From where we sat in the van watching our daughter leave school grounds, Leslie and I could tell Elizabeth had a good day and was in a good mood. We were so relieved.
We're in the midst of our first experience with cyber-bullying, the details of which are here.
When I called the school’s principal, I didn’t know if he would support me or blow me off. The truth is school administrators have no responsibility over what students do on their own time, and so cyber-bullying and other negative activity on the internet falls into a grey area school administrators don’t have to be bothered with. But, this principal took notes on my concerns during our conversation. He asked me questions, wanted details, and said he’d reach out to Elizabeth at school, even though there was a good chance she would be hesitant to say anything.
They met with Elizabeth just before the last class of the day. He brought one of his guidance counselors, a woman, to break the ice, and in fact, she did most of the talking. They went into all of Elizabeth concerns, including the teachers and how mean they are. They asked if she wanted to come to school, and she gave them an honest answer: No. She spoke truthfully about her feelings, including who she thought left those nasty messages on Formspring. Our daughter wasn’t threatened by their conversation, and she very well could have been (in which case she’d have clammed up big time), so I know they did the job right.
I’m glad I called the principal. Even though Elizabeth said she didn’t want us to interfere, I can see how important it is to her that we did. We also decided to leave her Formspring account just the way it is.
Eighth grade haters, beware.
We’re on to you now.