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5 Year Old Being Bullied at School and Not Liking the Kindergarten School.

Help! My five year old daughter just started kindergarten at a public school and does not like it. She says the children are mean and have no manners. My daughter has been going to school since she was 3 at a Christian school. The children at her former school already know about caring, sharing, responsibility, helping humanity, kindness, etc. rules. She is ahead of her time in most aspects of kindergarten. She already knows her numbers, simple math, reading, writing, and manners. A class mate at her school is bulling her only 3 days into the new school year. She indicates this child put his fist in her face and also refused to move his dirty shoe off her towel at naptime. I discussed this with her teacher and she moved my daughter to another table and moved her away from this child at naptime. My daughter indicates that this unrully child continues to disrupt the class and does not follow the rules. Yesterday when I went to leave her in the morning for class she started to cry and did not want to stay. She continues to say the children are mean and have no manners. I sent an email to the teacher to see if there was a way to help my daughter transition to public school better and now she wants to have a parent teacher conference. It is very sad to say that I have noticed the older children at this school do not appear to have manners either. What is our society coming to? I was speaking to a friend of mine from work and she indicated that all public schools are like this. Why is it okay for our children to be unrully and not respect? I am having a hard time putting my arms around this. We have taught our daughter manners and respect along with the help of her former school. This should be the norm not the exception. It is strange you know I have been going to the cafeteria with my daughter for breakfast and notice school employees barking orders at the children on where to sit, where to put their things, and when to line up. Why is barking orders okay? I wonder am I the only parent that notices this? This is not how to inspire children to be better citizens? I am perplexed and wonder how we will get through the next 13+ years. When my daughter came home crying about the bully the third day into school, she said mom you can home school me and parents do it all the time! What and how do yo respond to that?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses. My family is praying for the bully to find love in in his home and life. Please know that I did not have any preconcived notions about public school. This was the oposite for me. Public school was good for us and that is why we made the choice to intrust our child to the system. Our daugher is bright and very smart. She knows of homeschooling because some of her former class mates were going to be homeschooled and some were moving on to Christian schools. I am going to have that parent teacher confrence and yes I have spoken to other parents who's children are experiencing the same bully. By the power of GOD I will be the advocate for my child. My family will pray that all children whether homeschooled, public schooled, or priviate school have peace and the freedom to learn with peace in their class.

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I don't believe all public schools are like this. We are in the Tomball School District and my daughter just started first grade transitioning from a Montessori school. She has so far enjoyed her new school. My son went to the same school and while there was an occasional child that was rowdy or possibly a bully there was not a scene like you describe. The teachers were caring and worked with the children. The children did have manners and I see the same thing when I go to my daughters classroom. Perhaps you need to think about changing classrooms to a different teacher if possible. or if you don't like the school altogether perhaps move to a different one (I know that can be a little tough). But not all public schools are like that.

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I would just like to say not all schools are like this. My daughter goes to a public school and being respectful and good manners is the only thing to be tolerated in the classroom. I think you need to move up the chain and have a chat with the principal. That type of classroom environment is uncalled for.

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I'm sorry. My sister went through a similar situation with her daughter when she was in school last year. In the end, she DID end up having to homeschool her. I realize that might not be an option for you, but she found she was left with no other choice.

Hugs,
S. (homeschooling mom to 4 girls.)

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I would also be very upset about the bullying. Let me give you an insight to kindergartners and ANY school they attend..

My daughters kindergarten teacher said to all of us at (our very first) back to school night about the wild, horrifying and magical occurrences at school..... "Lets make a deal, you believe 50% of what you hear from your child and I will also believe 50% of what your child tells me."

This worked very well.There were lots of very "interesting" stories about what went on in class. I loved to find out what actually happened and figure out how on earth it could get so turned around.

My daughter and a classmate were being bullied in 1st grade. The child is from a very GOOD family (I am not being sarcastic). The father is a minister, the mom is very lovely and this little boy is very kind, and intelligent, but we think because he liked the girls, he would say very inappropriate things to them. Finally he was overheard (the teachers were on the look out). The way they handled this was they had a very beloved teacher that this child adored. she asked his to repeat to her what this child had said to the girls. He was very reluctant, but she finally had him speak the words. She said she just looked at him shocked, and then very hurt an sad. She told him, she was so sad, that he would speak and act like that because she knew that he was a very good boy. He was very remorseful and promised to never speak or act like that again.This young man is now in college studying to be a minister. He is so amazing.

Just because it is public school, please do not think down on these children. I have had friends who pulled their kids out of "Church Schools" for the exact reason you are stating about your child's experience. This can happen anywhere. Some parents do not teach their children proper behavior. Some do not believe THEIR children would act this way. Some children have learning differences and emotional problems and come from very difficult situations. As Christians, we must do what we believe and be a good example of tolerance, acceptance and setting a good example.

