My 12 year old is being sexually harassed by a boy with Down's syndrome......ETA:UPDATE II
.....along with a few of her friends and the school is not only doing nothing to protect them but is instead, get this.....punishing them.
Apparently this boy started at least a year ago harassing one of my daughter's friends. First it seemed innocent....he would tell her he loved her, follow her everywhere, sort of like a puppy dog type thing. Annoying but not threatening.
Then he started physically slapping her on the butt and breasts. His harassment became decidedly sexual in nature. It was constant. Her mother complained multiple times and was told that there was nothing they could do.
This boy has been both verbally and physically sexually abusive towards this girl and subsequently my daughter and at least one other girl (all in 7th grade). This has been done in front of teachers, his aide, they have informed everyone they were supposed to inform and lately, this has blown up into a major incident with the girls and one of their male friends (got involved because he witnessed it too many times and decided to complain) getting punished or threatened to be punished. They were told they were making it all up to "get back at him". They were told THEY were the bullies.
From what I understand (and yes, I realize that this is my daughter's perspective but let me make it clear....she is the type to stand up to bullies, not the bullying type at all) this boy insists on sitting with them and they no longer tolerate it so they move. I would guess that they don't try to be nice anymore. My daughter didn't mention any mean words being spoken to this boy but even if they were, I can understand it at this point. These kids are not being protected from being verbally and physically assaulted. They just want to be left alone, to feel safe in a place they spend most of their day at.
I found out about this after school yesterday so there isn't anything I can do until Monday. The girl's mother is going to go through the courts to file a restraining order. The school is launching a full investigation....finally. The girl who is the main object of this boy's affection, has dealt with this for far too long, has cried repeatedly about this and has been threatened by one lady in particular who they have been forced to deal with and who punished the boy who is the girls' friend (I am guessing because he finally got nasty but I don't know the full story). This lady keeps telling the kids that they are the bullies and that there is nothing they can do about the boy's behavior.
I don't get pissed off real easily.....but when I do it isn't always pretty. And I am getting really pissed off. This is wrong on so many levels.
My daughter finally approached her favorite teacher and he suggested that they each write a letter....but was quick to tell them not to mention that it was his idea. That's what my daughter showed me yesterday when she came home....its a bit sloppy (she realized some typos and errors and was horrified) but I thought very well written. I may even post it here because I think its very powerful. Her friend texted her and said that her mom had heard from the principal and apparently they are angry at these letters, not at the injustice for these girls but that they wrote them in the first place. Not horrified that this has been allowed to happen but angry that the girls would write this.
I know I still have more to find out about the specifics of why this has blown back on the kids who have been the victims of this boy as well as why they don't feel they need to protect the girls from him, but I know enough to know that these girls did everything in their power, went to all the people at the school they thought were supposed to protect them and instead of being protected, they were threatened and accused of being bullies themselves.
I'm almost looking forward to Monday. That school won't know what hit them.
ETA: Unbelievable. That's all I can say. I have been playing phone tag with the principal. The lady who has been the main one handling this, the one who has accused the girls of being the bullies (lets call her Mrs.G), is still accusing the kids of lying, insisting that they are the ones bullying the boy. Yesterday, my daughter came home saying that Mrs. G had once again called her down and ended up calling my daughter a liar and making her cry. She also told my daughter that all her friends are accusing her of being the main bully and my daughter subsequently found out that Mrs. G told the other kids the same thing...trying to create a rift between friends. Mrs. G apparently told all the other parents that our kids will be required to attend a harassment class. I have told my daughter that she is no longer allowed to have contact with Mrs. G and I have informed the principal of this as well. I also left a message first thing this morning stating that if my daughter is harassed one more time, I will immediately go to the police and have them handle it. I have no desire to talk to this woman.....she has backed herself in a corner and is obviously trying to cover her ass.
The other parents are beside themselves and are out for blood. I am still hoping that we can avoid law enforcement, lawyers and court. The fact that Mrs. G is still being allowed to deal with this when she has handled it as badly as she has is incredible.
My daughter said that this boy's behavior has been witnessed by countless kids. So I told her to ask as many as she can to give a statement and sign their name to attest to that fact. I am concerned that if this blows up even more the girls are going to be betrayed as the mean bullies harassing a poor ds kid and I want to make sure that there is plenty of documentation (there already is- like 3 years worth but its apparently not enough!) to prove this boy's abusive behavior.
My head is spinning with disbelief. I will let you know what happens after I talk to the principal.
ETA II: Okay, admittedly I don't want to go into too many details....too tired and lazy plus one of the parents has had no choice but to hire an attorney, not only because her son was unjustly accused and the school was threatening severe punishment but even more because she thinks the HIB charge will stay on his record.
We are really talking about two different but related things: one is ongoing assault by a ds boy for three years on various girls, verbal, sexual and physical in nature. My daughter was a victim just beginning this year, their first year of middle school. The mom of the first girl he started victimizing in 5th grade has made many, many complaints. The first I had realized how serious it was, was the day my daughter brought home the letter. I had no idea it had continued after she had told me the first time months ago.
The second issue is an incident that happened at lunch several weeks ago. A group of 11 kids including my daughter and several of her friends, one of them a boy we'll call D, were sitting at two tables. The ds boy as well, something that shouldn't have happened because he was not supposed to be allowed to sit near the girls. The ds boy said an inappropriate phrase and D repeated it back to him incredulously. Another boy heard D say it, not the ds boy, reported it and this led to a full blown bullying investigation with the end result being the testimony of the kids who heard the ds boy say the phrase first were told they weren't telling the truth. D was originally kicked off the basketball team (subsequently put back on), told he would have his gpa lowered (I believe also retracted and can they even do that??), a Saturday detention that happened to be on his birthday and worse of all, an HIB charge on his record.
Some kids heard the ds boy say it first (my daughter was one of them) and some didn't. Mrs. G proceeded to call my daughter a liar.
I talked to the principal and he was virtually no help. He wouldn't tell me what Mrs. G said and Mrs. G never returned any of my emails or calls. He stood by her investigation and methods, emphasized that my daughter was not considered a culprit just a witness to the event but that her testimony was wrong in several places, claimed that the day the girls wrote their letters was the first day he found out about the assaults and agreed that I should call the cops if it happened again.
The superintendent has received a copy of every email my daughter's friends mom has sent. The school board is known to the other moms and they are doubtful that they will be any help....they have closed ranks. I seriously thought shit like this only happened in movies.
Let me make this clear.....none of the parents wanted it to go this far. We are in disbelief that it has gone this far. We wanted the school to handle it and they botched it beyond imagining with the kids being the victims. Some of us have been more than patient, this poor girl and her mom dealing with this for three years. We don't want to traumatize these kids anymore than they already have and the ds boy shouldn't have to be either....the idea of getting the cops and attorneys involved breaks my heart because it is so ridiculously unnecessary. Media for me would be an absolutely last resort because I think that could be traumatizing for the kids.
I'm hoping that the threat of police action and the mama lions finally roaring has gotten them to take the boy's assaults seriously and I truly hope that the school realizes that Mrs. G in her first year as an administrator in this school (she was a teacher in the school district I moved from 2 years ago and taught two of my other kids ironically enough) has a lot of learnin' to do before she is ever entrusted with kids' safety and HIB investigations. Everyone at that school should be learning from how horribly they botched this and treated the kids but my experience so far has pretty much obliterated hope of that happening.