First, thanks to all the wonderful encouragement and responses. We’ve felt blessed to have good support from a lot of people since this came to light.
As of last Friday, Courtney talked to the school (two teachers and the principal), S’s grandma, and many other mothers at the school. Katherine’s teacher (Mrs. P) had no clue, but S’s teacher (Mrs. T) had some ideas that something was happening, though nothing in particular. The principal, Mr. J and a man both Courtney and I really like, summed up his response by basically saying, “I want names, I want to know who’s involved, and I’ll crush this.” Paraphrased of course, but that was the basic intent.
S’s grandma went after S pretty good apparently, and Friday afternoon S called Katherine to apologize. Sadly, that’s about where things stand with S. She and Katherine rarely play anymore, and grandma appears to be avoiding Courtney. We’re sad about that. Hopefully it’ll all come back together some day. We’ve really enjoyed knowing grandma and S.
We did run across S and her parents (divorced) while trick-or-treating on Halloween, and S and Katherine hugged and were fairly amicable, but when we talk to Katherine about who she played with, S is very rarely mentioned, which I find sad. She’s a good girl who was swayed by some friends.
Sunday, Courtney wrote a long letter to Mr. J explaining everything. That was delivered Monday. Today, Courtney got a call from Mr. J–did we mention we really like this guy? –giving her an update on where everything stood. He pulled in all the kids Courtney mentioned and figured out that:
- Yes, bullying was indeed happening
- Yes, Katherine took a lot of the brunt of that
- Yes, most of the bullying comes from Mrs. T’s class thinking they are better than the other classes
Armed with that information, he personally worked with the kids involved to resolve the issues. Mrs. T also instructed her entire class again on bullying and playground manners. I believe Mrs. P did as well.
But the part that I loved the most is that Mr. J went out of his way to find Katherine and give her a bit of one-on-one training on responses she could offer. He then did the same for us and gave us advice on how we can help Katherine better respond and stand up for herself.
Is it over? No. But for the huge bad rap that public school gets from so many people (myself included), I think it’s important to still recognize that there are many very qualified, passionate, and concerned people in public education who are doing remarkable jobs. We’re just blessed to have so many right around Katherine at such a critical time of life.