Schools Need To Monitor Playground Activity

Well, I’ve had a very hard week.  Chandra, my youngest has been hurt 3 times!  What a week!  Please can we not have a repeat?

I mainly want to focus on Incident 2 and 3 here as they both had to do with the school playground.  However, to be fair, I have to briefly touch upon the 1st incident.   Incident 1 was to do with the TV at home nearly falling on top of her, since she had pulled out too many drawers of the chest of drawers where the TV resided on.  I heard a scream, and then she gave me the fright of my life, and hers too – when she said the TV had almost gone on her head, and it had brushed her arm.  She could have broken her arm!  This occurred last Friday.  My lesson was learned, I moved that TV away from her room – she will not have another one in there.  She never watched it anyway in there.

Then on Tuesday, she fell off the bars at her school’s playground, not the monkey bars exactly, but similar bars, called pull-up-bars, where she likes to do backward flips.  She fell on her back, and I had to leave work early.  When I got the call, I was so scared, as I didn’t know what to expect.  The school nurse said her back was stiff. Well, it turned out she was okay, and nothing was broken.

Now the 3rd incident was the most heart-wrenching and gruelling one for me, even though she did not get as dangerously hurt, she was more terrifyingly hurt.  I got a call from the school Principal while I was at work, on Thursday (just yesterday) at around 3pm.  She described the incident below, and said she wanted to bring it to my attention, and that she has addressed the situation, and that no one should be pushing someone around, and throwing them into the bushes.  She said she has dealt with it properly.  She did not tell me the names of the kids involved, and said if Chandra told me that is different.  I can understand her need to be discreet.

Below, is an account of what happened yesterday, as told by Chandra to me about two and a half hours after the Principal described it to me, I wrote it all down and then sent the email.   I have cut and pasted it from an email I sent to the teacher, and Chandra’s Principal (just slightly modified as I was really mad and seething, and didn’t care if I used quotation marks for referring to what a particular kid said before I pressed “send” on the email.    I have in this post of course, disguised all the people’s names, replacing them with Boy X or Boy Z, etc (the letter does not even represent their first or last name) and Teacher A or Teacher B (same rule applies, this does not represent the adults’ first or last name.  I will leave Chandra’s name in it as this is a real story, and real stories must be told, in the hopes that people will learn and things will change.

Hi Teacher A,
I talked to Chandra after picking her up from the ……….., and asked her about the incident that you called me about this afternoon.  She told me that she and Boy A accidentally bumped into each other, and she said sorry to him, but he didn’t say sorry back to her. She believes he thought Chandra was mad with him and that was why he ran away, so she ran after him to say sorry again, because she thought he didn’t hear her.  Meanwhile a boy named Boy B, saw she was chasing Boy A, and called out to Boy A and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll hold her down”, and then he chased Chandra.  She stopped outside her class (where she should have been safe), and as was out of breath, she sat on the bench (again………right outside her class) and Boy B came up to her and held her down on the bench.  Boy B asked  “Where is the ruby?” to Chandra, and Chandra said she doesn’t know about any ruby, and she doesn’t have one.  Another boy, Boy C, was right next to Chandra and said “You are under arrest, here’s your handcuffs”, and produced some string.  He just held it, but didn’t put it on Chandra or hold her down, but neither did he help her.  He actually thought it was time to joke at a time like this, instead of helping Chandra.  He just goes along with it as though this is a game and Chandra is playing!  How can this be?  I am shocked that he couldn’t have helped Chandra, and allowed her to get hurt this way.  Boy B then pushed Chandra to the bushes, and she straightened up, and he asked “Is the ruby in the bushes?” She said “There is no ruby and it’s not in the bushes”.     He said “thanks for your help, and now I’m going to let you go”.

Meanwhile, her friend Girl A was around this whole time, and was the only one trying to help Chandra.  She was actually screaming “Help” , “Can you guys leave her alone, she was just trying to say sorry to Boy A” and she said “help, please stop” at least 3 times, and nobody helped!  In fact, Chandra said there was a male teacher or parent volunteer close by right by the handball courts close to her class, and even though Chandra was screaming really loud as well as Girl A, this adult male did not help them.  How can you have staff members around or parent volunteers who are not doing their job and being observant, or protecting the kids as they are supposed to be?  How could this possibly happen?  Right outside her class, where she should have been safe, she was terrorized by a boy, with another boy looking on oblivious to her pain!  Kids and adults ignoring her cries, and screams for help, as well as ignoring Girl A.  I find this totally horrible, and inexcusable, and really hope that you will tell this Boy B to stay away from Chandra, and never go close to her ever again!  How dare he terrorize her this way!  Disgusting!

I know you said you handled it, but I really hope you have, and that you talk to both these boys parents, especially Boy B.  You must give an additional lecture to the kids on not staying quiet, and telling on one another – I’ve had to say this time and time again.  I don’t know what is going on with the kids at your school.  They are not very nice with helping each other when they see others being attacked or victimized.  Please do something about this.

Thank you,

Davinder

Well, I know I go on and on in emails, and sometimes in my posts, but how would you feel if this happened to your kid?  I find it very worrying.  A little 7 year old girl, is constantly picked on at this school by one kid or another.  Just to give you an example, just about two months ago she told me that the teacher had walked away, and another little girl who was sitting next to her told Chandra to get out of her square.  They have squares on the carpet in her class where they sit down.  She then continued to kick Chandra repeatedly, while other kids were watching, and not one kid stood up for Chandra and told on her!  Do you know why?  They teach kids in this country to not “tattle-tale” which I think means the equivalent of what we used to say in the UK and what I am still used to saying “telling tales on one another”, so the kids stay quiet or they get told off for “tattle-telling or whatever you call it.  Why can’t they teach them to tell on each other, and this way little kids like Chandra wouldn’t be victimized while the rest complacently watch and allow it to happen.  No wonder, they grown up, and continue that same pattern of watching and not telling.  I then have to do this extra work, and tell the teachers that this is wrong, and change your methods, tell the kids to tell.  I tell Chandra to tell on other kids all the time, if she sees something happen, and if anyone does anything to her, to not let them get away with it.  Just tell on them, and don’t be afraid.  What is this world coming to?  Also, if teachers don’t tell parents when their kids are doing bad things, how will the parents appropriately lecture their kids and teach them what is right and wrong?  Sometimes, forget the teachers telling parents, I don’t even think they tell the kids off!  Let’s also not forget the playground monitors.  What on earth are they doing?  Drinking coffee, talking to one another or going on their phones?  Aren’t they supposed to be there to monitor.  Remember, my little girl was being terrorized by another little boy, while another boy watched, and her screams and that of her friend were ignored by many kids, the playground volunteer, and God knows who else!  The saddest thing too, is it happened outside her class where she should have been safe.  Actually, come to think of it, isn’t she supposed to be safe in her school playground and school all the time, without question?

I know I write long emails, I know I write long posts, but I won’t apologize for getting worked up. I will defend her. I will defend all my kids.  They don’t call me Davinder, the defender, for no reason.

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About luchanik

I love travel, and cruises, and exploring the world. I also like taking pictures, and treasuring those memories.

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