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Addressing a Serious Concern with the School Principal
I received a frantic phone call from a mother. Her daughter in Senior Kindergarten had been fondled aggressively by another girl in the classroom.
When the mom discovered the fact, she soothed her daughter and spoke to the teachers the following day.
The mother was concerned that the teachers hadn’t taken the matter as seriously as they should and wondered about next steps. She didn’t know what to do.
I suggested she speak with the school Principal although not in an accusatory manner, but informationally. The challenge in this conversation for the mother was in managing her own upset so that the Principal could concentrate on the message.
I received this text message (printed with permission) advising of the outcome:
I went in like you suggested and the principal and vice principal ushered me in and talked with me.
I explained everything like you said including how I was also concerned about the little girl who did it. They agreed and told me they are investigating and are keeping a close eye on..her parents are also going for a meeting.
I explained I didn’t like being fluffed off by the teachers and I started to say “The teachers claimed they always have eyes on them” and he finished my sentence by saying “but you and I both know that’s not possible”.
I explained how in our family we closely guard our children’s Internet access and even television and that this behavior was not something we take lightly and how we are very confident it will never happen again.
He told me he started a safety plan and has been checking on our daughter slyly (he doesn’t want her to feel likes she’s in trouble or being watched). He also explained he knows this must be devastating for us as he has daughters too. I feel better now and he said he will keep me in the loop and gave me his work cell number for if there is ever another issue.
I had also offered some guidance about managing her daughter who was distraught and as a result, acting out a bit. I wondered if her behavior settled down. The mother advised:
Yes actually it has! She’s acting more like herself. Thank you so much.
Good ending. Pleased to be of service.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
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