DD groped at school. WWYD in this situation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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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.


 

 

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#3 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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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.

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#4 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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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!

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#5 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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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.  

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#6 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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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.


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#7 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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). 

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#8 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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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!

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#10 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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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.


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#11 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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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.

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#12 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 32 Old 10-14-2011, 08:57 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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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.

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#15 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 05:53 AM
 
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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.

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#16 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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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.


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#17 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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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.

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#18 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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I would absoultely file this as a sex crime. Personally, I think that teacher should be harshly reprimanded for not contacting you immediately.
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#19 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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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.

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#20 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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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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#21 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Because they're minors, no media outlet will name them. People might individually talk about it, but that seems likely to happen no matter hhow it's dealt with, if it's dealt with at all.

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#22 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Because they're minors, no media outlet will name them. People might individually talk about it, but that seems likely to happen no matter hhow it's dealt with, if it's dealt with at all.


Of course not... but, it will take less than two days for the entire school to know names.

 

When my dd was in fifth grade, I knew BEFORE school even got out and the kids came home, then Jack and Bobby had drawn a violent booklet about Jenny, and exactly which friend told the teacher on Jack and Bobby... I had the entire story before 5:00 P.M that night... it was the big event of the year.

 

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#23 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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I hope that you do decide to do something about what happened. The teacher at the very least needs to be informed about exactly what happened and she needs to be extra vigilant with this boy. I would be at the school first thing Monday morning and would be demanding a meeting with this teacher and anyone who is directly in charge.

 
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#24 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Of course not... but, it will take less than two days for the entire school to know names.

 

When my dd was in fifth grade, I knew BEFORE school even got out and the kids came home, then Jack and Bobby had drawn a violent booklet about Jenny, and exactly which friend told the teacher on Jack and Bobby... I had the entire story before 5:00 P.M that night... it was the big event of the year.

 



 

That kind of gossip happens regardless of how you handle it. The only way to avoid gossip is to do nothing, and the OP is upset about the "doing nothing" choice, and I agree iwth her.

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#25 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again everyone for the open conversation. I am most definitely going up to the school on Monday to have a talk with DD's teacher, as well as the boy's teacher. I've spoken to DD about this a few times since Thursday night and luckily she seems to be handling/processing it very well (so far). DH and I have both spoken to her and get the impression that she is treating this like a very embarassing isolated incident that is now over with and she's moving forward. DH and I, on the other hand, are still completely livid. My take on the situation is that it's FAR better in the long run to do "too much" than not enough, and to treat this situation with the severity that I believe it deserves. Whether or not we will involve the law remains to be seen, and depends largely on how the school handles it after DH and I have met with them to make sure that everyone has a thorough understanding of exactly what happened. As I understand it, there are Federal guidelines that dictate how abuse/assault cases must be handled when children are involved, and I will do what I believe to be the right thing given the circumstances, wherever the chips may fall. 

 

Against my better judgement, I did allow DD to go to school yesterday (Friday) and let her know that she was to immediately tell me if she witnessed any further negative behavior from this boy. The boy's mother also told me that she would visit the school to supervise her son during recess that day. Well, as soon as DD jumped in the car yesterday afternoon the first words out of her mouth were "Guess what [he] did today!" Apparently, even with his mother watching him like a hawk, he attempted to tackle my daughter AGAIN (she ran from him this time), and a few minutes later, calmly walked up to another boy and punched him in the face. His mother saw all of this, and have him a One Minute time-out. headscratch.gif

 

The more I think about this, the worse I feel about the boy. Something must be terribly wrong in his world that he would even understand HOW to do what he did to DD. 8 year old boys who physically and sexually assault other children have some terrible skeletons in their closet, end of story. My focus at this point (other than the obvious, which is making sure my daughter and all other students are safe at school) is to make sure that SOMEONE gets to the bottom of this boy's case and gets him the help that he needs. I don't know his parents very well (just see them occasionally at school events), but they seem like decent people who would want their children to be safe, healthy and happy. But at a certain point, "minding my own business" about another kid's wellbeing or home life should be overshadowed by the strong possibility that something very dangerous is happening/has happened to this poor boy. 

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#26 of 32 Old 10-15-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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I really think you shouldn't send your daughter back again while the boy is still there, and maybe not at all.  The school has twice shown that they can't adequately supervise this boy.  It's just as serious to have a child sexually assaulting as an adult, and if the situation isn't addressed it can only get worse.  I was sexually assaulted at school, and the boy who did it started really young like this boy, and it just kept up until he was a young adult.  I wish someone had taken things more seriously the first time there was trouble, but it was looked at like he was going through some sort of phase and I just gave up hoping that anyone would listen.  It sounds like you are really there for your daughter, so at least she has that much, but she needs all the adults in her life, especially at school when she is away from you, to really listen and be dedicated to keeping her safe.  The school just isn't showing they can do this for her, so you need to protect her.

 

I also think the PP's are right that this should go to the police, for everyone's safety, including the boy.  There really must be something happening to him.  He needs help, and he's not going to get that with a one minute time out.  If the law steps in, it protects your daughter, other girls, and the investigation could get to the bottom of what is happening to this boy to make him hurt people this way.

 

I'm so sorry this is happening to your daughter and to you. I hope everyone keeps safe.


