Trouble Maker? You talking to me?

January 21, 2010

in no manual for parenting,this i believe

Sometimes I wonder whether the teachers talk about the parents amongst themselves. I would probably be known as “Trouble Maker”. My favorite moment was when I confronted approached the principal at the Thanksgiving Feast:

“Could I safely assume that the headpieces the children are wearing are ‘turkeys’ and not ‘head dresses’?” I used the quotation marks and I gave him an “I am just kidding, but only half” look.

“Huh? Ohh. I am sure they are turkeys…” Well, he did not sound so sure. He sounded surprised. I was surprised that HE was surprised. You mean, nobody else but me wondered about THAT? Anyway, he’s been put on notice and he seems scared to see me ever since. I can hear him inside his head, “Oh. For crying out loud. What now?!” Fortunately for all of us, I work full-time and I hardly ever go to school.

Today I wrote an email* to my 6-grade-son’s teacher:

Dear Mrs. G,

D told me yesterday about Heather’s big birthday party bash. She has apparently invited the whole class to her house from 2 to 8 pm. It sounds like it is going to be an awesome party. The IT party of their childhood before they go off onto Middle School.

Being a pain in everybody else’s neck, I asked D whether all seven girls in the class actually do hang out with each other.

“Does anybody get left out? You know, it’s going to hurt a lot if one of them gets left out seeing how few girls you have in your class.”

I don’t know why. Nobody gave me the job of being purveyor of social justice. Like I said, I am just a pain. Probably born that way. I am sorry… Really. I am. Because I make troubles whenever I send you an email.

At my question, D paused and said, “Well, she sort of invited the whole class. Except one.”

“What? Who?” But I already knew the answer, based on things D has told me in the past.

“Charles Wu was not invited.”

“And she gave out the invitations to everybody else in class? Does Charles know about this?”

D’s eyes turned red.  “Yeah. I think he knows.”

“We play with Charles during recess and we are nice to him.” He continued, his eyes getting redder. “I guess all that is just skin deep…”

I am not writing to ask you to talk to Heather about any of this. On the contrary. It will probably worsen Charles’ status on the food chain. Besides, if she is indeed forced to include Charles, I shudder at the thought of what’s going to happen to him at the party. Probably nothing. Exactly nothing. Nobody would talk to him or play with him. Indifference is the most hurtful thing one human being can do to the other.

I am writing, in addition to me being a pain, to let you know the situation in case Charles seems down lately. I am sure you have seen THIS many many times in your years of teaching. So please tell me I am making too big a deal out of this. (Yeah, I know. I wish I did not read Lord of the Flies either…) Please tell me that they all survive, that they all walk out of this unscathed. But I know, I never forget what happened to me in elementary school. And it still hurts because nobody talked to me about it when it was happening.

Sincerely,
[Me]

* Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Just in case.

{ 42 comments }

Robin January 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Not to sound dramatic or anything but kids being left out like that, that’s how things like the school shootings happen. When it happens everyone wants to blame the kids just being bad or the parents but school is torturous, especially for kids being left out or being teased, I know, I was one of them. I know that what I am referring to is over-the-top but I know that’s where it starts, not always where it ends, but where it starts.
.-= Robin´s last blog…Manly Man’s Child Rearing =-.

Jennifer Lynn January 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I would truly love to hear the response!
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog…Different Gym Drama, Painting, Props to the USA, and Rush is an Ass. =-.

TheKitchenWitch January 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Oh my God. I got to the end of this post and was shocked to find tears for Charles Wu running down my face.

Oh, Charles. Would this be the deepest wound you’re going to have to suffer, but I doubt it.
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Down-Update =-.

Elly Lou January 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I’m with TheKitchenWitch. I just want to zerbert poor Charlie’s little belly button…and punch that little wench. I bet her parents are going to have a hard time keeping her off the pole.

