I first want to say thank you to Fox2 News for covering our story, and thank you to everyone that helped get the word out about Jenelle's bullying situation. It's greatly appreciated.
I also want to point out previous posts on this matter, so you can see how long it has been going on and how hard I have tried to resolve the matter with Mason Elementary. This has been a long journey.
Aug: Started Documenting Bullying, first week of school
Sept: School still refuses to help.
Oct: Little Sister gets bullied
Nov: Jenelle got written up for fighting back
Dec: A Plea for Help – The post that got attention.
The counselor called me a phony and a fake because I still honored my obligations with volunteering in the classroom, baking five dishes for the teacher's luncheon, donating coats, and donating school supplies when they were running low. That is when I really got upset. There is almost zero parent involvement in that school, and for them to say that about someone that IS trying to be involved is ridiculous. The counselor continued on, and told me the staff actually used those words about me – she was just relaying it.
We also made a video last week:
It is now December 11th and a solution for our problem has been found (possibly), but that does not mean the staff that neglected to protect my daughter should get away with it. The principal, vice principal, and counselor specifically are the ones that I relied on to help us – they failed us instead.
December: The district steps in.
I blogged last week, asking people to report the bullying issue. I thought if a large number of people reported it, something might get done. I was right, in part. The school continued to ignore the issue, except for the counselor calling me – yelling at me that I'm going to make her lose her job, telling me it's silly for Nell to expect NOT to be called a lesbian since WE are lesbians, and more.
Then, someone from the district called me. She said she was reaching out to offer her help. Of course I took her up on it right away!
I met with her on Monday morning, first thing, and brought Officer Wade with me. I was thankful for his presence, but the school noticed and pointed out that he just wanted to get his foot in the door and push his anti-bullying program, as he didn't really talk about Nell's situation much. It was more about the big picture – which is great – but not why we set up the meeting. Overall, I'm glad he came with me as I think I would have felt outnumbered if he hadn't. It was very intimidating speaking to staff, and trying to trust them, when their staff has failed my daughter so many times already.
The district agreed to send Jenelle to a new school, which is great of them to do! However, that doesn't stop the bullying at Mason Elementary. It will still continue, and the staff will still ignore it, and kids will still feel like crap because of it.
After the meeting with the district, I had an interview with Fox2News. While I'm very thankful that they covered our story, considering NONE of the other news stations responded, I'm disappointed in the spin they put on it. They tried to say we thought it was because of my sexual orientation that Nell was being bullied. While that may have had something to do with it, I'm not convinced that it was the reason she was being bullied. I do, however, feel the reason the staff ignored it is because of the fact that my partner and I are lesbians.
I am very satisfied with what the district has offered as far as protecting Jenelle. I am NOT satisfied in the way Mason Elementary has handled the issue, or the fact that we have to uproot our daughter to move away from the bullies because of it.
These bullies need help. The staff needs help – and needs to pay for neglecting the children in their school. But the end of the day, I'm most worried about protecting my daughters, and if that means switching schools then that is what we will do – no matter how inconvenient it happens to be.
Schools have to protect their students or there will be more suicides, more school shootings, etc. We, as parents have to stand up and get something done when the school refuses to. Because where the school leaves off, we have to pick up… and in this case it's not a 50/50 partnership… I've had to do 100% of the work to get something done and for that, I'm very disgusted.