Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Third Grade Terror

Ok, I have to vent and since this is my blog and you all are a captive audience, here I go.

I know my kid is not a saint. She isn't an angel. However, another third grade terror is making her life miserable. She started tormenting Sara last year. She decided she was too cool to be friends with Sara and let the whole world know it. Sara learned to give this little terror her space but it really upset her that someone so actively disliked her. She made a few feeble attempts to befriend her only to get shot down (rudely) at every turn. This year, they are thrown in the same class again. The torment has gotten more aggressive and sophisticated. Sara is to keep her distance and not even speak to this girl. She has Sara so terrified Sara is afraid to even sit next to certain kids on the bus for fear of upsetting the little demon. Sara has stopped asking kids to play at recess because she knows invariably the response will be "I would but, #@$^& wouldn't like it". I'm sorry, who elected this little terror queen of the classroom, bus and playground?

I am all for kids working out their own problems and learning to stand up for themselves. I know my daughter must learn that, throughout her life, there will be people who simply do not like her. She needs to learn to shrug it off and move on. But, come on. How do I explain to a 7 year-old girl that this little girl borders on evil and Sara needs to wave some garlic at her?

The school promotes an anti-bullying environment. The teachers have materials all over the classroom to encourage kindness and inclusion but clearly these messages are lost on this kid. How does an 8 year-old decide it is ok to act this way and wield this much power over another kid who has never don't anything but try to be her friend? Did her parents convince her that she is so special and wonderful that she simply doesn't need to acknowledge people she doesn't approve of? Have they thought about teaching this kid to be kind to everyone? Have they stopped to ask how they would feel if their kid were treated like something someone stepped in? I can tell them from my parental experience, it is miserable. When your child comes off the bus in tears because her nemesis is convincing other kids to exclude her as well, your heart breaks and you want to fix it. But, how do you fix someone else's child?

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