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and survey says……

November 18, 2008

our “meeting” with the Principal 😕

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. heidi permalink
    November 18, 2008 8:08 pm

    Prayin still… Yeah, PLEASE call the super and ask ” What does our school district do about bullies?” Force him and her to tell you…

    It’s mere garbage that they have to wait and draw a line… Sounds like an excuse.
    We’ll see if she is a woman of her word.

    If she isn’t, maybe I’ll fly up there and give her the 411 on the laws of bullying…

  2. November 18, 2008 8:13 pm

    I am so proud of you guys and relieved, not only for your family but for all the kids out there who don’t have parents that will wait until the principal shows up, that you are demanding action. I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked how many straws it takes… because my guess is the principal wouldn’t be taking any action, regardless of the straws, if you hadn’t been there forcing her hand today.

    Parents have to do what you’re doing when you are faced with principals who want to pretend nothing’s happening, officers who avoid the troubled and a general sense of apathy all around.

    Thanks for keeping us updated and know I’ll continue to pray for you all… and tell Kass I’m so impressed with her resilience. You and she are going to be making a big difference for a lot of people.

  3. November 18, 2008 8:16 pm

    OK, you guys are the cutest parents ever.

    Also, I’m still praying.

  4. November 18, 2008 8:16 pm

    Glad I stayed up late & got an update…
    Proud of y’all for taking care of your girl. I know it’s been a long road.

    Love y’all.
    Thank you for letting all of us be “in-friends.”

  5. November 18, 2008 8:26 pm

    Okay, I can’t keep watching your videos (bandwidth thing) so call me or email and tell me whats up, k?

  6. November 18, 2008 8:45 pm

    Good to know there is a plan of some sort. It is a good thing you are calling the super tomorrow. He will likely make a call to the school and the principal will know you are serious.

    I am sorry you all have to go through all of this. I pray God gives you wisdom as you move forward, and protection for your precious girl.

  7. dardar159 permalink
    November 18, 2008 9:21 pm

    And you wonder why adolescents go on a rampage and shoot up schools and kill innocent children!
    Knowing this should be reason enough to take firm action the very first time an incident like this occurs!!!

    However I’m glad you resolved something and at least got a little info
    Love Ya

  8. November 18, 2008 9:31 pm

    Thanks for the update!! Good steps … I love that you’re being so firm, but still gentle (even though I’m sure the gentle part is the challenge – it would be for me!). From here, you’re handling this well. Praying everything is resolved quickly …

  9. Momma Jen permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:03 pm

    I don’t know how helpful they would be but, Mediation Works does a TON of stuff on “Bullying” and educating students/staff on bullying (I volunteered for them awhile back). I’m wondering if they could provide you w/ information regarding the legalities of bullying and maybe give you the name of someone to talk to. Anyway, just a thought. Will pray for Kass (and all of you) – that has to be incredibly frustrating as a parent. I’ve heard the CP Super is easy to work with…. Also remember: squeaky wheel always gets the grease! 🙂 So, squeak LOUD and CLEAR!

  10. November 18, 2008 10:27 pm

    I hate that Kass has to be involved in this – in this way – and that your whole family is also.

    Having said that i am quite certain you both know that you are not the first people to be so affected -that this happens more often than we ever know.

    This is not the first instance of this happening – just (hopefully) the first you are concerned personally with as one loving family.

    For what they are worth here are my thoughts:
    1. (This is a government school Kass and ‘Ashley’ both attend yes?) Your taxes pay the principal’s salary and provide the school for your kids to attend, ergo you have rights as a ‘shareholder’. I assume that, as here in Aus your, government has freedom of information laws for public documents? Demand your rights as taxpaying citizens of your country to see written copies of the school system’s policies regarding school bullying that has been determined to be in evidence and what exactly constitutes evidence and what the general and school specific recommended processes are in such cases and make very sure that the principal and school state controller is adopting and adhereing to them.

    Shout loud and long until they do and prove it to you! This is your and Kass’s basic rights you should not be fobbed off by anyone who sees you as requiring to much effort to be bothered with (IF that has actually been the case here – just because we don’t see the wheels racing does not mean they are not moving as policy decrees they should).

