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I Cannot Go To My Daughters Graduation

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posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 05:29 PM
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Last year, Ellie (my daughters friend) and my daughter were having trouble with a group of bullies (all boys) at school while Ellie was staying with us. The ring leader, we'll call him Gus, is Ellie's age but he was held back a year. He is violent and has physically harmed Ellie in the past. Ellie was mostly the target for this pack of boys and as long as she and her father didn't want to do anything there wasn't much I could do. All of the major incidents with Ellie did not occur while she was staying with us. Oh, and one more dynamic to add, this boy comes from a very wealthy and influential family within this small community.

This did start to bleed over to my daughter toward the end of last year. There was a great deal of verbal harassment (nothing sexual) that escalated into throwing paper stuff in her direction. It happened toward the end of the year. Hoping to ride it out, I told her to ignore it unless it got physical. Now, my daughter is two grades above Gus, and one year older, but she is 5'2" and 110 lbs. Also, this is not the first boy who has harassed and bullied her. The last time, when she was in the eighth grade and she was shoved to the ground. Same school (Jr. High and High School all in the same building), mostly the same teachers and same senior administration (Principal, Superintendent, Guidance Counselor).

At the beginning of this school year, like day 2 of the year, it started again; verbal harassment and throwing things, this time including pencils and spit balls. I talked to the guidance counselor, explaining there was a history of harassment with these boys and that she was afraid of them. She blew me off and gave me the standard, boys will be boys. I said that I wanted it as a matter of record though. She said ok. My daughter said the Principal talked to her, and also said boys will be boys.

So fast forward a few months and this kid Gus throws a shoe and hits her in the back. Hard. Left a small bruise. So, I went to the cops. I wanted to file an assault charge. The cops said nothing can be done because of jurisdictional issues on school grounds. So, we go to the school and ask to talk to the Principal. This is where it gets really fun.

We walk in. I didn't say anything confrontational and I was very careful about my tone of voice. The Principal seems to think that is his cue to be a dismissive and demeaning. Saying that Gus isn't that big (honestly, I had only glimpsed the kid in his truck so I had no idea) and downplaying any of his behavior. II try this approach for a little bit and realize that conciliatory was only making him think he can walk over the top of me, so I firm up my tone. And then... he starts yelling. I mean blows his cork and says that all that I want is to have the kid expelled and I won't accept anything else which isn't true. I lost my temper here and yelled back, telling him I would like him expelled but that was unlikely to happen so we might have to pull her out her senior year. He said "Go ahead". To which I responded that it was interesting to me that Gus's well being and education was clearly a greater priority to him than my daughters. And further speculated that I wondered if that had something to do with his being on the football time (the Principal is also the football coach). Needless to say... More yelling.

At the end of the meeting he apologized but added that he didn't like my body language when I came in the room and it made him "defensive". Even he knew that he had escalated the situation and he was trying to cover his ass. We go immediately to the Superintendent after this meeting, who also felt it was assault and it should be something law enforcement deals with. I also told him that the Principal and I have a personality conflict and that we probably shouldn't be in the same room together.

We needed to get our daughters homework, which we gathered, except for one teacher. He was teaching a class and asked us to come back later. Which was fine. So we walk out the front office and I tell the ladies there that we will be back in about 40 minutes to get the rest. We come back, come in the front, I made eye contact with the front desk but didn't say "Hi". Now, I have never, ever signed in to walk into that building. I don't know anyone who has. You say "Hi Janice" at the most, presumably they write you in, and that's the end of it. We walk down to the math teachers room and he walks us back to where he can make a photo copy of her work in the teachers lounge. This is right across the hall from the gym. My daughter says "Look there is Gus". I peer across the hall to get a look at the kid she is pointing out. We are talking and I am trying to figure out which one he is. Suddenly, there is a big guy next to me (vice principal, I find out later) who asks "Can I help you". I say "No. We are just waiting on a homework assignment". He stays there until we get her assignment and we leave.

So, they do their investigation and the Principal calls my daughter and at home to get her version of events. This went fine. They decide that he didn't mean to hit her with a shoe. Surprise. But they still made a no contact order between them. Which is fine. Maybe it was on purpose, maybe it wasn't but at least there is something on the books and he has to leave her alone now.

However...

For the final meeting to resolve this situation it was the Principal, the guidance counselor and my husband in a room with me on the phone, conferenced in. At the end of the rundown of their findings, conclusion and game plan for the future, I call the Principal on his behavior in our first meeting and the guidance counselor on her failure to make a record of the situation. They did not like that, but people weren't screaming at each other... yet...

