Whether the following story is authentic or not, the moral behind it is that we should always stand up for our family, even when the system seems to fail us and when everyone we try to reach out to about our problems falls on deaf ears, just like one mother did.
I’m an ER Nurse. We’re not allowed to keep our phones on us, they’re to be kept in our lockers. A call comes into hospital reception on a private line for me. Phone: “This is (teacher) from (school). There’s been an incident involving (daughter). We need you to come in.”
Me: “Is she ill or injured? Can it wait until my shift is over in two hours?” Phone: “Your daughter has struck another pupil. We’ve been trying to call you for 45 minutes. It really is very serious.”
I go to the school and am ushered into the principal’s office. I see my daughter, a male teacher, a female counselor, the principal, a boy with blood around his nose and a red face, and his parents.
Principal: “How kind of you to FINALLY join us!” Me: “Yeah, things get busy in the ER. I’ve spent the last hour administering over 40 stitches to a seven-year-old who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle and then I had to deal with the police regarding the matter. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
After watching him try to not act embarrassed, he tells me what has happened. The boy had twanged my daughter’s bra and she had punched him in the face twice. I got the impression they were more angry with my daughter than the boy.
Me: “Oh. And you want to know if I’m going to press charges against him for sexually assaulting my daughter and against the school for allowing him to do it?” They all get jittery when I mention sexual assault and start speaking at once.
Teacher: “I don’t think it was that serious.” Counselor: “Let’s not over-react.” Principal: “I think you’re missing the point.” The boy’s mother then starts crying. I turn to my daughter to find out what happened. Daughter: “He kept pinging my bra. I asked him to stop but he didn’t, so I told Mr. (teacher). He told me to ‘ignore it.’
(Boy) did it again and undid my bra so I hit him. Then he stopped.” I turn to the teacher. Me: “You let him do this? Why didn’t you stop him? Come over here and let me touch the front of your trousers.” Teacher: “What? No!”
Me: “Does that seem inappropriate to you? Why don’t you go and pull on Mrs. (Counselor)’s bra right now. See how fun it is for her. Or on that boy’s mom’s bra. Or mine. You think just because they’re kids it’s fun?” Principal: “Mrs. (my name). With all due respect, (daughter) still beat another child.”
Me: “No. She defended herself against a sexual attack from another pupil. Look at them; he’s a foot taller than her and twice as heavy. How many times should she have let him touch her? If the person who was supposed to help and protect her in a classroom couldn’t be bothered what should she have done? He pulled her bra so hard it came undone.”
The boy’s mom is still crying and his dad looks both angry and embarrassed. The teacher won’t make eye contact with me. I look at the principal.
Me: “I’m taking her home. I think the boy has learned his lesson. And I hope nothing like this ever happens again, not only to (daughter), but to any other girl at this school.
I was so angry I gathered my daughter’s things and left. I reported it to the superintendent, and was assured it was strongly dealt with.
This story just goes to show, a mother will do anything to defend her child, and it’s a powerful reminder that it is never okay to be treated with disrespect.