Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Betrayed By The Vice Principal Part I

A week ago my daughter Hally informed me that 3 different girls had come up to her and said that Jen, her old bully from 5th grade last year, had something against her. I was not naive enough to believe that Jen's bullying was over. There were no real consequences for her bullying in elementary school and now at a new school, she starts over with a clean slate, right?

So, after losing a few days of sleep, I decided to contact the school to get advice on what to do and to let them know about the situation. I was immediately put through to the Vice Principal. He refused to meet with me and insisted we discuss it over the phone before he made a dash to an appointment. Not impressed, I began to tell him what was happening. He spoke over me the entire time apparently trying to impress me with his 30 years of experience in these matters. He flat out refused to hear what I had to say stating that my daughter would have to go into his office and fill out a written statement. He said he would do nothing until he had a statement.

While I appreciate that this middle school clearly takes bullying seriously, I felt that filling out a statement was a bit harsh at this juncture. I told the vice principal that I intended to speak with Jen's mom, as we are neighbors. He then said, "Oh, you know Connie"(not her real name). Surprised to hear him call her by first name, I realized he knew her well.  Did I mention that Jen's mom is a power mom?

As the Vice Principal would not listen to a word I had to say, he said he would call my daughter in the next morning. When I hung up, I was very uneasy with his plan. The next morning at 6:30 a.m. I left him a voicemail message to let him know that I did not want him to get involved and that I would handle it myself. I also sent him an email. As I hadn't said anything about it to Halle, I walked into the school office to tell him personally that I did not want his involvement. The secretary said that he was in a meeting with parents. Wow, this guy is busy with issues I thought to myself.

On the way home, I could see Jen's mom in her driveway on her cell phone having a heated discussion. I say heated because she threw her arms up in the air. When she saw me, she walked back into her house. I called the school a number of times and was told that the VP was still in a meeting with parents. I called Jen's mom's house several times and was told that she was not in. I finally got through to the VP. When I told him that I did not want him involved at this time, he said, "Oh, I just met with Jen's parents."

Stunned, I reminded him that he said that school policy was to do nothing until there is a written statement.  He said that he decided to not follow his protocol this time and had a great conversation with the parents again citing his 30 years of experience.  I was furious! I told him that I was concerned that his contact with them may have created a hostile situation.  He denied it and said that the parents are willing to do whatever it takes to rectify things.

In utter disbelief, I called Jen's mom again.  Again I was told that she was not home.  A few minutes later, driving to a Pampered Chef's Party at a friend's house, I passed by Connie's house and saw her car in the driveway, so I turned around, parked, and knocked on the door.  (To be continued)

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