Should I move her school?

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Two weeks ago my daughter started school. She immediately wanted to become friends with a particular child. However, she comes home everyday saying things like; she hits me, she pushed me, she says I'm ugly. Then one day, my LO said that three other girls in the class, including the main one, said that my LO is ugly because she has black hair and can only play with them if she has blonde hair. I wrote a note to the teacher, asking her to address the issue with the children; perhaps teaching them to embrace differences.
Now, I don't live in the most diverse of areas (not by choice) but I was happy with her attending his school because it is a very good school and in England we have very little choice over which school our children attend. It's a bit like a lottery when the council is allocating schools.
Anyway, we attended a birthday party yday and I watched this main girl hitting and pushing my LO. Having grown up around boys, my daughter is no shrinking violet and will almost always fight back. However, yday, she seemed scared.
I then spoke to another parent who seemed to know about the letter I had written to the teacher. Doesn't this break confidentiality rules? Especially as the teacher did not tell me she would speak to any parent when she called me in response to the letter.
I then went outside to use the phone. My LO came screaming and running towards a main road ''mummy, mummy help!" and this main girl was chasing her.
I asked my LO why she was running and she said because she is scared of her.
I am a little concerned that certain comments about my daughters looks is making her lose confidence in herself and I am very unhappy with the way the teacher dealt with the issue.
My question to you parents is, do you feel I am right in moving my daughter from the school?
Whatever you feel is right, is the right thing to do.

Since my daughter has started school I've learned that when it comes to her relationships with the other children, it is very important to me to teach her that the only person she can control is herself and that her opinion of herself is what matters more than anyone else's. She's come home a few times hurt because someone didn't like her shirt or told her they didn't want to play with her. I always acknowledge how she's feeling but remind her if she likes herself, then that's all that matters.

Recently there was an incident where a girl intentionally caused scratches on my child. I talked about the situation with her and seperately with her teachers. It was important to me that they were not banned from interacting with one another because I felt that wouldn't do anything to teach either child how to prevent a similar situation frm happening again.

If were otherwise happy with the school and the teachers, I wouldn't let one child or group of mean girls make me move my child. There are mean girls and children who aren't good friends at every school. I would talk to my child as well as the teacher to make sure she felt safe but also to come up with a plan to deal with and prevent these types of negative experiences.

Blame it on the cell phone...
Thanks Subbrock. You're right, I shouldn't move her just because of horrible kids but I am worried that she will continue to be excluded. Yday, at the birthday party, the children's entertainer pinched my daughter. When I confronted him, he was shouting that it was justified because she was touching his toys. I proceeded to tell him that he is completely unreasonable and the parents of this child pulled me away and shouted at me! They clearly assumed I was the aggressor in the situation; regardless of the fact that I'm only 5ft tall and this was a grown man hollering at me. I can't help but put it down to their prejudices. They are firm friends with the rest of the mums in the class and I really don't think my daughter will be included in much else.
Needless to say, I called the police on the awful children's entertainer!
Inimitable likes this.
U took the high road because no adult should lay a finger on ur child for whatever reason. If she was touching something he should have confronted u! Glad u reported him. N as for the school ur gonna have mean children n I think u should have a meeting with the teachers, children, n parents b 4 it escalates.

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Inimitable and curlylocs232 like this.
my advice would be not to move. Ignorance is everywhere we cannot run from it, or hide from it. We should face it straight forward. I would make a request for a parent teacher conference. If that doesnt solve anything, then I would talk to the principal. I would sign my daughter up for some type of martial arts, so that she can defend herself, if neccessary. Everyday, talk with her and try to build her self esteem. Also if you are around to see the child hitting your daughter, I would talk with her parents right then and there. If neccessary, I would talk to the child about keeping her hands to herself! Of course, in a child-like professional manner. But when it comes to bullying, it needs to get nipped in the bud, before it becomes out of hand.
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do you and your daughter have friends outside of the school group that she enjoys?
Thanks for all your input ladies. I'm am loosing sleep over this situation.
We don't have many friends in the area because I live alone and work about 10 miles away. Before she started school she went to nursery in the town where I work, because that's where we used to live.
I have never experienced prejudice myself and so maybe that's why my first reaction is to leave.
However, her father is a very rational man, and even he is worried about her growing up in this tight nit community where outsiders don't seem to be welcome. He says he doesn't want her to lose her confidence.
As the area is so small, the kids move from primary to secondary school together usually. I am worried that she will end up growing up with these sorts of people who will maybe never really accept her. Or that she may grow up, not liking herself because she just doesnt fit in.
My mind is not working right at the moment, so I may be blowing this all out of proportion.
I don't think you are overreacting and this is not "normal" childs play between kids. Hitting, kicking and/or bullying another child is not tolerated at my daughter's school, but there have been times when other children have done this to my daughter. I actually got into an argument with a teacher because I teach my daughter to fight back, not to let anyone hit her or hurt her, but when my daughter defended herself they were saying both children were in trouble for fighting and would be suspended. We shouldn't be equalizing bad behavior, we definitely shouldn't be punishing children who stand up for themselves and defend themselves against bullies. I believe that children who behave badly towards others do so because they have been taught that their behavior is acceptable. I'm a single parent, I'm pretty bold and you had better believe that I have been known to directly address the parents of children who hit or bully my daughter. So I go to the source of the problem, which is usually not the child but the parents of the child. I don't bother to consider the teacher as a mediator because they're not trained to be mediators in conflict and they're usually too busy trying to equalize the matter or make it seem like it's not a big deal. What part of bullying another child isn't a big deal? Why should our children have to put up with other peoples' bad ass kids hurting them or making their school day utterly miserable?

