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DD groped at school. WWYD in this situation

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Sorry for starting yet another thread this week (I guess it's been a crazy week over here).


I got a phone call last night from another parent at DD(10)'s school that shocked me (and I'm a very hard person to shock). She said that during either recess or PE, her son (who is a couple years younger than DD) tackled her, pulled down her pants and underwear, and groped her. No school staff witnessed this (which I find hard to believe), but several of DD's friends saw it happen. She mentioned that DD's teacher was the one who called her to let her know what happened, but that her son admitted to a different story about what actually occurred (DD's teacher said that the boy had simply "tackled her and pushed her to the ground" which I later discovered is only about 25% of what actually happened, and she knew this).


DD hadn't mentioned any of this to me when she got home from school, so I sat down with her and we talked it over, which is how I got the full story. Apparently, this boy has been "chasing" girls around the playground after lunch and during PE for some time. She was standing with several other girls in her grade/class when he ran over, tackled her to the ground, pulled down her pants and underwear and stuck his head between her legs. One of the other girls in her class immediately ran to their teacher and told her what had happened. Her teacher did NOT pull my DD aside and speak to her about this at all, I was NOT informed, and NO disciplinary action was taken against the boy, other than calling Mom. If the boy's (misinformed) parents hadn't called, I would have had no idea that this had even happened. 


DD and I had a long discussion about what happened, and she seems to be handling it as far as I can tell. 


HOWEVER! I am BEYOND infuriated with her school that they did not notify me IMMEDIATELY that this had happened, and that DD's teacher didn't even "bother" talking to HER about it! Honestly, this seems like something that, were I so inclined, I could choose to take legal action against them for. This was not a situation of a boy simply "chasing" a girl, roughhousing, or even trying to embarass her in front of her friends (I think we all experienced things like this when we were young); this was sexual assault that happened at school in front of several adults who "supposedly" didn't see anything, despite the fact that the recess area is very small and this happened right in the middle of the yard in front of everyone. When I expressed my shock to the boy's Mom, she said that this behavior is "normal" for the school, and that her older daughter has come home with bruises and cuts all over her body that she was never informed of until her daughter told her that she had been beaten up, hit, pushed, etc.


So I ask you -- What would you do? What should I do? I can't even think straight right now.

post #2 of 32

I wish I had some advice for you.


I do wonder, though, if this is related to your other post.  If physical and sexual assault are acceptable at her school, I can totally understand her avoidance of the bathroom (is she a target there?).


To me, it seems like some very unacceptable things are going on and I would seriously consider changing her schools if this is treated as "normal" in any way.

post #3 of 32

SOOO sorry your daughter had this experience!  I would be out of my mind, and can't even imagine what DH would do!


I would immediately schedule a conference with all of the school-based adults involved.  Immediately~ this afternoon!  This is serious and should be treated as such, with disciplinary action taken and some kind of follow up 1:1 discussion (counseling, if available) with the perpetrator.  Threaten legal action, if only to get them to wake up and take it seriously.  


It is scary to think  this abuse may be happening to others, especially those without support to help them at home.   It's hard to imagine this sort of behavior could be 'condoned' as rough housing or something other than abusive & completely inappropriate.  


I would request a school counselor also be there, but wouldn't imagine you feel much trust in any of the school based personnel at this point.


Good luck & so sorry this has happened to your family.

post #4 of 32

Wow! Heads would roll, and I would pull my dd out of school over this depending on how it's handled. I would start with school administration, then district administration, and if need be the school board, as they're your elected officials. But heads would roll. Hugs to your dd!

post #5 of 32

Yikes, just read your other post (and PP's response).  Poor DD!  Your heart must be breaking for her.


After reading your two posts, I would be thinking the hygiene and abuse at school are most definitely related.  Is this all happening the same small, private Montessori School?  There is NO WAY I would send her back there again!! 


I would think this is a situation where you act on your gut first--take her out of school-- and then gather the full story.  

post #6 of 32

For starters, thank goodness for other mom contacting you and taking responsibility for what her son did. You have no idea how big that is! Many parents these days don't even address it and act like nothing happened. My son was bullied all of 3rd grade and while our school really took it seriously and turned it around, the parents never, ever spoke to me about it. In fact, they won't even look at me now 3 years later like it was my fault or something. While the school didn't penalize the boy, sounds like he's not getting off the hook at home. I'm hoping he's not an abuse case himself as sometimes this is what little kids do to make sense of things.


