Monday, May 4, 2015

When parents are doing a crappy job

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A couple of weeks ago Princess Bear's (PB's) class had a field trip to the zoo.  She wanted me to accompany her class so I did it.  One of her closest buddies is a little boy we'll call Derek (not his name but you can understand why I'm not using it, right?).  While we were all on the lunch break during the trip this little boy decided it was time  to stretch his yapper and try to see how very inappropriate a 12 year old could be.  It started out with him wanting to know why I wouldn't let my daughter watch certain TV shows.  This kid has Cart Blanche when it comes to TV time.  He watches things like Sons of Anarchy, Castle and Bones along with his Power Rangers and Disney Channel.  Also before you say to yourself "Oh the kid is probably just saying the names of shows he's seen".  Nope.  Since they are all shows that I watch (yet my child never ever has!) and he's actually given me episode synopsises that clearly isn't the case.  After I tried to explain that if they show wasn't educational because I can't make PB watch only educational stuff all the time that we limit what she watches to G and PG.  Yes my daughter will be 12 this summer but she is cognitively closer to an 8 or 9 year old.  I see no reason for her to be watching anything like Sons of Anarchy, Castle and Bones.  Now if she sees Nathan Fillion she'll say "Oh you're watching Castle" since everyone in my house watches it.  That said she's never seen more than 15-20 seconds before I turn it off or shag her butt out of the room.  My basic rule of thumb with her is that if it's on past 7pm on cable she can't watch it.  She's very happy watching Sprout (yes she still happily watches Sprout), Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.  Hell I won't let her watch Sponge Bob!  Do I protect my daughter too much?  Very possibly but I don't see that changing soon.

After Derek's little speech about me being unfair about not letting PB watch other shows he proceeded to tell me "When I turn 16 and get my license I'm going to come take PB out wherever and you can't stop us.  I'll help her sneak out of her room if you do" and that whooper was followed up by "When we turn 21 we're going to get married and I'm taking her to California and you'll never see her again".  I was in total and complete shock.  Another Mom actually looked at him and told him he was very inappropriate and needed to be quiet.  Now of course he never said any of these comments while his grandmother who was also attending the field trip was around.  After lunch I told her what Derek said.  She seemed rather unworried in general with a boys will be boys attitude.  Yeah lady if you're in the market to raise a juvenile delinquent and an abusive adult!  A bit later I said something to the aide for PBs room.  When I picked up PB from school that day I told her that she would never be hanging out with Derek after school for any reason at all and tried to explain the best I could how inappropriate his behavior was.

Now let's fast forward to this past week.  I see this messages on his mom's Facebook timeline:

I have NEVER been so PISSED! This is bullshit! I am going to raise all kinds of hell at my kids school tomorrow. They better realize real quick which kid they're talking about. I AM DONE! Somebody better start telling the truth.

Sad, but for my sons protection he will no longer be friends with people who make up lies about him when the person lying is the person that ORIGINALLY said it to begin with TO my son. He doesn't have time 4 bullshit

I even asked her what was going on.  Got no answer.  Now I truly get as a parent that we never want to think out child has done anything wrong and it's nice to try to grasp at straws and pass the buck when we can.  Here's where things in this tale get really interesting.  I get an email Thursday afternoon  that reads like this:

Hi Sarah,

I wanted to let you know I spoke with Derek's mother about the inappropriate comments Derek had made to PB. She told me today in a meeting that Derek has come home saying that PB told him "she was going to sneak in his window..." but not the "bow-chicka-wow-wow" part. I am not trying to cause or spread drama, but I wanted to make you aware of what PB has been reported to have said. Ms. Great Mom said Derek said that PB has been saying inappropriate comments to him since January, but she didn't put much credit to it. However, she has requested they not sit together anymore. I agree with this. After hearing the concerns on both sides this is a good solution. The kids can still be friends, attend the same classes, and work in the same group. They will just need to sit across from one another, have a peer in between them, and monitored during free social times such as school dances, field trips, free class time, ect.

I'm not 100% convinced Derek's accusations about PB are true, but I want to treat them as if they are to be fair for both sides. I honestly don't know where this started, or how long it has been going on. We are trying to stop it before it becomes something more. I will be going over the Anti-bully power point we watched in the beginning of the year with all the MCA students, focusing on the sexual harassment pages. I'm sure other kids in the class have seen things they may not realize are considered sexual harassment, but in today's world, to protect themselves, they need to have a good understanding of what types of behavior is acceptable, and what is not. 

I was also wondering if you wouldn't mind speaking with PB about keeping her hands off other students? PB seems to naturally be a "touchy" person, but I think it might be a good idea to address the desire for personal space. I can also speak with her privately about it. I have another student who is very "touchy" and they are reminded to "keep hands down and respect personal space." None of the "touchiness" is malicious, it's just to help protect the student from accusations, and the fact that not everyone likes their personal space to be invaded. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

To which I followed up with this email:

Mrs. Teacher,

I totally agree with you that Derek and PB should be kept separated although I don’t think it should be completely obvious to all the children.   So I can address it with PB might I ask what you’ve been told she said?  I do have to admit I was appalled at what Derek said at the zoo to me.  I called him on what he said as did another mother.  I said something to his Grandmother while we were at the zoo and thought the issue was over.  Obviously, I don’t want to turn this into a he said/she said issue, but what he said to me in front of others was clearly inappropriate. 

