Admittedly, it comes a little late. I wish that we had been supplied this information earlier. Perhaps, we could have saved our daughter copious amounts of pain and agony at the hands of the school personnel that were entrusted with her education and well-being during the day. However, this new information leaves me feeling validated in our decision to pull her from the school. It also supports our belief that our daughter was telling us the truth when she admitted to the things she was guilty of and denied other things.
At the beginning of the year when we had moved suddenly, the school called Child Protective Services (CPS) on us. They did a well check at my friend’s house where we were staying. After a couple weeks, we were able to move back into our home and re-enrolled our daughter back at the school she had begun the year at. That’s when everything went south at the school. CPS was already involved because of their previous call. When we returned to the house, they had to come check the house and make sure it was truly livable again. The guy from CPS also visited her at school to have a chat and make sure she was really okay.
None of this really bothered us. We were confident in our parenting and our decisions for the well-being of our children. When we pulled her recently because we could not stand for the bullying any longer, the school called and reported us again. They claimed the house was in such deplorable conditions that it was unfit for anyone to live in. Of course, CPS has to check onthe validity of these claims. The same worker was assigned again.
He was here the other day. He told me he was actually happy to hear that we were homeschooling again. He had known that CPS would be getting another call. He was sure that things were going to get way worse for our daughter in that school. He informed me that when he arrived for that meeting with our daughter (which I, oops, failed to inform the school was coming because I wanted him to surprise them), he found our daughter in the office with four grown ups. They were yelling at her to calm down. His observation was that she was calm. If she started to reach for something to fidget with, they would snatch it away and yell at her to not destroy anything. He said that they acted as if she was destroying the office. He said in actuality she was just sitting calmly and occasionally fidgeting with papers and such that were left on the table in front of her.
He said that he had wanted to tell me. He had considered contacting me and informing me of what he had witnessed. CPS is not allowed to get involved if a child is not being abused. If there is no danger to the child, they have to stay out of it. It sounded to me like his supervisor didn’t allow him to let me know what he had seen.
It saddens me that a grown up in a position to save a child who was in my daughter’s position felt that his hands were tied. It also validates our decision to remove our daughter from that school. It validates our daughter’s claims that she would be sitting quietly in the office, patiently waiting to be returned to class. It validates her claims that they continuously denied her access to the classroom.
When he asked me where they came up with the obviously inflamed claims of the state of our house, I suggested that it may have been during the many long walks they took her on. I told him that if I had to wager a guess, they guided the conversation and asked leading questions until they could piece together the claims that they made and she gave them the things that they wanted. After all, according to my daughter all she ever wanted during those walks was to be allowed to return to class. She admitted she would say or do anything they told her to if it would mean that she could return to class.
There needs to be a system in place that is like CPS that investigates claims of abhorrent treatment of children in schools. So, she wasn’t being physically hurt by the staff. CPS couldn’t step in to protect her. What if there had been an agency that he could have called to report what he had seen? After all, it was definitely not okay what he saw. It left a bad taste in his mouth. He wanted to take her out of there and bring her home to me. His hands were tied. When my son was in kindergarten, a parent witnessed his teacher physically abusing him. She approached me because she saw me shopping one day. What if she hadn’t seen me shopping? Would that abuse have continued? We need a better system.
My child is now safely home with me. She is learning and completing her work. She is slowly finding herself less anxious every day. But what about the millions of other children in schools allover the place whose parents don’t know of the abuse they are enduring at the hands of the school bullies who are supposed to be protecting and nurturing them during the day? Who is there to protect them? What can we do to keep the future of our nation safe?