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Should I speak to the school principal?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 1:25 pm
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? 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?


Thank you to all who responded! I appreciate the advice.

I understand that instead of focusing my energy on the school I should focus my efforts on helping my daughter grow more confident. The problem is that this is very hard to do while the problem is still happening and she keeps feeling beaten down by her environment.

This is why I feel the need to speak up.

On the other hand, some of the responses here mention that the school system doesn't have so much of an influence on the way these girls behave, and I believe that might be true...

Writing an anonymous letter seems like an interesting idea and something I might suggest to my daughter, although I'm pretty sure she'll say NO.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 1:27 pm
Also, she has been working with a tutor/OT for the last 2 years and it's not something that is being done anymore at her age, meaning that, they don't publicly pull girls out of class anymore in 5th grade.

She won't have a tutor at home either. She's pretty fed up with all the hard work and I totally understand the burnout.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 1:54 pm
Op, I’m a teacher who deals with this all the time. Please please ignore some of the advice here. You need to get involved and it’s not your child’s fault. Sending her to therapy might make her feel that way.
You CANNOT ignore the problem and hope that by building her resilience, it will go away. You can work on building her friendships, and creating her own chevrah, that’s definitely an important step, but the “in” group will still be in her face. I’ve been seeing this for years. It will just get worse and the bullies will get stronger. Your child should not suffer!
Op, how old is your daughters teacher? It actually makes a difference.
What is the principal like?
Also makes a difference.
Once we see that, the approach would be very privately to speak to the one that is better suited.
Are there other mothers that you’re close to that feel the same way as you?
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amother




Tomato
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 2:01 pm
Sound like DDs 5th grade class, maybe it's one and the same Very Happy
I did get the principal and teacher involved and while I think it helped a little, it didn't get rid of the situation. But I defintely think it pays to speak up..

I've learned that 5th grade girls can be horribly mean and obnoxious. I've tried to give my DD extra attention and "pushed" her to be friends with certain girls more than others. It's still a problem but definitely improved over the year.
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 2:03 pm
Very common for this age. Sixth grade is also a very difficult year. It gets better when they get a little more mature. And yes, you should speak with the principal.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 2:32 pm
amother [ Scarlet ] wrote:
Op, I’m a teacher who deals with this all the time. Please please ignore some of the advice here. You need to get involved and it’s not your child’s fault. Sending her to therapy might make her feel that way.
You CANNOT ignore the problem and hope that by building her resilience, it will go away. You can work on building her friendships, and creating her own chevrah, that’s definitely an important step, but the “in” group will still be in her face. I’ve been seeing this for years. It will just get worse and the bullies will get stronger. Your child should not suffer!
Op, how old is your daughters teacher? It actually makes a difference.
What is the principal like?
Also makes a difference.
Once we see that, the approach would be very privately to speak to the one that is better suited.
Are there other mothers that you’re close to that feel the same way as you?


There are 4 teachers. The "main" teacher is probably around 26-28 years old.

The principle is warm and dedicated but she runs a school that is known for its superior academic curriculum and an attitude of crowning 'the best'
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amother




Amaranthus
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 4:53 pm
I had this with my elementary school class. It was painful.

My mother did involve the principal (although it didn’t help).

All the girls are lovely women now.

I think you should talk to the principal. But I’m not sure.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 5:43 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
There are 4 teachers. The "main" teacher is probably around 26-28 years old.

The principle is warm and dedicated but she runs a school that is known for its superior academic curriculum and an attitude of crowning 'the best'

Asking because many first year teachers who are 19 years old are still in HS mode, and unfortunately give attention to the queen bees, and “in”crowd.
With maturity, and having your own children, that usually changes. A teacher who is not empathetic, or is not confident in herself will be the type to focus on what she thinks are the “superstars” and not realize that every child is a super star to Hashem and to her parents.
Honestly, I put most of this on the teachers. There are 4 of them. Each one should be building up the quieter kids. Giving them leadership opportunities. Making group projects so the girls can develop friendships
The principal needs to be proactive. You can speak to her, and have her agree to be confidential, even to the teachers as to who is complaining. If she shares your name, the teachers might see it as a personal thing and that won’t be great for your daughter. I hope the principal can be trusted- if not, we have a way bigger problem. She should be on top of the situation, checking in with the the teachers, you and other parents to see if things are improving.
As an educator, that’s what I would do. This issue is not unique.
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nylon




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 6:28 pm
Yes, you need to call the school, even though your child asked you not to. She is embarrassed. You can explain to her that you do not want to break her trust, but that this is important to do.

This is a toxic dynamic that needs to be dealt with by the principal. It is going to poison the class, and it will last through 8th grade if it is not addressed properly now and the teachers are not taught more effective management techniques.

B"H in 5th when my oldest was being bullied the teacher stepped in. She told us "I was that bullied child, and I will never let it happen in my class". This meant so much to my dd who was a quiet child who didn't put herself forward.

It is all well and good to build up her confidence outside of class but she is going to go back into that environment every day. Meanwhile the mean girls are being taught that their behavior will be rewarded with privileges.
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amother




Vermilion
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 7:59 pm
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? 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?

Wish they would detuct points from tests / report cards for cruel behavior... it would put certain kids in their place fast!! Just as the weaker kids are expected to put in more effort in their school work kids who are weaker in good middos should be required to put in that extra effort
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amother




Lightgray
 

Post Thu, May 26 2022, 8:32 pm
Mean girls are so mean!

All of my children have had various levels of difficulties here and there over the years. Some of the more serious issues I have acted on by speaking to teacher and/or principal. None of them loved the idea that I spoke to a faculty member but they got over it. I think it's a universal opinion of all children that parents shouldn't speak up for their kids. Despite knowing that I will, if needed, directly address an issue with school, they still share issues with me and they know I would have no qualms about speaking up for them. They are older now and we are able to speak through issues together and they can work out a solution on their own or at least one we can both agree on if they need advice. Sometimes I'm just a sounding board but sometimes I suggest ideas or solutions. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, they have also learned that there is no shortage of drama and interpersonal difficulties in school-age and high school years and by logic, this carries over into adult life.
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