    2. The problem is clearly centred around the bully – NONE of us yet knows the reasons behind her actions and any who judge her unjustly are to be forever condemned. Her actions are clearly unacceptable in a civilised society but unless she has been given a life where she has the chance to make good decisions and not be ‘forced’ (or feel forced which can often mean the same thing) into making bad ones, punishing her unjustly cannot help, but very well likely may worsen, the situation. I do not know the upbringing she has received so far but i suspect from her reported actions that it has not been one which leads her to willingly accept full responsibility for her actions but appears to be one where she demands to be taken seriously and treated with respect as she defines it and gets very aggressive/defensive if this is not universally adopted by those she wants to feel superior or at least equal too. Placing her in situations such as suspensions from school may either aggravate her further and escalate her demand for respect or it may actually reward her if she does not really want to be at school and this behaviour may be designed by her to get her out of a situation where she in fact feels threatened.

    3. Given that it is not only Kass who is being adversely affected and presumably (i don’t have the evidence to say accurately) threatened by this young ‘lady’ it may not be your position to be the ones who take unilateral action but i would want to be assured that definitive action was being taken from the very first instance of unacceptable behaviour from this girl (and to know what this action was and the consequences arising from it if correction was not continued in the perpetrator’s behaviour – as has obviously not been the case yet).

    Only as a last resort (where professional ‘help’ has been tried and shown to fail for whatever reason) would i then seek to ‘interfere’ with this girl and her parents so as to seek potential solutions.

    4. Yes, the school does have the responsibility of providing a SAFE environment for Kass and her school-mates to attend (which means the freedom to NOT be threatened verbally, or otherwise) and if this is being shown to be being ignored effectively, i would be sparing no stops to make sure those failing her (and also failing Ashley) are held to account and public display so as to ensure this action is never allowed to be repeated in your school… or for worse actions to result as inaction/inappropriate action has lead to in the past in other places.

    5. I’d be reporting the Principal’s ignoring of your phone calls and Kass’s needs, as well as those of all school students affected in this, in POLITE documented form (writing) to the school authorities as a matter of course – that’s just plain RUDE to not answer legitimate concerns/calls in a prompt manner. Make sure you send her a courtesy copy.

    If all of us speak out when wrongs such as this are FIRST observed so as to ‘nip it in the bud’ we just Might make this world a better place.

    6. Always be firm and polite and accept that you may not yet have all the facts but explain that you want to know what is being DONE for the best possible outcome for ALL concerned. if you know a better way things can be done then SAY so in writing so that no-one can say they were not told afterwards.

    7. Keep records of ALL conversations for future references – times, names and dates. Relying on memory usually causes stuff ups that could have easily been avoided with just a little care. 🙂

    8. Look for the love in this! Work it!

    9. Kass rocks! 😉

    <B

  11. November 18, 2008 10:30 pm

    Ummm… You guys are wonderful parents.
    And I’d love to hang out with you someday. If you’re ever in the Richmond area of Virginia– we should, you know, hang.

  12. November 18, 2008 10:58 pm

    Wow, this whole situation sucks. I’m so sorry Kass has to deal with this kind of thing. I can’t believe the school has let it go on for so long… I don’t get why a “verbal” threat isn’t a big deal. If you “verbally” threatened to bomb the school they would freak out and close the school until they checked it out– why is it less believable if it’s a threat against one person that would be a lot easier for a high-schooler to actually carry out? I’m not saying they should be less stringent about the bomb threats or whatever, just that it’s a lot easier to say you’re going to beat the crap out of someone and then do it than for a high-schooler to build a bomb. They should be taking verbal threats seriously. It doesn’t make sense to wait until someone has already beaten the crap out of someone to do something about it.

  13. November 19, 2008 2:07 am

    I am praying for this situation to be resolved quickly, and for Kass to be at peace, my heart just goes out to her. (hey trina made the video!)

    I thought after “columbine” that all schools were supposed to enforce “zero tolerance”in bullying..Our school is supposed to act on the verbal…they don’t always, but when reminded of that, they move on it. Verbal falls under “terroristic threats”again “zero tolerance”. Love you all so much…

    Brent I co comment on your blog! LOL

  14. November 19, 2008 4:03 am

    Well done – mama and papa praying for the family!