I could imagine it not being seen by adults just because school playgrounds are caotic. However, them knowing about it and not informing you are talking to your DD is unacceptable. I'd give yourself a couple days to calm down and get your argument in order. Then make an appointment with the principal and the teacher and tell them you expect better from them. Do some research on schools and sexual harrassment and bring that with you.


I'd also reccomend getting your DD into a self-defense class. She might feel better with some tools to fight back after something like that. Big hugs to her.

post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the replies everyone. Yes, TiredX2, I do wonder if this is related to my other post this week. I can certainly understand that if "something" happened to her (or someone else) in the bathroom at school, she would be hesitant to use it.


And JPiper, I am definitely planning to schedule a conference. DD's school is a very small private school with an equally small staff, so there is not a counsellor there, and, in fact, there is not even an official "principal" -- just a board of directors (one member of which happens to be the boy's father). I hate to think this, but my gut instinct here is that this behavior is "brushed aside" to keep parents blissfully unaware, and keep the tuition checks rolling in (which aren't cheap). 


It saddens me to learn that ANY adult (especially one that has been trusted with the care of my daughter since the 1st grade) wouldn't immediately spring to action at the mere THOUGHT of something like this happening. It does make me wonder what else has happened.


I've thought about filing a police report and/or calling my attorney. At the same time, I worry that reactions like this will have a severe impact on DD as she matures. I would imagine that any kid who experiences something like this, and is then immediately pulled from school, possibly dragged into a court battle, and has police officers show up to take statements has got to be a little freaked out (and then forever associate that freakout with the act that brought it about -- i.e. sexual contact of any sort). 

post #8 of 32
Originally Posted by JPiper View Post

Yikes, just read your other post (and PP's response).  Poor DD!  Your heart must be breaking for her.


After reading your two posts, I would be thinking the hygiene and abuse at school are most definitely related.  Is this all happening the same small, private Montessori School?  There is NO WAY I would send her back there again!! 


I would think this is a situation where you act on your gut first--take her out of school-- and then gather the full story.  


Oh wow, I didn't know that was the same poster. Yeah absolutely this could very likely be causing the other problem. I agree that I would pull her out first and work on it with her somewhre she feels safe.

post #9 of 32

I see your concern for bringing DD into a public forum to handle this, but it wouldn't hurt to THREATEN with the lawyers, criminal charges etc.. to the adults involved in order to get them to react swiftly and seriously.  After you mentioned that the school is so small, with key staff related to the incident, I would definitely pull your daughter until the matter is settled in a manner that was comfortable for your family.  Sounds like the perp and his dad need to go before the school can be a safe place.  


Your daughter needs to know that she is worth a battle!

post #10 of 32

I would go to the local police and file this as a sex crime.


Partly because the boy needs some serious, serious help or he is going to end up in prison for rape at some point. Some one has done something to that kid, and filing a REAL complaint about it is the only way any one is going to take it seriously.


Obviously, neither the school or is mother care that he is a budding sexual predator, nor that the most likely cause of this is that he has been victimized.


I was sexually assaulted as a child (very different circumstances,) but anyone actually acting like what happened to me was a big deal would have been far better for me than pretending nothing happened. Filing a complaint does not mean that your DD has to testify. It means that some one will take a good look at that boy, which really needs to happen.


I would pull my child from the school immediately -- at least temporarily -- even if I didn't have a plan. I find the lack of response from the adults from more troubling than what the boy did. What does he have to do to be kicked out -- actually put his penis inside someone against their will while a teacher is standing there?


If this child isn't expelled from school, my DD would not be returning.


I like the idea of self defense class for her, and I think therapy wouldn't be a bad idea too.


I'm so, so sorry your DD is going through this.

post #11 of 32

I would also file a report with the police.


I understand that his parents called you first, which is great.  But, More needs to be done.  You can apologize to the parents later.  But right now, neither the parents or the school is doing enough.


I can understand how none of the staff saw this happen.  A ten year old isn't going to do something like that in front of the teachers... he waited for an opportunity to do it unseen.  Teachers can't see everything.  They never have, they never will, it's impossible.


HOWEVER, when the other girls told the teacher, something much more serious should have been done that day.  There is no excuse for pretending it didn't happen.  So, THAT is why I  would call the police and make a report because the entire school staff needs to know that parents aren't going to tolerate this attitude.


Some schools WAY overreact.  Which is just as bad, but this school is underreacting.