Michele January 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Oh NO… how awful. Poor little Charlie. My heart is breaking for this little guy just reading this. ;(

littlemissenglishteacher January 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

A) Yes, teachers get together and talk about the parents
B) So far, I’ve never encountered a caring parent such as yourself
C) Oh my Goodness, I just want to hug and hug Charles Wu
D) I would love to say that Heather would finally get what’s coming to her … Carrie Style. But, I’m sure it’s not
E) What a meanie-head to pass out invitations in front of everyone and not give one to Charles Wu
F) Let us know if the teacher responds!
E) As you’ve probably assumed … that early labor was more false labor apparently. I’m still huge and pregnant … and with no small child to hold yet :(

magda January 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Her parents suck more than she does. Who allows this? Being hurtful is never acceptable. What, she likes everyone equally but not that kid? What an angry little twat. That is a total bully move. To actively alienate someone is harassment and should be addressed, somehow, so as not to cause problems for little Charlie. Good for you for speaking out. Because I do believe that if you are not part of a solution, you are part of the problem. Were there similar beginnings for Hitler?

Andrea January 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Teachers totally talk about parents, but only the real pain in the ass parents. Or the really weird parents — once we had one come to conferences with a huge walking stick and furry dead things hanging off. He claimed to be a shaman and he had no teeth. At all. That was years ago, and we still recall him at conference time.

You, my dear, would fall into the category of “concerned parent,” and teachers don’t mind those parents one bit. Actually, this teacher may not be aware that poor Charles was left out, and you alerting her is absolutely the right thing to do. At least that gives her a heads up and a chance to reach out to Charles. Without your email, it may have slipped under the radar leaving that little guy with no one to talk to. If I was Charles’ mother, I would be so grateful that another parent was sticking up for my kid!
.-= Andrea´s last blog…"Been caught stealing" =-.

secret agent woman January 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm

When I was in 7th grade, we had a substitute teacher who decided it would be an interesting activity to do a lesson on social connections. She wrote everyone’s name in the class on the blackboard, had each student say their two favorite people, and drew arrows to show those connections. It was clear to me that this was a potentially hurtful thing. I was reasonably popular and had some arrows going to my name, so I said I needed to think and went last. Then I picked two very unpopular kids who had no arrows attached to their names. What in God’s name was that woman thinking?
.-= secret agent woman´s last blog…Sinister playground. =-.

Kristen @ Motherese January 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

TKW just sent me here and I’m grateful to her. As a teacher and a mom, I really appreciate this post. Teachers see a lot; parents see a lot. Neither sees all. I believe that it is only when we exchange information – like this lovely letter – that our kids are best served. And by kids, in this instance, I don’t just mean Charles Wu, I also mean D (for having a mother setting an example of kindness and inclusivity) and maybe even Heather, if your letter causes the teacher to be on higher alert for other cruel behavior from her.

Thank you for your letter and for this post.

A Vapid Blonde January 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I think you should have a party and invite everyone to it except the little skank (is skank to harsh for sixth grader?…oh well) I was always left out or last so, yeah this strikes a chord in me. In fact I am working on a post as I type about this except its about me.

Maureen@IslandRoar January 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Man, good for you!
My kids always had a rule: either invite everyone or have a small intimate party with just a few.
Right up until HS, when it all gets mixed up. And sometimes those kids that were never invited anywhere else were so excited to finally be invited somewhere. It was really sad.
Poor Charles. You did a very good thing letting the teacher know. I can only hope she already did.
I was sent here via the Kitchen Witch…..
.-= Maureen@IslandRoar´s last blog…Blog Roll Please… =-.

theUngourmet January 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I can really empathize with Charles. I was a Charles Wu too! You never completely recover.

mepsipax January 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Kids suck… period… Actually, people suck. That in mind… that was a thoughtful letter on your part. Hopefully the teacher will do the right thing and just be there for him.
.-= mepsipax´s last blog…WTF Internet =-.

Shelli January 22, 2010 at 12:35 am

My Son would be in SO much trouble if he pulled a stunt like that! What were the reasons for this kid not being invited? Just unpopular, or are there other reasons? I feel awful for that poor kid. I would show up to the party and casually mention something to the parents about not seeing Charles, something like, “Oh, I see Charles isn’t here. I hope he’s not sick or anything. He’s always such a sweet kid.” Just to see if the parents actually know that he wasn’t invited. Within earshot of other parents, that is, so everyone gets a taste of how rotten the little bitch is.

Oh, what was the teacher’s response?
.-= Shelli´s last blog…Twisted Beef Stew =-.

The Curious Cat January 22, 2010 at 5:50 am

Poor Charles…someone needs to teach that Heather a thing or two…but how do you even begin without making it worse?! There must be a solution of some sort…surely?! xxx

KeepingYouAwake January 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

I felt for Charles Wu too, because honestly who could be a bad person with a name like Charles Wu? He just sounds nice.

