casual rape

(image courtesy Melissa Siles)


Last Friday at school, a boy walked up behind my daughter, put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Did you know that 99% of all rapes begin with some kind of casual contact?”

Pause for a moment.  Let it sink in. 

The hand on her shoulder.  The word “rape” mouthed so casually.  Her surprise.  Her attempt to brush it off.  The snide look on his face. The boys in the background, snickering or pretending not to hear.  The utter absence of allies or adults.  The snide look on his face.  The hand on her shoulder.    

This is not the first time this boy has harassed my daughter.  Ever since the beginning of the year, this boy has been making verbal jabs in her direction.  When she participates in classroom discussion, he derides her. He says mean, untrue things about her to his friends. He comments on what she’s wearing and now, even when it’s warm, she won’t wear shorts or a tank top.  The teachers know, the counselors know, and they say it’s all under control.  

We’re talking about a girl who sleeps with stuffed animals, who thinks that the worst words a person can say are “stupid” and “hate,” who still halfway believes in Santa Claus, a girl who doesn’t really know exactly what rape is and certainly doesn’t understand why.  “What’s a prostitute?”  She asked me one day. “Today, he called me a prostitute.”  She is completely baffled by his animosity but she doesn’t want to get him in trouble.  She no longer feels safe at school.  She is 11 years old.  

I won’t describe to you the dark places where my mind has gone since Friday. I could tell you but I won’t, because it’s just too twisted. I feel toxic from the poison churning inside me. I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about it.  

I don’t know what I’m going to do on Monday, but I’m going to do it with everything I have. I feel like a boxer sitting in the corner, flexing my muscles, waiting for the bell to ring. 

 

*

Please excuse the fact that this post is unlike all my others.  It does not exactly jibe with the usual one of my blog, but I couldn’t hold it in.  

What would you do?

 

To see an update on this post, click here.

About girl in the hat

aka Anna Fonté, writer of novels, short stories, personal essays, and bits about the neighborhood crows. The things I write want you to look at them.

128 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Jennigreenmiller's Blog and commented:
    I’d like to not like this post. It’s sad. And it should make you mad. Please read.

  2. This is both sadly horrifying and not surprising.

  3. TheOthers1

    Wow! That the school isn’t taking this more seriously is beyond my ability to understand. As someone who’s been a young girl on the receiving end of stuff like this and various forms of assault, I understand. At least she tells you; it was years before I told my mother the things that have happened to me and there is still somethings she doesn’t know. I hope you’re able to resolve this successfully.

    • You’re right about that. I’m very grateful that she’s still talking to me so I can do something about it. I’m worrying about other girls he might be doing this to, girls who don’t have anyone to turn to.

  4. When will people teach their boys not to think this sort of thing is okay? When will society stop shaming the victims? I feel so bad for you right now, wish I knew some solution other than with fists to the side of the head (which doesn’t help I know, I know!). Maybe kicking up a stink, or asking the school to invest in some educational speaker?

  5. Well, thank goodness she’s telling you. I’ve never hurt anyone in my life, but if I were in your shoes right now, my first thought would be that that boy doesn’t need to be on this Earth. There are bad seeds, but you’d have to think he gets the brutish behavior from home. He will become an offender at some point in his life, you know–it’s an escalating process from talk to touch to him looking in windows, or being too aggressive with girlfriends, to whatever. And the other boys watching and laughing–shaking my head at that. Short of home-schooling, I don’t know what you can do, except of course go in, raise total hell about what he has said and that he touched her. She sounds like a real sweetie-pie. She has a right to stay innocent until she’s grown up, not have people force ugliness upon her before then. One thing’s for sure, there’s nothing “under control” about this boy. Thinking of you.

  6. gailytr

    the teachers ans counselors are clear;y wrong. continued, repeated and escalating verbal abuse is not acceptable. the fact that it’s escalating is the most alarming. if they don’t take immediate and strong action about this situation it needs to come to the attention of all the parents, the newspapers, etc. is there a pta? can we talk to other mothers and picket the school? can we talk to abuse centers and see what they say ? there must be other women’s organizations interesed in this issue. how can i help?

    • To be fair, there were no teachers present when this happened. Her teachers are very good, very responsible and understanding, but they aren’t omniscient. What to do when their backs are turned?

  7. Powerful image and text Anna. I’m sickened. Don’t know what the solution could be, I mean, how can we ever guarantee absolute safety and protection? Once our child leaves the house, she’s at the mercy of everyone she interacts with. This is bullying though, with more ‘adult’ overtones….kids who know too much.
    Best of luck for Monday…….
    Hugs to both of you.

    • This boy clearly has been exposed to something or someone that normalizes the degradation of women. But he’s only 11. How does this happen?