Edited by nextcommercial - 10/14/11 at 5:46pm
post #12 of 32
Head would roll and my school would have started them rolling. Jeez. My kids have attended schools where kids get in trouble for ponytail pulling and bra strap popping. I am livid for you and you should definitely involve the police if the school won't step up.
post #13 of 32

I would have exploded.  A kid punched DD1 in the face in 1st grade.  Her little boyfriend at the time told the teacher then walked back to the carpet and kicked the kid in the head.  Stood over him and said " you don't hit girls punk!"  the boy that kicked got expelled the boy that punched ... well they ignored that.  DD1 told me what happened that day and I stormed the castle appendages flailing, spittle flying out of my mouth.  The kid that punched was put in in house suspension.  The other boy was allowed back and also placed in in house suspension.  The teacher was reprimanded for 1. ignoring what the kicker had told her 2. dragging the kicker to the office while DD1 bled on her stupid class rug.  3. lying about the whole thing in front of me and the principle.  4. never turning in the puncher.  The twit cowered in the corner while I spewed vile crap at her.  Not my best moment.  What I'm saying is DO SOMETHING!  Get in there and take care of business.  It's good the mother of the offender called.  Now make sure it doesn't happen again.

post #14 of 32

I would absolutely threaten, at the very least, to get the local authorities involved. I would explain to my child the severity of the incident, bc sometimes kids do think that this sort of thing just happens. I would explain to her that I must report the incident and that I will support her in any action she needs to be a part of. The lad cannot get away with this, as a pp mentioned, it is for HIS benefit and that of any future potential victims that you report it. Thats my way of thinking tho. I would make a HUGE stink, mostly bc the school seems to NEED a HuGe kick in the backside. They need to wake up to the severity of the situation.


I recieved a phone call two years ago from my dc's school saying there was a racist incident and it is required by law to report all incidents to the police. Apparently there was a child who called ME a f*ing (insert very derrogative name beginning with 'N' for a black person) to my dd. Now Im white, lol, its my dh who's mixed race, but they were required to report that. I cannot believe the school wasnt required to report it likewise. I cannot believe they didnt report it to you and I would most certainly, absolutely, without any question kick a HUGE fuss, threatening legal action, just in an effort to get them to look into their policies... then Id pull my dd out of the school, or the lad has to go. Simple as that.

post #15 of 32

I would also let the school know that if I didn't see real action being taken by the school then I would take legal action myself against the school.   I would hope that the school would review with all the kids that nobody can touch or even look at our privates without our permission.  If somebody does then it is never the victim's fault it is the fault of the perpetrator,and that there can be serious consequences.  To me the biggest concern would be that neither child think that it isn't a big deal or that there is no consequence.  I would stress to the parents and school that he needs to know what the consequences could have been had you pushed this to the furthest extent of the law.

post #16 of 32

Y'know the police report is all fine and good, but I think what might really get under their skin is the media. You could threaten to contact the local media, post the incident on other boards like the www.city-data.com forums, facebook, other local websites in your area. A private school, unless they have a large endowment, is often hugely dependent on tuition for their budget expenses. Publicity about this incident (of course you could do it anonymously like you have here) and other incidents like this could really bring down the school. Of course this kind of action will put you in an adversarial relationship with the school, but you might do something like let the school know that you are appalled and expect action to be taken and you would hate to have to report to your community that it hasn't been and then see where that goes. 


So sorry this happened to your dd.

post #17 of 32

Not wanting people to talk about it might have been the motivation to not do anything in the first place, so that thread might be effective.

post #18 of 32
I would absoultely file this as a sex crime. Personally, I think that teacher should be harshly reprimanded for not contacting you immediately.
post #19 of 32

If it goes on the media, people will still talk about her daughter though.  They won't JUST say "I heard it was Kevin"... they will say "I heard it was Jill, and her parents are blowing this all out of proportion... Kevin's mom called her to tell her"  


OP has to decide how much of this she wants her daughter to deal with.

post #20 of 32

Could be. We had a bullying situation that went to the media recently and while it wasn't in my child's school I did know some parents of kids who attended the school. I didn't hear that kind of talk about who it was or wasn't except in the case of one family who came forward. The way it went down was several well known parents who were on the PTA and School Improvement Committees basically said, "this has been an ongoing problem for years and we've tried to work with the administration and we're not getting anywhere and so we've decided to go public with this." There was a series of articles and positive feedback from the new school superintendent. I don't know if it's solved the problems or not because my kids don't go there, but I do know that it has definitely gotten the problem out there in the open. In a private school situation that depends on tuition that could be enough to force them to do something or bankrupt the school depending on how much publicity is generated and how much of a financial cushion the school has. 

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