I told one set of parents that if their daughter hit my child again I would come after them for allowing their child to think that her behavior is acceptable. I didn't yell or scream or anything, but yes it was a threat. Like I said, I disregard the child that has the bad behavior and go straight to the source. That girl never touched her again or so much as laughed at her.

You're doing better than me....I wish another parent who's kid is behaving atrociously would yell at me for expressing my feelings regarding the treatment of my child by theirs.....I don't play when it comes to my daughter's health and well being.
Inimitable likes this.
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Last edited by demsdata; 10-11-2011 at 04:15 PM.
@demsdata, that was so well said. My problem was that I went via the teachers. Both the class teacher and head have told me that there is no such thing as bullying at their age (4&5).

I really don't feel that I have the support of the school. If any problem arises in the future, or this 'bullying' goes on, I don't think they will take my concerns seriously. They have just told me that everything I am saying is not true and in my imagination!

So, I'm going to move my daughter as soon as I can. She's very young so I can just tell her she's moving school so she can be closer to my work and she'll be none the wiser.

I do feel very guilty though and like a bit of a coward. I always try to be so diplomatic, which usually makes me look like the fool!

I feel that had I just confronted the mum head on, her 'views' about me and my daughter wouldn't have been spread around the playground, thus the situation at the party would have also been avoided. I'll feel much better only when she has settled somewhere else, hopefully where there are more supportive staff. I think their main concern is that the school didn't want to admit that a lot of it was based on prejudices from parents.

Thank you all for your support so far, it feels good to talk!
I'm sorry your daughter and you are dealing with this- I understand kids will be kids and at this age don't always get or follow the rules of being decent to each other, but what bothers me more is the action (Or lack thereof) of the adults: teachers and "entertainer".

Where was the agressor's parents when she was chasing your daughter? Sorry but I was witnessing this first hand and no one else was saying or doing anything, I'd feel well within my right as an adult to stop this little girl and tell her she needed to stop or she's dealing with me. Sometimes that's all it takes for kids to think twice about bullying someone.

Also, you might get a bit more feedback with these kinds of questions on the non-hair discussion or parenting boards

Good luck and best wishes for your daughter whatever you decide.
curlylocs232 likes this.
Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
@demsdata, that was so well said. My problem was that I went via the teachers. Both the class teacher and head have told me that there is no such thing as bullying at their age (4&5).

I really don't feel that I have the support of the school. If any problem arises in the future, or this 'bullying' goes on, I don't think they will take my concerns seriously. They have just told me that everything I am saying is not true and in my imagination!

So, I'm going to move my daughter as soon as I can. She's very young so I can just tell her she's moving school so she can be closer to my work and she'll be none the wiser.

I do feel very guilty though and like a bit of a coward. I always try to be so diplomatic, which usually makes me look like the fool!

I feel that had I just confronted the mum head on, her 'views' about me and my daughter wouldn't have been spread around the playground, thus the situation at the party would have also been avoided. I'll feel much better only when she has settled somewhere else, hopefully where there are more supportive staff. I think their main concern is that the school didn't want to admit that a lot of it was based on prejudices from parents.

Thank you all for your support so far, it feels good to talk!
Originally Posted by curlylocs232

I had this issue last year, but after months of dealing with a bully my daughter got tired of it and fought back and then the other parents had an issue (my daughter doesn't pull hair or slap, she balls up her fists and swings...she hits hard enough that I wince when she's playing with me), but the girl stopped bullying her. They were both 5 when this occurred. The girl's parents were very upset that my daughter had hurt theirs, but the girl had been seen hitting other kids, pushing, isolating children by telling other kids mean things and not to play with them. Contrary to popular belief, kids are not always little angels. This "kids will be kids" line parents try to feed other parents is just an excuse they like to use for why their child is not acting right. Yes kids will argue, they may fight over toys, or do not want to share with other kids, but there are some that are just mean and cruel.

Kids definitely can be bullies at that young an age, generally a proclivity to cruelty and being mean can b seen at a fairly young age. They're usually mimicking caregivers, but they can definitely learn to be cruel and abusive to others, especially if caregivers and other adults do not respond appropriately when they engage in these behaviors. As a therapist I would view such behavior (especially if it occurs frequently and with other kids as well) as a possible symptom of potential issues in the home.