      • Yes, he definitely has. Coming back to this post and after reading all the replies, I realize my comment was pretty wishy washy and I should have told you that my response would be completely primal too…..I’d be boiling with rage and of course I would raise hell, have a meeting with the principal, get in touch with the parents, confront the boy, all of it. OF COURSE! That’s just a given. No way would I be silent, how is that even possible where the innocence and safety of your daughter is concerned?
        It made me think about my own experiences while growing up though, and even though I went to an all-girl school, I grew up in a family where our parents were blissfully unaware of the dangers that lurked as we went to and from our home to the bus stop. My sisters and I were all flashed and/or touched inappropriately by passing motorcyclists or men hiding in bushes. i remember a man grabbing me from behind as i walked up the stairs to our apartment (i was around 5 or 6) and offering me 5 rupees if i would just come along with him. I was so horrified it’s a wonder I managed to make a sound at all…..he let me go and I ran home, threw myself on my mom’s bed and didn’t tell anyone what had happened to me until years later.
        As a parent myself, and because I’m aware of the things that can happen, my daughter has grown up way more sheltered than I was…
        Waiting for a follow up to this post Anna.

        • amazing, brutal. It sounds to me like the area you grew up in needs to be patrolled by female or professional grade troops/police, clearing away loiterers and suspicious behavior..seriously…I’m sorry you had to live like that, and I’m glad you were able to survive such treatment. It also sounds like you and your classmates went through a bit more than the average western woman can expect going and coming from school, in contemporary/suburban communities. Unless someone in a household or housing complex is already harassing them.

  8. I don’t know what I’d do, how old is this boy, does he have parents what are the teachers doing. I feel for the loss of innocence your daugter s forced to go through am afraid for her safty I am angry at the school and the boy … and i fear for you

  9. I think it’s good not to hold it in. This post highlights a really relevant issue.

    I can kind of see how the school doesn’t quite know how to deal with it, since it’s the kind of snide, non-physical bullying that’s so hard to pin down or hard to stop, maybe especially with a bully on the younger side.

    Also it sounds like from his casual rape quote that he has been exposed to educational info about rape, maybe from the school or somewhere and is twisting it.

    If I were a teacher, I can’t imagine how I would be able to control the situation outside my classroom – in the halls, in the corridors where I imagine its more likely to happen.

    But this kind of intimidation is a bit sick. It sounds deeply upsetting. I hope this boy gets his comeuppance. Like a slap, or a knee between the legs.

    If she just ignored it/him do you think that would be better or worse? He sounds like an attention seeker.

    • You’re right, Janine– it does sound like someone has been trying to teach him better, to no avail. I have to believe that when his mother finds out, she’ll feel like I do.

  10. I really, really feel for you and your daughter. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s something that should make us all angry. I hope they take action.

  11. Are there any “Women’s Self Defense” classes in your area? If she’s 11, she should be old enough to take one. She will find support there and learn about ways to protect herself. It might help her confidence when dealing with the problem.

  12. Wow… i would change the school. I would be so scare.good luck to u and i hope u take the right decision about this. all the best.

  13. niki janus

    I would write and call the school principal — with a copy to the superintendent — and demand a face to face meeting with you and your daughter’s Dad on Monday sharing the boy’s name, and being well informed about /bullying and harrassment policies in the school, city, state. School counselors and teachers say it’s under control???? Reference that claim. What does that mean specfically for your daughter and more generally for the whole community, i.e. meetings and programs designed to identify bullies and educate victims about how to respond and report. Talk with a lawyer. Stress confidentiality concerns from the get go.

    • Thank you for your suggestions. I did cc the superintendent and I have meetings for Monday. I trust that the school will react responsibly, only wish it didn’t have to come to this, for my girl’s sake.

  14. It is very unfortunate, what your daughter and you are going through. Her precious childhood must be preserved. This subject tugs me deeply. .
    It is the towering subject most schools ace. His rapeful mouth must be cornered. Do whatever it takes to end it.

  15. Reblogged this on Peace the consciousness, the transitoriness, your existence. and commented:
    Have we not learned enough hate? Do we just stand and allow society to rust our mouths. This post hits home deeply. . .

  16. jeglatter

    :( look what we are doing to our children by not writing, speaking about it. I am glad you wrote about this and shared because today I will remember to takes seriously all that my children are being so casually exposed to. I am so sorry this happened to your daughter and thankful she has you.
    -Jennifer

  17. This is when the furies should come to blow the bastards out to sea. When you stand against this and for your daughter you are most certainly not alone.

