Saturday, April 12, 2008


I think I have all ready stated what a crazy week it has been. I forgot to record the important events for Ella this week from her classroom.

I went to pick her up from school on Monday and like usual I went to the multipurpose room and then we went into her classroom to gather up her many many drawings, bag, lunchbox, and coat. She immediately began looking in her cubby and grabbed out a piece of white paper and said, "Mommy this is so sad. I don't like this." I asked her what it was and she showed me. It was a picture of a hand drawn little girl with a huge X through her face and in block letters across the top it said "NO ELLA". I asked Ella, like the idiot I canbe, if it was hers. (Duh) She said no. She had no idea where it came from. Remaining calm, I wrote a short note on it for the teacher, as I felt she really needed to see it saying something to the effect that she would likely know more what to do with this than I would.

As the night went on though, I regretted not leaving her a much longer note, expressing my sadness and outrage about how dare another student hurt my dear daughter's feelings! I talked to Nora and we both agreed to see what happens. I thought it was strange for sure, and I had my suspiscions as to who it was, but I also tried to ration it out in my head as to how it could have been a joke or a mistake.

Flash forward to the next morning. I arrived at work (my school) late as usual. Well, I was very surprised not have received not one, but two responses in regards to Ella's note. One was from her teacher and one from the school dean.
I can share it here:

Dear Jen,

Hello! Thank you for the note and picture you left for me yesterday evening. First, I want to express how much I am sorry for Ella's hurt feelings! This is certainly not the kind of behavior toward others that we approve of in our classroom!

I wanted to contact you right away, and I thought that email might be easier than calling because I know you are at school (and please know that you can call me anytime today...I'll let Jenn know that I'l be expecting to hear from you).

I did want to let you know that we have a good idea of which other child was involved and that we have been speaking with that child in general this week about thier interactions with other children. Susan has also been in contact with that child's family and now has the copy of the note that was left for Ella. I will call or write as soon as I have further information to share. I have, too, copied this message to Susan so she is communication with us about this.

Thank you for your understanding, and again, I am sorry about the situation and hopeful that today will be a good day for Ella.

She took this incident very seriously which I was glad about. Both Ella and the other student were talked to. Turns out Ella really did not understnad what was going on. The other boy, however, told the teacher that she was not supposed to see that. So his secret message for Ella was really a joke (to him). Sounds like they are all in the process of talking about nice words/ bad words as a whole class now. Many kids were not understanding the consequences of their actions. The little boy made Ella a nice drawing. Thus, "YES ELLA" for my title.

I will say as a parent I was a little taken aback that this kid did put a note in her box as a secret with such a negative visual image. This was about as close to bullying I think you can get in a pre-school classroom. I know several of my friends also were wondering how a Willowwind kid could do this. They think of everyone there as granola, hippy dippy so this negative message seemed very out of character. I laughed at their responses since the a few of the boys in Ella's class have been very much like this since the beginning of the year. Oh yeah, he is also 5 1/2. That is completely 2 years older than Ella, which explains a little to me of how she really does not know what is going on like he does. I am really glad that the teachers took it seriously and they are going to watch their talking as well because I think that is where it all begins.

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