I realize that some people want a little backstory on the bullying post I made last night. Names of the kids involved have been changed to protect their privacy, and I’ve deleted the most personally identifying information and stuff that I don’t believe my daughter would want the world to know (especially as what I’ll be excluding won’t be relevant to the situation).
This is from an e-mail I sent to the Vice Principal to notify him of the situation as my daughter, J, described it. Please remember that these children are only 11 years old. I’ve written about bullying issues in the past, although not about this boy in particular even though he’s been a problem.
Hello Mr. VP Blahbitty Blah,
Snippity snip niceties follow… snip snip
After she came home from homework club today she told me about an incident with “Stuart Finklehopper” that seems to be an ongoing situation. They were both at ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and had their three last years there in the same class. During that time, although Jules had no personal problem with “Stuart”, I noticed that he grew increasingly annoyed by her as each school year passed. It was normal boy/girl annoyance that he took to a personal level. She pretty much has left him alone but when they come into contact for projects or in classes together, he’s been gradually more and more rude and insulting to her. There’s never a reason given. So that’s the background.
They haven’t had class together here at MIDDLE SCHOOL until this new quarter of tech started; right now it’s wood shop 6th period with Mr. TECHIE TEACHER. It’s been more of the same since the quarter started but today was the worst.
She says that when she first came into contact with “Stuart” today, he started to say physically threatening and intimidating things, such as “I can beat you up without even trying” and “I’ll kick you across the room” and she was feeling intimidated and unsafe. She stood up for herself and when she did that he called her names, including calling her a bitch. This occurred near the water fountain in the work area in the classroom. He then started calling her ugly, telling her that she’s so ugly she could stare into a mirror and break it. He has said other similar things to her, but this seems to be escalating. She’s crying, and she’s so upset that she’s dreading having to be around him because she doesn’t feel safe around him. She’s genuinely afraid that he’ll hurt her.
Other kids that witnessed this were “Barnaby Finklehopper” and maybe “Mugby Bushbeans.” Jules reported this incident to Mr. TECHIE TEACHER but he didn’t address this during the class; instead he told Jules that he would address it “later” or “tomorrow.” I’m not satisfied with that response, and am hoping that Mr. TECHIE TEACHER has reported this to you. She says Mr. TECHIE TEACHER assured her that he would be keeping “Stuart” under close watch.” But she also says that she didn’t go into so much detail with Mr. TECHIE TEACHER. And of course Mr. TECHIE TEACHER wouldn’t be aware of the past history going on.
SNIP SNIP …
She’s told me at home that she hates how she looks and “some kids” have called her ugly but she just admitted that it’s really just “Stuart.” There was a girl named “Jan’Iah Gorgonzola” who used to join in with “Stuart” calling her ugly and being rude and insulting, but she stopped a while ago at the beginning of the quarter. I’m not so sure she would “witness” for Jules, but I know that it affected her deeply and poorly. This has been an incredibly difficult transition year for her and this bullying has made it much, much more difficult than it ought to be. We have other issues we’ve been dealing with such as SNIP SNIP. She’s had issues in the past with bullies, and luckily has learned how to deal with them but being physically threatened to the point where she actually fears for her safety is new to her.
I’m going to be honest: Jules has requested that she completely separated from “Stuart.” She’s requested that he be moved out of the class and never put into any of her classes in the future. She loves the wood shop class and doesn’t want to move out of it. I understand, however, if school policy dictates something else. I do agree with my daughter, however, that these two kids need to be separated.
I look forward to speaking with you. Please feel free to call me at home. SNIP SNIP
Thank you for your attention in this matter. If it would be better to meet face to face I can meet at any time SNIP SNIP.
Obviously, more has happened since then as this was sent a week ago today in the evening. And last night’s blog entry was the follow up. Part of my conversation with the VP over the phone was about separating the kids but that my daughter would have to be the one to move out of the class. She’s not happy about that. I can’t imagine that “Stuart” will leave the class unless his mother requests it, and ditto for “Jan’Iah.”
I’m completely disappointed and livid with the tech teacher for his response because whatever he supposedly did, he didn’t handle handle “Stuart” very well. The behavior over the past week didn’t change at all until I followed up with the VP to see if he had received my e-mail (he hadn’t until I spoke with him and re-sent it). The teacher never even reported it, let alone “kept an eye on” the kid. Even after it being reported and supposedly being on my daughter’s side, he just let it go and ignored it.
This is a school system that up until now has shown me that teachers take the zero tolerance on bullying policy very seriously. I’m relieved that as soon as the VP was made aware, things started to change, but now I’m anxious for an update. I’m supposed to get a call before the end of the school day.
- What Happened To Girl Power? (littlefallofrain.wordpress.com)
- When Your Teen is Bullied: How to Tell and What to Do (education.com)
- What Should I Do If I’m Bullied? (education.com)