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Should I speak to the school principal?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:14 am
My 10 year old daughter has been struggling.

She's a sweet and sensitive kid with a few close friends, but not a huge amount of self confidence.

She's also been struggling academically.

Now here's the problem. There are about 5-7 girls in her class that make up the "it" group. They are powerful and intimidating. They're brilliant and competitive enough to "cry" about getting a 97% on a test. They are the ones getting the main part in the play and heading all creative class functions.

It turns out that while the teachers seem to think that they're 'special' there's a lot of selfishness and negativity coming out of them. They call the shots at recess time. They might laugh when a girl gives a wrong answer in class. Etc.

This has been ongoing for at least 2 years but I hadn't realized how serious this was until this horrifying incident:

Somewhere outside of school a group of kids were in the middle of a nasty fight and in the heat of the moment a girl who happens to be in daughter's class said this about my daughter. "Sarit is the biggest idiot of our class".

I'm heartbroken 💔.

I don't believe my daughter is actually the least respected kid in the class and I don't think she's being severely bullied or anything but she is clearly horribly intimidated by this group and is just afraid to talk to them and her self esteem is suffering.

I have had lots of discussions with my daughter about this to try and get more information. It seems like the teachers are aware of it and while they're trying to help the situation they clearly aren't doing a good job at it (encouraging friendships by pairing them up for creative activities).

I mentioned to my daughter that I'll call her principal to clue her in on how awful these kids are, to wake her up to the fact that they're not all that 'special'. My daughter's reaction was crying and screaming "Mommy. No!".

She absolutely doesn't want me to call, because calling up the teacher or principal will make her a "neb".

Do I respect my daughter's wishes or do I go behind her back to help her?
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:17 am
I'm not sure about the teacher or principal, but you should get your DD help that is geared toward building up her self-confidence.

HUGS this is hard.
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abound




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:17 am
Do not call or she will NEVER trust u again and she will have no one to turn to.
Get your daughter the help she needs to be socially confident. Work on building her up so she can manage the situation and thrive despite of tose girls.
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amother




Obsidian
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:18 am
This is terrible the school needs to be spoken to right away. It’s really young to be starting this snobby and elitist attitudes. It will get even worse as they get older. Kids don’t always understand how bad things are, she’s just 10 I would absolutely get involved.
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all is good




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:47 am
I agree you should call the principal. How will your daughter know that you called? Tell the principal your daughter did not want you to call but you felt it was really important that she's more aware of what's going on and she should make sure it doesn't get out that you were the one who called. It's part of her job to make sure every student feels safe in school, and clearly your daughter does not, so I really think she should be told, and maybe even ask her to be in touch with you about how things were handled. Good luck,
signed a mother of a bullied child
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:50 am
I would call. Behavior like that should not be tolerated. Schools need to do a better job at teaching good middos since many girls aren't just picking it up on their own.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:55 am
Are there other parents whose kids are impacted by this nasty behavior?

It might be more effective to approach the principal as a group, so the principal cannot claim the issue is your daughter.
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amother




Ruby
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 8:38 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My 10 year old daughter has been struggling.

She's a sweet and sensitive kid with a few close friends, but not a huge amount of self confidence.

She's also been struggling academically.

Now here's the problem. There are about 5-7 girls in her class that make up the "it" group. They are powerful and intimidating. They're brilliant and competitive enough to "cry" about getting a 97% on a test. They are the ones getting the main part in the play and heading all creative class functions.

It turns out that while the teachers seem to think that they're 'special' there's a lot of selfishness and negativity coming out of them. They call the shots at recess time. They might laugh when a girl gives a wrong answer in class. Etc.

This has been ongoing for at least 2 years but I hadn't realized how serious this was until this horrifying incident:

Somewhere outside of school a group of kids were in the middle of a nasty fight and in the heat of the moment a girl who happens to be in daughter's class said this about my daughter. "Sarit is the biggest idiot of our class".

I'm heartbroken 💔.

I don't believe my daughter is actually the least respected kid in the class and I don't think she's being severely bullied or anything but she is clearly horribly intimidated by this group and is just afraid to talk to them and her self esteem is suffering.

I have had lots of discussions with my daughter about this to try and get more information. It seems like the teachers are aware of it and while they're trying to help the situation they clearly aren't doing a good job at it (encouraging friendships by pairing them up for creative activities).

I mentioned to my daughter that I'll call her principal to clue her in on how awful these kids are, to wake her up to the fact that they're not all that 'special'. My daughter's reaction was crying and screaming "Mommy. No!".

She absolutely doesn't want me to call, because calling up the teacher or principal will make her a "neb".

Do I respect my daughter's wishes or do I go behind her back to help her?


Wow. I have never heard these words associated with 10 yr olds. I guess I am very blessed that my children (who are by no means the most popular) have always gone to school with nice, inclusive classmates.

