If you have scanned the headlines this morning you probably saw a story about 6 year old Zachery,a cub scout forced to be home schooled for 45 days because he brought his cub scout silverware to school.
I know there are many sides to this story. Although I do not think that the school used their best judgment here. What message are they really sending to Zachery. Slip up even innocently and we gotcha...
Then there is my daughters experience. It was her first year to sit in the back of the bus. It was one of those little things that said you are now in high school- congrats.
On nearly the first day she started being bothered by a couple of boys on the bus. They said crude things to her and telling her she should kill herself and told her how to do it.
I told her to stand up for herself. She was afraid that SHE would be the one in trouble then. So I told her to sit somewhere else. She said why should I? I haven't done anything wrong. She was right. All she did was ride on the bus 10 minutes to get home every afternoon.I suggested that we talk to someone at the school. She was adamant that that was a BAD idea. We had been that route before it had never failed to make EVERYTHING worse than it already was.
Up to this point I did not know they had been telling her to commit suicide. I found that in a note on the counter one morning. So I called the school.
How can we keep my daughter anonymous and get these guys to stop? They said talk to the counselor. So I convinced my daughter that we should. That was my mistake. The school principal got involved. At first I felt relieved then He started insisting that we address the boys in a meeting and ask them if they were doing this. EXACTLY what my daughter was afraid of...Confrontation. We have learned this only makes it worse.
I had asked the bus garage and now I was begging the principal to just observe one day. If they heard it they could say that they noticed it. All we wanted was our daughter ( the victim) to remain out of the picture. The Principal was indignant and pursued the issue. I was told if you tell a school counselor anything that involves harm to someone of threat of harm they have to report it. IT IS NOT CONFIDENTIAL- even if the victim wants it to be.
I begged him to allow my daughter to switch buses. He reluctantly allowed it. All the while my daughter is terrified that the boys will figure it out. This has killed her trust in me and certainly the school. She will NEVER trust a school counselor again.
So who wins here- The school who won't be bothered by my daughter's needs again, the bullies who got away with it...or My daughter who has no way to resolve her issues unless it is their way regardless of how it effects her.
As a Realtor how do I answer the question...How are your schools? I tell them they are like any other public school. We have a lot of options here for education. ( take it or leave it) We are in a debate now as to how to help our daughter and we are looking into online education with sports for socializing and P.E. After all we may fix the schools, but will we in time for my daughter to be successful now.She sleeps as much as she can she doesn't want to eat and she gets headaches Sunday night before school. In a nut shell she hates it. How is that going to help her become successful?
Parents keep in mind that what your kids tell a couselor is rarely confidential!