  15. November 19, 2008 4:25 am

    My BFF’s hubby is a cop in Eugene. He said that the verbal attacks would be considered “pre-meditation” to the physical attack.

    Hope it all works out w/ out having to get the police involved. We’ll be praying for wisdom & safety.

  16. Jean permalink
    November 19, 2008 5:20 am

    Long time reader but first time to comment because I want you to know I am praying for your family and this situation. It is so unfortunate that you have to deal with something like this and I wish you the best. You seem to be handling it the only way you can for right now and I believe the school needs to pick up the slack. I always thought schools had zero-tolerance for stuff like this. My kids are approaching the age where this can start to happen and I am worried and hearing you talk and write about it helps and I am sure it is helping other as well. Thanks for sharing!

  17. November 19, 2008 5:40 am

    Wow, this really stinks that you are having to push for help. But I’m so glad you are pushing. Bullying should never, ever be tolerated. I’m always just so amazed (and angry) that the schools have such a relaxed tolerance for it. Ugh. Praying for you.

  18. November 19, 2008 5:45 am

    Somehow my comment didn’t make it.

    I’m glad to see you are dealing with it head on, and it looks like you are making progress.

    I was under the impression that most school districts had a policy regarding bullying, (here, even at the elementary level it’s in the student handbook). Iwould suggest that when you talk to the superintendant, that you ask what the district policy is and how it is enforced.

    It’s a tough situation, given the age of Kass…not wanting to have mom and dad interfere since sometimes it makes it worse… however your intervention is clearly needed.

    Best of luck to you all, and know that your family and this situation is in my prayers as well! As with Jean, yes, sharing this is helpful to me as well, knowing that at some point I too may have to deal with it.

  19. November 19, 2008 6:31 am

    You guys are handling this situation awesome. I think it is really wise to let the Super know what is going on.

    I had to laugh when you wanted Brent to talk but then went on for 3 min. before he could get a word in. That would have been me. 🙂

    You are doing your job as a parent. You are Kass’s advocate, the one who will go to bat for her. My heart breaks for all the kids who don’t have that parent in their life.

    I am praying for you and Kass today. I will also pray that this girl gets the help she needs.

    You guys rock!

  20. November 19, 2008 6:56 am

    Hmm…the video isn’t playing on my computer. 😦 But, based on what I’m reading in other people’s comments, it sounds like the principal has directed you to speak with the superintendent? After ignoring you and this problem?

    Well, I won’t go into my exact feelings for this kind of stupidity – oh wait, I just said stupid – but I will say that I’m praying for your family. Specifically, that the superintendent would hear you with a compassionate heart and level head – and that he or she would DO SOMETHING!

  21. November 19, 2008 8:35 am

    i think theres a lot more to be done here. a great point was brought about our tax dollars paying these people’s salary. hmmm…they work for US. i forget that. so when i go into see the Superintendent i will definitely be expecting to see the Districts Bullying Policy and am hopeful they will be cooperative.

    again – thanks for your prayers! i am confident they are a big part of why Kass is handling this so well and gracefully. but do pray for the bully and her family too…

    Thank You!!

    love you all!

  22. November 19, 2008 9:08 am

    You know mama and papa are praying!

  23. November 19, 2008 9:09 am

    i love you Mama and Papa!

  24. November 19, 2008 10:04 am

    B & T,

    Beyond the specific issue at hand, what I am honored by is how you are handling this conflict.

    You are being authentic with your feelings, calm in your expressions, and clear with your needs and boundaries.

    You are teaching us how to handle conflict well.

    Bless you.

    Still sorry you are expereincing.

    I think it is perfectly acceptable to go to the top as you mentioned. I specifically like how you calmly let the principal know this is your intention. You have every right and responsibilty to advocate for your child, and to teach your child how to advocate for herself.

    Love you people!

    Roxx

  25. November 19, 2008 10:11 am

    love the videos!

    So, I’m totally not satisfied with the Principal’s reaction. are you in contact with any other parents who’s kids have been affected? maybe you all can go to the superintendent together?

