Green Bean Girl

Twinkle is getting bullied at school. Someone decided she was a “weirdo” because she chose green beans instead of French fries with her hot lunch. For the last several school days the bully has coerced everyone else in her class to slide to the opposite side of their long lunch table, squishing together so as not to get too close to the green bean eater.

Her class has 20 boys and 6 girls. The five other girls had decided a few weeks ago that Twinkle doesn’t fit in with them, so she has been relegated to playing the “girl” parts of the boy games. Now with the boy calling her a green-bean lover she is completely alone.

The 1st graders at her elementary school should feel very lucky that it is her dad, not me, that takes her to school.

We are meeting with the school tomorrow, so Dave and I are preparing ourselves. Although we plan to take her out of the school entirely we need to find a solution while we work out how to pay for private education. Note to artists- start praying for children who will not require private school now, as you will never be able to afford doing something else for them. We want to be careful not to blame the teacher or put her on the defensive, but whenever we do that it feels like the language shifts to making Twinkle responsible for changing her own situation.

“We are concerned about her social interaction?” feels like a coded plea to tell us how we can change her to fit the mold of the classroom better. Considering she is “othered” for liking vegetables and not liking boys yet, I don’t want her to feel compelled to change herself for the sake of friendships that are based on acquired personality traits.

“How should we approach this bullying situation?” Again, it puts the onus on us when I think it falls squarely on the shoulders of the bullies.

What I want to say is this, “Twinkle is getting tortured for all of her personality traits that make her awesome, that we spent the first six years of her life cultivating. Tell those bullies to shut their ugly, hateful mouths already, ok? Take control of your classroom. You can’t make kids stop their hate, but you can stop them from spewing it while under your care.”

Blaming the victim starts young, my friends, and I will not allow my daughter to feel like she is the cause of her current situation. I plan to meditate before our meeting, using the visualization of a bear in its cave, ready to pounce but not enraged. I need to harness my momma bear enough for the teacher to feel like a partner in the solution, and not feel unjustly blamed for the poor behavior of her students.  When did six-year-old children become so vicious?


About TT&NB

Wife, Mother, grant writer, professional do-gooder and friend
This entry was posted in Family, Parenting, Twinkle Toes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Green Bean Girl

  1. Christina says:

    ugh. UGH. this scares the crap out of me. I was thinking about this JUST this morning when I dropped my nearing 4 yo off at school. she started crying before I left b/c a boy was insisting that Halloween wasn’t for another 2 weeks and Lovie is very much looking forward to Halloween being Thursday. I mean, tears were flying out of her eyes. 🙂 she’s a sensitive one, that’s for sure, but it totally made me think about her future and what might happen if she comes across a bully. it scares me b/c it really seems to be so much worse lately. also, her old BFF at school was a bit of a bully to other kids… as much as a 3.5 yo can be (she changed schools a couple months back, thankfully). I’ve been having to tell her that she needs to like what she likes, etc, and not what other people want her to like. they are THREE for crying out loud. good for you for being on top of this though. and SHAME on that school for not taking care of this sooner! FIRST GRADE?!?? 😦

    • TT&NB says:

      It makes me so f*cking livid, the entire situation should have been nipped in the bud a week ago. I want to homeschool so badly when stuff like this happens, but I need to work (which makes me feel so guilty)

  2. dmdeluca17 says:

    This is so sad. Sorry for your sweet Twinkle and for your broken hearts…

  3. How sad! Twinkle is so amazing,
    I was bullied really bad twice in my K-8 career. Sadly, Bully Grades 1&2 is now incredibly famous; just like his Dad. Bullies 5-8 (hint: catholic school “on the lake”) were encouraged by a couple higher-ups in the school because I wasn’t baptized.

    I would sit with her at lunch if I could, green beans are delicious!!! Tell Twinkle to stay strong and our hearts are with her.

    • TT&NB says:

      Thanks! We are thinking about a non-religious private school because our kids are being raised in a secular humanist church which would SO not go over well in a parochial school!

      • Preachin’ to the choir girl.
        I went through private schools. I also went to a school that was named after a Shel Silverstein book. I wouldn’t recommend there either.
        I know a lot of people have had great times at private schools, I heard great things about Liggett. 🙂
        Good luck choosing, and I hope Twinkle is holding strong with her beliefs.

  4. Aunt Jackie says:

    Can you put her in another public school? Her district is School of Choice. I say you try that before private school because, like another reply said, bullies exist even in private schools. I know she’s shy and they are usually targets. I was picked on K-8 for being quiet (and probably moreso for being overweight) and 9-12 for being a “bitch” because I grew out of my shyness and became very vocal for my own cause (and I seemed to get attention from the boys which didn’t sit well with the girls). It’s sad that nothing ever changes.

    • TT&NB says:

      Thanks Jackie. I hadn’t thought of another private school before. After I read this comment last night Dave and I looked into the other public schools that could be good options should our intervention tonight not go as planned.

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  6. Jan says:

    You can not tell me the teachers are “unaware”…bullshit. All the talk now is about “anti-bullying” & this is going on in first grade??? Someone at that school has dropped the ball…and it needs to stop. She is awesome…and quite the individual…that is scary to the other , less confident students….Remember the line from Talley’s Folly? It’s hard to (I don’t remember the exact phrase) have a mind of your own ?) when you’re being led by the nose…… If kids are doing this in 1st grade……something has to change the culture at that school……

    • TT&NB says:

      I agree 100%. Tonight we meet with the teacher and the principal. Most of the bullying happens at lunch time. Apparently the other kids steal her food and play catch with it, then force her to eat the food they drop on the ground. I am ENRAGED over this and will not stop until it is fixed.

  7. Louise says:

    Oh! This is terrible and I hope the conversation with the teacher is constructive . I worry my 4-year-old is prone to being bullied (she isn’t very good at sticking up for herself and is extremely sensitive) so we are watching closely. She had a bit of an issue in preschool (ie: at 3!) with one little boy and we had to work really hard to get her through that – but the talks with the mom of the boy in question (who was bullying all 4 girls in the class – and I later found out – one of the boys who subsequently changed classes as a result!) were pretty fruitless because it became a “oh, boys will be boys, he doesn’t understand/doesn’t do that/of course he likes your daughter” etc…

    Right now we are just at the “so and so hit me” stage of school mostly – but working really hard to keep a dialogue on it so as to monitor what happens – and to discuss it with the teacher when certain names re-occur.

    I hope this sorts out for you. And your approach – ie: that your daughter’s qualities are what make her HER and she shouldn’t change that to suit someone else – is sound. Nurture a strength in her to proudly stand up for who she is from a young age and hopefully that helps in the longer run. I’m HOPING that’s true, anyway – ’cause that’s what I’m trying to do….

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