Should I Say Something? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-09-2011, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A while back dd (14) told me that a girl from school, K, told another girl, in confidence, that K had sex with her boyfriend. The girl went on to tell her circle of friends, and they all started calling K a slut. K is our neighbor, and her step-mom isn't a close friend, but she's in my book club, and we chat when we pass on the road.

 

I promised dd that I wouldn't say anything to K's dad and step-mom, and I didn't.

 

Tonight I passed K's step-mom on my walk, and she told me that K wants to go to a different high school (they're starting HS in the fall), and since they won't let her, K wants to live with her mom in the next town over.

 

Now K's mom is filing for custody, and when they ask K, "Why do you want to live with your mom?" K says, "I don't. I want to live there, but I want to go to a different high school."  When they ask her why she wants to go to a different school, she says she doesn't know.

 

I think it might be because these girls are all calling her a slut. I didn't say that, though. I suggested therapy.

 

Now I'm wondering if, after I talk to dd about it, I should say something to the step-mom. I know I would want someone to say something to me. I don't know what they would do if they thought that K was having sex, though. I think they're fairly conservative, and it might destroy their relationship.

 

I could just say a girl was spreading rumors about K, and leave it at that, maybe?

 

Or maybe I should stay out of it. I'm so torn!

 

 WWYD?

 


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#2 of 15 Old 08-09-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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I would tell step-mom that this girl is getting harrassed at school and called names. You don't have to tell her the girl slept with her boyfriend (and it might have just been talk) or that she was telling kids at school this. Lots of times kids don't tell their parents about being bullied. This situation especially, I can see the girl not being forthcoming about why she wants to go. Feloow females can be really terrible with this stuff and often it's an open invitation to boys to sexually harass the girl. I don't blame her for wanting a fresh start. Kids screw up but she this sort of thing is really hard to live down in high school.

 

I'd want to know as a parent and you can ask her to keep her source secret.


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#3 of 15 Old 08-09-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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What it here school like... you promised you wouldn't tell the girls parents... but if you give the school's counselor or principal a heads-up, would they deal with it? Alternatively, how well do you know K? Could you ask her if she'd like help talking to her mom about the problems at school, or would your DD see that as a betrayal too? Bullying can get very, very serious at that age, I think something needs to be said to the parents, one way or another.


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#4 of 15 Old 08-09-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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Teen 'drama' is not your place.  Honestly, this is an issue between the child, her parents and the courts for custody arrangements.  Kids talk all the time and what is truth or fiction is hard to decipher on a good day.

 

You also promised your child that you wouldn't say anything.  Keeping a promise to your child speaks volumes when she has an issue and needs to make a decision about who to tell.  Ya know?


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#5 of 15 Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Teen 'drama' is not your place.  Honestly, this is an issue between the child, her parents and the courts for custody arrangements.  Kids talk all the time and what is truth or fiction is hard to decipher on a good day.

 

You also promised your child that you wouldn't say anything.  Keeping a promise to your child speaks volumes when she has an issue and needs to make a decision about who to tell.  Ya know?


I can't agree with this at all. The secret was that the girl slept with boyfriend not that she's getting harrassed at school. This child is pushing to move away from a parent to another and understanding that she was getting harrassed could go a long way towards fixing the issue. It's the norm that victims of bullying and harrasment don't tell. If it wasn't for a little girl in class telling her mom and mom calling me, my son would have had to go through who knows how much more torture at school.

Not all secrets should be kept and that goes for promises too. This is a child at risk not a child just trying to stay out of trouble. I'd even tell your child the situation.... This girl is so stressed she is willing to leave the home she wants and is too frightened and ashamed to tell her parents why. I think it's time we tell her parents that she's getting bullied and harrassed at school.

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#6 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 04:00 AM
 
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I have to say I agree with Whatsnextmom.

 

 

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This is a child at risk not a child just trying to stay out of trouble. I'd even tell your child the situation.... This girl is so stressed she is willing to leave the home she wants and is too frightened and ashamed to tell her parents why. I think it's time we tell her parents that she's getting bullied and harrassed at school.

 

 

On the one hand I do agree that promises kept to our children about secrets and sensitive stuff like this IS very important, its also important, imho, that we can in turn go back to them and discuss it further with our own concerns. Its about open dialogue. I think my own children would definately trust me and understand my concerns. Even if you didnt have to get invovled yourself, might your dd be willing to step in and be a friend to this girl, perhaps sort of coaching her in what to say. This is what Id do with my girls if they insisted I kept my promise. Id have to stress that the young girl seems quite distressed and might need some adult intervention, if the bullying is severe. Would your dd be willing to talk her into talking to someone about the fact that she's being bullied?