What if he’s not though? What if he’s 3 years older than his grade, flicks boogers at girls and constantly reeks of red onions and tobacco spit? I don’t believe it either, I’m just saying…

Oh Charles Wu,
what shall we do?
That bitch went and
abandoned you.
You don’t fit in,
you’ll be thick-skinned,
she’ll have no friends
when we’re all through.
.-= KeepingYouAwake´s last blog…OMFG MAH NEW FONE ROCKZ! =-.

ellemck1 January 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

Poor Charles. Completely feel for him, I was the Charles Wu of my 6th grade class too. May he survive and come out of it a strong and happy person. Hang on kiddo, it’s hard, but you can make it, you got people out there supporting you.
.-= ellemck1´s last blog…Another LOST Post… =-.

Chris January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

I’m still trying to get over what happened to me in grade school on Valentine’s Day. Our teacher told us to bring valentines for anyone we wanted to give them to–when we got to school that morning we gave our valentines to her as she was going to pass them out at the end of the day. When that time came, she asked us to put our heads down on our desks and then she started distributing the valentines. There were 30 kids in the class. I received 5 valentines, all from my girlfriends. Naturally I sat next to one of the popular girls so I wasn’t surprised to see her enormous pile. Not surprised, but deeply hurt. I had prepared a valentine for every single one of my classmates AND the teacher (who also received just a few). As soon as I got home I burst into tears and told my mother what had happened. She was on the phone to the principal (back then parents could actually call the principal at home!) and I can assure you that Valentine’s Day the following year was quite different. Now I’m married to a man (whom I love dearly) who refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day just because you’re SUPPOSED to, so when I worked I got to relive my grade school experience as all my co-workers received deliveries of bouquets and baskets of flowers and I sat there silently hoping this year was going to be different. I’m not too keen on the Vee Day.
.-= Chris´s last blog…Valentine Giveaway =-.

Jennifer January 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

Wouldn’t it be awesome if all the other kids banded together and went to Charles Wu’s house the day of the party instead…

Yeah, I’m kind of vindictive like that.
.-= Jennifer´s last blog…We love our vitamins, Friday Funny =-.

Absence Alternatives January 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

Dear all, I am moved by the support pouring out for “Charles Wu”. (I did change the names of the kids. But his fake surname still indicates his ethnic identity IYKWIM…) At the risk of sounding like a friendless dork, I really really love the Interweb.

I was worried that perhaps the ending of my letter contains too much “projection” on my part. Perhaps “Charles” is really resilient. Perhaps I am making too much a deal out of this. I also want to believe “Heather” did not exclude Charles out of pure malice. She is a victim of peer pressure too. I don’t know her parents so I am not sure whether they’re aware of this. Of course I want to believe that they have no idea… I am cynical but I would try to be gullible if given the chance…

I have not heard from the teacher yet and I wonder whether she’s a bit offended that I stepped over bounds? (Perhaps she was already going to do something?) I asked my son last night whether the teacher has talked to him, here’s the conversation… (My son is CLUELESS and the least observant person on earth sometimes… Ugh.)

“No. She didn’t talk to me. Oh, you mean the invitations? Oh yeah, Heather was asked to the hallway by Mrs. G to have a conversation…”

“Oh. I hope she did not get into trouble…” I was really worried that THIS could turn her into a “victim/martyr” and the collective anger could now legitimately be set on Charles. It conveniently has happened to me: popular kids get chastised and become the “poor miserable” kids, so now the ostracized kids become the “evil doers” and be further marginalized.

“I don’t think she did. She actually made an invitation for Charles because I think some kids told her that it was not nice.”

“Really? They did?” My eyes now had glittering star shapes in them.

“Ugh. I am not sure. I don’t know. I think he is fine now. Stop asking me questions!”

Thus ended my Spanish Inquisition… I do hope the teacher writes me back. I will keep you updated naturally.

Thank you, TKW! And I am sorry for making you cry… I am sorry actually for making some of you relive the childhood nightmare if you’d rather soon forget about all of it. Just want to say: Stay away from Facebook if you really don’t want to relive your high school/schoolyard memories…

TheKitchenWitch January 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

Oh No! NO!! Please, please tell me that Charles Wu is going to have enough sense to skip that party. I’m cringing inside.

