One year of Middle school down, two to go
On days like today, I wish my child were more like her mother: absolutely intolerant of other people bullshit. Maybe one day she will get there, as she is only a 12-year-old right now. Maybe not. At her age, in middle school – I was fighting all the time. Part of it was due to peer pressure but a lot of my aggressive behavior was in middle school was in response to my zero tolerance policy. I was not tolerant of the nonsense then and as a mother, I damn sure am not here for it now.
This mom does not want to get phone calls about my child reporting behavior that makes her feel uncomfortable in middle school. I would rather get a call that my child went the whole entire fuck off on someone for violating her time and space. She defended herself or that she choke-slammed a boy for kicking her in the back, is what I would rather hear. I normally don’t condone violence, but some of these children who are not my age are giving me the blues. Some of y’all sons are making me wish they were never born. Some of you parents are making me wish you did not have reproductive abilities.
Middle school, Hormones & Sexual Harassment
I get it, boys will be boys and girl will be girls. At this pre-teening stage, in middle school, children are experiencing emotions they do not know exactly how to manage. I get it but then there is that fine line of hormonal and a child being inappropriate. Exactly who is to accept responsibility here when a boy tells my child he is going to “stick a key chain in her vagina”? He expressed this to her, in her ear, as they waited to be dismissed. Who exactly takes responsibility when a young boy tells my daughter that “tonight you gonna get the “D” and then, questions “what size condom” should he wear. And actually, he did not tell her this – he sent another little boy to tell her the message. Who is all to blame exactly for a young man who has shown these signs of a sadistic creep from last year?
Going too hard, am I? Then maybe you are still a lover of R. Kelly and think we need to stop going so hard on “our black men”. Maybe you have children or do not. You just can’t seem to understand that our children must be protected at all costs? Maybe you think there are more important issues and cannot seem to multi-task social issues. At no time is any of this ok for a 12-year-old girl to have to deal with. My daughter has been humiliated, feels insecure and won’t even open up to me about these things I am discussing with you! I had to hear it as a handwritten statement was read to me by the Assistant Principal of her school!
Yes, it’s him – Recess Bae. They are in the same class now. He still likes her apparently. He wants her to be his girlfriend. This is his way of showing her how he feels for her? No. Nope. Fuck Nope. My child has walked into class every day since Monday, July 31st to see this kid. She is in the presence of a boy who has her with unresolved feelings from last year. The violations are in full effect with easy access to her. He not only verbalizes this to her in sneak attacks, but he sends his friends to give her messages for him. He makes himself visible and available in places he should not be, in order to be in her personal space. I am on the ledge…
Due Process & Investigation
As I wait for “due process” I am going to look up the Code of Conduct for her school and read about pre teen behaviors. If there was a staff member present, this would have been different. Since other students need to be interviewed, to find evidence lining up with my daughter’s statement, I am told more time is needed to collect data.
My daughter wrote a statement and reported this inappropriate behavior Monday, August 14, 2017. I received a phone call from the AP around 1:30 pm. That was early afternoon, and she continued her day in the class with the person who has been harassing her. I spoke with the AP that night and heard her plans which included investigating but not separating the kids. For some reason, I didn’t ask that he be removed and tried to trust the process. Senior Hija went to school the next day and they remained in class together. All day. I expected the Assistant Principal would advocate for my child’s seating arrangements especially in Band class where Senior Hija & the little boy sat very close to each other. But, that did not happen. My daughter advocated for her own seating. My daughter wrote a note to the male band teacher. She wrote about why she needed to change her seat. The AP dropped the ball but assured me that on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, the seating arrangement would be handled while she continued to “investigate”.
Make noise for the child who will not – Advocate
As I continue to wait, I wonder why this is not a matter handled immediately, within 24 hours. My embarrassed daughter who does not want to make any “noise” is pretending like everything is ok but I can see these events have rocked her spirit. As a parent, my spirit is broken …my child has been emotionally and spiritually violated. The “due process” has to be changed… Why does my child have to sit in an unsafe learning environment?
So, I decided to email everyone whose contact info I could get a hold of in administration. I tagged the school on Facebook & Twitter. I found out I also had other options like calling to report a threatening problem to 1-877-SAY-STOP or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. According to Fulton County Schools website:
“Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students and staff by establishing guidelines for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery within Fulton County Schools. The Department of Safety & Security is comprised of four separate departments that include the School Police, Student Health Services, Emergency Preparedness and Risk Management”.
This is what I expect for my child: a safe and nurturing environment. If you are ever questioning how to advocate for your child and you do not trust the process, speak up and ask questions. Do not be afraid to email administration, to question the process and reach out for support from other parents. We do not have all the answers but some way somehow, we have to get to the bottom of the problem as a tribe.