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Approach Principal discreetly?

1220 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mommy68
Hello Mamas,

We (well, make that ds) are starting kindergarten in the fall, and I think I am going to request that my ds be in a separate class from his friend, who is currently very possessive of him. He has been downright mean/teasing at times to my ds, and though generally they play reasonably well together (my son is pretty easy going), I think it would be good to give my son a break from this boy.
Here's the thing; I'm friends with the mother. Can I approach the principal and make the request confidential, or ask for his discretion?
I just feel uncomfortable telling my friend, because she is always encouraging the friendship of the two boys.
thanks in advance!
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I say definitely let the principal know what you'd like to do and why and I'm sure he can keep it discreet for you- My mother put my twin sister and I in different classes from Kindergarten on so that we weren't depending on each other 24/7 and I think it was a good move. It sounds like it would be in your son's best interest to have some alone time away from his friend.
At my children's school there is a spot specifically for that purpose during registration or when you request a particular "type" (you aren't supposed to request by name) of teacher for your child at the end of each year. We've asked to have our son separated as well from another child because together they have a very negative dynamic and principals, in my experience are very supportive of that--they don't want the headache either, frankly. I think it's definitely a viable option for you.
You know, another thought, although it sounds like you've already rule this out; I actually told our next door neighbors that I thought our children shouldn't be together (different child, not the one I already mentioned) because I believe kids should have some level of "privacy" and that neither one needed the stress of the other spilling out all the things that might happen during the school day. I just went from the point of view that sometimes we all need breaks. Then they ended up together this year anyway, in first grade, and as it turns out, I appear to have been correct. *sigh* I guess this is for just in case your friend somehow finds out, just a ready-made kind of excuse that hopefully won't offend.
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thanks for the replies, mamas. I feel so uncomfortable with the situation, going behind my friends back with this... I think that would be a nice way of smoothing it out, LiamnEmma, though I would feel like a bit of an idiot if it came to that; I'm sure she would wonder why I hadn't brought it up originally. The answer is that I would find it a really awkward conversation to have.
Their current preschool teacher says that it is not a big deal, and that my son handles the situation well. But I just don't see why he should have to "handle" that situation, kwim?
Ericswifey, it sounds like your mother followed her instinct, and I guess I will do the same (though I am second-guessing myself; they Are "friend").. sigh...
sorry for the rambling!
I wouldn't feel uncomortable making a request like this.

You are not the first one to ask this of a principal, I have know other parents who have done so for various reasons.
I think it's a very good idea to give your son a break-very sensitive of you, mama! I was thinking of doing the exact same thing for my daughter when she enters 1st grade. Hope it all works out!
Absolutely do it! My DD had a "possessive" friend and when I took a really good look at the relationship, the "friend" was a bully and being abusive to my DD. You do NOT want to let your son's relationship with his friend get to this point! I asked the prinicipal to ensure they were not in the same class and it was the best thing I did for my DD.
Hi! I can give you the perspective of a principal.
I am an elementary school principal and these types of concerns are common. I think that it is wonderful that you care enough to want your child to have the best classroom environment possible.

If your school does not have a form to fill out to let the principal know how your child learns best, then ask the secretary to set up a quick 10-min. meeting with the principal. Principals are SUPER busy, so setting up an appointment is always appreciated!

If your school's teachers help to create next year's classes, you might also want to discuss this with your child's current teacher. Remember, all educators (including administrators) are here to help children succeed!
Discretion is very important, so be honest when you ask to keep this request confidential. Good luck!
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I really appreciate all the suggestions!!!
my son has recently said that he hopes this boy will be with him in his class, so I feel like I am betraying him by putting in this request
BUT, I will make sure that they see each other after school for playdates (esp. since his mother and I are friends) and the bonus is that I can be present for those visits.
And, I keep reminding myself of the times when this boy has said, "I'm not your friend anymore!" for the most trivial things, and the (occasional) taunting, etc. He can be a very sweet child, but there are times when he makes it really tough for it to be a healthy relationship.
I am duty parent this week at school, and plan on observing as much as I can.
My intention is to make an appointment with the principal about this in the first weeks of May to make my request they be in separate classes.
He will be in a new school, so his current teachers do not have any say in it.
Meditativemama, I am glad you shared your viewpoint, what an interesting job!
I hope I'm doing the right thing, I tend to second-guess myself, I really want to give my son the best possible experience for his first year of "big school".
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I think you did the right thing-my daughter is in a "friendship" with a similar dynamic-although she gets on some levels that this girl is not being a good friend to her, she's still drawn to her. I think we sometimes need to make these decisions for them until they have all the tools they need to do it for themselves.
I did it! For some unfathomable reason, I have been nervous about bringing the letter to the school. I kept thinking, ridiculously, that I was being demanding and an overly-concerned mama (remember my sons teachers had told me not to concern myself over this, and that he was handling the situation).
Anyhow, I drafted the letter, requesting a specific teacher that I have heard is great, and requesting that the 2 boys be separated. I went today and gave it to the secretary, who said she would give it to the principal.
Should I follow this up with a phone call?

And regarding my friend, after some consideration, I have decided not to say anything, but if for whatever reason she does find out, I will simply explain that I am supportive of their friendship, but I think that my son needs some space from him in the classroom.
I hope that they oblige my request!
Thanks for your replies, they really confirmed my own intuition.
I would contact whoever does the scheduling of classrooms. In my son's school it wouldn't be the principal but maybe his secretary or the lady who handles the students on a daily basis. But you could certainly make it clear that you want them separated. I know I would! However, being in the same grade, they will have many years of elementary school that they could end up in the same class though and they will might still see one another in PE, lunch, and other times of the day even if they are in different classes.
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