When a bully gets a citizenship award

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Rainbowbird, Jun 24, 2013.

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  1. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jun 24, 2013

    This is a story from my perspective as a parent, not a teacher.

    My daughter's school passes out about a dozen citizenship awards at the end of the school year. It is a big deal at the assembly. My dd is in 2nd grade, btw.

    Today, four of my daughter's closest friends got the award. As I watched these very sweet girls get their awards, I knew my DD was going to be disappointed, but I was happy that such good kids got it. Maybe next year it will be her turn, I thought.

    I was horrified when the next name called was a child who has been bullying/exhibiting mean behavior to my daughter and several other children for the past two years. I just thought it was a real slap in the face for my daughter, who is one of those sweet just wants to please everyone types, gets passed over, while the person who has been harassing her gets the award.

    When the assembly was over, my daughter was in tears and sobbing . I grabbed her hand to walk her over to her teacher, and briefly explained in code what was going on. I did let the teacher know that I was offended that a bully had been chosen. This other child is in another class, so was not nominated by my dd's teacher.

    I drove home on the verge of tears myself. I can deal with my daughter being passed over, although it is really hard that so many of her friends got it. But that is life. What really stings is that someone who has made her, and many other kids miserable, got it.

    Complaints from other parents about the other child have been made recently, so I don't think it is a case of rewarding and encouraging changing behavior.

    I am just venting here. I would call the p. but honestly, she is not known for her ability to solve or soothe in these situations and in fact, doesn't even usually return phone calls or emails. So I guess I just have to process this with my daughter and buck up her confidence.

    It just stinks!!!!!!!!

    P.S. just to clarify: the bully comes from an well to do family and the mom was in charge of piloting a math program at the school through the university. Just saying....
     
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  3. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    I don't understand; everyone received an award except for your daughter? Why did you feel in the right to be offended?
     
  4. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2013

    As a parent and teacher, I understand why she felt she had a right to be offended.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Well, I understand completely! I'm sure someone decided the parent deserved to be honored and the honor came through the child. My kids were passed over many times over the years. We continued to tell them that their reward would come in having successful lives, and that is indeed what is happening.
    I know I make sure my team takes these kinds of nominations seriously, and I would encourage you to keep track of all problems and insist that action is being taken.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    I think you're right in that this is the best thing you can do. Teach her that sometimes we don't agree with decisions that are made, but we have to accept the disappointment and move on without major complaining. Keep in mind it's possible the other student could have done something deserving of the award that you and the other parents who have complained are not aware of. Regardless, teaching your daughter how to move on is where your focus should probably be.
     
  7. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Jun 24, 2013

    Had you/other parents contacted administration about the bullying before the awards ceremony? Maybe the bully is very good at "playing school" and the teachers had no idea about the bully's double life.

    It really does stink how the world works. We held a raffle at our school for tickets earned during state testing week. The "big" prize for the raffle was an iPod touch. A student who was in my testing group won the big prize. He has the capacity to be a real "gentle giant". However, all his peers see is a judgmental and racist student. Teachers see a student who refuses to do any work and is frequently insubordinate. And he won. Many students (and teachers) were upset, but it was a good life lesson about how life really isn't fair. I know the principal had a long talk with him about how he needs to straighten up and prove himself worthy of that reward.
     
  8. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    This is a complete overreaction. As someone mentioned earlier, the student may have done something that the parents aren't aware of; you're making a huge assumption based on one tiny sliver of information that the parent earned the honor.

    I seriously don't understand the uproar here; it's a second grade award ceremony, and kids are being "crushed" by not getting a citizenship award?

    Take the bullying to the teacher, but don't expect the teacher to ask YOU who should and shouldn't get awards based on your perception of the eligible students.
     
  9. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Does your school have this child's bullying on record?

    When our VP has to deal with bullying type behaviors they are documented and put into the computer. Many times parents will call a teacher and say "so and so has been bullying my child for 2 years", then they look it up and it has never been brought to anyone's attention.