It's a shame that this is going on but my thoughts are that #1 you should respect your daughter's wishes so that she will continue to trust you and #2 that while there are certainly things teachers could do to give more opportunities to students who are quieter/ less popular/ less competitive, it's impossible to change the other girls' attitudes with school policies. Nor do I see how it will help your daughter to open the teacher's eyes to how "not special" these girls are, and #3 I think the best thing you can do is find ways to boost your daughter's self esteem. Does she need a tutor in certain subjects so she can do better in class? Would she benefit from some therapy? Can you find her extra-curricular activities in which she may excel? And #4 is there a possibility to send her to another school? Or is there another class of her grade in the school where the girls are not so....cut-throat?
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amother




Obsidian
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 8:39 am
abound wrote:
Do not call or she will NEVER trust u again and she will have no one to turn to.
Get your daughter the help she needs to be socially confident. Work on building her up so she can manage the situation and thrive despite of tose girls.


Terrible advice sorry. Life isn’t only about trust. As a parent you cannot sit by while your child is bullied regardless of what they want you to do. The same way if your child would say I have a rash but I want to keep it a secret so don’t tell the doctor. You wouldn’t listen and would force them to go to the doctor. Being a parent means understanding that fine line of when to get involved and protect your kids. In this situation you cannot ignore it and do nothing.
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 8:45 am
amother [ Ruby ] wrote:
Wow. I have never heard these words associated with 10 yr olds. I guess I am very blessed that my children (who are by no means the most popular) have always gone to school with nice, inclusive classmates.

It's a shame that this is going on but my thoughts are that #1 you should respect your daughter's wishes so that she will continue to trust you and #2 that while there are certainly things teachers could do to give more opportunities to students who are quieter/ less popular/ less competitive, it's impossible to change the other girls' attitudes with school policies. Nor do I see how it will help your daughter to open the teacher's eyes to how "not special" these girls are, and #3 I think the best thing you can do is find ways to boost your daughter's self esteem. Does she need a tutor in certain subjects so she can do better in class? Would she benefit from some therapy? Can you find her extra-curricular activities in which she may excel?


Actually DD's daughter is exactly the age when this type of thing tends to occur. I'm gonna guess 5th grade? I had a child who was bullied years ago at exactly this age. The banding together, cliques, bullying often start right around now.

I do think the school should be informed of the goings on so they can address it. Your daughter's name should be kept out of it. I highly doubt she's the only one being bullied. There are usually ring-leaders in such a situation, and those supporting the ringleaders are often just scared to lose their standing and in a sense are also being bullied....so this needs to be addressed at the class level, not the individual, by the school.

In terms of your DD, that's something YOU need to address OP, as you need to take care of your DD so she does not end up being the victim in such situations. She needs to learn confidence, she needs to be built up so she laughs off a bully.

BTDT. OP if you have any questions about this, please feel free to PM me.
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amother




Outerspace
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 8:54 am
The first thing to do is to get your daughter help. Find a good therapist who will make her feel safe and build her up. You might think your daughter is not the problem so why does she need a therapist. There was a poster here recently dealing with an abusive mother who was offended at the suggestion she needs help because her mother is the one not behaving normally. I'm sure your daughter is a great kid but sometimes the person being bullied or abused needs therapy to get over the trauma.
After you have your daughter settled with that, speak to the principal. She needs to know what's going on and she needs to be on top of it. She also needs to know your daughter's name can't be mentioned even when she speaks to staff members. If she's the type to pass on the blame and says your daughter needs help you'll be able to say she's already getting it but the staff have to make sure this doesn't happen at their school.
In my school there was an it group that always got the best assignments from teachers, lead parts in productions, they actually enabled the bullying that was going on. Your daughter is your top priority but you don't know how many kids you might be saving.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 9:02 am
I have a 5th grade son and this age is very challenging. He did have a hard time socially earlier in elementary and things were getting better and then this year the politics and drama exploded and he is back to feeling bad about himself. He got a new kid in his class in 4th grade that makes him miserable and has said similar things to your post. I 1000% involved the hanhala and for my son knowing that they have his back and that the other kid is the issue is hugely beneficial. Its a super complicated situation.

Also I have accepted my son contributes too. Certain mannerisms or behavior that the other boys were like eh who cares about in 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade, are considered off or weird in 5th. We are trying to get him to care and its working slowly.

