I feel like I should be saying "to the nation and all the ships at sea", but the WWII reference would be lost on so many and I am so exhilarated you'll need to excuse my mania.
Shel and GK went to school this morning armed with our letter of protest, which was addressed to the principal, and both teachers involved in the UNM OSI rock throwing incident. Although this makes for a very long blog, I would like for you to see what we wrote.
Upon reflection on our conversation of 9/28/2012 concerning the UNM OSI rock throwing incident, I feel it my place to inform you of certain particular issues.
My child, GereaKaye was very distressed as were you, Ms.. That is obvious from the tone of your voice in our conversation.
I cannot speak to your reason for vexation, but I can inform you as to why Gerea was. I want you to understand her better, not make excuses for her because she said she did not participate in the rock throwing. I believe her because of her past but it is obvious that my view of my child holds no sway with you and you are satisfied that she is a liar, an embarrassment to 21st Century and you personally. But I would ask that you do some investigation into your colleagues view of my daughter, her behavior and her demeanor. This might sway you to understanding her better.
I will just let you know that while you were put off by her standing up for herself, I am proud of her for that. Gerea is a survivor of verbal, emotional and physical abuse by an adult. She has been in therapy for 3 years and is just beginning to find her voice and her position in life as a worthy human. Her "oak tree" stance with you was what she has been taught to weather her pain.
Your tirade of being embarrassed, her being a terrible example of 21st and also the comment about questioning the validity of the adult who informed you of her guilt all are pieces in the abuse puzzle. You could not have known any of that. But your posturing, embarrassing, threatening and pushing at her to wear her down are all bullying tactics used by her abuser in the past.
She stood up to you as long as she could and then buckled to your reprimand. So when you said to me "she is either lying to you now or lied to me then", you are wrong. She was coping as best as she could in that confrontation.
The came away feeling as though she had betrayed herself. Not you, not the school, not me but the young woman who has been trying to "be her truth". We were blessed by Gerea having a standing appointment with her therapist this evening. Gerea has come to grips with her caving in to your demands of confession under pressure. She will take whatever punishment you choose to dole out, knowing she is innocent and taking her "oak tree" stance with roots in the truth and the ability to sway with the breeze of life.
I do however take exception to your absolute belief that an adult would not lie, while a 12 year old certainly would. That is harmful thinking especially when the other girls involved told you that Gerea was not a participant.
My hope is that you will let this incident pass through you not dwell within you and that you and Gerea can find a good place to work and enjoy each other's company. She is very fond of your class, the subject matter and up until the bump in the road today, you. Trust should be something that both of you work on together if possible.
But please Ms. do talk to the Mr. R, Ms. M. and any of the other 6th grade teachers about Gerea. I know that you will be pleasantly informed of a kid who went to Regional science fair last year and has already finished her experiments this summer for this years entry, enjoys school, loves to learn, a voracious reader, is a quirky nerdy kid with dreams of being a computer designer. Please continue to allow 21st Century Academy to be a safe place for Gerea to be a student and grow as a person.
Lastly, I am very proud of who my child is and would wear the same color shirt as she anytime, I am sorry that you are not and that you felt that you needed to share that "truth "with her.
If any one of you would like to discuss the incident, this letter, my concerns or my child, please feel free to contact me.
When they got there, the secretary asked how she could help and Shel told her that she had a letter for the two teachers and the principal. The principal overheard and invited them into her office. And then a miracle happened. She said she had seen GK upset on Friday afternoon and wanted to know what was going on and how could she help. GK gave her view of the events and then the principal read our letter. She assured GK that she knew that GK certainly would not have been involved and that she was so very sorry that the teachers had reacted and acted the way they had. She excused herself and when to speak to the teachers.
In the meantime the PE teacher saw GK in the office, came in and asked if she could help and also assured GK that she was safe at school, well liked by students and staff and that she would have her back as well.
When the principal returned, she said she had spoken to both the teachers and there would be no punishment for GK because she had done nothing wrong, most especially when she stood up for herself and the truth. Both the teachers had been told by other students already this morning that in fact GK had not done anything. The principal let the teachers know that she would be available to GK and her Mom if the situation was anything but settled as of start of class today. Of course that doesn't mean that things will ever be the same between GK and those teachers but as the letter states we have high hopes for good character wining out in the end.
GK wrote out her view of the incident and that was that. She was assured by the principal that she was safe and if at any time she felt unsafe or threatened by anyone, be they teacher or student to not hesitate to just come to the principal. This invitation was also extended to Shel. And she once again apologized for an obvious error in judgement by the staff.
Don't ya just hate it when you're all ready to kick some ass and they listen and understand????? Spoils an olde broads day. And I was all ready starting the poison candy apple making. Not really, just joking.
I personally was dumbfounded by the principals caring, cooperation and action to settle the situation.
She had no idea what had gone on at UNM on Friday. Now I bet she was inwardly a little unsettled by not being told by her teaching staff. And I should imagine that the piper will need to be paid, somehow.
Both Shel and GK were well pleased and relieved. I still am in shock. I am also gonna have to think of something nice to do for the principal with principles because goodness needs to be rewarded always. This all could have gone so differently and we were all ready for that outcome.....this is just super happy news could not wait to share it with all of you.