Won’t Let Nobody Hurt You

And so it came to pass, on the day before the day before Thanksgiving break, that some little shit decided it would be a good idea to sexually harass my baby in the middle of their sixth grade classroom. It was not the best decision he’s ever made.

This boy exhibited the kind of behavior that would get you punched in a bar. In a workplace, it would get you fired. In the classroom today, it got a look of shock and a quick avoidance from the Eldest. She felt too shy to tell the teacher and instead waited until she got home to tell first me, and then both of us. The reaction was swift – first we told her that his behavior was unacceptable and that she was right to come to us. Then my Bestest wrote a strongly worded email to the Principal and her teacher. It’s a letter I could’ve written as well, but he’s better at that sort of thing and besides – a letter from a concerned father about his baby girl being sexually harassed tends to be taken more seriously than when the mother writes the same letter.

The response from her school was just as swift – her principal emailed us back, assuring us that it would be taken care of. He added the guidance counselor to the email. Her teacher emailed and called us, reassuring us (and the Eldest) that things would be taken care of and that if the Eldest had any concerns ever, she should feel free to talk to the teacher or guidance counselor. The guidance counselor emailed us as well. We’re happy with the school’s response so far.

It just infuriates me that we have to have this conversation with the Eldest now. She just turned 12. Except this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about it. She had a similar, though less invasive, experience in third grade. What the hell is wrong with kids these days? If the Son ever did something like that, he’s be grounded forever at best. We talk to all of them about how to treat each other and others with respect. Are other parents not having these types of conversations?

We can’t protect our kids from everything. What we can do – and what we did over and over today – is reassure them that we have their backs. The Eldest and her siblings know that we’ll fight for them. Granted, we did have to tell her that calling him a “Fucking pervert” was unacceptable (just “Pervert”, thanks – she’ll get in trouble for the curse word). Any other action necessary, though – go for it. We told her to protect herself when and if she needs to, even in the classroom in the middle of a lesson. We’ll take care of the rest. We’ll always stand by them.

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