  18. Wow. Having at one point been a Fourth Grade teacher myself, albeit only for a short while, I wouldn’t give even the SLIGHTEST opening for this to be minimized or swept aside; and I wouldn’t F&@k around. I would have my attorney contact the school district IMMEDIATELY on Monday morning and make clear my intentions to sue the school district for allowing an ongoing situation of sexual harassment. At the same time I would do my best to explain to my daughter how misguided/wrong what this boy has said/done is and what it is I will be doing(lawyer, etc). At the same time I would very much support and encourage her to go to school nonetheless, yet ultimately support her decision if she chose not to. It can be valuable(though difficult) for her to know it’s her RIGHT to be there and that she’s NOT the one who has behaved inappropriately. Furthermore it might be valuable for her to see the boy removed from class(as he almost CERTAINLY will be). My best to you and her, with the obvious exception of acting on the dark thoughts you have alluded to having there is no such thing as TOO STRONG a response. Love and strength, Neil

  19. Marc Schuster

    Truly disturbing. I wish I had something constructive to offer.

  20. It has been said…” as long as you put up with it, you will have IT to put up with”. As we all know, it takes the whole “village” to raise the child, we should not stand for it, we should not tolerate it, it should be condemned, and we all should embrace the fact that this type of behavior against women (and men), should not be tolerated it our society. It may begin as just one voice of reason, but together we can join our voices and remove this type of disgraceful hate from our lives. As a father, I would not (and have not) allowed this type of action to go without consequence. Begin the paper trail, lodge the complaint, speak with the school, but do not set back and do nothing. I have learned, that silence can be routinely misinterpeted as agreement to an idea, thought, or action. This is only my opinion, and in my opinion, the norms of our society have been changing and for far too long, we have all been in silence about this and many other actions of disrespect towards one another. Take lawful action, stand up, be heard, together.

  21. I sank in it. Very disturbing. Scaring in a way. Actually I have nothing usefull and intelligent to say. But i really would like to know what will you do tomorrow (monday)? I remember when I was 11 years old and the little stupid guys used to make fun f me and I remeber how I felt. But she told it to you. That’s great. Thanks to something up there you can do something, listenning to her.

  22. Wow, this is a tough one and unfortunetly we live in a sociaty that is poisoning! Even parents without knowing and even knowing are poisoning their own kids with not teaching respect to others! Eventualy this kid has something up he’s sleeves! Weather to get her real scared or by warning her towards what he can do. My God, this is so sickning! The one great thing in this is that is out, you know and the school knows but more has to be done about this. This is just not something to sit back and relax about. This is seriouse and you should keep PUSHING and PUSHING to get that boy out! Get her into another school, have her take self defense classes, get lawyers, I mean GET ON TOP OF THIS!!!!! Best to you and your daughter!!!! I will have a prayer for both…

  23. I wish you all the power you can muster come Monday. The counselors know and the teachers know, and it’s under control. What planet do these people live on?

    A friend of mine teaches middle school in a small midwestern town. A town so small it’s hardly on the map. Everybody knows everybody. Yet every year it gets worse. Last year my friend had three violent 9 yr olds (what does a violent 9 yr old look like??), and this year he’s got girls giving boys b.j.’s in the back of the bus with a crowd watching. Everybody knows. It’s all “under control.”

    • Holy Moses. I don’t even know what to say. That is just so terrifyingly sad.
      Clearly, this boy has been exposed to something dark like that.
      This will not happen in my world. Hell no.

  24. I have been there with my own daughter. It is terrible! I have a feeling you will do everything you can and it will change things!! I did and boy did things change!! Good luck!

  25. After having read the responses posted by MOST others, I would like to ad one final thought directed at the majority of those who have posted…with all due respect, where are your collective SPINE people? Shoulder patting and well wishing may have their (limited)place but are in the end exactly the type of quiet NON-CONFRONTATIONAL aqcuiesence that people who are abusive count on in order to continue being abusive. At risk of being pilloried for saying so, I am appalled by the feeble and wishy-washy half baked statements of support. Anna has overtly asked for ADVICE in what I can only envision to be a HORRIBLY diffficult moment, and the VAST bulk of responses can be summed up as “Gee, how awful…I wish you luck…sorry I can’t help”; WTF??? In making her request for advice I imagine her to mean serious and effective advice which will help inform as well as subtantively support her and her daughter(indeed the whole family) through this. Shrugging shoulders, wringing hands, moaning and sighing will not help resolve this particular issue NOR the bigger societal issues which engender this sort of behavior.

    • With all due respect, I don’t agree with you are all. You can’t offer advice in a situation like this like it’s a mallet.

      We don’t know what the school has done has not done, or what the boys parents are like or if penalising the boy will mean more repercussions for the girl.

      I read your earlier and I don’t know if I agree with you white wash, heavy handed approach that too based on what information? Are you a 4th grade teacher in that school? Are all of these situations the same? Should they all be treated in exactly the same way?