    If this child has been involved in these bullying situations before, and they are documented, I would be pretty annoyed too.
     
  10. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2013

    Perhaps if your experience was elementary, rather than high school, it would make more sense to you.
     
  11. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Yes, second grade! They're still little kids, and (believe it or not) have a hard time dealing with disappointment. Heck, I still feel it if I work really hard for something and don't reap the rewards and I'm in my mid twenties.

    Obviously, the OP's daughter is a hard worker and it was disappointing to her that she wasn't rewarded for that. You may look back and say, "psht..second grade. It's not like it's Harvard!" But to her, it is. She doesn't have the life experience to understand that this is one unfortunate moment of many to come, and she should take it in stride. All she knows is right now she's disappointed.

    I can't believe you're having a hard time grasping WHY she would be upset......:dizzy:
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 24, 2013

    Having actually read what is in the first post, I'm quite sure that the OP's unhappiness isn't because her daughter didn't get an award.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    It's totally okay to be annoyed, irritated, even angry. Maybe even sad for your daughter... or yourself. I imagine I probably would have a mix of emotions that include some or all of those if I were in your situation. However, your role as a parent should not be to teach your daughter that it's okay to accuse the teacher, principal, or whoever was in charge of the awards of rigging the system. You should not teach her that it's okay to argue and complain about the outcome of the awards. What you should be teaching her is that it is okay to feel disappointment and that there are healthy and appropriate ways of dealing with it. Children are not learning this enough these days.
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    From my point of view, even in extreme cases, all kids have been mean and kind. A bully got that way not through multiple experiences of warm connection but rather by the opposite: disconnection.

    To the OP, your daughter is lucky to have a mother who will help her process her emotions. Truly, good on you for not telling her Life Ain't Fair or the opposite, You Were Robbed!
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    As a grandparent, parent, and teacher, I understand the OP's frustration. For four of the past five years, I had admins who were of the "everyone receives an award, regardless of behavior, etc." mindset, and imposed it on the teachers. I now have an admin who insists that awards only go to those students who earn them.

    The OP's objection was NOT that her daughter did not receive an award. Rather, it was that a child who did not exhibit good citizen behaviors WAS given an award that was not earned. While I agree with the cautions mentioned by other people (not to teach the child to accuse someone of favoritism, etc.), it is my belief that the OP came to AtoZ to vent, not have someone rant at her. JMHO
     
  16. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    There's plenty of disagreement on these boards. One doesn't have to be abrasive or antagonistic to disagree.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    ^^Like!^^
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    :yeahthat:
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jun 24, 2013

    even though my initial reaction was outrage (especially since I was a "quiet, sweet kid" like your daughter who has been bullied relentlessly before) I tried to think what could have gone through my fellow educator's mind to let a bully get good citizenship. My thoughts:

    1. It's nepatism (the whole thing you said about the bully's mom starting a program at your school)

    2. The bully has shown significant improvement and their teacher wants to "encourage" them to keep going

    3. Different teachers have different expectations and standards. What your daughter's teacher considers misbehavior and "bullying" the other child's teacher may chalk it up to "kids being kids" (even if it's anything but).

    I think you did the right thing to let the homeroom teacher know. If I were you I might be tempted to send the other teacher an email, but that really is dependent upon how you feel.

    You can perhaps shoot the P a kindly worded email about the situation and even if she does nothing, at least it's documented.

    Please give your daughter a :hugs: tonight. I'm sure she's a great kid and it stinks that she had to go through this
     
  20. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    You probably don't know this since you haven't been here long, but many members come to AtoZ to vent. They often get lots of sympathy/empathy too.

    Sometimes they don't, but when they don't, most responders are generally kind in explaining their opposing opinions on the situation. Believe it or not, most people are much more responsive to opposing opinions when they're presented in kind, respectful manner.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Is their any record of this bully's behaviors?

    If a child is bullying over the course of a few years, bullying various children, there should be a record of it.
     
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