"Just turn a blind eye...."

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lillykissa, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. lillykissa

    lillykissa New Member

    I am very concerned with a conversation I had with my daughters school counselor.

    My daughter suffers from PTSD, anxiety and has static encephalopathy. She is in 7th grade(main streamed class for all but English and gets moderated Math and Science work)

    We started at a new school last fall and my daughter has never had an easy time making friends. She never gives up and goes to school every day with her head held high. However, a few times this year, I have witnessed other children treat her down right cruel. I have actually had to address a few of these children myself.

    Last week, I went to the counselor just to chat and brought up an incident from early in the week. I had just picked my daughter up at the end of the day and the band and choir were loading up on busses to go to a neighboring town for competition. My daughter said "Good Luck" to all these kids. The kids were looking at her like she was weird and some laughed at her.

    At one point when NO ONE said thanks or even responded to her positively...I said "THANK YOU, (daughters name here)" and looked at all these kids.

    The counselor then related a similar incident from THAT DAY.
    Then she looked at me and said: "You just need to turn a blind eye at these other childrens behavior. This age is tough and kids are mean."

    No punishment is doled out for children being cruel and picking on my daughter, but if my daughter so much as puts a hand on another child(ie taps a child on the arm to get their attention) SHE gets reprimanded for physical contact.

    I think it is sending out different signals to these children.
    And what ever happend to compassion and kindness? I have taught my children that you treat everyone with kindness and not to pick on anyone for their differences.

    Anyway, what do think of this "turning a blind eye..." statement?
    Should I let it go?

    Just so very frustrated at the entire school system at this point.
     
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I feel your frustration. It isn't fair.
    I don't understand why she would get reprimanded for tapping someone on the arm. What am I missing?
    Sounds like difficult child is a great kid!
    I don't know that there's really anything you can do. I don't think the counselor put it as well as she could have though. She could have said she'd try to do something but not to expect results... that would have put her efforts in your camp, at any rate. She seems to have developed a very thick skin that does not serve her well when she's supposed to be helping others. It would be interesting to know her reaction if it had been her child.
     
  3. lillykissa

    lillykissa New Member

    I am wondering if I need to develop a more thick skin...but I ache for my daughter.

    Like I said, she is in 7th grade and is 13. When she was younger she would act out and was very aggressive(stabbed a kid in the hand with a scissors in pre-K, in elementary she would ALWAYS be touching(whether hitting or hugging)) so it became vital that she keep her hands off of kids no matter what.

    She has come so far. But yet, with her speech "different" because of the brain injury, other kids just "do not get her".

    The best strength my daughter has is that it all seems to bounce off her. She doesn't read the other kids as being MEAN. She keeps trying and keeps going. But someday I worry that it is all going to dawn on her that these children are being extremely cruel to her and she is going to become majorly depressed.

    Need to get in touch with her therapist again. Cause you all know "mom needs to be OK for the kids to be OK" and right now I just do not feel OK about the situation.

    Thanks for the response, Terry. :smile:
     
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I hate cruelty from other children. I believe you need to address this with someone higher up on the chain of command. By 7th grade children should have been taught to teach each other with respect. That is one of the goals of charcter education---a big movement in education today. I would talk to your principal about charcter ed and get one started if there is not one in place.
     
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Sorry I don't have any advice just sympathy. Could you put a signature on so we know what you and your family deals with on a daily basis?
     
  6. Karen & Crew

    Karen & Crew New Member

    Maybe its just middle school. We're not there yet but I know this wouldn't be tolerated at my difficult child's school. I was in a meeting with the principal just a week and a half ago and related a similar story in the course of conversation. Even though I had addressed with problem with the child making fun of my difficult child directly and then it had been handled again by the after-care coordinator the principal still wound up calling this girl to her office for a frank discussion on what's acceptable. In our school system the behavior you described is called bullying and our school system has a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying.
     
  7. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I don't agree with turning a blind eye to bad behaviors in children. If an adult sees the behaviors you have to address it in my opinion, or it's just condoning what they did. It's bullying, plain and simple, and it's not tolerated in our school either. I'm not naive, and I know kids are mean and I'm sure they still call each other names etc. at our school when no one's looking. That's why they do it when no one's looking, they're taught it's wrong and not condoned with a blind eye.
     
  8. kassy

    kassy New Member

    hello, how did your daughter respond to this.. did it bother her as much as it bothered you? i know this is hurtful and frustrating to you and believe me i can relate to you. my son was kicked, slapped, knocked off his bike, his stuff was stolen, he was mocked ect ect.. i wanted to beat the snot out of the the creeps who did this and the principle who basically turned a "blind eye to it"! I ended up home schooling my son for middle school even though i had a 7th grade education... i have learned that i can not take on the hurt for him but i can help him realize that unfortuntly there are mean people in this world and there are people raising mean little people (or not RAISING them) he will need to learn to deal with that and rise above that. he is of value and they might be hurting too and that is thier way of releasing thier pain... in our home we try Occupational Therapist (OT) pray for those who hurt us as hard as that is for us sometimes...i know from my own experience as a bully myself as a child(reformed of course) that i was hurting from my neglect and abuse so i look at it diffrently i guess...
     