      What if the girl doesn’t want all of this? What if she doesn’t want a lawyer coming down like a ton of bricks? Has she any say? Or does that not really feature in your advice at all?

      It is impossible to advise so absolutely in such a personal situation.

      So what you are really saying is don’t bother leaving a comment of support. People offer support because support does matter. it does help.

      • My natural response is bloody, but I know I’m going to have to put all that energy into my words now if I’m going to make things better for my girl. I am grateful to everyone who has commented here today offering support and empathy and commiseration, whether you understand the bloody reflex or have been there too or can just help me think clearly and prepare for Monday morning. Thanks to all.

  26. Reblogged this on boldbeautyfulyoungrestless and commented:
    This is an important issue…wanted to share. Angela

  27. A boy did this sort of thing to me, without the touching, when I was in grade school. I was young and felt much like you describe your daughter feeling. But that was long ago and there was nothing my mother could do but explain every awful thing he said to me and tell me to stay away from him. The teacher wouldn’t even move his desk away from mine for weeks after she was told what he was threatening me with even during class time. I’m so angry now at that memory and at things my daughter never told me until she was out of high school, that I’m shaking.

    The first thing I would do is call the police non-emergency line and ask what the laws are in your area concerning his touching and threatening your daughter. Also ask what the school should be doing by law about threats and bullying. Make sure they connect you with or give you the number of the person or government agency that has this information. They suspend five year olds for saying things they don’t understand; there should be laws covering this. Keep your daughter home tomorrow if you have to, while you do this. It would help if she could write this and any other encounter with this bully out on paper with as many details as she can remember. It sounds cold, but we’re talking about her safety. It could be important. Her family is her warm, safe place while she goes through this.

    If the police, or whoever, give you information (ammunition) that supports your daughter, and I pray they do, take it with you to the school, but don’t use it until you have to. Let them paint themselves into a corner first by keeping up the pretense that they have or will get control of this boy if you’ll only wait it out. If they don’t give you a concrete plan that includes suspension for him and real protection for your daughter, bring out your info and tell them you’ll do all that the law allows because your daughter deserves protection from this bully, his friends, and a school that’s not doing it’s job to protect her. Cause a stink. You’re extremely smart and you’re creative, so you can cause one they’ll be compelled to listen to.

    The hardest part of causing a stink will be getting your daughter to understand. She doesn’t want to be the center of attention and I understand that, but she’s still young enough that you can protect her from a schoolboy if you have to. The most important thing is that she be safe.

    If there’s no legal recourse, I suggest changing schools, too. But then I’d get in touch with as many other families at the present school as possible, through the local school council if this school has one, or the PTA and tell them why your daughter left so they’ll know this boy will be choosing a new girl to harass.

    I’ll be offline for a while, but I’ll check in tonight just in case you want to email me because you can do that any time for anything, or for some moral support from someone who’s had to go over to the school a time or two herself.

    • Do we all have stories like this from our childhood? I”m starting to wonder. Thank you for understanding, Re. You always do. I will definitely keep you updated about what happens.

  28. Susannah Bell

    Anna, I would be beside myself. I would go up to that school and raise holy hell with the principal. If that got me nowhere, I would be in Bill Huyett’s office the next day with a copy of this story. (Is she BUSD?) Regardless, I would then use the weapon you wield so well and write about it publicly. (e.g. – send it to Rick Ayers and ask him to put it in his column on Huffington Post. He will.)

    • She is BUSD and I cc’d him. If the school’s response is lackluster, I will definitely make it public. I was thinking e tree. I had no idea big Rick had a column. Thank you so much for understanding.

  29. A similar situation happened to my daughter. The school sent the three of us to a psychiatrist and he said it was our fault! We ended up changing schools which was a good thing. Fight it. It iS a big issue. Get the legal system behind you and most of all keep your daughter talking to you.

  30. I’m so sorry. That’s just awful!

  31. I said my piece, Anna, but need to add: if I touched a co-worker’s shoulder and said such an odd, evil, threatening thing, I would be rightfully not allowed to ever work there again. The rights of children to feel safe should be at least as strong as the rights of adult co-workers. He should, at minimum, be suspended, hopefully expelled. There is no “ideal” here, but still, “ideally”, one of his backup group will actually realize he was snickering along with the rest so as not to feel ostracized by the others, then will tell his parents about it this weekend, so that there is at least one other set of parents reporting this. I would like to believe that–would like to believe that an individual child’s conscience will win out over the mob mentality that went along with this brute. At minimum, the silent witnesses should be named and questioned by the school authorities, and separated from the head bully before they are questioned.

