A lady (unnamed) was called by her daughter’s school authorities with regard to an unacceptable thing her daughter had done. The lady, an emergency nurse, took a long time to revert to the school’s phone calls owing to a serious case she had to pay heed to in the hospital.
On reaching the school, she was not only taunted on being late but also her daughter was made the culprit for taking a step to defend herself- she had punched a guy in her class. The lady, however, wasn’t one to take such injustice lying down.
Therefore, after teaching the school authorities and the offender guy a thing or two about self-respect and defence, she put her experience down in her own words:
“(I’m an A&E nurse. We’re not allowed our phones on us; they’re to be kept in our lockers. A call comes into hospital reception on a private line for me.)
Phone: “This is from . There’s been an incident involving . We need you to come in.”
Me: “Is she ill or injured? Can it wait until my shift is over in two hours?”
Phone: “ has struck another pupil. We’ve been trying to call you for 45 minutes. It really is very serious.”
(I go to the school and am ushered into the head’s office. I see my daughter, her head of year, a male teacher, the headmaster, a boy with blood around his nose and a red face, and his parents.)
Head: “Mrs. [My Name], how kind of you to FINALLY join us!”
Me: “Yeah, things get busy in A&E. I’ve spent the last hour administering over 40 stitches to a seven-year-old who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle and then I had to deal with the police regarding the matter. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
(After watching him try to not act embarrassed, he tells me what has happened. The boy had twanged my daughter’s bra and she had punched him in the face twice. I got the impression they were more angry with my daughter than the boy.)
Me: “Oh. And you want to know if I’m going to press charges against him for sexually assaulting my daughter and against the school for allowing him to do it?”
(They all get jittery when I mention sexual assault and start speaking at once.)
Teacher: “I don’t think it was that serious.”
Head Of Year: “Let’s not over-react.”
Head: “I think you’re missing the point.”
(The boy’s mother then starts crying. I turn to my daughter to find out what happened.)
Daughter: “He kept pinging my bra. I asked him to stop but he didn’t, so I told Mr. . He told me to ‘ignore it.’ did it again and undid my bra so I hit him. Then he stopped.”
(I turn to the teacher.)
Me: “You let him do this? Why didn’t you stop him? Come over here and let me touch the front of your trousers.”
Teacher: “What?! No!”
Me: “Does that seem inappropriate to you? Why don’t you go and pull on Mrs. ’s bra right now. See how fun it is for her. Or on that boy’s mum’s bra. Or mine. You think just because they’re kids it’s fun?”
Head: “Mrs. [My Name]. With all due respect, still beat another child.”
Me: “No. She defended herself against a sexual attack from another pupil. Look at them; he’s nearly 6 feet and 11 or 12 stone. She’s 5 feet and 6 stone. He’s a foot taller than her and twice as heavy. How many times should she have let him touch her? If the person who was supposed to help and protect her in a classroom couldn’t be bothered what should she have done? He pulled her bra so hard it came undone.”
(The boy’s mum is still crying and his dad looks both angry and embarrassed. The teacher won’t make eye contact with me. I look at the headmaster.)
Me: “I’m taking her home. I think the boy has learnt his lesson. And I hope nothing like this ever happens again, not only to , but to any other girl at this school. You wouldn’t let him do it to a member of staff so what makes you think he can do it to a girl of 15 is beyond me. I will be reporting this to the governors. And if you—” *turning to the boy* “—EVER touch my daughter again I WILL have you arrested for sexual assault. Do you understand me?”
(I was so angry I gathered my daughter’s things and left. I reported it to the Board of Governors, several of whom I know from Church (it’s a Catholic school), and was assured it would be strongly dealt with. I also reported it to OFSTED (Government-run school monitoring) and they were equally as horrified and assured me they would contact the school. My daughter was put into a different class for that subject, away from the teacher and the boy.)”
The ordeal this lady and her daughter had to go through highlights three things:
Ignorance on the part of the authorities who thought it a small matter for a boy to tug at a girl’s bra in class. And for her mother to reproach the guy, rather than her daughter for defending herself, was a matter of “missing the point” for them.
Good Defence on the part of the girl who wouldn’t take such an act lightly. That’s what we all must learn!
Resolution on the part of this lady who stood by her daughter and taught the authorities the lesson they so needed to learn.
It’s a shame and irony that such a thing unfolded in a school where people go to learn not only subjects but facts about life too. And by thing, I mean the authorities’ reaction to the situation more than the guy’s misdemeanour.