Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by yayita25, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Hi guys what a day for my difficult child !!!!I dropped her off at school at 8:30 am school starts at 8:43 she went to the swings picked the middle swing and swang away two 5th grade girls came to the other two swing (on both side of her) and started taunting her with the swings...difficult child told them "That is not the proper way to use the swings", so one of them pulled her by the hair (difficult child has long hair had it in a braid today) then the other 5th grade girl threw one of the swings at her and hit her in the head the other girl released her hair and got the other swing and both girls took turns throwing the swings at her the bell rang and they ran to class!!!!!

    difficult child was able to cover her face but she said her back and head were repeatedly hit!!!! Playground Supervisors were there but no one saw anything except another 4th grader(afterschool she approached me and told me about the incident).

    But when difficult child even looks at any other kid the wrong way she is in detention!!!!!

    Well I marched into the school office and spoke to the principal (she is new ) she took difficult child's statement and said she would look into it I was still in shock when I was taliking to principal...

    When I got home and told my husband he was MAD and started to say things like " What if she had been hit in the eye or if difficult child had taken a hard hit in the head and difficult child went through her school day with out any medical assistance".

    I started to feel guilty that I did not pressure the principal more... I kinda at the momment felt that since she is new she might need more time to investigate but now I feel MAD and this is not the first incident last week it was two boys that took difficult child's ball and shoved her and she scraped her knees again no one saw anything???? difficult child had a band aid on that a 4th grade classmate put on her!!!!

    I did tell the principal that I felt the kids needed more supervision but she said the school was too big and it was easy for the kids to get away with stuff because they did these things when the supervisors were looking elsewhere...

    My husband is so angry he wants me to demand to know who were the 2 girls and even press charges????

    Sorry this is long I just needed to vent any suggestions are welcomed
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That the school is too big is a lame excuse. If they cannot adequately supervise the playground, then they have a huge liability on their hands and perhaps they should be reminded of that. When your child is on campus, her safety is their responsibility. Somewhere they should have a document that states the district policy on bullying. If the school can't give it to you, call the district and tell them why you need it.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Yep, what Gcvmom said. Sometimes, all it has taken was for me to remind them that while my child is there, her/his safety is their responsibility.
  4. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    I will certainly remind them (school) of there responsibility... I cannot even relax just thinking about my difficult child's future I swear she is a magnet for bully's and being taken advantage of by other kids and when she defends herself the school is quick to punish her!!!!
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I totally agree with gcv. It is the school's responsibility to keep your daughter safe while on their property. One issue is the mingling of multi-ages. That can often lead to trouble. Most schools don't have "play" before school for that very reason. If they have morning care, it is supervised inside the building (the playground was not open at my son's elementary school before school unless a student was there with a parent).

    As for recess, surely we understand that there are a lot of children and it is difficult to watch them all. However, the school, having faced this issue before, needs to be proactive in insuring the safety of their students. Even approaching the PTA for parent/grandparent recess volunteers would help. Not to be disciplinarians, but just to be extra eyes.

    Approaching the principal in a calm way, with a plan, will show him that you are not just a reactionary parent. Many administrators only hear from certain parents when there is a problem or they avoid the "moma bear" issues like the plague.

    I am not saying that you are either of those. But you need to remind the principal that there is a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying (and the incident with the girls yesterday was bullying) and that is is the school's responsibility to keep your daughter safe.

    Then perhaps you may want to apprach the PTA president with the idea of getting volunteers in the mornings on the playground and at recess time.

    I'm sorry that your daughter was the brunt of that "mean girl" behavior yesterday. These are the types of things that really impact our difficult child's attitude about school.

  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As someone now sadder but wiser, I wish to emphasise what the others (and your husband) have been saying - your child deserves to be safe. I agree with your husband, you are entitled to ask for charges to be pressed if necessary. We now are learning this, after the bullying difficult child 3 endured from about age 6 is STILL continuing, with the younger siblings (and classmates) of the ones who gave difficult child 3 a hard time. When they drew blood, I called the police who treated it as AN ISOLATED INCIDENT because they had never had any other reports. My word was not enough, although they were sympathetic. The police told me that I had to report EVERYTHING from that point on, even if it was just name-calling, or a kid even looking at difficult child 3 sideways.

    And so we have done. And you know what? It has slowed down immensely. ONE kid is still causing problems, but all the others are giving difficult child 3 a wide berth. As for tat one kid - difficult child 3 is now feeling more confident and so copes with it much better. I let difficult child 3 call the shots on whether to call the police or not, just for a 7 year old kid calling him "retard". And yes, even that - the police did say to call. Because it is part of the pattern, for us.

    So back to your daughter - she needs to feel safe or her anxiety will climb and that alone can get her into trouble. If she's more anxious, then she's likely to be more reactive. The more this happens (especially if she gets into trouble for either hitting back or defending herself) then the more she gets the message, "I can't be good, even when I try to be. I am bad, I may as well stop trying because whatever I do, I always get into trouble anyway."

    Your daughter also needs to know that you believe her and you will fight for her - appropriately. The more you fight for her, the more she learns the right way to fight for herself.