And you are too generous–that Heather is a creep.
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Neighbor Friday: A Design So Vast =-.

Jane January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I love this post and I love YOU! You are awesome! You rock! And I can’t wait to hear if you ever get a response from the teacher! Thanks for looking out for Charles.
.-= Jane´s last blog…I’m Back! And You Can Put Your Mind At Ease. I Wasn’t Abducted By Aliens. =-.

Ambrosia January 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I am so glad you wrote this, even if it means we had to relive our childhood nightmares. When I first read this post, I was shocked and saddened. Like Kitch, I was crying. See, I was once the “Charles Wu” in my classes. I think it was because I was a very good girl. I was called all sorts of names-teacher’s pet and other things. The funny thing is, I was so sure everyone had a good heart that I was not at all offended by ostracism! I would immediately return to the same “friends” that had just been making fun of me if they asked me to.

I guess I tell you this as a hope for Charles Wu. Perhaps he is as naive as I was. Perhaps he won’t hold any grudges and continue to smile. I don’t know. I don’t even know if that is a good thing. I do know my childhood memories came back to haunt me in my adulthood. It is the reason why I am constantly debating whether I should burn my Facebook account or not. (Truthfully, I rarely accept friend requests from people I knew in high school. Rude? Maybe. I just don’t really want to think about any of them anymore.)
.-= Ambrosia´s last blog…What I Learned from Last Night’s Wind Storm =-.

Shelli January 23, 2010 at 5:49 am

If there were more parents like you when we were growing up, we might not have horrible memories to be dredged up. I’m glad that other kids saw the mean spirit behind the invite-everyone-but-Charles. And don’t you love the age your son is at now? *rolls eyes* Mom is NOT the person they want to be talking to … ever! Especially about school and friends. Or anything, really. LOL
.-= Shelli´s last blog…How did I get here? =-.

Merrilymarylee January 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Woman, I do like your spirit! Don’t EVER change!
.-= Merrilymarylee´s last blog…Don’t Be Drinking Red Wine When the Aliens Come for You =-.

Unknown Mami January 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I hope the teacher does write you back and I hope that “Heather” learns some kind of valuable lesson.

I think you should not make apologies or excuses for who you are.
.-= Unknown Mami´s last blog…Fragmented Fridays =-.

Diane January 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I couldn’t even read all the comments here. Could barely get through the post. I scanned and saw “Valentine’s Day” and almost burst into tears. My heart aches every single day for the Charles Wu’s in middle schools and high schools.
My biggest accomplishment in life and the thing I would like to see on my headstone is that I am the Mom Whose Kids Often Sat With the Kid Who Was Sitting Alone at Lunch. Probably they did it just to keep me from lecturing them every night.

Velva January 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm

This is a reminder to all parents…Teach your kids to be nice! Nice is important.

Cheers to you! For writing that letter. I hope you plan a follow-up post if the teacher should respond to you.
.-= Velva´s last blog…Baked Ziti =-.

pixielation January 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

When my first daughter was in about 1st grade, she wanted to invite all the girls but one to her birthday. So I sat down and talked to her about that last girl – a bully with behavioural problems who was constantly in trouble, and came from a broken home. My daughter didn’t like her. And neither did some of the other girls.

But the idea of the girls talking at school, and this girl realising that she’s the only one not invited didn’t sit right with me. So I talked her into that final invitation.

Lucky for us, the girl didn’t come. But we invited her, and I was happy that she wouldn’t have realised that she was the one girl in the class who got left out.
.-= pixielation´s last blog…Pants on the floor? No star for you! =-.

Absence Alternatives January 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

Yeah, I did consider the possibility that perhaps this kid is a trouble maker, etc. etc. Kudos to you for talking to your daughter in that kind of situation. Why is everything so complicated?! Looking back, changing diapers and cleaning up explosives is really not that bad compared to the land mines I feel I am walking on as they venture into the social network as an “individual” that is separate from me.