  32. Jennifer

    Anna, I am a school principal and I cannot BELIEVE this is being ignored by your school. Bullying and harassment (sexual harassment in particular) can definitely be addressed. To me, this isn’t a situation of there being “a fine line.”. It is very blatant. If this occurred at my school, he would be suspended from school and not allowed to return until his parents conferenced at school. Go in tomorrow and fight like a girl….staying tuned to hear. And hug that sweet girl once tonight for me.

  33. I would first confront him with his parents present. I’ve done this, but not for that exact reason. Many weeks later, when the truth became clear, the mom and dad both showed up at my door to apologize and brought several of the people involved with them. This was about a party that occurred at their house when they were not home. Another time a mom came by to ask about particulars in a similar instance. This was high school level, and my daughter, now married and a degreed nurse, was a wild one. But as early as fourth grade I called moms about planned social events that didn’t sound right.

    Continue to notify the school about each incident especially him using words like prostitute.. Make sure you are talking to the right person. Next, if it continues, police. Done that also. My daughter and I had a go-round yesterday about incidents of inappropriate touching, labeling them, explaining it to kids at different ages, etc. The prevalence of this among younger and younger kids fills me with sorrow. Then I take my grandaughters to a sixth grade “dance” and one girl shows up in studded red shiny vinyl pants.

    • Thank you for your understanding, Virginia. I wish we could all wear shiny red vinyl without worrying what it meant.

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. If we don’t want shiny red vinyl pants to mean something, why do we wear them in the first place? What else were they created for, if not to say, “check out my ass?” They do mean something, and they do elicit an involuntary response, regardless of the wearer’s age, knowledge, or intentions. That doesn’t justify bad behavior, but that’s a separate issue. Clothes do signal.

      • TP– I was going to start by telling you what my girl wears to school and justify our fashion decisions, but that makes absolutely no sense, does it? If she was wearing shorts on a hot day, would that be some kind of invitation to violence? Don’t tell me it depends on what kind of shorts, please. That’s just crazy talk.
        Tell you what. I promise, if you want to wear red vinyl or skinny jeans or the buttons gape on your shirt because you gained a little weight recently, even if your burka slipped, even if you god forbid happen to enjoy the shape of your own ass, even if you go out and dance on a dance floor, I won’t try to push you down on the floor somewhere and force myself on you. Deal?

        • Tulasi-Priya

          Please forgive me, Anna. I’m not linking your daughter’s dress and actions to what the boy did. I’m sorry if it seemed that way. My point was only that we live in a hyper-sexualized society (in which clothing plays a big part), and that it has an effect not just on how girls and women are treated, but on how boys and men feel and behave. I picked the wrong time and place to pontificate (bloviate), especially when you have so much to deal with. I hope you’ll delete my comment (and this one) and forget I opened my mouth.

  34. gimmie his address.

    won’t happen again.

  35. elma

    I am so sorry for Kenyon and her family. I hope the staff at the school will make arrangements for the protection of children and young girls. Perhaps the Directorate of School does not want to risk a bad grade in publicizing the problems in its hierarchy or to the Academy. (I had a problem with my son in France and I had to ask his change of school at the Academy although he was the victim). I send you my best thoughts for a solution that allows you to find the serenity and perhaps even the complete innocence of your daughter a change of school would be a solution for her in particular because it would be more difficult if you are not really helped and understood by School. Affectionately yours.

  36. Dana

    Really, really angry! His parents need to know!

  37. Dienna

    This is beyond normal bullying and I can’t believe the school authorities are sweeping it all under the rug like it’s no big deal. I agree with the posts that say that this boy’s parents need to be contacted. This boy’s either got psychological issues or he’s picking this stuff up from an older bad influence in his life.

  38. I would do the wrong thing, but what I think YOU need to do is arrange a conference between the school officials, the boy’s parents, you and your husband. Immediately. First with the boy waiting outside, then have him brought in to where a room full of adults is waiting to instill in him the seriousness of his actions. I would suggest you get in writing the agreement of all parties that if this boy has any further contact with your daughter–of any kind–he should be expelled from the school. I would threaten to bring in a lawyer and the media. I would bully the shit out of the everyone involved until you feel confident your point is made and your daughter is safe.

    Lots of love to you.

    XO

    • Absolutely agree with Averil. Also, it’s imperative that you instill in your daughter the knowledge that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with her. This is about a boy who is having problems in his own life and has found a way to unleash it, albeit onto her. Her self worth is critical here. She could easily take this on as her own and it’s really important that she not. Advise her to stay clear away from him while you deal with the proper people in charge.

    • I have done the wrong thing all night in my mind for the last two nights. Thank you for the empathy. Meeting tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know how it went.

