Friday, March 05, 2010

Booty booty booty booty rockin' everywhere

Yesterday I got a phone call at work from the teacher. Great. These calls usually aren't good. He immediately said, "I need your help." He went on to explain that Ethan has done something that would be grounds for suspension but he preferred that we tackle the issue together rather than get the principal involved. He's aware of my issues with the principal from last year which was another reason why he contacted me.

Apparently, the kids were in line for lunch and there was a girl bouncing from the front of the line to the back of the line several times. When the teacher asked her what she was doing, she didn't want to answer him. He pressed on and she finally said, "Ethan's smacking my butt." When the teacher confronted Ethan, he was very honest. He explained that all week there were 3 boys, including himself, and 3 girls playing a butt-smacking game in which the girls smacked the boys and the boys smacked the girls. The teacher talked to the other boys involved and they confirmed Ethan's story. Two of the girls told the teacher they stopped playing the game earlier that day. However, the girl who was bouncing in and out of line denied that there was a game being played at all. She claimed that she told Ethan to stop smacking her butt but he didn't listen. Ethan and the 2 other boys were very upset because they claimed this girl was lying.

The teacher told me that he's been dealing with adolescent boys for a long time and this type of behavior is not unusual, but needs to be corrected. From his experience, the principal usually takes these types of situations to the extreme, when in most cases it can be more effective to talk to the children. Explain how their thoughts and feelings are normal but there's ways that are inappropriate to express them.

He told me that he sat Ethan and the other boys down and explained that at their age and from now on, no matter what the circumstances, they're always going to be at fault. Regardless of how boy-crazy and attention seeking the girl may seem, it's never ok to touch her anywhere, especially on her butt. Then I sat Ethan down and reiterated to him that he's to respect girls and their bodies. I also touched on peer pressure because he obviously felt the need to touch this girl's butt due to the girls initiating this game and his other friends participating. Joe talked to him from a man's perspective, too.

I also shared some stories with him from my school years in which I was humiliated by my peers. After he heard them, I believe he understands that there are many things that aren't fair for girls, too.

All in all, I think the conversations went well. I think he truly understands that even though this girl kept coming back, he was disrespecting her and her body. He understands that he can't participate in games like this because regardless of how unfair it may seem, even though the girls initiated it, the boys will always be at fault. He also understands that he's to treat girls the way he'd want guys to treat his mother. Lesson learned.

What I appreciate is how the teacher handled the situation. He very easily could've turned the boys over to the principal who more than likely would've belittled and suspended them. All the while, they felt like they were playing an innocent game, initiated by the girls.

Deep Throat of the Day: I wish they came with manuals.

11 comments:

Grant said...

The butt is the main place we're supposed to avoid? I thought it was #3 after vagina and breasts. Butt, yeah, that was a way better way to handle it than sexual harassment charges.

April said...

I'm sure that one day he'll learn that the butt is #3 on the list. But at 11, touching a vagina and breasts are completely out of the question. I suspect I'll have to have the "no touching breasts" talk in a few years, followed by the "if you touch a vagina your hand will fall off" conversation. hee hee.

~Kenny said...

I am so proud of Ethan developing an appreciating for a good booty smacking at such a young age. Soon enough he will learn there is just the right moment for that (hehe by soon I mean about 20 years) I wish my Sam had Ethan's teacher. Sam's teacher makes me want to stab myself in the throat every time I have to talk to her. It's interesting though how the staff shields things from the principal. I would almost argue they don't have a leader they support.

I agree with the whole body respect thing, but I am not sure the "Their always going to be at fault" thing sets with me very well. However that is a societal thing and the good news it is shifting. People are recognizing now women can be just as aggressive as guys although it is rarer.

Now I don't know about a hand falling off , but I am sure there is some Vag out there that will cause other things to fall right the fuck off!

Jim McKee said...

You, Joe, and the teacher all deserve a gold star for the way you handled this!

Randi said...

I agree with Jim. How wonderful to treat children like they are intelligent human beings rather than pests to be dealt with.

Kira said...

This situation is why I wish there were more male teachers out there. A guy has been an adolescent boy and knows how innocent this situation is, but how bad it could become. He knows that nipping it in the bud now with discussion and understanding is the best way to go rather than shrieking and running to the principal. He also can lead as a male role model in school. There are tons of good female teachers out there, so please don't get me wrong (hell, I'm female and a teacher :P). But boys need some direction, leadership, and discussion from males in authority positions on a daily basis. And male teachers are a great way to provide that. At my kids' old elementary school, my daughter's class was known as the WORST class in the school. They were considered animals and out of control. No substitute lasted a full day with them. Then they asked Alex (since he was signed up as a volunteer) if he could take over the class while the teachers had their teacher's appreciation day stuff, and he happily went in. It was the boys who were the wildest, and it was the boys he quickly cracked down and diverted. They were totally shocked when he said he had fun with them and would gladly do that again sometime if they liked. And half the boys in that class forever asked Ari when her dad was coming back to teach ;) It makes a HUGE difference. The ONLY male in that school was the principal..... Ethan is lucky to have a good, strong, male role model in the classroom (and through Joe too, but you know what I mean!).

f1trey said...

your a good mom.....:)

R said...

Huh, huh, huh...Kira said "nip" and "bud". Huh, huh, huh.

Sorry. But I know Grant was already thinking it. :-)

Southern Sage said...

Sounds like you got it all handled. Cool for the teach. to have handled it the way he did too.

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April said...

Sounds like a good teacher and a great mom. I have an 11 year old boy too and have had to deal with the schools not handleing things well at all.