Absence Alternatives January 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

Here is the update (and I am sorry for not doing this sooner: Internet is down in my house…) I was able to get more out of my son: “Heather” did make an additional invitation and gave it to “Charles” BEFORE the teacher asked her out to the hallway. She did this because a few of her friends told her it was not nice to exclude one person. The teacher talked to the principal, and the principal reminded them to let their class know that no invitation is to be given out at school unless the entire class is invited. (It is not clear whether this applies to, as in this case, when the child gives out the invitations rather than ask the teacher to distribute the invitations) The teacher did not get back to me; to be fair, I didn’t ask her to keep me updated. (Nor am I entitled to, imo)

My son is really excited about the party (the first one he’s been invited to in the 6th grade!): for the first time he wanted to pick out the present and even wrapped the present himself. I don’t think he has a crush on “Heather”; I suspect his excitement is due to the fact that many from his class are supposed to be there and he is expecting a fun time for all. Since he is not complaining, I am really not ready to think about cliques, shit like that… (Sorry for being an ostrich!) When I asked him who would be going, he mentioned Charles as one of the kids. As far as my son is concerned, case is closed. He said, at the end of our conversation, “Don’t ask me again!!!!” So let’s all hope that things have a way of working out on their own…

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed: not just for “Charles”, but for all of our children. Peace.

Falling January 28, 2010 at 12:26 am

I think just the fact that you had the conversation with D is huge, no matter the outcome. He’s going to remember this the next time he sees someone excluded, and you’ve provided a brave role model for him.

I came late to the story, but thanks for giving us the happy ending.
.-= Falling´s last blog…If Only Jack Had Invoked This Rule =-.

Miss B January 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Oh, it is _so_ funny you mention this, because a woman I work with was just saying the other day how, in her son’s kindergarten class, the kids are NOT ALLOWED to have birthday parties — I am talking, private, in their own homes, not at school birthday parties — if they do not invite the entire class. And I think this is the most fucking asinine rule I have ever heard.

Let’s forget for a moment that what you choose to do at YOUR OWN HOME is none of anyone else’s business. But really — not every single kid in a classroom is going to be great friends — or even friends at all — with every other kid. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that AT ALL. (Yes, this makes me feel very CapsLock-ish.) Now, people ought to definitely be conscious of being kind and polite to others all the time, and that’s something that those with children should teach their children — but teaching your kids that you have to pretend to be bestest friends with everyone, always, just so there is no chance of anyone feeling left out? That seems like the bullshittiest bullshit around, to me. Because not everyone is destined to be friends — and while that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still treat everyone around with kindness and respect…it does mean that you shouldn’t be obligated to spend your free time socializing with people you really don’t like all that much.

Perhaps this is coming from a place of me not having had very many friends when I was a child, and so if I did have people over, it was never more than a few, because I just didn’t get along with most people. And that was fine with me — I wouldn’t have wanted invitations to most other kids’ houses any more than I would have wanted them to come spend time at mine. So maybe I’m the exception. But still, I can’t see how it’s healthy to train small people into thinking that everyone will always like them (or at least be forced to pretend they do) because then what happens when they grow up and get into the real world and are suddenly faced with the fact that is simply is not how life works? How on earth will they be prepared to cope with _that_ if they never learned it as children?
.-= Miss B´s last blog…Shining Silver Threads =-.

Absence Alternatives January 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I get what you are saying. THAT rule mentioned by your friend is going way too far. Like I said, I have been feeling a bit like a hypocrite for not inviting poor “Charles” to my house to play with my son right away because they are just not close friends. And believe me, my son is considered to be a geek by any standard: Legos, Star Wars, gymnastics, Spelling Bee, no BALL-related sports!

I understand that you are not criticizing the email I wrote. But I feel the need to explain some more. LOL. I would have no problem if the invitations were given to a few kids. My kids were not invited to every single birthday party that they knew of. And that was OK. They were never really heart-broken or anything because they just were not close friends with the birthday kids, and they understood that. Esp. when they are older, like in the 6th grade, no way a boy is going to invite girls, or a girl, boys. 😉

The reason why I emailed the teacher was really the fact that ONE KID was left out, and that just seemed unreasonably cruel. THIS would NOT have been solved by the invitations not being given out at school either. Kids are going to talk, and the poor kid is going to figure out: Wait. How come I was not invited when EVERYBODY ELSE was?

He already knew he’s not popular and shunned at school. This is just a mean blow. I didn’t want the teacher to force the girl to invite this person she obviously did not like to hang out with. I simply wanted the teacher to know what’s going on and to provide guidance if the boy seems out of sorts.

