I have been quiet because we have been struggling. We are so frustrated with the daily junk that Larissa is dealing with. It is not unusual for someone to say something negative to her, "bump" into her and now the boys have noticed her so the sexual harassment has started.
She came home one day complaining that a boy told her he wanted to have sex with her in the bathroom, when she refused he called her a whore. She didn't even know what it meant. We have been having to do a lot of education lately so that she can understand what is being said to her. She is in the 5th grade.
I don't normally call parents because I find that it just doesn't help. Too many just claim that their child wouldn't do that. With this boy I was told about a video as well so I did reach out to her. Well, I was told that her child wouldn't do that.
She complained to her teacher and I talked to the school therapist as well.
The therapist called them in separately and together. She asked Larissa if anyone else heard him. He said he didn't do it. The therapist said she would talk to some other kids. Larissa came home that day in tears. She said that she didn't know why she bothered to say anything, that he sat there and lied and she felt so stupid. They said that she shouldn't have gone near him on the playground where she says it happened.
Well, thankfully some other kids did hear it. But what if no one had? I understand that you can't take one child's word over another but you should take steps to protect a child who is complaining of sexual harassment.
I have called the school several times and emailed about the bullying and all they tell me is that they don't see it. Well, the kid who called her hair poop admitted it to them. One kid who was stealing from her and giving her a hard time has stopped because I ran into him and his mom at Walmart, I knew her! We talked and she said to let her know if there are any more problems. So some of the kids have stopped but not all.
Yesterday Larissa came home so mad. Her hair was crazy and she was on a rant. She said that he came up to her and was yelling at her. She yelled back that if he keeps treating women the way he does he will never have a girlfriend. Their teacher got mad and told them to just get along and brought them in from recess.
I feel like I am watching a child go through steps of grief or something. I have talked to the middle school teacher whose classroom she will be in next year. Anthony is in it now. She said that at the beginning of the year they have a lot of behavioral problems but as the school year progresses they either go to different schools, get expelled or even to jail. By December most of the problem kids have been weeded out. Oh my! Not a good environment for her. The boy she is having problems with now will be in her class.
We have looked at other school options and there aren't many because of her learning disabilities. In Columbia they have a great school that would be ideal for her, it costs $25,000/year! We can't afford that! I am talking to smaller Christian schools but private schools aren't really prepared for kids with IEP's. It is looking like her options are her middle school or homeschooling.
I feel that I know why she is having so many problems and many of them I can't do anything about. She was homeschooled and she doesn't have a "pack" of friends to hang with and offer protection, she is very quiet, she doesn't know how to respond, she sticks out being so tall and skinny and finally her skin tone. Today we took all the kids to check out a local karate place that has an emphasis on defusing and preventing bullying. I like their program so all the kids will start after dance recital is over. We are working on boosting her self confidence. Many of the other things we can't do anything about. It is frustrating and hard to watch.
If anyone has suggestions on ways to deal with bullying and sexual harassment let me know!