So if you read my last post, you know my daughter was sexually harassed in school this past week. It started Monday, continued Wednesday, and I reported it Thursday morning. I went in to talk to her principal, told him the story, and was pretty reassured by his response. One of my greatest concerns was whether she would have to face a backlash for reporting it. He told me that was considered retribution, which is a felony, and would not be tolerated. I had no clue that was the case, but it definitely made me feel better.
When I went in to speak with the principal, I wanted to see them talk to the student and his parents and let them know this was unacceptable behavior. And hopefully see if he could be moved into a different class time (esp since he just transferred into that class this semester, a matter of weeks ago). I was told this would be referred to the police. That gave me pause, for as wrong as what he did was, I also know it was only words and I would hate to affect his future, in terms of college. The principal said he was already in trouble (legal) and maybe this would be what he needed to make a change. As I was leaving his office, I heard him telling the assistant to call my daughter in.
She let me know after she went in, and he had her fill out an incident report after he listened to her version of events. She gave him the name of the witness, and talked to the police officer, who also asked her if she had the same lunch period as the boy. She didn’t know. He hadn’t been on her radar – she’d talked to him a few times before this past week, in the class he was now in, about the work.
Today my daughter would have had class with him again. Instead, she left school early (not because of him) to go to her favorite weekend activity – her beloved USY kallah weekend. I swear, she lives for these weekends. I’m so glad it just happened to come after this past week! I reached out, by email, to the principal, this afternoon, to ask if the boy had been transferred out of her class, as she wanted to make sure. He called me himself and told me it had been done, and that the boy had been warned, by the police officer, that if he talks to her or has his friends talk to her, she is to let them know immediately. The principal told the boy if that were to happen, the police would be going to the district attorney to have charges filed.
I asked my daughter yesterday evening how she was doing. She said she’s pretty good. With a flip of her long hair, she said, after all, it’s just words so it’s easy to brush off. Still, I had her talk to the CIS counselor in the school this morning so if she has any trouble later, the counselor would have the background to move forward in getting help.
I think she’ll be fine. Thankfully, although they were disturbing words, and left her feeling threatened at the time, as my daughter said, they were just words. She felt strongly about reporting it just because it was so disturbing and she did feel so threatened. That left me thinking. I’m not as worried about her having long-term psychological effects after this experience. Well, after the harassment. The reporting will hopefully leave her feeling empowered and strong.
Now, after-effects of the harassment? Sadly, while most boys/men are respectful even while pursuing you, not all are. I hate to say that she has to learn that at some point, but it’s true. Before you blast me, I’m being completely realistic, not pessimistic, and definitely not engaging in any kind of male bashing. I just know what really goes on in this world. I think her attitude about words being able to be shrugged off will work well for her in the future.
I only hope the boy involved learned a lesson about talking to girls. And respect. And that his “rapey” dialog doesn’t lead to actual rape because someone shut him down before he got to that. Although his comment about liking to “take girls’ virginity” worries me. I hope they were all consensual