Braver

A friend of mine sent me the following “reminder from the universe” —

“While a child attending kindergarten, cannot fully comprehend all the priceless reasons they are there – to socialize, make friends, grow, and prepare for ever higher realms of awareness – by that age they can, nevertheless, sense and grasp that their wise and doting parents have kept their very best interests in mind, and that is enough. Because with this awareness, they can at least stop trying to figure everything out and simply start enjoying their hand painting, alphabet lessons, and cat-naps. Knowing that even if they break a crayon or some lad pulls a chair out from under them, they’re still exactly where they should be, everything is going to turn out just grand, and everyone back home is as proud as can be.”

She thought it appropriate after reading the blog post, “Bullies Are Stupid & I Love the Way You Walk“.

I loved it and thought I would share it with you too!

You have all been burning up keyboards around the world sending email after email in Lilly’s defense.  For a long time, nearly 10 months, Ginnie questioned whether she was doing the right thing. She listed her concerns clearly and concisely in an email to the Superintendent of Holt Public Schools before summer break.

I want to know what YOU can do as superintendent of Holt Public Schools to assure me that if another student pulls a chair out from under my daughter as she is trying to maintain her balance while sitting down it will not be swept under the rug!

I want to know what YOU can do to assure me that when I am told by a staff member that another student saw my child being bullied and I bring it to the principals attention, he will listen. That the principal will NOT wait 2 WEEKS to talk to the student that came forward.

I want you to assure me that when the brave student comes forward, she will NEVER be asked by the principal to add HIS words to her statement… “I do not feel bullied in this school”!

How will you assure me that when my daughter comes home with possible fractured ribs and contusions on her chest from an “incident” that happened in one of your schools there will be follow up… on the schools part, not just my own?

How can you assure me that the principal will not try to persuade my daughter into agreeing with him by repeating a question 3 times and getting the same answer every time? There was  never an apology in his office! (regardless of how it is worded or how many times it is asked.)

How can you assure me that when documenting an “incident” in one of your schools, the principal will not lie in the report and state that my daughter received a WRITTEN LETTER OF APOLOGY from a student, a letter that never existed?

How can you assure that when I do my best to follow the chain of command, and take issues of bullying to the assistant superintendent he will work hard to get to the truth and not call me the same day that we meet and simply repeat the lie I was first given… “my daughter got an apology from the student while in the in the principals office”?

I would like to know how you can assure me that my daughter will not be placed in the same class as 2 of the students that have continually bullied her? Assure me this will not happen, after both my daughter and I have made the staff very aware of this and specifically asked that my daughter be separated from them!

Ginnie was asking for specific policy changes.  Changes that would address this issue going further.  With the exception of being told that the scheduling of students was primarily computerized, not one of her assurances were addressed.

The overall statement was that the Superintendent would do everything in his power to make the Holt School District the safest possible for students.  There were no references to actions that would be taken to change anything. There was not one mention of the failure of the Principal to handle this situation correctly.

Not a single thing.  Not one solitary mention.

I feel at this point that I should clarify something.  A few of you commented about two things.

  • The teachers at Holt are fab!
  • Nick Johnson is a stand up guy.

This is not about the educators at Holt.  Many of them supported Ginnie & Lilly as they maneuvered this situation.  This is not about Principal Johnson’s as an individual.  It is about the way in which the administration of Holt Public Schools addressed a bullying incident that injured Lilly.  It is a policy and responsibility issue.  Even if Principal Johnson made a mistake, a simple acknowledgement of that fact and an apology would have been enough to solve this problem.

I understand that for some of you, a blanket statement from the Super regarding the safety of all students would have been enough.  It was not for Ginnie.  It was another obvious indication that they were going to continue to do their “best”.  They were not going to issue any new policies and they were certainly not going to address her concerns or the behavior of the Principal.

So here we are.  Principal Nick Johnson’s inbox crammed full.  We have gotten a call to have a meeting so that he can express his sincere apology, again.

Let me know when you see something wrong with that statement.  I await your comments.

Now, back to that reminder from the universe.

Lilly, knows we all love her.  She knows that her mother will go to the ends of the earth for her.  She also knows her auntie can pen a mean note of disapproval.  (As a side note, she has gotten love notes from me too.)  Do you know what else she knows?

She knows that there are people in the world that will support her right to an education free of bullying and intimidation by students or staff.  She knows that there are people willing to educate her and her family about what is legal in this country.  She is empowered and is even strongly considering continuing her education at Holt High School 10th thru 12th grade campus.

She is, if you can even imagine it, braver.

She knows that no matter what happens, “everyone back home is just as proud as can be”.

Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for encouraging Ginnie as a mother.  It has been a rough road but your kind words have been heard and taken to heart.

Sincerely,

Tashmica

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