 

I think Id personally stay out of it, except, in an extreme case, to make an anonymous phone call to the school councellor or head teacher about the fact that you are aware of a situation where a child is being bullied. Id give the child's name but express that I have made a promise not to give mine.

 

I HATED those years. My girls are 12 and I am doing my very best to help them navigate this minefield called adolescence.

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#7 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post

I promised dd that I wouldn't say anything to K's dad and step-mom, and I didn't.

 

My number one concern would be maintaining a relationship with MY child where they know they can tell me things in confidence.

 

period.

 

Part of the problem here is that K's parents haven't done that. They built that relationship. Ruining the relationship with your child will not fix that.

 

So, I would start by talking to my own teen and brain storming about things that could be down, said, and to whom that might be helpful in the situation. I wouldn't assume anything, and I would really listen to what my teen had to say. Then I would figure out what to do with the input from my teen. May be just suggesting to the dad / step mom that they get serious about putting her in a different school -- she's made it clear that's what she wants and the refuse to hear her.

 

(moving and going to a different school might be the best option for the girl. There are cases where girls have been left in similar situations and ended up killing themselves. I don't see her wanting to live in another town with her other parent as being such a horrible thing. She may be right about what is best for her for now.   )

 


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#8 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses. I'm definitely going to talk to my dd before I say anything. I did think it was normal teen drama until I found out K wants to change schools-- that puts it in another realm for me. Maybe going to another school is right for her, but she doesn't really want to live with her mom and that would be sad-- at least according to step-mom.

 

 


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#9 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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Why won't dad and step mom let her go to a different school? To me, my child saying that would big a red flag wavily wildly. I wouldn't just so no.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. It would be a red flag to me, too.

 

Like I said, I'm not good friends with them, but the girls are going to HS as freshman in the fall, so they're hoping that K will like the school, meet new friends at the problem will resolve itself-- also, they have no idea what the problem is. Plus, the HS where she's asking to go is an hour from where we live, and both parents work full time, and they don't want to give up custody.

 

DD is not good friends with K, either, so I don't think she'll be willing to intervene, but I hope she'll be willing to let me intervene in some way.  

 

 


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#11 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I understand not wanting to break a confidence that came from your daughter, but maybe she was telling you and hoping you'd have an idea of what to do about it.  Maybe not.  Can you speak to her and ask her if she would understand if you told K's parents that you've heard she's had a rough year socially and may be the target of some gossip or mean girl type stuff and leave it at that?

 

 

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#12 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post

 

Plus, the HS where she's asking to go is an hour from where we live, and both parents work full time, and they don't want to give up custody.

 


Really? In my city all the high schools have open enrollment, there are a bunch of charter schools (some with rolling enrollment) and several inexpensive private schools. It hadn't occurred to me that to change schools, she would need to travel so far.

 

Anyway, we had a neighbor once who found out her 15 year old was sexually active and so sent to her to one of those Christian boot camp places for a year. Didn't see her for a solid year because 'saving her soul' was more important. It totally freaked out her little sister, who was friends with my DD, who both missed her sister and feared what would cause her parents to send her away.

 

My point is that unless you know other parents well, there's no reason to assume that they will act like reasonable people if they find out things about their daughter that they can't handle.

 

 

 


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#13 of 15 Old 08-10-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, we don't live in the city. We live on a lake in the middle of nowhere.

 

I talked to DD tonight, and she thinks it isn't the gossip that's the problem. She thinks K really wants to live with her mom and is just afraid to tell her dad. Whatever we decide to do, we're definitely not going to mention the sex. They might be the type to send her to a camp. I just don't know.

 

Thanks again for your suggestions!


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#14 of 15 Old 08-12-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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You know, next time you see the step-mom you could casually bring up the wanting to switch schools situation as a continuation of your previous conversation and ask her if she thinks K has had a hard time socially this past year and just plant the seed that it may have been some social difficulties that are making her want to switch schools. You could mention rumors and wanting to make a fresh start and all w/o betraying your dd's confidence or giving details about K. 


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#15 of 15 Old 08-21-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I would tell step-mom that this girl is getting harrassed at school and called names. You don't have to tell her the girl slept with her boyfriend (and it might have just been talk) or that she was telling kids at school this. Lots of times kids don't tell their parents about being bullied.



yeah this! I agree totally. You don't have to mention the part about the sex. That's private anyway and should be up to the child to tell her parents if she so chooses. But I believe the bullying part needs to be told to the stepmom/dad, if you know about it and know it is indeed happening. :-(  I feel for the girl being called such a horrible name for doing something she may even regret now and doing something that is completely normal that all humans do at some point in their lives. Bullying can leave lasting effects on children of any age and it's horrible to think this poor girl is going to school every day with this sick feeling in her gut and being afraid of what others are saying or thinking about her. I feel for her.


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