Saturday, October 22, 2011

Talking to our daughters

Elli, first day of 5th grade
I debated on whether I should blog about this or not. Obviously I decided to.

Last week Elli came home from school and told me a little story that shocked me and Don.

It went something like this.

"Mom, two boys at school said something to me today that was totally disgusting." she said.

"Okay. What did they say." I asked.

"Well, we were sitting at the lunch table and one of the boys said I was BJ'ing the other." 

"THEY SAID WHAT???!!" I said.

"He asked me if I knew what BJ was." she said. "I told him it was a restaurant at the mall. But they said it was something else. They told me what it was." (And here's where she tells me in graphic detail what they told her.) UGH.

Her reaction? "GROSS! I would never do that! It's disgusting. Ickkkkkk." she said.

I'm sure her reaction was just what the boys were hoping for. They continued to tease her telling her she was BJ'ing one of the boys. They said it over, and over, and over again. They wouldn't stop.

She didn't tell a lunch monitor and she didn't tell a teacher.

She just let them tease her.

I told her what they said was completely inappropriate and she should never let anyone speak to her this way. My reaction scared her a little. But I was shocked and disturbed. They're so young.

"Elli, we need to tell the parents. What they said is not right. Their parents need to know." I told her.

"Why didn't you tell a teacher?" I asked.

She didn't want to get anyone in trouble.

"Why didn't you move to another lunch table?"

She said once they sit down they are not allowed to move. It's the rule.

**sigh**

I thought about this for a nanosecond and told Elli I was going to send the parents an email right then. She thought this was a good idea. She didn't try to talk me out of it. That was when I knew what they said made her really uncomfortable.

I shot off a note to all four parents. And then the principal. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. A few hours later I got an email from one of the mothers. She spoke with the family of the other boy and was emailing me on their behalf too. She was mortified and wanted both boys to apologize to Elli immediately with all parents present. I asked if it could be a private apology with the kids and their teacher. We didn't want all her friends and the other kids to start asking questions about what was up.

The next morning I talked to the teacher and the principal. They were not happy and took this very, very seriously. This falls under Sexual Harassment. And it's not tolerated in school. Period.

The teacher spoke with Elli and told her if anyone ever speaks to her this way to call attention to a teacher. She is not to let anyone say things like this to her - it's not appropriate and it falls under sexual harassment. She shouldn't be scared or worried she'll get someone in trouble. 

I never thought about talking to Elli about stuff like this. Not yet anyway. She's in fifth grade. She's not even 10 yet.

Unfortunately, they're the age where kids are trying out bad language, and they're learning about sex and the body.

It's an absolute necessity to talk to our daughters about this. They need to know how to respond. Elli knows what to do now.

Please talk to your daughters so they know what to do.

6 comments:

  1. ---I work for the schools. This is Sexual Harassment.
    One needs to talk w/ their sons' about this, as well.
    You did the right thing. x

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  2. You're right. It's something we need to discuss with the boys and the girls.

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  3. Everything happens earlier and faster now. Thanks for the heads up. Not looking forward to it but a good reminder!

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  4. Kris, thank you for writing about this VERY important topic. It is shocking how early all of this stuff starts.

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  5. Hi Kris.........I remember walking home from school in 5th grade when one of my friends decided to tell me how babies were made. The stork idea sure seemed simplier, but the fact was it was not the truth. My mother explained everything at lunch...at that point I was never going to talk to a boy again that would do THAT to me.
    Some of these things the kids encounter at school give you the opportunity to clarify what it is that they were told.. Not necessarily in great detail, but enough to educate them so they aren't blindsided again. Believe me, there will be more, but the first crude exposure is the worst. Listen to waht she's telling you and try to stay one step ahead. Get a good book from the library...read up on what's next.......it will help.........or call Mimi....I talked to all 4 kids....plus a foster child........they all turned out great.
    Love you and good luck!
    Mom

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  6. Thanks for all the feedback everyone. It's been an interesting few weeks! Lots of comments from friends. No one had talked to their kids about this yet. Most have now.

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Thanks for your feedback!

~Kris

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