    • Anne Turner

      I have been surprised at how few people have responded with advice to bring the boy’s parents in. They are the first line of defense & teaching if he is to be repaired so that he doesn’t move on to the next victim. I love Averil’s suggestion for an “intervention” of a roomful of adults to instill the seriousness of the situation. It maybe should also include a probation officer, with a clear threat that you are entitled to press charges against this youth. I would not begin with media & lawyers, as they will escalate reactions on all sides and put your daughter in an unwelcome spotlight. If this is handled as a criminal charge against the boy, with his parents hopefully well on board, it can include a no-contact order and a requirement that he participate in treatment, which he obviously needs.

  39. Gary

    Unconscionable that this goes on with adults’ knowledge. The parents and teachers on all sides of this need to step in and put a stop to it. This is not just kids being kids or boys being boys. Already sick and wrong, left uncorrected it will only escalate into far worse.

    • To be fair, the it did not happen in front of adults, only behind backs. The kid waits for just the right moment. But you’re right, we all need to stand up and do something now.

  40. Barbara Jay

    Anna, I hate to think of Kenyan going through this, and I agree with others who have said you must act.
    I’m sure K does not want to be public, but she will feel worse to suffer in silence and if her parents don’t take charge. You and John need to get in and demand a full hearing with the school authorities, the boy’s parents and the boy. And you do have your pen if nothing else works. The school needs to be named, if only to shame them into action. Keep us informed.

    • Thanks, Barbara. I went there for a meeting this morning and so far, I feel confident that there will be a responsible response to this– I will hear a report later today about the details of what happened.

  41. This situation needs police involvement because clearly the school authorities are not on top of this situation. Until they’re inadequacies are highlighted they will appease. With the police in the loop you will at least have proffessional advice.

    • If they don’t handle this well, I’ll take it to the next step. Actually, even if they do, I think it is a valuable lesson. Maybe a letter to all parents encouraging them to talk to their kids about this. I’m lucky K is talking to me but I know that the older they get, the less likely this will be, so we have to ask the right questions. It’s up to the adults, clearly. Thank you.

  42. Clicking the Like button seems an inappropriate response to your post Anna. Not being a parent myself I could not really imagine how this would make me feel – the rational civilised side of me would be struggling to not be submerged by my primal side. There does seem plenty of thoughtful advice though among your comments.

  43. Tulasi-Priya

    This boy is behaving like an animal. He sees your daughter as weak, as prey, because no one has come forward on her behalf when he started. People aren’t just individuals, they’re members of tribes. The punk has his tribe at school, you need to be your daughter’s tribe. The school does not represent her. You represent her. Call your lawyer, call the police, call the principal. But first, call the boy’s parents and roar at them, and let your daughter hear you do it. And as politically incorrect as it may sound, I suggest you consider single-sex schooling.

    • You clearly have not met either my daughter or I, TP. “Weak” is not a term you’d apply to either of us. Even if we were weak, this situation would not be okay. She was very brave to tell me, knowing that she was putting herself at risk by doing so. I am so proud of her. It turns out, my daughter is not the only one who is having problems with this boy, but we are the first ones to do something about it. I raised hell for my girl and I will follow through for her and for all the other kids at her school, the ones who don’t tell, the ones who don’t know what to think. There is no way we are going to let him get away with this.

  44. Anna,
    Call the principal. Meet with the principal and the parents of the boy. There is no handled.
    Then go fucking ballistic.
    Now.

  45. Anna, i second Lyra. i was going to say just march into the school, into the class where that little creep is, and read him the riot act. but maybe Lyra’s approach might be better – at first. if he doesn’t stop, then someone has to straighten this kid out quick. good luck, continue…

  46. P.S. and yes, i would tell him and his parents that if it doesn’t stop immediately that you will go to the police with it. continue…

    • All the wheels are in motion now, Tony. I’m like a white-lipped lady holding a hand grenade. I think I scared them all and I think they’re all choosing the right side (mine). We’ll see what happens next. Meanwhile, my finger….

  47. Jesus. I hope today’s meeting is productive. If the principal can’t stop this NOW, then I would go above his/her head to the school board.

  48. This is probably not the best answer, but Monday morning I would be in the faces of that kid’s parents and let them know that if they don’t stop it, the police will. And if the police don’t stop it, then I would. Sorry to be so politically incorrect, but I know from experience that such an approach is the only thing people like this will understand. To have raised a child who behaves like that boy removes them from the protection of common courtesy or decency.

    • Thanks for the understanding, Joe. Went there this morning. So far, so good, but I’m not done with them yet.

      • To me that’s the key. When they realize you won’t back down, won’t abide their lame excuses, that’s when they’ll start to take responsibility for the little psychopath. Best of luck to you in this.

