Anyway, we were discussing this when she was getting ready for bed. She became upset and started to cry about "this" but after getting her to calm down, and fwh leaving the room, she started telling me about how embarrassed she was to use the bathroom at school because the girls pick on her. They don't believe that she is a girl even when she introduces herself. Apparently it is a daily occurrence that she hasn't told anyone about because of the her embarrassment and shame.
I reached out to a number of moms that have kids in DD8s grade to see if it was happening to anyone else and they all said no. However, one mom told me that her son had told her of an incident that happened a couple of weeks prior. He told her that a number of 4th grade girls were picking on DD8 and that he overheard them plotting at "proving" she isn't a girl. My mind immediately went to them pulling down her pants while on the playground. Whether that was their plan or not, I have no idea, but that is what jumped into my head. This mom profusely apologized for blowing off her son's story because she thought it was nothing. (Her son told her that she didn't have to worry about DD8 because he will is always watching out for her. )
I contacted the school's principal and she immediately opened up an official bully investigation. Luckily the school isn't that big and most of the students know each other so I'm hoping it isn't going to take a long time for the the instigators to be identified and the investigation to be concluded. As a short term 'fix' DD8 is going to be using the principal's personal bathroom instead of the larger restroom in the hallway. (DD8 is not happy about this because she believes, rightly so, that she shouldn't have to use a different bathroom because she isn't doing anything wrong.) The school is also having an emergency assembly to remind the students about what constitutes bullying and how bad it is. On the positive side, the principal told me that she is making it a priority that it stops this year. She doesn't want DD8 to go into 3rd grade, or any other grade, and have to deal with this anymore.
It's funny because as a parent you always hope that your child's childhood will be better than your's but for DD8 she is mimicking mine but the opposite direction. I was bullied for developing a "woman's" body very early and she is being bullied for not being girly enough. GAH!!!!
As an aside, I have also previously discussed the transgender aspect that we, as a family, are coming to terms with. DD8's IC still does not believe that she is truly transgender and lately the signs have been there that this could be correct. DD8 has been making comments about being a boy now and a girl later and other such stuff and I believe that this too is a huge factor in her "embarrassment and shame". She is confused as to who she is meant to be and with others making fun of her it just makes her confusion more profound.
My heart goes out to her. No child should be picked on and bullied. I wish more parents would teach kindness at home, and that in this world differences were respected and valued.
Hugs to all of you.
I am so sorry to hear your daughter is dealing with this.
Have you thought about enrolling her in a martial arts program? I know that helped tremendously with my son's self confidence when he was getting bullied. The dojo we went to was also a very safe kid friendly place where there was zero tolerance for any of that type of behavior.
I am glad the school is being supportive and trying to nip this in the bud.
Best of luck.
Me- BW, 30
Him- fWh, 36
Mostly R'd, minus a few scars...bought a house and got a puppy...And baby makes 3! She arrived August 2013
Girls are so vicious. I had a pack of girls practically rip my shirt off in 5th grade to "prove" I was stuffing my bra to get the boys to like me. And I wasn't.
I also got my period at a young age, and got called "Big Red", and they would sing that song "Red Red Wine" to me, and we had to read "Where the red fern grows" and that turned into "Where the red fern grows only itainteasy knows". The best day of my life was when my parents told me they bought a house in the suburbs and I'd be changing schools. Imagine my horror when 3 of my tormentors ended up going to that same school. Mercifully they left me alone--there were many other kids in the school and I made a lot of friends that would have stood up for me in a heartbeat if they had tried to continue their emotional torture!
I'm so sorry you went through that shit as a kid, and I'm so so sorry for your little one.
I'm happy that she finally told you what is going on. I hope the school is able to handle this and make it a safe place for all students.
"And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."
- Sarah McMane
I had to have a discussion with a mom today because her son has been gossiping about DD8. The mom was mortified.
The conversation was cordial and all but it just exhausted me. I feel like I'm fighting a multiple-front battle trying to keep DD8 mentally and physically safe.
Of course now I'm worried about summer camp where she is going to be upstate for the majority of the day. FWH thinks that I'm over thinking things, which may be true, but I want to be ready. FWH also needs to step up to the plate a little more because if anything does happen at camp, it will be his responsibility to act. (His job is only 10 mins from camp; mine is 90 mins.)
DD8 told her BFF's mom about how when she is sitting in the restroom stall the girls that have been bullying her take turns popping their heads up from under the stall door and demanding to see her 'boy parts'. I asked DD8 about it this morning and she admitted that this is happening. When I asked her why she didn't tell me about it before she said "because it's no big deal". Thanks to these girls my daughter thinks that having someone look at you when you go to the bathroom is NO BIG DEAL!
FWH is ready to go to the school and kick some heads in. I may beat him there.
Now that there is an official sexual harassment report, the BOE and the police have to be notified and the investigation MUST be completed, steps to be taken laid out and filed with the state within 2 weeks.
Without anyone know about the latest developments, a fellow 2nd grade mom informed me that she started a petition to demand that the school provide more anti-bully awareness programs throughout the year (found out last night that the last assembly was over 1 year ago) and that gender and gender-identity issues must be included in the awareness campaign. In less than 24 hours, 85% of the families in the school have signed the petition.
I also found out last night that there is another 2nd grader in the school district that is officially transitioning. I would love to speak to his/her parents about how they are dealing with all of the issues that come with it. Even though DD8 isn't officially considered transgender, and may not ever be, I feel wouldn't be the parent she needs me to be if I don't get all the information I can on the subject.
I edit often to fix stuff ☺️
Profoundly grateful Every. Single. Day. that I am blessed with an H with strength, integrity, and compassion, and that he decided to try.
I have a friend dealing with her grandsons "rainbowness".
Here's the link to an article she shared, there are other links also.
I am glad your DD has you in her corner.