Then, the Principal (who is now rather pi$$Y) proceeded to add his own "however" and told me that I did not check in at the office and they saw me near Gus, and they knew that I was going to assault him, which is why they sent to vice principal to stop me. (Now, bear in mind that at no time did I intend to confront that child let alone assault him. Nor, was there any indication that I intended to assault this child. So this was pretty outrageous.) Because they take their responsibility to protect children so seriously, from now on I would only be allowed into the building after checking in at the office and with an escort of a responsible adult at all times.

I was floored. I told him I would not allow him to imply criminal intent to me with no proof of such. He talked over me. I said it louder. He started screaming. He said "With your temperament, you are no longer even allowed into the building". I told him that I could see why boys in this school regularly bully girls since he was modeling bullying behavior. He said "I just can't talk to her anymore" and I was no longer part of that meeting. Click.

More to come...




posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 05:50 PM
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The next day my husband went to the Principal and presented to him my own accounting of situation and while I admitted that I was wrong to not check in and that it was a lapse in judgement to let my daughter point Gus out to me and further, that I appreciated the effort they made in resolving the conflict between the children and their responsibility to the safety of the children in their care, I in no way intended to harm a child and that I wanted a written apology to that effect. The Principal also said the he never said that I was no longer allowed in the building, which even my husband knew was a lie, but he didn't call him on it. The Principal agreed to write the apology. He said that was reasonable.

I told my husband there was no way he was going to do that. He was going to recharge over the weekend and stew on it and admit nothing. My husband said that I didn't understand, they (the Principal and the guidance counselor) were exhausted.

So, Monday morning, my husband rolls in to pick up the written apology and the Principal won't even see him. He had the office hand him a written policy restatement that they take their responsibility very seriously. Also, it was verbally communicated by the office that if I am "upset" I am supposed to have a responsible adult with me.

We went to Superintendent, with our concerns saying that there was a significant conflict with the Principal and at this point I wanted written confirmation that I was allowed into the building and I still wanted a written apology for inferring criminal intent on my part. Which Superintendent agreed to provide. What we got from him was an apology for any "confusion" about whether or not I was allowed access into the building (please note, still not clarifying whether or not I was actually allowed into the building) and they looked forward to having a good relationship with us in the future.

So, there is verbal communication that I am either not to enter the building at all or I am to have an escort of a responsible adult if I am "upset" but no written clarification on which is the policy they are sticking too, or exactly what "upset" means. As an aside, this last stipulation seems rather contradictory to me. They have so little faith in my ability for self regulation that I need an escort and yet they are relying upon my assessment of what "upset" is. Weird.

To me, it seems clear that they know full well that the Principal was the provocative party in this situation so they must present me as a loony that would assault a kid. Also, they are also playing favorites because the safety and well being of my daughter doesn't seem to be a priority compared to Gus. Also, they have not done their due diligence in documenting the harassment and abuse my daughter has received even though they said that they would. I believe that they are devious and petty enough to haul me out of that school if I so much as step foot in it. So, I will not be attending my daughters graduation as it would be a scene that would be even worse than my lack of attendance would be. That is, unless I can get written clarification that I am allowed into the building even if it is under very specific circumstances (i.e. with an escort and please define "upset").



edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Why didn't your husband handle this? I'm not trying to be an ass in asking this, just being realistic. If a boy bedeviled my daughter, then a principal and vice principal stood up for the boy, I'm not sure any of the three would be physically able to walk after I was done. That aside, make a beautician appointment, have your hair cut and dyed and dress yourself in a manner opposite to what you usually dress (i.e. tomboy it if you're usually gussied up or gussy it up if you're a sweats and t-shirt type of gal) and attend the graduation as your daughter's "Aunt whatever". Eff the system as often as the opportunity presents itself.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 05:59 PM
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As a male who was considered a core player,I can absolutely believe this "principal/coach" was protecting his talent, and even more likely the "talents" parents donation to the booster club..

People who have never been involved in high school sports politics do not/cannot understand how cutthroat the atmosphere is..

I feel for your daughter the most.. she will be the one facing the brunt of the inevitable "retribution".

I wish you good luck with this.

Respectfully,
~meathead


edit on 6-4-2018 by Mike Stivic because: homeschool to highschool.. that was weird



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Whoa sorry for the **** you been through.

I remember a story about Liam Neeson who happened to be on teacher training at the time when a student of his pulled out a knife and started threatening people. Neeson punched the perp but got in trouble by the staff.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: redhorse
What burdman30ott6 said. Look different, say you're her aunt and go.

From the little I know, graduations are a big thing in the US for parent and child and I don't see how they can reasonably stop you coming. Or maybe your husband could be the "responsible adult" that accompanies you. Problem solved, path of least resistance and soon you won't have to deal with it any more.

