Originally Posted by kavamamakava
So I just told her she was extremely rude and had no right to speak to my child, or anyone, like she just did.
It continued after the class, but I still would like to have had a better response than that. It was almost 2 weeks ago and I'm still angry about it. She wasn't at the last class and neither was her kid. But she might be there next week. I hope not.
I think you did fine. I'm a lawyer, so I like to invoke legal language if I'm trying to intimidate someone. This past winter we were at McDonald's (yeah, so kick me off mdc) because Noah loves their playground (and their french fries and chicken selects). He was also at a stage (he has some mild/moderate SIDS issues that he had to wear shoes (his high top hiking boots) all the time indoors; he didn't like the feeling of just socks. So I do not insist that he remove his shoes, as the rules at McDonald state. I wipe down his shoes everyday, so I tend to think they're at least as clean as some kids' dirty bare feet (also against the "rules").
So one Dad (who kept using that annoying counting thing to get his kids to behave) starts yammering to me about how he has to take his shoes off. I say "I hear you. He's fine with his shoes on." Then he goes to get the manager, who obviously tells him to lay off. He continues to yammer at me until I say, "If you speak to me again, I will report you to the manager for harassment." Instant shut up.
Really, I think that the only way to deal with bullies is to bully them back. They are usually the kind of people who cower at the mention of authority, so I invoke it whenever possible, after other hints or rationales haven't worked. I either point to some written document or "rule" that validates my perspective, or I tell them to stop speaking to me or I will report them for harassment. Or both.
That's what legal harassment is, by the way. If you have told someone to stop talking (writing/emailing) and they continue to do it, that's harassment. No one has to listen to someone for any reason, no matter what the content is that they are communicating, even if you're breaking the rules. Well, okay, you probably can't report someone for harassment if they keep telling you to stop beating them after you've told them to shut up. Otherwise, you're in the clear.
So the only thing that I would have done in your shoes is to tell the bully (what an obnoxious thing to do and say, by the way) that if she speaks to you or your child again, you will report her to the management for harassment. I'd probably do it if I saw her again at the class, rather than wait for her to say something again. Prevention and all that-- plus, she should know that her behavior was way over the top-- I'm rather hot headed anyway, but I felt my blood boil just reading your story.