    We are praying for you gusy! We love the “IN” family!

  26. November 19, 2008 10:14 am

    totally not smacking down public school here…

    but I’m glad we’re homeschooling. When I was a kid, I was bullied ALL THE TIME. Threatened and all of it. And that was a while back. At least 2 years ago 😉

    Now, my oldest rides his bike to the library or to the gas station and I can’t let him go after school lets out because kids he doesn’t even know threaten him. Teenagers threatening an 11 year old. Sick.

    I totally want to give him some nun chucks to carry in his backpack. But he would likely injure himself first.

  27. November 19, 2008 10:47 am

    If they do not give an answer regarding the bullying, there should be some kind of policy online on the district website.

    Yes, we pay taxes and we are entrusting our children to the school every morning. Thank GOD that we can pray the Lord’s protection on our children but we can also raise a little Hell if need be.

  28. November 19, 2008 3:14 pm

    Goodness! I’ve been in a world of my own with our baby’s medical issues. I’m praying for you guys and for Kas!

  29. November 19, 2008 5:45 pm

    I’m back – the video worked on my home computer. I really don’t like that you keep being told “We’re looking into it.” That really doesn’t mean anything. Tam, I think it’s good that you plan to talk to the superintendent to keep the principal accountable for what she said she’d do.

    And on a completely unrelated note, can I just say, Tam, that you are super cute and remind me of Ashley Judd a little bit? Or would that be weird?

  30. November 19, 2008 10:19 pm

    My heart hurts. Nobody messes with my flower girl. 😦

    Seriously, I am sad for her over this. Very sad. I had this same situation but at Scenic, not Crater. It went on ALL YEAR long. It was awful. I was scared to go to school. I’m really hoping something can be done b/c I don’t want Kass to be scared to go to school, and I don’t want her to be hurt. *sigh*

    Love you guys.

  31. November 20, 2008 6:18 am

    coincidentally (or not) there were a couple articles in USA Today yesterday about school bullying:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-11-18-bullying-trauma_N.htm?csp=34

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20081119/d_bullybook19.art.htm

    They’re really book reviews – might be worth checking out the books.

  32. November 20, 2008 8:48 am

    I don’t want to sound cheesy here, but I think you’re both being as Christ-like as possible in this situation. Proud of you!

    And also… I totally picked up my phone to check for voice mail when your phone chimed, Tam. Yep. Love those on-board iphone tones. 🙂

  33. November 21, 2008 1:57 pm

    i learn so much from you two in the small glimpses i get of your parenting.

  34. November 24, 2008 9:13 am

    You’ve done absolutely the right thing to protect your family and should continue to push for more.

    What Brent said at the eight minute mark struck me as important too. This other kid has been taught in some way that bullying is acceptable, that violence and anger work. The school, parents, church, social services, everyone should get involved to help them to get back on track and become a friendly, productive member of society before it is too late to unlearn the negative lessons.

    The school don’t want to deal with it. Perhaps the kid’s parents do, perhaps the school has failed to keep them informed, perhaps social services can introduce some corrective plans to turn this around. If nothing happens the future for this kid is no education, a lack of social skills, poor job prospects, a likelihood of criminal or at least anti social behaviour and not a very productive life.

    Does the school operate an outreach program to help young learners to cope with growing up and to curb their negative and confusing emotions? Do they work with any outside agencies to offer help and support for parents? Maybe your church could sponsor a health and social club for teens that would give kids like this an outlet for their frustrations and anger and encourage them to participate and grow as members of society rather than enemies of it.

    Also the idea that a verbal threat isn’t a threat is rubbish. Verbal assault is assault and must be dealt with as such before it can escalate to physical assault.

  35. Selena permalink
    December 2, 2008 7:16 pm

    How has this situation transpired since the meeting?

  36. December 2, 2008 9:05 pm

    selena – well, the principal told us the bully was off the bus for the rest of the year. apparently, she was mistaken. bully off the bus til the end of january. so we need to call her out on that. so far tho, there hasnt been any more problems with her (bully)

    prayer is a mighty powerful thing!

    thanks so much for asking selena 🙂

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