I wish you much success whatever path you choose. Sounds like a weird school.

edit on 6/4/18 by LightSpeedDriver because: Correction



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: redhorse

Why didn't your husband handle this? I'm not trying to be an ass in asking this, just being realistic. If a boy bedeviled my daughter, then a principal and vice principal stood up for the boy, I'm not sure any of the three would be physically able to walk after I was done. That aside, make a beautician appointment, have your hair cut and dyed and dress yourself in a manner opposite to what you usually dress (i.e. tomboy it if you're usually gussied up or gussy it up if you're a sweats and t-shirt type of gal) and attend the graduation as your daughter's "Aunt whatever". Eff the system as often as the opportunity presents itself.


Your solution was the same as my friends. Hilarious. Great minds I guess. I might do just that.

As far as my husband, I admit that I'm not very happy with him about this. He should have shouldered up on this and instead he left it almost entirely up to me to defend our daughter and then threw me under the bus when they tried to pull their crap. He doesn't like confrontation and I know that, but there are times when it is very frustrating.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Wait what??

"As far as my husband, I admit that I'm not very happy with him about this. He should have shouldered up on this and instead he left it almost entirely up to me to defend our daughter and then threw me under the bus when they tried to pull their crap. He doesn't like confrontation and I know that, but there are times when it is very frustrating."


A. Things didn't happen quite the way you remember them OR....

B. Your husband is useless.

I could not even fathom not having my wifes back, ESPECIALLY if she was in the right and regarding one of my kids, much less " throw her under the bus".



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:22 PM
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originally posted by: LightSpeedDriver
a reply to: redhorse
What burdman30ott6 said. Look different, say you're her aunt and go.

From the little I know, graduations are a big thing in the US for parent and child and I don't see how they can reasonably stop you coming. Or maybe your husband could be the "responsible adult" that accompanies you. Problem solved, path of least resistance and soon you won't have to deal with it any more.

I wish you much success whatever path you choose. Sounds like a weird school.


It is a weird school. Lots of people have pulled their kids out of there and are commuting 30 or 40 or even 50 miles to smaller schools with fewer resources or just home schooling. It's crazy.

My husband said that the hospital offered some first aid and stop the bleed training and the school got pi$$y. Told them "No thanks, we have it handled" basically with a decided "What? You don't think we know what we're doing" attitude. It's just bizarre.
edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:25 PM
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originally posted by: SituationNAFU
a reply to: redhorse

Wait what??

"As far as my husband, I admit that I'm not very happy with him about this. He should have shouldered up on this and instead he left it almost entirely up to me to defend our daughter and then threw me under the bus when they tried to pull their crap. He doesn't like confrontation and I know that, but there are times when it is very frustrating."


A. Things didn't happen quite the way you remember them OR....

B. Your husband is useless.

I could not even fathom not having my wifes back, ESPECIALLY if she was in the right and regarding one of my kids, much less " throw her under the bus".


He absolutely supports my version of events. He was there. It happened like I said. The Principal responded to me exactly like I said and he said exactly what I said he did. My husband admits he heard the same things I did. He just says "We need to compromise". I think "useless" is a bit harsh but there are definitely times he needs to square up. This is one of those.
edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Wow.......... I meant to say as well, I am sorry for your situation, that totally sucks. Hope you figure something out. I stand by my opinion though, but I took " In sickness and in health, till death do us part" to also mean, " I got your back baby" ( I would add " no matter what" but there are obviously situations that justify having to leave/ turn your back on your partner, but this isn't one of them IMHO).

Once again, good luck, hope it works out for ya.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:48 PM
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I am seething angry for you after reading this. The principal, guidance counselor, assistant principal, Janice in the front office- all of them should be fired and be thankful you're not involving a newscaster who is itching to do an expose on corrupt high school principals and coaches. Maybe you should reach out to your nearest large city TV station.

Go to that graduation, and DO NOT CHANGE YOURSELF to go! You do NOT have to dress like a tomboy or get gussied up so people don't recognize you. That is effing insulting


Would someone say that to a man? "dude, wear different clothes, and don't shave that day so they don't recognize you." No, they would say "dude, that's your daughter, you have every right to be there, walk in there with your nuts out and your dick swinging and show 'em who's boss rah rah rah" AND that's what men usually do (except maybe your husband, more on him in a minute). You are her MOTHER, you have no restraining order or official injunction to stay away. They have NO right, at this point, to keep you away and they know it. Go to her graduation and just pretend that nothing is wrong with that effed up place. Focus on your daughter.

Your husband needs to grow a pair. I would be so physically turned off by him, if he were my man, for his absolute impotence in this situation and his absolute lack of defense of his wife and child.

Leave this page open so he stumbles across the comments about him in this thread. Or just tell him to read the thread. He has failed in his duty as a father and husband on this one. Does he have any testosterone in his body? Or any integrity?

