. Also, if you are an employee, all the more reason to get outside help to advise you. Then you can say: “Her therapist says we need to do this…” As for the meeting with the principal, I would ask: “How can we come up with a plan to separate my daughter and A to protect both from any further conflict? Take classroom, lunch, recess, PE, music, art all separately. Each has a different person guiding the children socially. Can they be kept apart at all times? If the principal isn’t willing to discuss separation, then you need your outside experts to weigh in on your side. Remember, you and your daughter have done nothing wrong and are not trying to torment this other child. You just want to peacefully coexist in separate spheres with no one being harmed.

  17. This story made me feel sad and angry and I am sorry you have been let down. It is not your problem this boy has issues.. I don’t think labeling him as readers when we know nothing about him is fair. In my experience he probably has learning disabilities, is on autistic spectrum, been victim of horrific abuse etc etc.. He is obviously well known to school and it seems he should have playground link or carer with him when out of playground to ensure he learns correct behaviours. There was a boy in my daughters class who had one for first year or two and he had little effect on classmates as a result and thrived. I hope someone feels able to stick up for the boys needs too.. It must be scary not understanding your feelings and keep repeating the same behaviours upsetting kids ‘you love’. All that said I am pleased your daughter has chosen a clean slate and I hope she has a wonderful time at her new class. I chose to explain to my daughter about ‘human rights’ and law protecting us from being touched in ways we don’t want to be.. This gave her confidence to speak up to teachers when she was being hassled by boy in playground. My daughter is good looking too… We also sent her to stage school, a fun singing and dancing club that was non competitive and really brought her out her shell.. She has outgrown it in fact and moved onto something more competitive now. But at 7 she has just got her first part in school play and talks to our friends. So confidence really is worth looking after.

    1. As I have been given very little information on “A”‘s “problems” I do know that he is on the autistic spectrum, obviously high functioning. And he has an IEP. I have substitute taught him in the resource room which is a rotation of students at different levels of assistance. Other than that that is all I have been given. I have not been allowed to talk to the parents as of yet. But I am hoping that that will change with a scheduled meeting with the principal this week. Wish me luck.

      1. This does not suprise me.. It is often the high functioning ASD that have the most problems socially because they want people to like them and in fact have interest in people in first place. They also don’t know there own strength in regards to physical contact. I am glad you feel able to feel for him and want life to move on for him too.. After everything you’ve been through this makes you a unique lady. There should be government funding for support staff at breaks as he is danger to his own development and especially to others! It not fair situation for anyone… fact: your daughter has loving mother who will fight tooth and nail for her.. And that mother may also be one who helped future CEO of apple computers too. I commend you x

  18. We had a similar issue in K, but the boy has not been put in the same class as my daughter since, and his attention has slowly waned. I wonder who his poor victim is now. I hate that in the name of understanding and trying to serve everyone, our schools don’t protect victims of this kind of, frankly, dangerous behavior.
    Remind her of the good actions of the other boy in her class, of her friends, and maybe give her some tools to stand up to the “A” on her own. I know it is a delicate balance, but bullies only bully those who they know won’t fight back and feeling like she has some control may help her own mental resiliency.
    Prayers of wisdom for you and peace and comfort for your daughter.

  19. whatsonlaurismind is absolutely correct. Our daughter was in a preschool for gifted children when a classmate started his abuse. Among other things, he put her new shoes into the toilet and urinated on them. By the time they were in second grade, it had escalated. He recruited other boys to watch for the playground supervisor before he would shove or taunt her. We went to the teacher, then the principal. Basically, we were told that he had ‘issues’.

    What we realized was that the gifted program was under scrutiny because they didn’t have a racial ‘balance’, and this child was a minority. The day I found a bruise on her back the shape of his shoe was the last straw. We notified each member of the school board that we would be filing legal charges if they didn’t act. One courageous board member asked to have a meeting with us and with both of the little boy’s parents. (Up until that point, we had only met the mother, who accused us of being racist, and prejudiced against her son because he was a mixed race child.)

    The boy’s father, a lineman for the phone company, listened to everything we said. Then he told me that he saw his son’s education as being the single most important thing he could do for his child. Because of that, he told us that he would personally escort his son to school, would spend his lunch hour supervising the child on the playground, and would hire another person to supervise recess. I see this father as a hero. But it took a credible threat of legal action — accompanied by a letter from our attorney — to achieve this result. My huge regret is that I waited so long to do that.

