Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bloggers (Meaning All of You) Decide...

Guest Post: By Liz/Singlemom


January 2002

A female 6th grader flirts with a male 6th grader making him feel very uncomfortable (calling constantly, writing notes, touching of bottom, licking her teeth to him and she sits right next to him). The male student does not return her feelings. The male continues to feel uncomfortable and pressured to the point his grades are plummeting. This goes on for 2 months , and instead of telling his mother and having her deal with it he writes a threatening rant on the website. The police and FBI get involved the boy is suspended for 13 days from school and is remanded to go to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.

February 2006

A female 9th grader flirts with a male 9th grader. Crank calls constantly, IM's constantly even though she was told that he was not interested. She continues to do this even after the boy's mother grabs the phone and tells her to not to call the house again. The girl then IM's the cell phone "RIP there is someone at your door to get you." Mother calls and emails the school until the girl is finally spoken to by the school cop. She admits to making the threat and harassing phone calls. The school has decided not to suspend the girl. The school says to go to local police but tries to persuade the boy's mom not to press charges with the local police. The mother calls the local police, who also try to talk her out of pressing charges. In
fact, the officer tells her she is thinking emotionally (no raised voice or tone) and
won't even take her statement.

The connection between these stories? The male student is one in the same. The school district is one in the same.

Other miscellaneous information: In January 2002 the male child was not in
Emotional Support classes (as is sometimes deemed necessary with
Tourette's children), but in February 2006 he was. In fact the female was also in
ES classes.

I am the mom in both instances. January 2002 was one of the hardest time of my life. I lost my job because I couldn't focus in work due to the stress of the first instance. I know my son (then 12 years old) reacted poorly and I got him help for him issues. Therefore, I know I am bringing in suitcases of baggage from the 2002 fiasco into this other incident. My main reason for calling the school in this time was to prevent a repeat of the first incident and to protect my son. Is it wrong of me to want to see this girl punished? I would like to see that she receive the same punishment and treatment as my son did, but I can't control that. I can however file a police report and have her prosecuted which would result in her receiving a harsher punishment than had been handed down to my child. The police officer asked if I was "out for revenge" because of what happened to my son. I said
honestly there is no way I can't feel that there is gender bias going on and that my male child was treated more harshly than the female child (for the same offense in the same school district).

The officer tried to bring up "real life" analogies getting frustrated with me
because I only see things as black or white/right or wrong. (He asked if a new car with perfect registration/inspection should get the same speeding ticket at the jalopy with no tags...what was that implying!?) I would turn my self in if I felt I was cheating on my taxes. You have to understand that I am the biggest goody-goody nerd. When I wouldn't cede his point, the officer even threatened to hang up on me and I swear I am a very docile, sweet soft spoken, polite, well educated person. I am
very respectful to authority. I never even changed my tone of voice. I even mentioned that I felt that my son did receive the punishment he deserved in the first situation.

I realize my son is a handful and has gotten into some scrapes and believe me when I say that the local cops know him by first name, but this time he really didn't do anything wrong. Anyway, I have not yet decided what to do about this girl. If I hadn't found out about the situation, my son couldv'e reacted to her threats and I am sure the school would have had no qualms about punsihing him. Why not her?

I am going to hand if off to you all to battle it out for or against my pursuing her punishment. I will read all comments and weigh the arguments (I know there many law enforcement people out there so feel free to give me your thoughts). I should also add that where I live first time offenders usually go through the Youth Aid Panel and do not get a record and only get community service.

I really appreciate any feedback you can give me.
-Liz/Singlemom

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