You and your daughter deserve support and im sorry the hubbs isn't giving it. You've done well, mom, for your daughter on this one and you can hold your head high. Thank heaven she is done with that school soon.
edit on 6-4-2018 by KansasGirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 06:58 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Imo it's he said, she said. Without hearing a post from the principal we have to take what you've said at face value. Your version is biased because you are protecting your interests, and his would be biased towards his. The real situation lies somewhere in between.

I'm not trying to bash you, but I don't doubt you came in to his office with a chip, I've seen it enough in my experience from angry women. Why shouldn't he try to maintain control of his standing in his office, in his school? If you escslated the situation by raising your tone, I hardly think he can be blamed for taking it to the next step too. Did you expect him to cry instead or what?

How would you react if he came into your workplace and started giving you lip that was escalating?

Sorry to say but your daughter and her friend weren't targeted for this type of bullying at random, perhaps you should ask them for the whole truth as to why they are in the crosshairs of this young man.

You may or may not be surprised about what they are holding back telling you, similar to what you could be holding back in your series of events...
edit on 6-4-2018 by hombero because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: hombero




Sorry to say but your daughter and her friend weren't targeted for this type of bullying at random, perhaps you should ask them for the whole truth as to why they are in the crosshairs of this young man. 


This folks is victim blaming at its finest..

Some girls mature faster than others,some boys never learn how to court women past the pig tail pulling age..

It's not rocket science.

OP, get a consultation with a lawyer , not for a lawsuit necessarily , but to be come acquainted with the laws pertaining to a law abiding citizen with no standing restraining order being barred from a graduation ceremony of there progeny.. in your state.

Bottem line your daughter did nothing wrong and you have every RIGHT to be there to watch And beam with pride as she moves on to the next step in her life..

Respectfully,
~meathead

edit on 6-4-2018 by Mike Stivic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 07:17 PM
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originally posted by: hombero
a reply to: redhorse

Imo it's he said, she said. Without hearing a post from the principal we have to take what you've said at face value. Your version is biased because you are protecting your interests, and his would be biased towards his. The real situation lies somewhere in between.

I'm not trying to bash you, but I don't doubt you came in to his office with a chip, I've seen it enough in my experience from angry women. Why shouldn't he try to maintain control of his standing in his office, in his school? If you escslated the situation by raising your tone, I hardly think he can be blamed for taking it to the next step too. Did you expect him to cry instead or what?

How would you react if he came into your workplace and started giving you lip that was escalating?

Sorry to say but your daughter and her friend weren't targeted for this type of bullying at random, perhaps you should ask them for the whole truth as to why they are in the crosshairs of this young man.

You may or may not be surprised about what they are holding back telling you, similar to what you could be holding back in your series of events...


I had a chip. Sure. But I was very careful about what I said. I was trying to defuse the situation, which he took as a cue to be a dismissive, condescending, demeaning ass. He started yelling first. Believe me or not.

Those girls are small, quiet, shy, and nerdy. They were targeted because they are soft targets. Those boys are on the football team and big. They have no business physically assaulting girls half their size. The fact that you seem to think that is ok is disgusting. Victim blame away though. That tells me all I need to know about you.
edit on 6-4-2018 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: Mike Stivic

I think it was likely less the boy than it was the parents. If they are rich and influential in a small town, never underestimate the power of that.

I've seen coaches play entire teams of "talents" who are anything but unless you look at their last names.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

My only advice to you is to document, document, document everything, every interaction and find a lawyer if you must.

Also, maybe self-defense training for the young ladies? Something to improve their confidence? Half the battle to avoid being bullied is confidence. Bullies don't want to pick on people they think might stand up to them.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I know all to well and agree



I've seen it first hand. Some kids are above the law in their town .
Whether it's "old money" "old history" influence or just a great player.

These coaches and athletic directors are willing to sweep a lot under the rug for the sake of a championship or to make sure the booster fund donations keep rolling in..

When the coach or athletic director is also the principal.. it becomes a huge conflict of interest pitting disciplinary action vs a winning season or a chance at state..

Trust me I get it..

:down:

Respectfully,
~meathead



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 08:05 PM
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Your first mistake was trying to go through the school. You should have contacted the parents directly. Secondly you should have recorded all contact with the principal. They are only there to make sure the school looks good from the outside.

Third mistake was not having your daughter go to the principal herself. There should be a no tolerance policy to bullying. She herself would have set forth an investigation.

Emotions are what got you banned from the school.



posted on Apr, 6 2018 @ 08:15 PM
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a reply to: redhorse
I'd go if they haven't said you can't.
You can go on paper, you're just choosing not to.




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