I am the parent of an 8 year old student from a Pine Grove stem school. A beautiful, smart, caring young girl who has become a victim of bullying. Experiencing different problems since Kindergarten. This past year has been extremely difficult for her. We have had meetings with the teachers, been told our daughter is “the most picked on child in class”, watched her confidence slowly falling with her grades and her friends, to the point she no longer wants to go to the school she is attending.
The last incident with her being called “fat” by a group of kids, had the teacher calling us, and finally we felt like something had to be said. When I approached the principal that morning to address my concerns, I was told she was told not to deal with me, and obviously my concerns for my daughter were not being taken care of, or even addressed. The principal even asked, "If she was having so many problems, why was she still there?"
My heart sank. I felt no hope, as the principal offered to sign the transfer papers to Jackson Elementary. I am a single mother, and have no choice but to have her finish off the school year there. She will attend Jackson this Fall. I am hoping to see more support from school, with more resources for my daughter to deal with the aggressors...build her confidence and succeed in school without feeling pushed out. If you ask my daughter, that's exactly how she feels...with no support from her school, and the responsibility left on her to try and counteract the issues she is dealing with every day, without anyone stopping it.
As a mother of a young daughter, it concerns me to see this exclusion start at such a young age. I expect more from our school system to make sure our children feel mentally and physically safe and secure while our children are in their care, and I hope to see a change...the schools modelling the kindness expected of the students, and the students needs as a priority. Not the convenience of exclusion, which has pushed her away from her school.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Words do hurt, and it all starts somewhere. Teach your children kindness, inclusion, tolerance and to support each other.
Kelley A Gaston