Saturday, September 27, 2014

Speechless 3.31.14

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I heard my mom talking to my best friend’s mom (they are friends too). We go to a private high school and we don’t have a lot of kids in the whole school from kindergarten up to high school.  One of the high school teachers is dating a student and everyone knows about it. My friend’s mom is also a teacher at our school and this is what she said to my mom, “She’s a little slut anyway.”

My mom said that it wasn’t the girl’s fault. I was proud of my mom, but I’m afraid to say anything to my friend who says the same things like her mom. Most kids at school are saying the same things.

What do I say?


Dear Speechless,
It’s more about what you DO than what you say. What you do will quietly speak volumes to your schoolmates and hopefully to their parents.  We are proud of you for wanting to know HOW to help a bullied girl and a possibly abused girl. Here are some ideas:

1. Go to the police authorities and ask your mom to come with you. Tell them what you have heard (and that it may be gossip) and tell them what you personally know (if anything, please don’t say anything you do not know first-hand) i.e. you saw them together at a restaurant etc.

2. FYI: If the teacher is taking a student “out” and having any type of inappropriate behavior with a student, the teacher is not “dating a student.” The teacher is doing a wrongful act.

3. However, let the authorities handle the investigation. You have done all you can do once you have reported it.

4. We applaud you for taking actions that may help a girl who may be abused and is certainly being bullied. A girl’s past behavior does not mean that she deserves anything bad happening to her. She does not know her worth.

5. Do not announce or tell anyone that you and your mom are reporting suspicious activities because you do not need to become bullied yourself for helping someone.

6. Once you and your mom have quietly reported your suspicions to authorities, you have started a process of support for your classmate.

7. However, do not feel ashamed (you can feel quietly proud of yourself for helping someone who may not have had a wonderful home-life) that you reported the incidents.

8. If someone accuses you of reporting the incident, (which they should not know about because you may report suspicions to the police in complete confidence) do not discuss unless you are required to do so by the authorities.

9. Do NOT discuss this with anyone but the authorities for your own protection. Simply do not answer questions or accusations by changing the subject. You are never obligated to explain nor defend yourself for helping someone else.

Your mom’s friend is the one who is required to report these types of behaviors. It isn’t a choice. It is mandated by law for her to report inappropriate teacher student behavior.  However, you are not responsible to make your friend’s mom do anything and you are not responsible for the possible careless and reckless behavior and verbiage (look up the meaning of this word if you do not know it) of your friend or her mom.  You are responsible for the friends you choose and maybe you have out-grown this particular friend. Or maybe you may be the friend she really needs, someone who doesn’t gossip or over-share information with others. You have wonderful integrity and dignity. Maybe she’ll learn from you.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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