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#27 of 32 Old 10-16-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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I have only skimmed the other responses, and I read all the op posts.  Having been on the receiving end of this behavior as a child about your dd's age and having no one respond as if it were a big deal, I still carry it with me, like it felt wrong, but no one really made any changes.  I understand not wanting to rock her world by pulling her from school, but her world is already rocked and getting her ff the rocking chair really may help her in the long run, give her lots of validation for icky feelings she may be having, but not have the ability to express or fully understand, or even recognize yet that they are there.  This school sounds dangerous.  she can always return if you decide enough has been done.  I would insist on expulsion of the boy, that is just unbelievably unacceptable.  Given that this is a private school, it may be that the school is not subject to the same rules as public schools, in which case I would file a police report.  It seems clear the mother has no concept of boundaries or at least not the back bone to enforce them!  It is not normal for a boy to behave this way, no matter what he might see in a movie or whatever.  Many hugs to you and good luck!


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#28 of 32 Old 10-16-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justclaire View Post

The more I think about this, the worse I feel about the boy. Something must be terribly wrong in his world that he would even understand HOW to do what he did to DD. 8 year old boys who physically and sexually assault other children have some terrible skeletons in their closet, end of story. 


What about calling CPS?

 

To me, it's as if this boy is screaming IVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED and his parents and teachers have their thumbs in their ears, their eyes shut, and are humming -- doing everything they can to tune it out.  He needs helps. There is no good ending in this for him if everyone keeps ignoring it.

 

I think that therapy is underused and that sometimes parents are hesitant to put a child in therapy because they are concerned about making the child feel bad. I see therapy as a very valid tool and far healthier than ignoring problems. I this were my DD, I would definitely find a professional for her to talk to who has experience with kids her age and with sexual assault. Your DD may have some things to say and cry about that she doesn't want to say to you, which is fine. You might look into art therapy.

 

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#29 of 32 Old 10-17-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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I'm very happy that this boy's mom seems to want to help.  She seems to be doing her best.  But, she's in over her head, and she needs a lot of help.   

 

Honestly, if my son had done that, shown a pattern for this type of behavior, I'd pull him from the school myself, just to protect everybody involved.  Even if these parents don't care about the girls he's attacking (it sounds like they do though) they should care about themselves more.  They could lose everything fighting any lawsuits, or legal bills.  It's not like the legal system is free, or they will work around the parent's work schedule.   She should pull her son out of school, and either find a school where he will be completely supervised at all times.  (I think this current school could manage this themselves though) or keep him at home and get some help for the boy.

 

OP..your daughter sounds resilient, and she sounds like she has some great support and good tools to work with.  I feel like the school should make a bigger deal out of this though... this young man should be spending all of his normally unsupervised time in another classroom, or the office.  At least until they can work out a better plan. 

 

The two boys I spoke of earlier in this post who drew a book full of violent images of one particular girl were both suspended for four weeks, then when they returned, they had to switch classes, and were not allowed to go to the lunch room or recess the rest of the year.  It was a hassle for the teachers who now had to tag team to drag these kids everywhere they went for half a year, but it worked, and it got the message across to the parents of both boys that this was not ever going to be allowed again.

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#30 of 32 Old 10-17-2011, 10:52 PM
 
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I haven't read this entire thread, but I cannot believe what happened to your poor daughter.  The fact that the school didn't even let you know is so disgusting that there aren't even words for it.  Your daughter was sexually assaulted.  I would get the police involved.  I know that you may be worried about freaking your daughter out right now - but this boy has to stop before he progresses.  She may seem to be handling it well from the outside, but kids are notorious for hiding things.  I would probably even have her speak with a counselor.  If it hadn't been for the boy's mother - you may have never realized that it happened at all.  While this is an entirely different circumstance - I had a boyfriend when I was a young teen do some things against my will.  I told my mother about it and she talked about it a little, and then let it go.  I felt like my pain wasn't worth her time to acknowledge.     

 

That little boy also needs some serious therapy.  (He may be receiving it though already since his mom seems to be trying her best considering that she contacted you.)  I know while it's hard to "feel" for him right now, he shouldn't have that sort of knowledge at such a young age.  Even so, he has to learn that sexually abusing others is something is absolutely cannot do.  The school staff that witnessed this though need to be dealt with.  I swear I'd want to have the school shut down.  What sort of teachers don't want to protect their students?  I know there are laws out their stating that school teachers are required to report suspected abuse, so I'd assume that they should have been required to have reported this incident to you.  It's a b.s. for them to have claimed to have not seen anything.  The kids would have caused a commotion.       

 

When a boy in my daughter's class attempted to dry hump her last year, her teacher took immediate action as soon as he found out.  The boy was immediately sent home and didn't return to school for some time.  Once he did return, he had an assistant and never was anywhere near my daughter again.  I remember how livid I was when this happened to my little girl.  I was also in complete shock as I didn't think that 10 year old children would do things like this.  I cannot imagine how I would have felt if she would have experienced what your child did.  This boy should NOT be allowed back in this school.  I'm absolutely shocked that he hasn't been expelled - especially since he tried to repeat the assault.  Don't send your daughter back there.  It's apparent that this school does not have children's best interests at heart.  I am so sorry to the both of you.  I hope your daughter is going to be alright. 

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