Monday, September 14, 2015

Principal's Suggestion Box #16

These letters are absolutely fictional (to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.) But, with the hint of truth, maybe we can make some adjustments. Principals have the best chance to do that.

Dear Principal, 
I am very concerned about how my daughter is being treated by other girls in the Grade 5 GATE class. Mr. J seems to teach interesting information, but the girls are really mean, even online. 
I have restricted Emily's use of the internet, but several others girls in the area, not only at our elementary school, are friends on FB and Twitter and other sites. They communicate mean comments instantly, even pictures. 
 I don't know what to do.
My daughter is quiet, doesn't make friends easily, and some of her friends from previous grades at this school now won't talk to her for fear they will also be targeted.  The parents we are acquainted with don't know what's going on.
It is my opinion there are students in the class that are future sociopaths. I know that's harsh. But the cold-blooded treatment of my daughter and others in the class (the three main ones make some of the boys cry frequently) is cruel, even some of the substitute teachers won't go back. The Middle School is famous for mean girls. 
I am very concerned for my daughter's mental health in this climate.

Please help,
Emily's Dad 

What is cyberbullying, exactly?

Mean Girls: Why Girls Bully and How to Stop Them 

Why are those girls so mean? 

Social and Emotional Learning 


My Two-Cents Worth: A principal sets the tone for everyone. A complaint like this,  from the legal ramifications, shows there needs to be some Social and Emotional Instruction going on, as well as communication between principals. We want to have improvement in student relationships, of course, and avoid notoriety if a student commits suicide due to cyberbullying. A principal, being made aware by a parent (when the teacher is clueless), has the responsibility to check things out. Implementing an anti-bullying program immediately would be wise. Professional development for the staff on cyber-bullying, and the signs of mental delicacy in students should also be on the schedule right away. Supervising a positive learning climate at your school is always on the agenda.

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