    I would begin by writing a letter to the school. Be matter-of-fact. In your letter, explain exactly what happened (like a police report although perhaps not quite so formal). Next, describe your meeting with the principal - even if it's the principal you are writing to. You simply say, "I then reported these events to you in a face-to-face meeting and expressed my concern at the lack of supervision. You told me that this is a big school and that this means you cannot ensure that incidents like this are prevented. This statement concerns me because..." then express your concern at the implications of this.
    Finish with the combination statement that:
    1) they have a legal and moral responsibility to keep your daughter safe, as well as keep the other children and staff safe; and

    2) your daughter has a diagnosis of ODD (with possibly another underlying disorder) and this should entitle the school to apply for funding to cover playground supervision to both protect her from bullying/having her buttons pressed constantly, and also protect other kids form the consequences of her raging as a result.

    Finish with the statements that you REQUIRE them to keep your daughter safe, and that any failure to do this, any recurrence of these problems, any failure to take action and prevent this, especially now they have been notified with as much detail as possible, and you will do everything in your power to MAKE them change.

    If necessary, talk to the Special Education forum mods to pick their brains about exactly how you would do this, exactly what laws the school is breaking in failing to protect your child. Inform yourselves and plan what you will do next. Plan for every possible contingency. Include in your plans the likelihood you will need to pull your child out of this school - sometimes no matter how hard you kick, you can't make them change and follow the rules. As we found out.

    Whatever the options, whatever happens from here - remember that your loyalties, first and foremost, belong to your child.

    I also sent a clear message to our local school - I am a busy person. I dislike injustice. I can be a very powerful advocate. If the school does the right thing by my child I can be the school's best resource. But because MY child is my highest priority, if I feel MY child has been adversely affected through any neglect by the school, then I will take it very personally and I can then become the school's worst nightmare.

    It's their choice.

    But whichever option - I have to be prepared to follow through and BE a good advocate, or a big thorn in their side, whichever happens.

  7. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Thanks everyone for responding I don't feel so alone... I am getting ready to drop of my difficult child at school I have started the letter to the principal, I was able to calm my husband down and we will pursue this situation with a phone call to the principal this morning and a letter right after....I guess will take this step by step ... As for difficult child she is a bit shaken I have armed her with tons of verbal info and hope she follows through. Everyone at home has hugged her but also made her understand she too is powerful and to not be afraid there are alot of people on her side ...

    Thanks once again I will keep you all posted
  8. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    As a former playground supervisor, "the school is too big" excuse is just a bunch of hooey. A big school needs a big supervision staff. Though, it's really hard to find people that take it seriously and conduct themselves in a professional manner.

    Absolutely remind them of their responsibility to insure that students are safe. If the principal doesn't give you satisfaction, go to the district office. However, you must be calm even though you are probably furious and want to wring some necks.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If it were me, I would want to press charges as well. Make sure your letter is concise and to the point and puts them on notice that physical and mental intimidation won't be tolerated. They're the ones who are responsible for your child's safety during school hours.

    Any chance you or a friend could videotape the playground action from a distance in order to drive home your point? It would be an invaluable tool.
  10. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I personally think they should have 2-3 people supervising the playground and require them to be posted in certain areas. I have driven up to difficult children school on occasion and see the same thing every time on the playground. 2-3 teachers out there and they are standing there together talking. Totally not watching the kids. And they are quite a far distance from the kids. I have worked at a preschool before and we were required to stand at different corners of the playground and NOT sit in a chair, you had to be standing and observing the kids.
  11. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Quick Update,

    I emailed my difficult child's teacher and made sure I put things such as "schools responsibility to keep my child safe, my child was ATTACKED and swings were used as WEAPONS, this was a SERIOUS attack and needs more than just an apology and two days detention!!!". I also included the incident when difficult child got her knee scraped and did not recieve medical attention from the office.

    Well the teacher emailed me back she stated that it was her that tended to difficult child but that she did in her class since she (teacher) did not want difficult child to miss any class time, teacher said she gave the other 4th grader the bandaid to put on my difficult child .. teacher also wrote that ther is supervision during this time..

    As for the principal she called me at cell phone and said that my difficult child was not able to identify the bully's and therefore difficult child needs to learn to tell someone as soon as the incidents happen..... and that she had spoken to difficult child and told her this herself!!!! Of course I was mad but she had caught me at work and all I could do was tell principal that I was disatisfied with this outcome and I was considering pressing charges... Principal said you can do what you want but no one has identified the two girls!!!! i requested to meet with her after school.

    After school Principal once again repeated the above I told her there needed to be more we could do take difficult child by the hand and try and find the girls talk to the other child that witness the attack... Principal said she had spoken to all the playground supervisors and no one saw anythin.... when I question how many supervisors were out thre she only limited to say that she had what was required by the district I couldn't get a straight answer finally I point blank said how many were there when this happened to my childe she said 4 and 2 more aides for Special Education students and she said these two were also there to supervise the playground not just their students.....

    sorry my kids need me I'll be right back...