Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When The Dust Settles (revised)

Bullying - continued...

I left the girls with a nice neighbor who has a daughter Thing 1's age, and went to the bullying forum that I heard about from the flyer.  (See previous post.)
I sat there listening to the counselors from our school and a couple other schools in the district talking about bullying and all they training they've had on it and all they've learned about it... the programs they've installed and how they keep it from happening in our schools.  I figured that since mostly what I was saying was "No you Di'ent!" that maybe I better keep my mouth shut.  But I sat there thinking they have no idea what's going on at their own playground, and getting more and more frustrated. I wanted to (and probably should have) stood up and asked how many other parents were there (maybe 20 of us) because their kids were treated badly and they didn't feel it was handled appropriately.  Based on some of the comments I heard I figure I wasn't the only one.  I thought the counselors should have been listening more than talking.
Finally when it was over, I went up and talked to our counselors.  I said "I understand you want to empower the kids by encouraging them to handle a bully on their own (they'd talked about how important this is) but what I'm hearing at home is that the playground is a battleground because the kids think they won't get any support from the adults if they report any bullying behavior, they think they're expected to handle it on their own."  Protestations.  I said "Well, Thing 2 hasn't felt support from the times she's been attacked..."
Blank stares.  Crickets.
They had NO IDEA what I was talking about.
I said "Didn't you get the email I sent you?  Or the reply that I got from the principal?  Last week? ??   ???   I thought the teacher had come and talked to you and you'd said it was odd behavior and let it slide?"
Protestations.  No one had told them.  Yes I did, I sent them emails.  They're sorry, they say.  They have been so busy with all the problems created by the new French Immersion first grade (I've heard about that, the French teacher won't speak English to the parents - they send her emails to address problems their kids are having, and she replies in French.  Yes, Really.)
I ended up getting frustrated all over again, I briefly went through the whole thing, my voice cracked then choked off... One of the counselors had seen the email to me that the boy had been talked to, but she had only seen the first part, hadn't read the whole thing, thought it was about ANOTHER incident with this boy...
I went home, very upset, and Thing 2 heard me talking to Hubby on the phone.  She got upset.  She wrote a very sweet letter outlining a lot of things, some that I hadn't even heard before, which I sent to the counselors, along with a brief letter from me and the original forwarded email I had sent.
They replied back and apologized again, saying Thing 2's letter was wonderful and had a big impact.

Since then they called several times, caught up on the email and apologized that my emails were sitting in the inbox but hadn't been read.  They have contacted me letting me know how they are watching Thing 2 and Danger Boy on the playground (and she has reported this is true) and made a lot of noise about how they're watching and the two kids seem to be playing well together.

I don't know if this kid is going to attack Thing 2 again or not.  He hasn't attacked her since he was spoken to, but he hasn't really left her alone, either.  He is really lonely, I think, so he gravitates toward Thing 2 and these other girls who have been nice to him, despite his behavior toward them.   Thing 2 can't hold a grudge, though he still does stupid things to them; taunts them with outrageous statements and if they don't call him a liar (because it's rude to call someone a liar) then he mocks them for believing the outrageous lie he told.  Whatever.  If it was me I'd tell him to shove off, but she's more flexible and sympathetic, I suppose.

I just want it to be over.  I am not used to being the one with problems like this. We are not boat rockers.  If the boat is rocking we find another boat.  But this time we're kind of stuck.

I am finally ready for winter.  We bought nine trees last month, and stakes to support them.  I question whether we really needed the stakes, but we paid for them and they were delivered with the trees, so it seems silly not to use them.  Hubby helped me plant the trees, but we ran out of time and didn't get them staked.  I got six of them staked a couple weeks ago.  The trees are about as big around as... maybe three of my fingers... if that makes sense.  The stakes are as big around as my forearm.  They're HUGE!  And they're seven feet tall!  I had to dig a hole for each one, then get on a ladder to pound it in with a sledge hammer.  I also planted the three evergreen bushes we bought, and the five Russian Sage plants that the nursery sold me for $3.00 each because they're trying to get rid of everything.  I coiled the hoses, and stripped the trampoline of everything but the support pipes.  Hubby put all the patio furniture underneath the deck a couple weeks ago.  I'm embarrassed to say we are lazy enough to have bought a new little snowblower for the back deck, so I don't have to drag the big Honda up the hill we created by dropping the driveway and around to the back fence and over to the back deck.  I'm also too lazy to shovel the back deck, which is nearly as much square acreage as the front driveway.  Turns out the little new snowblower is about a thousand times better than the big tough Honda that we use on the front driveway.  Last snowstorm Hubby blew the back deck, then dragged the blower around to the front of the house and used it on the front.  The big Honda needs a tune up.

I am just waiting for life to go on.
Waiting for it to snow.

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