  49. Oh hells teeth! What a horrible situation!

    Our daughter has been doing martial arts since she was 5 years old, I hope that she never gets to use it but she can if she needs to. It’s a terrible world we’ve brought them in to – we need to give them the right tools in their tool boxes to make a better go of the legacy that’s been left to them.

    I hope that your righteous anger was well channeled today and that you get back to us with an air punching Result!

    • I completely agree that our girls should feel physically capable of defending themselves. It is complicated when they’re still young and they don’t know what’s okay and what isn’t. That’s when it’s our job to step in and fight for them. The meeting lasted an hour and I told them in no uncertain terms what I wanted to happen. Now we’ll see….

  50. He is eleven and god knows what is happening in his home.

    When my son was 10 I was dating a man who was very open [too open] sexually, in front of my son. One reason I am no longer with the guy, but lets move on. One day I got a call from the school saying he had touched another ten year old girl in an inappropriate way. I was shocked. My son was and is a very good boy, [man now]. The little girls father called the police. My son ended up talking to a juvenile probation officer. The man was wonderful. I was a single mother at the time and he had a loving yet strong man to man talk with my child. He explained why what he had done, [touching her thigh under her skirt], was not ok. He also had him write a letter explaining why what he had done was inappropriate. That was all there was to it but it was enough.

    I believe my leaving the guy I was with, and my son spending time with this truly concerned for his well being professional MAN, changed the course of his life. In college he was the guy kicking other guys out of the dorm for calling girls bitches [or worse]. He in fact took serious heat from the boyz about being a pussy doing it.

    It is interesting to note here that when all was said and done my son produced notes that this little girl had been passing to him, secretly, for several weeks before the incident. She did not tell her mom and dad about them when it happened. When I told her parents about the notes, they were horrified! as they were quite graffic. They brought their daughter to our home where she apologized to my son.

    My son [and his fiancee] now teach six grade. He being a man that was a boy that went though what he did with the girl, tends to be a bit wary of girls. and rightly so. Perhaps it was something the probation officer told him in private. Some little girls today are in my opinion WAY to demonstrative sexually. My son teaches gym and has to get a female teacher to tell girls to go change into something more appropriate at least weekly. And I am talking the cheeks of these little girls asses hanging out. He also see’s how shy and unsure the majority of the boys are behind locker room doors.

    I guess I tell this story because it seems we can get carried away at times. Not all boys are predators. Not all girls are innocent. Even the boys laughing may have just not known what to do.

  51. I have just caught up with this and hope that the school find the right level of response for everyone’s sake… including the boys… not easy any of it.

  52. inkspeare

    This is very serious. This is not only sexual harrasment but it is also bullying and it is affecting this girl. I wouldn’t take this lightly at all. I would go to the local authorities as well as letting the teachers, principal, and parents, that you are doing so since this behaviour has gotten worst. I don’t have any kids, but I can tell the seriousness of this issue. This has passed the funny joke stage.

  53. virginiallorca

    Hows that working out? I was trying to think of a euphemistic way for your daighter to say, “dont ever touch me again , youfucking asshole.”

  54. Raged at the extreme negligence of the school authorities – this is clearly not something to be taken lightly, This is harassment, and she is a minor..

    I don’t know how effective and useful the Laws are where you are but this should not be taken lightly, If you want i can surely look up for for friends from Different NGOs who have been dealing with these kind of issues, maybe one of them can help you out and put the culprits ( which includes the school as well ) to task.

    I am glad you have put this up on a blog, and have raised you voice … If you wont speak up No one will , and this vicious cycle will continue ..

  55. Simon

    I’m so sorry to hear this dreadful story and you have all my best wishes in hoping it is resolved soon, and there is little lasting damage to you young ladies innocent thinking and positivity she obviously has gained from your good parenting. I want to spend time reading the comments below, but I also want to give you my initial response so please forgive me if someone else has already posted something similar.

    Even though I hope the school has a hand in resolving this issue, my initial thought reading your blog (as a father to a young daughter myself) would be, if I saw the same happen to my angel, would be to calmly walk over to the young man, place my hand on his shoulder and whisper something in his ear that would give him nightmares that night, and possibly for the near future until he realised (when he was old enough,) It was just words.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not wanting to hurt the young man emotionally, as I can only assume he is just projecting his own issues onto your young lady through his own frustrations of possibly seeing your daughter happy and well rounded. Which is possibly the same cannot be said for his life.

    I do hope all works out well, and best of luck.
    Best regards,
    A sympathetic parent.

  56. I’ve just now read this and, of course, am interested in what has happened over the last 5 or 6 weeks. I am glad that your daughter feels comfortable enough to talk to you about something as difficult as this.