I will be happy to discuss this with you and/or Mrs. Principal at any time if either of you feel it is necessary. 


The next morning instead of just dropping PB off to school I went in to talk to the teacher.  She and I were in her room with the door shut so no one could interrupt.  First thing she says to me is that she is very aware that Derek lies.  She also doesn't think that PB ever said anything inappropriate to the point that she felt comfortable telling the Principal that she was sure PB never said anything inappropriate.  She also shared that she thought the other childs mother was concerned and grasping at straws.  Additionally she said that the other mothers behavior frightened her so much that she went to get another teacher so there was a witness and she could feel more secure.  (hang on to that little tidbit because it's important soon).  She also looked at me and said "PB lives in a G rated world.  When I need to explain something to her I think about what Disney Princess or movie I can use as an example to help her relate".  The teacher also shared that Derek had been standing behind PB doing pelvic thrusts saying that is what he was going to do to PB.  Another student turned Derek in for that.  The teacher also mentioned that maybe this was all something this child might have gotten from TV and shared that she knew Derek watched very inappropriate shows.  The aide for the room came in and also said that she was very sure that PB would never say anything intentionally inappropriate and she was positive that PB never said anything along the lines that the other Mom was accusing of.   A few minutes later another teacher knocks on the door and asks if she wants another person in the room just in case.  The teacher I was talking to assured the other teacher that everything was fine and she was ok with it just being the 2 of us talking.  I did tell her that I talked to PB and told her no more contact of any kind with her peers.  This is a group that although 10-15 years old is functioning at a much lower level.  This kids still hold hands and hug occasionally.  I tried explaining to PB that she wasn't in trouble but that we were just trying to protect her.  So I'm still talking with the teacher and someone knocks on the door again and says that Derek's mom is there with the Principal and would like to talk.  The teacher arranged it so another teacher could watch her class so both she and the aide could join in the conversation.

We all walk down to the Principals office and I sit down across from this mom.  She instantly goes on the attack saying how PB had said this first and when Derek came home from school she immediately knew who he was talking about.  I explained to her that not only did her someone else hear her son making inappropriate comments but that person called him out on it.  She still was trying to say that PB has been doing in since January.  I asked her if anyone had ever heard PB say any of this things.  NOPE.  I then mention the witness I had to her sons bad behavior and then the fact that another student turned her son in for inappropriate behavior toward my daughter.  2 witness vs 0.  I also mentioned that I talked with her mom about what her son had said on the field trip.  She got all pissed that I didn't talk to her.  I explained that I hadn't wanted to make it a big issue.  That hopefully saying something to the adult there at the time would work.  She was still all pissy and trying to blame it on my daughter.  I again reminded her of multiple witness of her sons bad behavior and none for my daughters supposed bad behavior.  I also asked the Principal to check with the other Mom that heard this whole thing go down at the zoo. 

Everyone that I've discussed this with instantly knows that this other Mom is out of her gourd crazy if she thinks anyone is going to buy that my daughter was inappropriate.  The best response was from my friend Susy who instantly said "PB?  She's an innocent!".  Yep, that about sums it up.  I did wind up talking with the teacher, aid and principal after the other mom left and they all assured me that they do not think my daughter has ever said anything along those lines.  It's nice to have their validation.  I've also had 2 other moms, PB's piano teacher and a couple of family friends offer to write letters that would attest to PBs character if the need arises. 

I left that meeting feeling like I'd spend the past day going through a wringer and thought things would get better.  We agreed that the kids should be separated and I thought life would go on it's merry little way.  This bitch decided to get passive aggressive on Facebook.  I've since unfriended her and realized how very sorry I feel for her son.  It sucks that this little boy is being raised by someone that obviously has no intention of ever believing he can do wrong and therefore never correcting him.  It's a case of a very immature person trying to raise a child and it going miserably wrong.  I truly do feel sorry for her son. 


Susy said...

Yeah, your daughter is a total delinquent. lol. I worry that my kids will corrupt her, and they aren't bad kids! I get it that nobody wants to face that their child may have picked up some unseemly behaviors due to lack of a watchful eye (and I'll also admit that you have me thinking about what my kids actually watch on tv - mostly Disney channel), but to not even bother to take into consideration that the child might be doing something they shouldn't? Not cool. When faced with witnesses, one should think maybe there is something to it. I dunno, Sarah. People these days.

Terry and Linda said...

Sigh! I hope it does get better.


Sarah said...

Susy- Your kids aren't going to corrupt anybody! The mom's latest is she's having the grandmother pick him up 15 minutes before school is out. My daughter and I are such a danger! Dude- the biggest danger to that little boy is his own freaking mother!

Thanks! I hope it gets better soon too! The bad thing is that since this is a special education self contained class unless we move or this psycho mom moves the kids will be together through high school! Ugh!