    I vowed that I would NEVER give my child the message that it was her job to protect herself. That is my job until she is an adult. I think the best way to teach her to be a strong, confident woman is to show her how one behaves. And that behavior doesn’t include telling children that they need to take care of themselves.

    So my advice to you is to go in with all guns blazing. Get a letter from an attorney. Send that letter — by registered mail — to each member of the school board. Make sure that the letter includes the term sexual harassment. And remind each person — teacher, principal, administration, school board — that they are personally, legally liable for damages. (fact)

    Yes, it’s horrible. But your daughter has a long life ahead of her. She deserves to live that life with examples of strong people who are prepared to fight for those who should never be expected to fight for themselves.

    Good luck.

    1. I agree that it is our responsibility but I also believe that they need to learn to stand up for themselves. She knows that I have her back, thankfully, and we talk about “A” everyday after school, updates and the like. You were lucky that your bully’s father had a vested interest in his son and his son’s education. That was a blessing. I am not the “suing” type but I will definetly keep that an option.

  20. Good for you that you’re intervening for your daughter! So glad you are aware of what’s going on with her! I missed the bullying that my son experienced…didn’t realize that was the source of some of his anger. Thankfully we did remove him from the school and the situation got better. Hard to stand by and watch your child suffer! I hope the new school works out and that Rebecca will be able to be a 9 year old again and a student, without all the drama from another child to make life difficult! ~ Sheila

  21. I find the reasoning you have been given to be disgusting and completely untrue!!! My 2 sons have Autism and my eldest loves to touch others, BUT he gets that he’s not supposed to now. (He’s 8yrs old) because I’ve made sure I taught him that just becuase he likes someone does not mean they are “his” to do with as he pleases and he needs to respect their feelings and thoughts. ALSO there is a HUGE difference between “not knowing boundries” and the terror that this boy is purposely inflicting on your daughter! I explain to people that sometimes “C” has a hard time remembering boundries, BUT he would NEVER EVER threaten a child he liked, lie to them, whisper horrible things, chase away other kids to isolate them. ALL of those things are the markings of a sociopath. I’m not being nasty either, they are the genuine markers of a child that is clinically missing a chemical in their brains that makes them a sociopath due to the lack of it. You are a Good Woman, and she sounds like a lovely girl and I hear the heartbreak at wanting your child back. Your fear at her losing that innocent sparkle from all of these trials she has been forced to endure. I wish I had advice for you, something to make this better, but honestly if my child was in school and this was happening and the school wouldn’t do anything about it, I’d contact his parents. If that did nothing I’d transfer schools. I’d contact the paper and anyone that would listen. Because once innocence is lost, it can never be returned.

    1. I was told that “A” too is on the autistic spectrum. He is, obviously, high functioning. I am unsure as to his parents participation in his life as the school has not allowed us to have contact with them. I am going in this week to talk to the principal again and I will lay everything out on the table, let her know our intentions of trying to move her to a Charter school and what I feel is needed for Rebecca if we stay. This young man is at the end of his 3rd grade year so he is probably 9 or close to it. He looks a little older than the other boys in her class so he may very well be older. Last year he was a student in a seperate class. The students in this particular class are children with behaviorial issues, and he was moved into the regular classroom this year- go figure. I don’t know what the rules are to “graduate” from that class, but apparently he fulfilled the obligations.
      If you are a praying woman please add us to your list.

      1. Autism has no bearing on such behaviour! And by them saying it they are perpetuating a stereotype I find untrue and horrible to be perpetuating! It’s one thing to do something and for it to be clearly explained to the child about why it is wrong, what message it sends etc and for them to stop if not right away, shortly thereafter with a bit more help. Obviously they are NOT providing the correct help to him (considering how he was last year as well!) OR the more obvious answer, Autism is not why he’s behaving the way he is. Yes my dear I am a praying woman, and I’ll pray for you and her. I’m also the jagged feral momma who’d find out where the kid lived on my own and talk with the parents. If that didn’t have any effect then I would honestly call child protective services. As honestly hun, if he’s only 9yrs old, but had this behaviour prior to this, are you sure it isn’t something he’s learnt at home? If the parents either don’t have a darn good explaination about it, or are as appalled as I would be if you were telling me my son was doing these things than I’d question if there was more going on in the home and if his behaviour was a way of acting out because of it. Just my two cents. Either way, I WILL be praying for your daughter to not just deal with it, but to hopefully have no lasting scars on her heart from such vicious and mentally abusive treatment as she’s suffered from this young boy.