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    When Kanga was being harassed in 5th grade, I went in to talk to the district's special education director because the principal was useless. Her guard dog (oh, I mean secretary) made a comment that Kanga and I just needed to deal with it because there are always mean people in life.

    I know my face showed how livid I was. I asked her if her co-workers frequently commented on how ugly she was and asked her if she wanted to engage in various sex acts with them or others. She actually took a step back from me and said of course not. I stated very firmly that if it was unacceptable for it to be said to her; it was equally unacceptable for my 10 year old daughter to have to endure it on a daily basis while the adults paid to protect her failed miserably because they just didn't care enough to do their jobs -- which yes, may include a phone call to another parent stating that their easy child angel has been given a detention for sexual harrassment...

    Kanga tried to kill herself the next month.

    You are a very wise and good mother to be aware of this before it has reached a crisis stage. Keep fighting the school and don't let their lazy butts get away with turning a blind eye to a child's pain. The adults should be protecting your daughter and using these as teaching moments for those other children, not merely being bystanders.
     
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Middle school is the worst! It is true that kids are cruel. But, that is in no way a reason to condone it. I think the adults should say something - and most probably do. I can not imagine watching it happen all day everyday and not saying a thing. I imagine the bus driver does not say anything - they just want to get the kids to the next place safely - imagine how hard that is! But, most teachers I would imagine say something to stop the nastiness. Not that it works to stop the child, but may give them pause before doing it in front of that teacher again.
     
  11. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    I think the problem gets to be with how adults view a child who has had behavior problems in the past. My difficult child has had some behavior problems in earlier school years, and as a result she is "bullied" every day. If she goes and tells an adult that she is being called names or made fun of, they say for her to just ignore them. However, let any other student come and say my difficult child called a name or did anything, and they are automatically believed, and difficult child is in trouble and is often sent home for it.

    This happens to such an extent that earlier in the school year I emailed a staff member at my daughter's school about an incident that took place at a play tryout. I was only doing this to make them aware that it was going on since my difficult child and this boy had to ride the bus together to their gifted class. I got an email back from this staff member saying they had "interviewed" all the children and that the name calling was done by my daughter and that the only words said to difficult child by the other student was after my difficult child hit the other student, who was from a different campus. I wrote back to tell this staff member that this was not an incident reported by difficult child that needed to be investigated. I had witnessed every bit of the exchange and I knew exactly what had been said, by whom, and that no hitting by difficult child or any other student took place. I got an email back saying merely, "We weren't aware you were there and witnessed the exchange."

    It is unfortunate that children are taught early on which kids they can pick on and get away with it. If you have a child who isn't a perfect angel then the other kids will always be believed over the difficult child.

    Hugs and sympathy going out to you.
    mistmouse
     
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No way should a counselor have said that. Middle school age kids are cruel-doesn't make it o.k. I would definitely speak to someone higher up to get their take on it.
     
  13. lillykissa

    lillykissa New Member

    Thank You all for your replies.

    I talked to the principal. And there is something definitely wrong at this school!!! He said that kids do not like my daughter because she is "different"! ((((angry angry angry!!))))
    Said the kids do not like her because she "talks different and is not like them!"

    Well, I asked him a kid came from a foreign country, with an accent, and wasn't like the rest, would it be condonable for the children to treat the new kid wrong?? He said that there have been plenty of new kids that arrive in school that just click. my daughter JUST DOESN'T....

    I have an appointment with the school psychologist tomorrow.

    She has 2 more months and we are planning to home school next fall. I know I cannot protect her forever. But I will pull her out of this environment pronto!

    And, by the way, I walked into the school yesterday and one boy had another cornered and he was beating him with a bookbag. I approached and said "Adult Present!!" the boy getting beat on ran off and the boy doing the beating just glared at me for intervening. These 7 and 8 graders are as tall as I am. I actually FEARED for my life(for 2 seconds!).

    AS I see it, there is just not enough supervision in the hallways before, during and after school. My daughter has been escorted by an adult for about 3 months and they say it is so she isn't "accused", but I think she likes it because she isn't being harrassed between classes any more.

    DIFFERENT.....GGHHAAAA...I EMBRACE different!!!!
     
  14. Espoir

    Espoir New Member

    For this post, I am not responding as a mom, but as a formerly picked-on kid who grew up poor in a mean small town.

    My personal experience is that adults intervening in such circumstances will not have a huge impact on your daughter's social acceptance. But you are not helpless. These kids' behavior will mean less to her if she has other positive experiences to pull from. This may mean a church youth group or 4H or girl scouts, or a combination. If it is possible to look into a different school situation, with a more positive structure (My "normal" daughter's public school was actually much better at this than the expensive private one) I encourage you to consider it. For me as a kid in this situation, it was much more effective to concentrate on different social experiences rather than to get my classmates to grow a heart. When I was older, I was able to get a part time job and other activities in another town, which helped a lot, I really wish my mom had cared as much as you seem to to do something like that for me much earlier.

    Espoir
     
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