Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Ally the Principal?

As I was saying in the previous post, once I calmed Halley down, we marched straight into the Principal's Office to report the bullies. Mrs. Rogers took us into her office and asked Hal to tell her what had happened. I saw the tail end of it, but I sat quietly and let Hal do the talking. I did not feel the need to speak for her.

Having said all that needed to be said, Mrs. Rogers asked who the "kingpin" was. Hal was confused as she did not understand the term. I explained that it meant "leader". That was easy. It was Liza, since Liza had told Hal that it was her idea when Hal accused another girl for coming up with it (the Ousting).

Mrs. Rogers said she would call the girls in the following morning (the last day of school and Halley's actual birthday). As I stood up to leave, I said that I would talk to the moms. Mrs. Rogers advised me not to. I thought it was strange, but since I had come to know three of the moms quite well, I spoke with them. (Those conversations are good for another post.)

The next day Hal was called into the Principal's Office along with the other girls. Earlier I had seen two of the moms talking really fast outside of the office. One of them was Emily, Liza's mom. Suffice it to say, our telephone conversation the day before did not go so well. However, I felt confident that the Mrs. Rogers would get to the bottom of the problem and fix it. I truly thought that the girls would come out of her office with their friendships intact. Boy was I wrong!

Instead, Mrs. Rogers told Hal that her story was completely "different" from the girls' story and that it looked like Hal was the one ganging up on them! Wait, it gets better. Mrs. Rogers had the audacity to bring up the fact that Hal had failed to invite two of the girls to her birthday party! I could not believe my ears! I was stunned! What is worse, Hal said that every time the girls lied and Hal tried to speak, Mrs. Rogers shushed her!

Hal was never aloud to defend herself against the bullies' lies! I trusted the Principal to protect my daughter and instead she re-victimized her. So, that day Halley learned that the adults at school would not protect her, but would only hurt her more.

This is unfortunately the message of all too many adults (teachers and principals included) who could make a difference and who flat out refuse to take a stand against the violence (bullying). In a study I read recently, only 4% of adults take any action whatsoever when bullying is reported. It is TRAGIC.

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