So its two pronged yes involved the school and also see if there is anything your daughter can do too to feel better about herself.
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amother




Eggplant
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 9:42 am
OMG This is exactly my daughter and her 6th grade class.
I wouldn't go the school route. You've seen that these are girls who are well-liked and rewarded with good marks, good roles, etc. You don't have to run to therapy. Just build your daughter up, validate that its hard, and tell her that being smart and popular in school has nothing to do with life after school. It won't be like this forever, its middle school and it passes. Keep encouraging good friendships for her. A lot of the others probably feel exactly the same way. Eventually, everyone gets tired of these types of girls and they often change to become nicer.
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amother




Outerspace
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 10:00 am
amother [ Eggplant ] wrote:
OMG This is exactly my daughter and her 6th grade class.
I wouldn't go the school route. You've seen that these are girls who are well-liked and rewarded with good marks, good roles, etc. You don't have to run to therapy. Just build your daughter up, validate that its hard, and tell her that being smart and popular in school has nothing to do with life after school. It won't be like this forever, its middle school and it passes. Keep encouraging good friendships for her. A lot of the others probably feel exactly the same way. Eventually, everyone gets tired of these types of girls and they often change to become nicer.


Sure op doesn't have to run to therapy, but a good therapist can sometimes help with building up a child more than the best mother can do on her own.

Therapy aside, you think it's okay that these girls are rewarded? It's not good for them or for the other girls to see adults accepting this. It's middle school and it passes but it doesn't just end there. We end up on imamother discussing dysfunctional families and adults with awful behavior. Op has a chance in her own small corner of the world to make a difference. She can stand by and do nothing which is always the easiest route to take or she can try to make a difference in her daughter's life and in a lot of others.
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amother




Moccasin
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:13 am
amother [ Outerspace ] wrote:
In my school there was an it group that always got the best assignments from teachers, lead parts in productions, they actually enabled the bullying that was going on. Your daughter is your top priority but you don't know how many kids you might be saving.


I sometimes think that the teachers in high school resemble the actual classrooms they teach, to the point that they become like an extension of it. They too chase the elite clique and favor them; you have the occasional kind teacher who gets it; and the ones who see what's going on but feel they have no power to change it.

My girls have told me that some of the most well thought-of girls (by the teachers) in their class were actual bullies who put down other students on a regular basis. I remember girls who were chosen to head various committees for school functions, who bullied all the girls under them, and then took the credit for others' hard work and efforts.

Olam Hafuch Hu
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amother




Puce
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:30 am
When speaking to the hanhala, it is helpful to have a constructive suggestion. Maybe the Chofetz Chaim Foundation school program on bullying, or something similar? Sending to therapy isn't always the right answer, especially if the therapist misdiagnoses or the child feels misunderstood, and either way the child will still have to return to school the next day and face the same environment if the administration doesn't take achrayis and deal with this aggressively. It is their responsibility to create the proper atmosphere in their school..
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Chayalle




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:42 am
amother [ Puce ] wrote:
When speaking to the hanhala, it is helpful to have a constructive suggestion. Maybe the Chofetz Chaim Foundation school program on bullying, or something similar? Sending to therapy isn't always the right answer, especially if the therapist misdiagnoses or the child feels misunderstood, and either way the child will still have to return to school the next day and face the same environment if the administration doesn't take achrayis and deal with this aggressively. It is their responsibility to create the proper atmosphere in their school..


A therapist should not be diagnosing a child. A therapist should be helping a child to build skills with a certain goal in mind. She might get at the root of the issue and address it from there. In this particular situation, for example, child is not displaying enough confidence in the face of a bullying situation. Child needs to be built up, and taught skills that will help her respond to the bully in a way that will deflect bullying from her in the future, and make her feel like she can interact without feeling intimidated.

(I'm not saying therapy is the only way, but if OP does persue it, it should be a skills-based approach by a therapist who specializes in this.)

It is the school's responsibility to deal with the environment. It is the OP's responsibility to address issues with her child.
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amother




Outerspace
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:44 am
DrMom wrote:
Are there other parents whose kids are impacted by this nasty behavior?

It might be more effective to approach the principal as a group, so the principal cannot claim the issue is your daughter.


Op please don't do this.
It might be tempting to discuss with other mothers especially if some of them are your friends and I can see DrMom might be right you'll get more attention from the principal if you go as a group.
The problem is your daughter asked you not to say anything. If you speak to the principal privately we can hope your daughter's name won't get out. If you call even just one or two other mothers and they tell only one or two other people it's inevitable the word will get out that this came from your daughter. One of the girls will hear her mother talking or will find out some other way and that's all you need.
Your daughter will be very upset. She won't feel comfortable opening up t you any more and you'll lose her trust. The bullying will get even worse.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:51 am
It says in Pirkei Avos to "K'nei Chaver" BUY yourself a friend.

Work on getting DD a small group of friends - 2 other girls.

Invite those girls to join you afterschool and treat them to ice cream, pizza, bowling, skating, etc.

Also regular playdates. Get the best toys and nosh.

Tell DD to ignore and stay far away from the bullies.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 11:52 am
If you feel you MUST tell the principal then write an anonymous letter since your DD asked
you not to call the principal.

That will protect your DD from being bullied for being a "rat"

Write in the letter that you are anonymous because your DD asked you not
to contact the principal.
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