    Mike

  57. May I ask what was/is the eventual outcome of this traumatic event for all concerned ?

  58. These are the kind of things that our “enlightened” society tolerates as “acceptable behavior” and refuse to take any action because, after all, what are a few words? She wasn’t raped was she? What’s the problem. Yes, I’m an old-fashioned guy from a different generation but that doesn’t quell any of the anger I feel at the lack of action to stop this kind of domestic terrorism. My only answers or solutions to the issues would, in today’s world, be considered criminal acts. Where does that leave us? Leaves us with a generation of young people – half of whom are terrified of the other half because that other half has never learned responsibility, discipline, or respect – for others or for themselves. I send you and your daughter all the encouragement I have for fighting and resolving the outrageous events she’s endured. (I’m off my soap box now)
    Best to you,
    Paul

  59. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I am definitely clicking to read the update, & I so want a positive update. Hoping, hoping.

    “It’s under control” BULLSHIT. Furious.

  60. Reblogged this on myownheart.me and commented:
    A terrible experience this blogger and her daughter had to/ are going through.

  61. There are sexual harassment laws everywhere … if the school will not handle it to your satisfaction, file charges against him with the local police department … she is 11 if he is that same age or older … he is legally liable for his actions and words … especially with the discomfort he is causing her. If this was happening in the work place he would be fired.

    Next, go directly to the school superintendent and tell him it has even going on all year with nothing being done.

    If all else fails, contact the media … this has to stop before he physically hurts someone … he has already emotionally and psychologically hurt your daughter.

    I will reblog this … it needs to be read by everyone.

  62. Reblogged this on ANNIE'S MUSE and commented:
    I intended for this website to be poetry only, but this needs to be read, passed along and raise awareness of sexual harassment at school between students.

  63. Bullying & Harassment!
    Thank God for the open communication you have with your daughter & her feeling welcomed to tell you that.
    I would meet with anyone & everyone that needs to be involved in correcting this – school, counselor, his parents & the kids all in one place. This is not right. IF this continues – keep a journal & file charges. Start journalling this incase it needs to get legal. This is no joke.
    Good luck.

  64. I’m sure by now you’ve addressed this horror..but to chime in at this point for posterity I’ll say the boy must be held accountable for his behavior. Our delusional culture that children remain innocent until adulthood is the only thing standing between him and aggravated sexual assault and harassment and child sexual abuse charges *he touched her after all and explained it for what it was, threat of sexual abuse.) his friends are probably accessories,instigators and or conspirators of said crimes, but this seems fairly original to be thought up or executed by a flunkie.. Some might say oh I’m overreacting..boys will be boys..right? Well I know we’ve all read enough news bulletins to know that this kind of harassment is a prelude to a more violent versions of the above mentioned crimes and can even result in murder by the same age boys. Now that your daughter has made you aware this may be preventable. I would definitely talk to a lawyer and the school staff and the children’s parents (If they are known to be reasonably decent people.) probably in that order. What these boys need first and foremost is a swift and deliberate ass kicking by a father and mother figures, but since we live in a social enlightened era that now decries violent corporal punishment against children and civilians (perhaps rightfully so), the next best thing is prosecution. In this case obtaining evidence should be pretty simple, these boys will crack under any amount of interrogation, so the real challenge is not applying too much pressure or asking any threatening or leading questions that will make the interrogation evidence inadmissable. Also I like one persons suggestion above to cause the school to invest in a guest speaker workshop, that will be part of the aftermath/healing process. These boys need to be made of an example for the sake of themselves and others. They don’t need jail time perhaps IMO, but they need to realize that they came very close to deserving such and need to instead of encouraging each other to do evil upon their female peers, they must be taught to instead protect each other from evil and mutually assured humiliation and incarceration. The truth is that probably one or some of these boys are attracted to your daughter, and due to being socially awkward and not being raised to understand sexuality, they are expressing it in immature and bullying/harassing ways..we’ve all seen it growing up..but this time they’ve gone to far..and this boy has been educated about rape instead of charm..go figure. I would humiliate the boys in front of their parents. making them admit their mistake in front of their parents. I would have them sit and learn the myriad horrors of rape as depicted. I would require them receive counseling about sexual harassment and bullying..and I would also have them suspended, with an expulsion warning. Children are born “innocent” bit they do not remain that by default. We are lucky the boys have given fair warning, and that is the only reasonable defense that these boys were not planning to do this..but its a shaky defense and does indicate that their next charade might have been to perpetrate the full act. Don’t think boys that age will do gang rape? Thing again it happened to my sister..at the time I thought violence was the answer, but now I realize I was as to young to execute the level of effective violence. telling the authorities parents is the answer. Yes, I forgive them, but still enrages me to this day, almost 3 decades later, when I think about it that boys I thought were my friends did this to her.

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