  22. I got chills and lots of anger when reading your story. Memories came back from 7 years back when we moved and my son was suddenly being bullied. Those were difficult years but thanks to the support that we got from a guidance counselor and from each other, being strong and believing in ourselves, he over won that period. I hope you`ll get the proper support you need for both you and your daughter. Good luck!

  23. I hope the charter school is a better option for your sweet daughter. As you know, difficult things are put in our path sometimes but God has a wonderful way of intervening and getting us on a better path. It breaks your heart when something like this is happening to your child. Unfortunately, I doubt the pubic school will do anything about it. If you take it to the next level (which I think you have every right to do so) you may find suddenly you are the bad guy, not the harassing “A”, his parents, or the school who will do nothing. In my opinion institutions have an very bad habit of trying to make themselves look good and point fingers at innocent parents who actually have the nerve to stand up for themselves and advocate for their children. I wish you all the best, praying for you and your family.

    1. Terri, Thank you for your kind words. I too am concerned about the reprocussions of going over the Principals head, for several reasons. One being; what if we don’t make it into the Charter school? She is 7th on the waiting list and my 2nd grader is 10th on the list. My other concern is that I am a substitue teacher and although I am in high demand at their school (that is my primary source of income) I may not be hired next year if I file a complaint. Without that income, we don’t eat…It is a horrible catch but it is reality. I am in the school and they know that I am on top of it… I have another appointment with the principal this week to let her know what we are trying to do with the change of schools and so forth.
      I certainly appreciate your prayers for Rebecca and for “A”. That he finds a way to socialize without all of his current issues and that Rebecca gets into this new school.

  24. Reblogged this on Ardentmeld's Blog and commented:
    re-blog because here is another school/school district doing nothing to protect children from bullies. i hope something is done soon so this young man can get help and this action is stopped.

  25. Mary Anne,
    My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I suggest doing everything that you can to get your daughter away from the child who is harassing her. Yes, we all have to learn how to stand up for ourselves, but no one should be subjected to this harassment. Get her out of that class. Talk to the teacher, the principal, the superintendent. Would you like me to send this to my readers? They often have great input? – Kristin

    1. Kristin, I have gotten a lot of responses and advice. However, if your readers are coming from similar situations I certainly would appreciate all that I can get.

  26. I taught an integrated preschool class with 4 typically developing and 8 with disabilities that ranged from speech, physical and emotional troubles. We used to sometimes say at the end of the year, “wonder what’s going to happen to Simon when he grows up?” We also said, “We think Christopher will end up on a poster in the post office labeled ‘wanted.'” Sorry, but sometimes even when very small, there are some kind of breaks in reality or in self confidence, home or sitter abuse,… so many reasons why and yet, there is hope sometimes, too. A young man who lived by me as a child upset me badly by first, tearing wings off a beautiful butterfly and then, later bashing the head on a baby bird trying to chirp and get its mother to come find it. The young man became a doctor! I heard this years later from someone who stayed in that area, as my family moved. Hope that someone is getting serious about A’s deep seated problems. You helping your daughter and possibly seeking a professional will at least get your half of the problem solved.

    1. Thank you. I had a long meeting with the principal and felt like we accomplished quite a lot with the talk, now will she follow thru with what we discussed? Time will tell. I suggested that she speak with my daughter, alone and because my daughter feels unempowered I thought that she and the principal could discuss what Rebecca thought would be appropriate punishment. And then see it implemented. Monday is the deadline for this to happen so…. I am curious to see what happens and how it happens and what it does for Rebecca. That is one of her major frustrations. “A” never gets punished for any of the things that he ha done to her.

  27. Please know you really need to be careful with “A”! I had a similar situation when I was 15, except it was my next door neighbor. He went as far enough as sexually assaulting me! I carried that burden for years! I didn’t even tell my parents until about 3 years ago. (This happened over 20 years ago). I think you having another meeting with the principal again was a good idea. Continue to encourage your daughter to be open and honest with you and reinforce how much you love her! If all else fails I would bring the authorities in on the issues.