I also feel the pains felt by the schools/administration offices though. They probably get angry phone calls no matter what they do. Ours now disallow birthday treats brought into school. Pencils are great, they say. Well, saves me money! And I managed to talk Mr. Monk out of having a birthday party last year altogether on account of how he is not a “I am friends with everybody” person. My only wish for him, for both of my boys actually, is that he is able to find ONE good, true friend in life. I hope they also learn fast and find peace in the fact that you brought up: “You cannot make everybody like you”, and that is ok.

Miss B January 29, 2010 at 6:17 pm

No, I was definitely not criticizing _you_ — I am just fed up beyond belief with this current culture of political-correctness-to-the-point-of-insanity, because I think it is creating a society filled with passive-aggressive spineless jerks who are unable to kindly (or at least neutrally) have opinions and make value-judgements and express preferences, because we are all so afraid of accidentally marginalizing someone or some group and then being demonized for it. This is the sort of thing that keeps people in unsatisfying relationships (can’t end it for fear of hurting the other person) and unsatisfying jobs and all sorts of stucknesses. It vexes me beyond all reckoning. It’s not just this sort of thing, either — it’s the whole “Everyone is a winner/Everything is beautiful and nothing is ever bad/Blah blah blah”. I feel we’ve lost sight of the fact that disliking people, or things, or situations is not the problem — it’s how we choose to express that dislike that can be the problem.

But I will stop ranting now. Honest. (And I think that you are peachy, but you already knew that.)
.-= Miss B´s last blog…Shining Silver Threads =-.

TheKitchenWitch January 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Miss B:

Of course your child is free to invite anyone s/he wants to the birthday bash. But if you have means to invite EVERY child in the class except one? That makes you a jerk.
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Neighbor Friday: Lost in Suburban Bliss =-.

Absence Alternatives January 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Miss B and TKD, I do believe that we all agree on “how we choose to express that dislike that can be the problem”.

Here’s the update for those of you that are still wondering what happened…: I did receive an email from the teacher thanking me for alerting her. She was surprised that she didn’t know about this (the party) until my email. Today I dropped off D off at the party really late (because he had a gym meet today), and “Charles” did go but had to leave because he too had some sort of competition to attend. Perhaps I was being an ass for assuming that “Heather” came from a wealthy family, so it was a bit of a surprise when I drove into the neighborhood. (I’ll stop here) Anyway, she didn’t seem particularly snobbish or Queen Bee-ish. Her parents are nice, down-to-earth, and genuinely friendly. I found out that the girls that she’s having a sleepover with tonight are kind and smart girls that we have known since Kindergarten years. Because all these kids are going to the same middle school, I sincerely hope they will be able to positively reinforce each other.

On the other hand, no, I am not being naive: some of the really mean girls that we heard from the news stories were straight A, polite kids in front of the adults. Bullying can have real consequences in real life. Just look at what’s happening in South Hadley, MA, right now. The death of the teenage girl still haunts me after I learned of it 2 weeks ago. And the girls that drove her to suicide? Apparently still wielding power at school. It really makes my blood boil every time I check the news update on the progress…

Jen @ NathanRising February 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

My heart aches for Charles because I HAVE BEEN THERE. I was the kid that was always left out. I sat by myself during lunches, played alone or, if I was lucky, with the other “nerds” during recess… and I tell you, that shit stays with you for years. My mom would always get so upset at how I was treated. She would say, “Kids are cruel, even more so than most adults.” And she was SO right.

When you said that indifference is the most hurtful thing one human being can do to the other, I found my eyes start to well up with tears. That is so true. Because even being hated is better than being ignored… because hate is an intense emotion, like love.

GOOD FOR YOU for sticking up for Charles. Did the teacher ever respond? (Sorry- I comment-hogged again!!!)

-Jen

Absence Alternatives February 6, 2010 at 1:03 am

{{{{hugs}}}} Even till this day, at the age of 40, I get completely out of whack when I feel “ignored”. You can’t even fight that. It’s one of the worst things to experience as a woman at work, imo.

Jen @ NathanRising February 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Ok, nevermind… I just read through the comments and saw your update!!!
-Jen

Terresa Wellborn February 9, 2010 at 12:13 am

This resonates with me.

I wrote an essay about school nerds vs. the “in” crowd and posted it on my blog last week. (It’s entitled, “The girl in the Jordache jeans.”)

I shudder at the nastiness I dealt the nerds before I knew better.
.-= Terresa Wellborn´s last blog…POEM: The Gift by William Stafford =-.

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