One quote has been racketing through my brain for the past few days, and that is: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do” by Eleanor Roosevelt. Today I found out why when my daughter came out of school and told me that she’d been intentionally slammed against the wall by another girl in her class. The force that she was smashed into the wall with caused her to crumple to the floor in pain. The lunch aid on duty saw what happened, recognized the pain my daughter was in and said she would report the assault…but then proceeded to walk away and do no such thing. If you follow me on twitter then you might recall the extremely difficult time we’ve been having with her school and the relentless bullying that she’s been enduring. Reporting the offenders has gone nowhere and the bullying has only gained momentum. The last time I spoke with the school about the threats and harassment I was told by the school’s guidance counsellor that this is “normal every day behavior and that my daughter should get used to it because 6th grade would be worse.” This was said in response to my concerns over daily threats from a girl who said she was planning to beat my daughter up on the last day of school. Other kids were in on the plan and found great enjoyment in reminding my daughter every day how fun it was going to be to see her get beat up…and that they were planning to bring their video cameras to record it. And yes, her school claims to have “zero tolerance for bullying”…hosts anti-bullying rallies and conferences…and coats their hallways with anti-bullying posters. Clearly talk and action are two entirely different things.
So I did what I never would have thought I could do…I pulled her out of school. My daughter’s physical and emotional health were hanging in the balance and I could not just sit around idly and wait to see what would happen next. I need to be her advocate. She needs to know that even if an entire school system thinks abuse is acceptable or is willing to look the other way…I will not. How else can I teach her to stand up for and respect herself? I know I’ve made the right decision, but it is a choice that is not taken lightly. This change of course means that a lot will be in flux for us in the coming weeks. Not only have I pulled her out of school, but we are packing up and relocate to Oklahoma (you can read more about our move over on Creature Comforts) next Monday (yes, only a week to pack).
I am trying to remain as positive as possible and feel hopeful that good things are in store for us in the near future. I have tried to make the best out of our move to New Jersey and what has been an overwhelmingly negative past 8 months…but there comes a time when enough is enough. I have come to realize that this place is just not for us, and we are moving on.
Thanks to all of you who have offered your kind words of support here and on Twitter! Your encouragement and thoughtfulness has helped me more than I can say. I will not be updating this blog for a while (until we have things set back up in in our new home). See you then. xox Ez