Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This mom asked her daughter’s teacher to pull on her bra strap. Here’s why!


Exactly when and where this story took place is unknown, but it's been making its way around the internet and has a message of timeless importance:
A mother was called at work by her daughter's school: Her 15-year-old daughter had hit a student and made him bleed. As the conversation progressed, the mom began to realize that the school had it all wrong, her daughter wasn't the problem. Here's her story:
Flickr/SOMANEDU
"I’m an ER nurse. We’re not allowed to have our phones on us; they’re kept in our lockers. A call came into the hospital reception on a private line for me.
Phone: “This is Mr. Smith* from St. Mary's High School*. There’s been an incident involving your daughter. We need you to come in.”
Me: “Is she sick or hurt? Can't it wait until my shift is over in two hours?”
Phone: “Your daughter has hit another student. We’ve been trying to call you for 45 minutes. It's quite serious.”
I went to the school and was ushered into the principal’s office. I saw my daughter, a male teacher, a female counselor, the principal, a boy with blood around his nose and a red face, and his parents.
Principal: “Hello, how kind of you to FINALLY join us!”
Me: “Yeah, things get busy in ER. I’ve spent the last hour giving more than 40 stitches to a seven-year-old who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle and then I had to deal with the police regarding the matter. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
After watching him try to not act embarrassed, he told me what happened. The boy had snapped my daughter’s bra and she responded by punching him in the face twice. I got the impression they were more angry with my daughter than the boy.
Me: “Oh. And you want to know if I’m going to press charges against him for sexually harassing my daughter and against the school for allowing him to do it?”
They all got a little shaken when I mentioned sexual harassment and started speaking at once.
Teacher: “I don’t think it was that serious.”
Counselor: “Let’s not overreact.”
Principal: “I think you’re missing the point.”
The boy’s mother then started crying. I turned to my daughter to find out what had happened.
Daughter: “He kept pinching my bra. I asked him to stop but he didn’t, so I told my teacher. He told me to ‘ignore it.’ But then he did it again and unfastened my bra so I hit him. Then he stopped.”
I turned to the teacher.
Me: “You let him do this? Why didn’t you stop him? Why don't you come over here and let me touch your zipper.”
Teacher: “What?!”
Me: “Oh, does that seem inappropriate to you? Why don’t you go and mess with the counselor's bra? See how fun it is for her. Or on that boy’s mom’s bra. Or mine. Or on my daughter's. You think just because they’re both kids it’s okay?”
Principal: "With all due respect, your daughter still hit another child.”
Me: “No. My daughter defended herself against sexual harassment by another student. Look at them: He’s a foot taller than she is and twice as heavy. How many times should she have let him touch her? If the person who was supposed to help and protect her in a classroom couldn’t be bothered, what should she have done? He pulled her bra so hard it came undone.”
The boy’s mom was still crying and his dad looked both angry and embarrassed. The teacher wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I looked at the principal.
Me: “I’m taking her home. I think he's learned his lesson. And I hope nothing like this ever happens again, not only to my daughter, but to any other girl at this school. You wouldn’t let him do it to a member of your staff, so why you think it's appropriate for him to play with the bra of a 15-year-old girl is beyond me. I'll be reporting this to the superintendent. And if you—*turning to the boy*—EVER touch my daughter again I WILL have you arrested for sexual assault. Do you understand me?”
I was so angry as I gathered my daughter’s things and left. I reported it to the superintendents, several of whom I know from Church (it’s a Catholic school), and was assured it would be strongly dealt with. They were equally horrified and assured me they would contact the school. My daughter was put into a different class for that subject, away from the teacher and the boy."
How horrible that the school was so obviously ignoring the fact that the young woman was defending herself. What is the school teaching the boy? That's it's okay to keep doing something when a girl says no? Awful! Thank goodness this mother was able to stand her ground!