Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Heathers, or Why Middle School Sucks
I don't write often about O because she's 14 and an anomaly in that she's a very nice, very fun teen-ager. There's very little drama most of the time. She does her homework, she helps out around the house (ok, I have to prod her, but still - she does it) and she occasionally makes pancakes for the whole family. You have to love a kid who helps feed her mother's maple syrup addiction. In short, she's a good kid.
This year, she's in the 8th grade and it has sucked from the start. She's struggling with some of her classes, but the biggest problem is a couple of girls who just won't leave her alone. Two of these girls were her friends but suddenly turned on her around October, for no reason that she can think of. These two, whom I shall call Heather, became friends with a couple of girls who are troublemakers. The troublemakers, Celine and Sarah, have, between the two of them, given one girl a concussion and broke another kid's finger. And now all four of them seem to be going after O and one of her friends.
These girls haven't physically harmed O, but their words and actions have caused O a lot of stress. They call O a slut, they get in her face, daring her to hit one of them and they glare and stare and whisper about her in the halls and in the classroom. At one point, it was so bad that O was losing sleep and throwing up because of it.
Of course I've talked to the school and they have reacted, to a certain extent. But some of this is still going on and O is at the point of giving up. And to be perfectly honest, O and her friend are very dramatic, so I'm unsure how much of this is going on (especially the glaring) and how much is O making mountains. I am not doubting her stories, not at all, and neither is the school, but I think it's gotten to the point that if one of these girls sneezes, O takes it as them being mean to her.
I'm not sure what else to do. The school has spoken with the other girls' parents, they've all been spoken to by the guidance counselor and by the vice-principal and I've had an on-going discussion with the same v-p about it. O has filled out bullying reports but she claims that nothing else is being done. I honestly don't know what else can be done at this point. The school seems to be taking the position of "We can't do anything unless/until one of them physically harms you." I am not too eager for it to get to that point, although O told me the other day that she'd rather one of them do something than keep going thru this stress. I can see her point. '
The mama in me would like nothing more than to go up to each of these girls and light into them, but I won't. I just wish I knew how to make this stop.