If you are not comfortable with confrontation or you're just plain fed up with the lack of support from the teachers, other parents, and you do have another option for where to place her, then it may be best to move her to another school.
Devushka likes this.
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I wouldn't feel bad about moving my child to a different school. If there's another schooling option in which your daughter would flourish instead of being subjected to bullying, than I'd certainly go with that.
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I wouldn't feel bad about moving my child to a different school. If there's another schooling option in which your daughter would flourish instead of being subjected to bullying, than I'd certainly go with that.
Originally Posted by Devushka
Thank you!
Today I collected my daughter from after school club. The supervisor asked me 'for a word' when I went in. I thought 'Great...the dreaded 'word''.

She told me that my daughter was unhappy with a little boy (her friend), playing with another child. So she went over to a table, picked up a trophy and hit him on the shoulder with it. It really hurt the boy as he was still holding his shoulder when I got there.

I was so disappointed with her, as she has never been taught to hit anyone, except in defence. And she's never done this before. I am so sure that this behaviour has been learnt from that other child in her class (the bully). I made her apologise and I even apologised to him myself because I felt so disappointed in my daughter.

Then, when I opened her book bag, she had another party invitation in there. Good thing - she's still being invited. Bad thing - the horrible mum who dragged me and shouted at the last party, will probably be there.

I'm going to take my daughter as I don't feel I did anything wrong by confronting the entertainer at her child's party. If anyone should be sorry, it's her right? She was the one who hired a children's entertainer who harmed one of her guests!

My questions are, do I talk to the bully's mum about the whole situation? Do I ignore her? Do I talk to her if her child hurts mine, like at the last party?

I'm not one for confrontation. I think far too much about the consequences and I've even been regretting confronting that children's entertainer. I feel that the situation would not have escalated had I just kept quiet.

?
I don't like confrontation either, and if it were me she wouldn't attend the party, nor would I have contact with the kids/mom of the school she is getting away from.

I'd try to focus on the positives of her new situtation and new friends. As parents sometimes we feels so obligated to do things for other kids/people when what's best for our kids should be first. Take her to the park or movies that day and make it a Mommy & Me girls day out
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Thanks Spider. To not go was my initial thought. However, she could still be attending this school for the next couple of months until a new one comes up. She does have some friends in the class (the boy who is having the party next week). I'm hoping the horrible little girl isn't there. I'm still in two minds. Not going would be the best way to avoid any confrontation.
I really hope that you do attend the party. You cannot run from all of life's problems. Another thing, please do not feel like confronting the entertainer who pinched your child was the wrong thing to do. To be honest, if it were me, I probably would have pinched him back, but good on you for calling authorities. Please, do not 2nd guess that decision. I think pulling the bully's parent(s) to the side to address the issues will be a good idea. If she becomes more ignorant and tries to argue with her, walk away. I would start telling my daughter to defend herself. Unfortunately, sometimes the bully needs to be ‘slapped’ for the behavior to stop. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You are her parent and you must protect her the best way you know how, but you may run into a worse bully or problem at the new school. If it is going to take months to get her there in the 1st place, you may have other things to worry about. Is there disparity in the curriculum and will she be behind or ahead if she moves in the middle of the school year. Just something to think about. Whatever your decision just be confident in it. Good luck
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I would change schools. bullying is a bigger issue than many people realize. it's gotten so awful that you see children taking their own lives. bullying needs to be taken care of but obviously this school isn't doing that.
I'm an "in your face - confront everything" type of person. I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to justice, so I'm reacting strongly to this situation.

I was a teacher for many years. Over the years I taught grades 7 & 8, and 10, 11, 12, and I was a Teaching Assistant for Undergrads in recent post-graduate work. I can say with certainty, if it was in the US, this school would be in violation of a number of different laws.

Personally, I think you ought to sue the school. Racisim, in any way, shape or form, should never be tolerated. Ever. Nor should bullying, for any reason whatsoever. "Taking the high road" counts only when you're among people who honor such ideals. If you're in a community that tolerates racism and/or bullying, you are wasting your time and causing pain in your daughter's life.

Other parents should never find out personal information about students from a teacher (like your letter). It sounds to me like the teachers aren't going to be the least bit of help to you. If racism truly is the root of this problem, your daughter is too young to comprehend its senseless irrationality and madness. She will take things personally, and begin to act out in negative ways.

This is horrible, and your precious little girl should not have to deal with this type of stress. She's got enough to worry about just being a child. Is there a group like Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU, that you could contact for help?
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Thank you all for your input. I have decided to attend the party - I don't see why my little one should miss out just because of a few nasty people.
I'm between a rock and hard place really, when it comes to taking things further. I am also a teacher in the same borough and although I teach older children, causing a loud noise about this may put me at a disadvantage in the future. E g. If I want to get a new job. The teaching community is so small, and word travels fast! I'll be seen as trouble an no one would touch me with a barge pole!
I am still in two minds about a move. All of your points are definitely being considered. :-)

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