I just did something I never actually believed I would do…
I emailed a link to an article about introverts in schools, to the head of school and principal of my daughter’s, now former, school.
A few days ago I was angry, resentful, sad but most of all disappointed. Really disappointed!
How did I get there..? And how did I get to the point of trying to educate educators about personality types in schools…? Me? Really?
On April 4th when my girl verbalized her suicidal thoughts, she wasn’t allowed in school until her therapist cleared her. Understandable. She was cleared pretty fast, but refused to return to school. The school principal is one very Godly person… Gracefully gave me all the time I needed to help my girl get back to school – or not.
The reason my girl refused to return to school was her classmates. The mean girls… (yes, plural). As I had conversations with the therapist (who had been in contact with the principal) it began to dawn on me, that because my girl has anxiety and depression and therefore her cognitive skills aren’t as sharp as should be, school principal and teachers decided to give the other girls “the benefit of the doubt”…
My child may have her struggles, but she is not a liar!! I can’t tell you how angry I got when it dawned on me that these mean girls got away with bad behavior, regardless of what their intentions were.
We do not train children in the way they should walk, by not addressing their wrongs!
Once I made the decision to permanently pull her out, I emailed that decision to 6 school staff members. One replied with love and prayers. Two wouldn’t reply as they still work with my girl outside of school. The principal replied with usual grace as well. Two others did not reply at all: Classroom teacher and school counselor. I’m choosing to believe they had g-o-o-d!! reason for not replying, but honestly – I don’t think the classroom teacher could have done anything more disrespectful than to ignore that mail.
Brush it off! – brushed it off. It’s gone… somewhat.
In the mail I asked if my girl could pick up her things and get a chance to meet the adults she has loved working with, to help her say goodbye in her heart. That part of the mail was addressed only by one and that was a “cotton candy’ed” sentence that sounded “I look forward to seeing her around the community”. That’s American for “no” in case you wonder. Yes, I’m feeling resentful.
But the last drop – the one that sent me into a twirl of anger and disappointment was when I picked up her things from the classroom. Her classroom teacher was there, her desk was already gone, her things stuffed into a plastic bag. I grabbed it, got her indoor shoes, looked into the eyes of her teacher and thought “aren’t you going to say something… anything?“, but despite the sad-ish look in her eyes, there was no greeting to my girl, no questions asked and literally not a word spoken. I kept quiet myself and just walked down the stairs.
That’s when the sadness overwhelmed me.
Not that she had left school, but that school seemed so… not caring.
My girl is an introvert. When I read the above article I thought about her time in the class and how many times I have heard her teachers say “participate more”… Her leaving school could possibly not have been prevented, but the act of telling an introvert “you should participate more” may feel like being asked to enter a snake pit for kids on the introvert scale… It certainly didn’t help my daughter.
May the Lord speak to the hearts of all teachers around the globe. Amen.