A mom has described the email she sent to her 12-year-old daughter’s teacher, disagreeing with her encouragement to include all within-class group projects. Her daughter does not want to work with a specific boy and her mother is standing up for her right to say no.
The Right To Choose
At the age of 12, the original poster (OP) felt that her daughter was ready to learn more about creating and maintaining boundaries, uncomfortable emotions, and the right to say no.
The OP feels strongly that her daughter has the right to choose if she wants to spend time with someone, in or out of school, particularly if she feels uncomfortable being around them.
The OP’s daughter’s teacher asked the class to arrange themselves into groups of “about four or five” as part of their classwork. Her daughter and friends formed a group of five and were happy with the composition.
A boy, who had been causing her problems at recess, decided that he would join their group, despite others with fewer than five in their groups.
Four Not Five
Despite the OP’s daughter informing him that he ought to join another group with agreement from the other girls, he insisted, quoting the teacher as having said “about” four or five, not a maximum of five.
However, the boy refused to move groups, stating that “it’s against class rules.” The OP’s daughter said that she didn’t care.
The Teacher’s View
The OP heard all about the incident from her daughter. However, the OP received an email from the teacher stating that her daughter excluding another child from the class was unacceptable and went against her class’s behavior rules and responsibilities.
The teacher expected the OP to speak to her daughter and explain why what she did was wrong. The overview of events from the teacher’s perspective matched that of her daughters, so she felt proud of the honesty shown.
The OP stood her ground, feeling that her daughter and friends had the right to choose not to work with someone whose behavior made them feel uncomfortable. As such, she replied to the teacher, explaining her point of view.
The OP explained that she feels taking an “include everyone” approach is a dangerous thing to do. She elaborated that as a young adult, some men took advantage of her as a result of her feeling unable to say “no” to them.
The teacher responded to the OP’s email requesting a meeting with the principal. Expecting to be chastised for her email, the OP reached out to the parents of the other girls involved.
All agreed that the girls should not be forced to work with this boy and were frustrated that more was not done in the first place to alleviate the recess issues.
The principal allowed the meeting to be reorganized in order to allow the other parents to attend, too. The attendees asked that the school staff be trained on trauma-informed teaching methods and the dangers of an “include everyone” approach. Furthermore, they expected that recess problems would be dealt with promptly and fairly.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.