  28. You and others are right when they say this is becoming an epidemic. It is sad we have to live in a world where the innocent are losing that very thing at younger and younger ages. I just moved from Arizona to Colorado (to be near kids and grandkids) and Arizona had a very high-profile case of an 8 year old killing his dad’s friend and his dad; it’s a long and sad story. We need to get back to a strong family-value system, but we also have to pass along that teaching. Also, even though it might NOT seem effective in some circumstances, Prayer NEVER hurts and our Heavenly Father ALWAYS listens.
    Along another line, I also would like to re-blog this as this is an issue that NEEDS to be constantly put into the lime-light and more so in this day and age. Thanks so much for sharing this, both you and the author. My prayers are with you (and that is NOT a cliché!) and I will definitely be checking back with your blog on this and your other writings!
    God Bless –
    Pastor Roland Ledoux

    1. Pastor Ledoux,

      Thank you for reading. After MUCH prayer I beieve that we are on the path to our answer. I have put in an application for my daughter to attend a charter school. At the moment she is on a waiting list, but I am keeping up the prayers and our hopes.
      I met with our principal and after an hour long meeting with a printed list of all the things that “A” has done to my baby we have come up with a plan to help not only my baby but homefully “A” too.
      Prayers for us all are always welcome!
      Blessings,
      Mary Anne~

  29. Reblogged this on Oasis Bible Ministry Blog and commented:
    This is such an important issue today and I believe many are afraid to either identify with it or acknowledge it; but – it needs to be presented.
    My prayer is that everyone who reads this, will do so very prayerfully and ask the Lord what you might do. If nothing else, Intercessory prayer is one of the greatest gifts of love you can give another.

  30. I’m sorry about the multiple reblogs! I still so new to this that I didn’t realize they also needed moderation. I was wondering why my Facebook page picked it up! LOL! Anyway, I hope you will consider approving the one that I put the comment on at the beginning. God Bless and thanks!
    Pastor Roland

    1. Sometimes it is not very easy to understand all that has to be done. Not a problem. And please if my blog can help anyone in anyway, reblog.
      Blessings,
      Mary Anne

  31. I would suggest you consider this child A, a sexual predator, (which means use great caution and do not make excuses for him–don’t label or bully him either but be safe) and teach your daughter that there are those who seek to harm us and it is not something that she has done. So many children live with this and have no one to go to, so this says a lot for your relationship with your daughter. Do not encourage her to be rude but teach her to hold strong boundaries and stay away Then I would encourage you to review the armor of God with her and to go forward humbly, with confidence in the Lord. The dangers will be out there because that is the world we live in. We need to teach our children to be on the defensive in life in a healthy way. If we lived in the frontier we would teach how to watch out for bears and what to do if they came upon one…this is not really so different in many ways. Prayer for the boy will do a lot to help her let go of the residue of his behavior as well because she can put it in God’s hands and walk in faith and confidence in him. (And if the “bear” attacks know that this is just part of life and not a reflection on who she is.) Just my thoughts…I am a grandma and these kind of people where in my classes at school so it has been around a long time and not going away soon. I believe that one thing we can do is teach personal mastery and self-leadership which is what I am suggesting here. I will offer prayers for everyone concerned. Take care.

  32. I know we’ve communicated before about this topic, and I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter is still in the same horrendous position as before. Let me remind you….NO ONE IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SITUATION EXCEPT YOU – BECAUSE NO-ONE IS BEING AFFECTED IN THE SAME WAY!!

    I was bullied by my neighbour from the age of about 7, until we moved house when I was nearly 13. Those few years ruined my life – yes it’s dramatic – but I was the one hiding, waiting with bated breath whilst trying to make myself invisible to him, because I knew if he saw me he would come and punch me, like he always did! My daughter was also bullied – she says it ruined her life. She is still angry. The bulling didn’t stop until she physically punched the girl responsible and I threatened police action against the school, and I said if they didn’t stop the girls I would. I also threatened to tell the local press about the history. Only after all of this did the girls reduce, but not stop, their cruel antics!

    Your daughter is living her life in terror, dread and anticipation of what might happen to her next. It will affect her badly – for the rest of her life, until a responsible adult removes her from that awful situation, that too many adults are complacently accepting as ok, for whatever reason! She is not ok!! She never will be okay whilst he is there!! I’m sorry if I’m coming on strong here, but her mental injuries will become scars that affect her future relationships. You have to be strong, and do what is right – get her out, or him, both cannot exist together and she has too much to lose!

    1. We are moving her to a charter school that is about 40- 45 minutes away. She is very excited and can’t stop talking about her uniform and how excited she is.
      I appreciate your concern. And I am in fact in the process of writing a post about just this.

      1. I guess her relief is immeasurable. Please ensure her placement is given special priority by the authorities involved. She deserves immediate help. Good luck with this – i know how hard it is to watch your child suffer like this x

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