Imagine you get a call from your child’s school saying that she just hit another student. Yikes!
Now imagine that when you get there you find out the school has only told you a teeny, tiny part of the story. This Mum’s comeback that will make you cheer for another mother…
This is exactly what happened to one mum from Surrey, England. Telling her story on the website Not Always Learning, the mum details how a bullying accusation was much more than a simple case of one child hitting another.
Okay, so hitting is never alright. As parents, we know this and tell our kids this. But, when the mum was told that her teenage daughter had hit a boy in her class, she needed the full story. The teacher and Head of School informed her that her daughter was in serious trouble after physically assaulting a male student. What they hadn’t told her on the phone was that the boy had repeatedly snapped the girl’s bra.
Here’s how it all unfolded:
The boy admitted to snapping the bra. The girl admitted to punching him, after nothing was done at his repeated twanging. After being brought into the school and told what happened the mum asked, “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?”
That’s when the teacher and Head of Year took the supposedly serious incident of the girl hitting the boy down a notch and said, “Let’s not over-react.” Suddenly the situation went from being severe (when the girl hit the boy) to not that big of a deal (when they boy snapped the girl’s bra).
Not only did the boy touch the girl in a way that she very much did not want, but the teacher did nothing about it. The girl told her teacher, and the teacher reposed by asking her to ignore the snapping.
The girl hadn’t just randomly punched the boy. Far from it. Instead, she was defending herself against what most of us would consider sexual assault. When did it become okay for a boy to touch a girl’s bra at school? And, when did it become okay for a boy to continue this behaviour when the girl says, “no”?
Sexual assault is a serious issue, and should never be ignored by a teacher. The fact that this teacher actually told the girl to ignore it speaks volumes – and not in a good way. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, sexual assaults have risen by 51% since 1995. Any kind of unwanted touching or sexual act in which the other person doesn’t give consent constitutes assault. The boy’s actions, snapping the girl’s bra even though she didn’t want him near her, could definitely be viewed as a sexual assault.
What happened to this mum and daughter? Even though the school staff repeatedly brought up the fact that the girl had “beaten” the boy, the mum continued to remind them that, “She defended herself against a sexual attack from another pupil.” After telling the boy that she would have him arrested for sexual assault if he ever touched her daughter again, the mum reported the incident to the Board of Governors. And that is exactly what most of mums would have done too!