Originally Posted by Ellien C
Thanks for all of your advice. The situation with my daughter and the playground and friends is continuing to deteriorate. I will work with her about specific actions she can take.
She is also gifted and I found that these 2 articles really resonate with what is going on with her.
I don't know if we should try going to private school or not. It just doesn't seem like there is much that the school can do, but on the other hand, I feel like her problems will just follow her to a new school.
The school is not providing a safe, appropriate education for your child. She is being bullied by a child, and the teacher won't correct it. She's being bullied by the teacher, and the principal won't correct it. Honestly, I'd document everything you can remember. I'd make an appointment ASAP with the principal and lay your documents out for him/her. Then I would say "what are you going to do to make school safe for my child? If you cannot make this school a safe place, then you must find us an alternative where our daughter can get a safe, appropriate education. If you cannot do that, then the school district will need to pony up for private school tuition." Then I'd contact a lawyer well versed in discrimination. The school is hoping you'll go away rather than fixing it.
You don't have to answer this, but you will be able to get them to jump faster if your daughter belongs to a group that is considered a minority nationwide. (So my kids are white, but are in a school with a high population of minorities, as defined by the federal government. In our school, my kids are a minority, but they're not in society at large. So, if I were seeing what you were seeing, I would call them on the racism they're exhibiting, but it'd be a harder sell.)
To give you an alternative perspective: My kids, as I mentioned, go to a school where they're in the minority. We have had 1 incident in the 5 years that we've been there of ds being bullied. Ds is somewhat shy, is highly reactive and so responded really actively to being teased (he's got a lot of overexcitabilities too). Ds came home from school one day in 2nd grade and said "I don't like doing group work in math, G is making fun of me." I contacted the teacher. We set up a meeting within 2 days. The teacher was there, the school counselor was there, I was there. The teacher had already talked to ds and asked him who he'd rather work with than G. Ds gave her a name and she switched the pairings before the meeting ever took place. When we met, she explained to me that she'd paired the stronger math students (like ds) with some of the weaker kids (G), and that ds was having trouble explaining his understanding to G. The counselor suggested a friendship group for ds. He went to a friendship group in 2nd grade, and again in 4th grade when I asked his teacher how his social skills were, and she offered to talk to the counselor about a group. I have no idea what ds got out of those groups, but I think it did help.
My point here is: We've got a school with a 'difficult' population (many kids who are learning English in school, extremely high poverty rate). The school is absolutely wonderful about proactively teaching social skills, monitoring kids' behavior for bullying and intervening when appropriate. (The system they use is called PBIS, by the way, you might google it.) A school absolutely can and should help your daughter deal with these issues. The fact that they are not makes me really really angry for your daughter.