Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So You Think "Bully" Is Overused?

Alice is having issues with girls at school. It started on Monday and ended today with the school putting a giant target on my childs back. But, let's start at the beginning. For the purposes of this story, names of the bullies have been changed to people I couldn't stand in middle school for the same.

There is a girl in Alice's class who thinks she's the Queen Bee. Honestly, she kind of is. Let's call queen bee Meredith. Meredith is of the belief that when she doesn't like you, she tells people not to be your friend, and you follow those rules or else. I told Alice to stop. To tell Meredith no. On Monday, Alice's friend Erin tripped on her shoe lace and fell into Meredith. Meredith told everyone that Erin pushed her on purpose. Even cried to the teacher. Erin got in trouble, despite it being an accident. No one was shocked, because apparently, this is Meredith's M.O. As you can guess, Erin became persona non grata according to the rule of Meredith. Alice said No.

Fast forward to recess. Meredith has a boyfriend named John and a best friend named Adrienne. Adrienne used to be a really good friend of Alice's. She spent the night here and even went on a trip with us to the zoo. This year they are in different classes and grew apart. Normal in elementary school. I thought nothing of it. On the playground, Adrienne comes up to Alice and starts yelling at her about telling Meredith that she still believed in Peter Pan. She then pushes Alice on the ground and tells her she is going to beat her up. Alice gets up and and Adrienne tries to jump on her and punch her. Alice pushes her off and runs. Merediths boyfriend John chases after her. When John couldn't catch her, their other friend Courtney tries to get her. At this point, the teachers who failed to notice a thing, yell that recess is over. So Alice is safe.

When she gets home, Alice relays the story to me. I asked her why she told anyone that Adrienne still believes in Peter Pan (yes, it's true) and she says they were just talking, that Meredith brought it up first. I also asked her why she didn't tell a teacher, and she stated the fact that she didn't want to get in trouble, because they would lie. (As mentioned above, it happens). I made her repeat this story again and again. It's now Wednesday and the story has not changed at all. I believe my daughter. I did tell her that gossiping is wrong and that Adrienne had a right to be upset, but not a right to put her hands on Alice. I call the school and am told the principal is in a meeting, so I leave a message. School never calls back.

I send Alice to school Tuesday and assume they are probably going to talk to the kids today since I left the message. Alice gets home and says no one talked to her, but that Meredith told her Adrienne said she was going to punch her in the face. Alice confronts Adrienne who says "yeah, I did". Once again I call the school, only to have to leave yet another message.

Matt is off today, so we just head up to the school ourselves, only to be told that the principal isn't in, and that all issues must first go through the teachers. OK... I couldn't be told that on the phone? Alice's teacher calls me during lunch and I explain the entire situation. Alice's teacher tells me that they have had a lot of trouble from this group on the playground this year. It's not the first issue. Basically, they are the Mean Girls. She says she is going to talk to the teacher that 2 of the students are in. She will email me the resolution. I'm fine with this.

Until Alice gets home and informs me that the other teacher handled the entire thing, Adrienne didn't get in trouble. What they did was punish the entire 3rd grade for this. No longer can they play on the open field and the teacher told them it was because of the two of them that this happened. So what did Adrienne do? Ran and told her friends that it was Alice's fault. Who then came up and yelled at Alice on the playground, telling her it was all her fault. I told Alice to next time roll her eyes, flip her hair, and walk away. Alice's teacher and I both told her to stay away from this entire group. Especially Meredith, since I think as ring leader (teacher agrees fully), caused the drama on purpose. Everything was fine between them all until my daughter stood up and said "no, I will still be her friend".

So, basically what the school did to handle a GANG UP on my child was paint a bigger target, placing the blame of loosing a coveted spot on her. This household is not happy right now, and very disillusioned with how a school protects its students.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

That is so frustrating! I'm wondering why they don't have a teacher shadowing this group of children on the playground if they know that they are causing trouble and bullying others. If I was one of the teachers that is what I would do!