Tuesday, May 4, 2010


If you've read this blog for any length of time you know we've struggled with my daughter and school.  I will admit that my daughter is her mother's child.  She's hard headed, strong willed, opinionated and passionate.  I love that about her.  I raised her to think outside the box and to question authority and to challenge what you are told as fact.  Because of this, my daughter often gets herself into a bit of trouble.  She doesn't yet have enough control over her emotions, and at 14 years old definitely doesn't possess the maturity to always say what she needs to say in a productive way. She is very blunt and calls it as she sees it.  That filter that most people have, the one that allows us to roll our eyes AFTER we've turned away, the filter that keeps our mouth closed tight and makes us bite our tongue when what we would really like to do is tell someone just how idiotic they are.  That filter?  My daughter doesn't yet have one.

Now, she comes by this quite honestly.  I have been known to storm in, guns blazing, kicking ass and taking names and asking questions later.  Especially when it involves my children.  Ya just don't mess with mama bear's cubs.

Anyway, because of my daughters passion she gets herself in trouble.  She's often in the midst of whatever drama is going around and even I am frequently unsure and have to ask who we are hating on this week because it's surely different.  She has that one best friend of course, through thick and thin (although I sometimes think this friend makes things worse!).

I usually do my best to let the middle school drama play itself out.  Unless it starts getting out of hand these kids will usually figure things out on their own, and quite honestly, by the time you interfered they will most likely be the best of friends already when just a minute ago they wanted to kill each other.  It's part of growing up, it's part of learning skills we need in adulthood.

But I have a problem with adults who are bullies.  A big problem.

Hailey has a teacher this year who meets this criteria.  She makes frequent snide, off the cuff remarks and to listen to her talk, seems to be right on the same maturity level of the 14 year olds she teachers.  I've always thought this, but paid her no attention because I didn't really need to.  Hailey dealt with her fine on her own, although they butted heads from time to time it never really got too crazy.

Until now.

Hailey joined track again this year.  You might remember last year how I was beaming with pride as my daughter finished the 800 a half a lap ahead of any of her competitors.  Hailey really has a gift for running, and track gives her pride.  Every year her behavior improves, her grades improve, her self esteem improves.  It's great to have her so focused on something.

Well this year she has a new coach.  One who pretty strictly adheres to the athletic code.  You see, Hailey isn't a great student.  She just isn't.  She can bust her ass all day and pull a C if she's lucky.  She has an IEP but if you know anything about our school district you know they are a joke here.  She's hard to teach, I know, I've done it when we homeschooled.

Well her coach decided that he would allow the "passing or sit out" rule to be waived IF Hailey's teachers said she was showing improvement week to week.  We were thrilled about this and Hailey took it on wholeheartedly.  She even brought her English grade to an A!!!!

However Science and History are a struggle.  Even kids who are honor roll students all their lives get tripped up with this science class, so it's no surprise she's failing.  She's also failing history, which she has with the above mentioned teacher.

Well, this past monday Hailey came home upset because this teacher told her she would not be allowing her to run in the track meet.  This was MONDAY.  Basically this teacher wasn't even interested in allowing Hailey to try, she had made her mind up and sure enough, despite Hailey turning in every assignment all week, she refused to sign off on Friday so Hailey did not get to run in the track meet.

Hailey's confidence is broken.  She decided not to attend track practice today and chose instead to work on some homework with her friend.  Although I'm thrilled, I"m sad. She's writing track off.  This teacher has continued to bully her with snide comments such as today when someone commented that Hailey's hair looked different this teacher said "maybe she finally washed it".  That kind of statement has no place coming from a teacher.

The mom in me wants to go and show her what it feels like to be bullied.  But certainly someone whose target is children has very little self esteem themself and because of that I should feel sorry for her. I did however email the principal and told him this will NOT be tolerated.  I'm not sure how far to go with it as Hailey is already afraid the teacher will retaliate against her because of anything I do.  Where is the fine line between teaching your child to respect others and allowing them to stand up for themselves?

1 comment:

Cate Bolt said...

There's a few things in life I won't tolerate and the main one is abuse of power. Whether that means a corrupt real estate agent or a teacher who is cruel and unkind.
Ash had a problem with a teacher last year, a BIG problem. I complained, in no uncertain terms and it quickly became clear that we weren't going to get anywhere. I discussed it with Ash and we agreed that abuse of power should not be tolerated, and if that meant changing schools, that is what we had to do.
People who bully children need to be punched in the nose - unfortunately that gives them the ammo they need.
I wouldn't put up with it, at all. If they get away with it, it continues not just for your child but for everyone elses as well.
Nasty slurry... I'll go visit her.