I need to set the scene here. We live in the 5th Richest County is America, Overland Park. We are Poor. The overriding theme in this area is you can either afford to live here or leave. (Money is still the root of evil). In addition this area is widely accepted as one of the best School Systems in the country.
My 11 year old is an angel. Anyone reading this blog that knows her knows that to be true. Jordan has participated fro 3 years in a program called "Girls on the Run". This program is geared for 3rd-6th grade girls. It's designed specifically to teach better female relationships throughout School, more support and strives to break the barriers of girl/girl interpersonal issues. This program is so popular in our area that we registered Jordan 12 hours after the link went up and she was locked out.
When we approached her with the news she seemed "ok" with it, disappointed but not overly upset. As we dug deeper she shared that the last year the same girls in Girls on the Run are actually some of the biggest bullies in the school. It's been even worse now that she didn't get to join.
So I asked her about specifics. Here is what they do to her, often in FRONT of administrators.
1) Because of PTSD Jordan can break down easily. The kids are ruthless. They try to make her cry, they make lunch so hard she really doesn't want to go because;
2) Kids also throw food at her during lunch
3) On Halloween several kids told her she looked like a "Donkey" right in front of school officials who did nothing.
4) She is about to drop out of school in the 6th grade to do internet schooling at home.
5) To TELL anyone violates your safety as you MUST be involved if a bullying claim is made. She's terrified of the repercussions. This is Classic Bullying, the onus switches to the accuser and the very base of bullying is fear.
6) We make the accuser prove the bullying claim.
Then we talk all proud about how we address bullying. Well, the rich are excluded, here anyway. NO ONE wants to approach the rich, who are the overriding majority and make a claim.
Wiki definition of bullying is
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is oftenly repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying.
Guess what America. We are no closer to addressing this topic than we were 25 years ago. The growth has been slow, stagnated, ONLY addressed when some kid shoots a bunch of people...then it fades away till the next tragedy.
School administrators talk all the time about "Well, its the kids and the parents."
Well that is Not True. As far as I am concerned, the school is 100% responsible for my child's well being from 7:40-2:40. It's awful convenient of them to transfer responsibility and also "out" the accuser. They hold no liability (In their minds)
The absolute worst part is the very girls in GOTR are the worst bullies there are. Most adhere to the bullying mindset of anyone that doesn't fit their "perfect world"
So we are left with a dilemma. What do we say? In no way is this my "imagination" those of you that know Jordan know what a great kid she is and has never lied to me that I am aware of. Do I contact the school...possibly sealing her fate and making it so bad she can't stay? What message to I give my children to explain that we aren't your typical "Johnson County" family. Through the grace of God we have Christmas covered, not Jan rent yet. Which is unavoidable to clashing with those that have money and bully the school themselves, and we wonder where this behavior comes from.
I don't know what I am going to do. I don't feel like I can approach school without the implicit permission from Jordan. Which I don't think is going to happen, part of her issues are she struggles in silence and tends to internalize this behavior.
I write a lot about my own pain. When I look at how she is treated and feeling handicapped about addressing.
My son was diagnosed Aspbergers and Tourettes in 6th grade. Prior to his diagnosis the school insisted he was a behavior problem and there was nothing wrong with him. It got soo bad we had to switch schools 1/2 way through 5th grade. Which was even a bigger disaster. Joey was bullied really bad, the kids made fun of him in merciless ways. Would call him retarded, etc....same grade school. The system very clearly failed him.
My little girls