Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In First Grade Already?

Je mentioned that she needed to bring candy for a boy in her school or he was going to give her a "paperclip shot".
What did you say?...
No, you do not have to bring him candy, nor should you.

As we asked a few questions it turned out that this boy intended to bring a paperclip from home and use the end to poke her in the bottom. Thus the "shot". She seemed a little scared but sure that she had to give in. We all tried to explain that she didn't have to, no one can make you do this. By this morning she seemed to get it. I got a little more information out of her, and it seems that the incident happened on the bus. So I walked across the street to tell the bus driver that this had happened. She immediately knew the little boy in question, another first grader. She promised to take care of it. I had already emailed Je's teacher and she responded quickly that she would look into the situation. By noon, Je had talked to the counselor as had the little boy and the email said that his parents would be notified. I don't know the family or even their last name so I wonder how that will go. The bus driver told me when she dropped Je off that she and the principal had spoken to the little boy and that should encourage him not to repeat his threat. I was impressed by how seriously they take this at Je's school. They jumped right on to the problem and responded to my communication quickly. It is problematic that this little boy is only in first grade and already doing this. After school, Je told me that she knew of another little girl who'd been told to bring him candy or else. So far no one did, but this morning, Je was picking out some candy from her stash of parade candy. I made her put it back.
We've all been bullied at one time or another. I worry about it especially with Je because she is so tenderhearted, and reserved. She doesn't always stand up for herself. Jo probably will stand up for herself and tell the bully to leave her alone. Je hopefully will learn to do the same. She heard the same message from her parents, Nana, her teachers, the counselor and bus driver. Maybe it will sink in if she hears it from several directions.

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