If you thought my last blog post went on, I am thinking this one is going to be worse. Ladies and gentlemen, Mama Bear is mad. As my alternate post title says, "Stop being mean to my kid!"
I subbed for Jordan's class a few weeks ago, and it went rather well. However, she later told me that during the day one boy had told her to shut up, apparently because she told him to be quiet when he was talking when they were not supposed to be. Later, this boy apparently referred to Jordan as "Jordan the jerk."
I never saw this happen, which bothered me (which once again shows how difficult it is for teachers to keep track of every student while trying to teach). Regardless, I told Jordan that some kids are simply not kind, kids are going to say mean things, probably much worse, throughout her childhood, etc. But when Jordan told me this is not the first time this boy has been mean to her, and I could see this was bothering her, I thought maybe I should not let this go, particularly when I know that he is the second boy who has been unkind to her more than once.
Then I come to find out that early last week, two of Jordan's friends "banned" her from a recess chasing game because Jordan apparently gets too "crazy" when she chases others. Jordan said she begged them to let her back in the game and a third girl said she was "unbanned," but the two original girls said that she was still banned. Jordan told me that she hoped she would not be banned the next day (and fortunately she wasn't). But I just don't think her "friends" should have excluded her in the first place. If they thought she was being crazy, IMO they should have said if she did not stop doing X (which I think is running wildly and saying, "Ahhh" in a non-inside voice), then she could not play with them.
The kicker came on Friday at lunchtime. Apparently the kids at her table were harassing Jordan because I packed her a bologna sandwich for lunch, and according to one of them, "you can eat meat only on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Lent." Another girl said that I must have forgotten that it was Lent because I packed her a sandwich with meat. And a third girl tried to take her sandwich away because "you should not be eating meat." [For those of you who are not Catholic, let me enlighten you: During Fridays in Lent only those 14 or older must abstain from meat (which rules out about 95 percent of the kids in Jordan's school, by the way).] Jordan apparently did her best to ignore the taunting, but when she returned from a restroom trip, she discovered that someone took the rest of her sandwich! She asked who took it, and amazingly none of the girls knew anything. So my kid was left without the rest of her lunch.
What is wrong with kids today, I ask? One day later, I am still angry. I have already spoken to the lunch monitor, who informed me that a couple other young kids who ate meat were also razzed, and she talked directly to that group, to set them straight. (She asked why Jordan did not tell her about what went on, and this goes back to one of my failings as a parent; I have taught her to over-respect authority, to a point where she is pretty much afraid of adults in those situations.)
This one I won't let go. I intend to stop in to see the principal on Monday to respectfully ask that she share the Lenten regulations with the kids in some way, preferably multiple times, because speaking from experience, I have had to give some of these kids instructions three or four times. I am not sure if parents have told the kids that they can't eat meat, either because they don't know the regulations or they are afraid their kids will rebel if they don't really have to abstain. But even if kids of all ages were to abstain, why make a kid feel bad for breaking the rule, especially when her parents are the ones packing her lunch. Do they think she should not eat?! Regardless of that, I have already copied the Lenten regulation and placed it in Jordan's lunchbox for her to share with these girls Monday. Too far?
I would love to hear what you have to say about any of this. I am really struggling with what to let go and what to pursue, something made all the more complicated by my subbing at my kid's school. Is it kids just being kids? Am I too thin-skinned (probably having flashbacks to my childhood?!)? Do I have an obligation as a parent and a teacher to put a stop to it because some of this is bullying? And does it make a difference that the school is private? Honestly, if I sent my kid to a public school, I feel certain I would let most everything go. But we are really sacrificing to send my kid to this school, and it is sadly becoming hard to justify.