Yes you need to protect your child. You need to find out what is going on and how it is being handled, but you also need to teach your daughter that not everybody is like us. And so give her the words and tools to handle this.
"I do not like it when you say that." "Those are not nice words." "Please leave me alone." "Come with me to the teacher and tell her that." Pulling your daughter out is not helping her, it is showing that she is not able to handle this. She CAN handle this. It is only kindergarten.

As parents this is the most difficult part. Trusting our kids to handle these situations. Step back. Do NOT get emotional in fromt of your child about this.. She will feed off of that energy. Instead be concerned. Remind her that she is a good girl and should not be treated this way, so she can walk away.

I also suggest you begin inviting 1 or 2 of her classmates over to play in the afternoon after school or on the weekend. This will give her friends that will stand up for each other. Make her stronger and not leave her feeling helpless.Get to know the other parents, especially the "bullies parents". That is what I did... You are all a community, become a part of it.

On a side note to all of you moms.. I find it very interesting that none of you that responded to this mom with the "boy having melt downs in kinder" suggested that mom send her child to Christian school or to home school? Why is that? Just wondering?

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You have already received a lot of good advice, and I didn't get a chance to read all of them,so excuse me if I'm repeating something. I just wanted to say that it sounds like your daughter is very mature. I'm not sure if it is a girl or a boy doing the bullying, but girls are usually more mature than boys anyway. Of course I don't agree with the bullying, but our children also have to learn how to deal with things like this because they will run into it all their lives. I don't know the answer, but be sure to equip her with the ability to handle these things on her own first, before having you step in, so that she can build her self-esteem and know that she is capable. I try to tell my grandsons that they need to set the example and when the others see their example, maybe they will follow. I know this is not easy, but then life is not going to be either. I always found that the bully's picked on the ones that didn't take up for themselves (I was one of them). And once I let them know that I was not going to put up with it or give them the attention they wanted, they stopped and actually wanted to be my friend. I know she is very young, but I think the earlier they learn how to deal with dissapointment, hurt, change, etc. the more equipped they are for the real world later. Good luck, and we will keep you in our prayers.

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Sounds to me as if you are enabling and assisting your dt to put those words and thoughts in her head. She knows when she pulls that "the kids are mean and have no manners" string, you will react. Sure there's certainly are unruly kids in the public school systems. That's bc, the way the schools are zoned, it should encompass all demographics in the area; low, middle, and higher income wage earner. Reading your post all I got was a continued tone of "you are better than the public school system". You've somehow transfererd these impression onto your dt. Not to say that that bully isn't there, but your feelings about public school has influence your dt's own feelings about her class. She's now focused on the bully and not on the nicer kids in class. I've volunteered at both my kid's classes, and while there are unrully kids that have green goop coming out of his nose, and one that does not know how to sit down, one with profane graphics on his tshirt that we have to ask him to turn inside out, there were also the "preppy priviledge" girls that could not do a thing by herself, at every drop they were crying. If they did not get the color they wanted they would cry, if one did not win a bingo game they would cry, they would tattle so much that that would be their focus point was to find something to tattle on. If you want your dt to live a sheltered life and not have the social skills to interact with people from all walks of life, then maybe you have to find a way to get her back to that private school that you rave so much about. But you should look and analyse your own actions and words and consider the fact taht you are influencing her. She does not have the ability to interact with normal society which will be filled with people from all walks of life. Sounds like you are trying to come to grip with the fact that you can't/didn't put her in private school. I'll let you know, private schools have just as many bullys with bad manners as public. You will then deal with kids of priviledge who parents think they do no wrong. Good luck with that.

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Sounds like you and your daughter are a bit sheltered. Do you really believe all the kids your daughter will encounter in her life will be as well behaved as her? Not all kids get to start off in a private Christian environment, did you know that? Do you realize there are people out there who kick puppies and beat up old ladies? I think once you learn to accept the world as it is, good and bad, then you'll be able to help your daughter accept the big bad world and be the kind of light God wants her to be.

You aren't responsible for how the bully acts, you are only responsible for how your daughter acts and her reaction to injustice in the next few years, all the while keeping her grounded in the faith and in the Word of God. No, it isn't fair that kids are bullied but its a reality which I suggest you come to grips with asap. Sure, you have to keep her safe, but you also can't stand by her side 24/7. What you teach her now about dealing with difficult people, she may be able to apply in the future when she is older when she breaks up with her boyfriend or gets in a fight with her best friend for the first time, when she loses her job or gets fired for the first time...whenever someone disappoints her.

One thing you need to know about bullies - they prey on the kids who are taught to look the other way, turn the other cheek, ignore the teasing, hold their tongues. Its the good kids they stalk and pick on b/c they know the parents of good kids will never allow them to fight them back. Your daughter can still be one of the good kids but needs to learn the ability to stand up for herself. I suggest some assertiveness training for her.

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My son also just started kindergarten this past Monday, and I've noticed a lot of the same behaviors from students and staff. I had lunch with him the second day and wanted to grab him up and run away. But you have to keep in mind that the real world is not all peaches and cream. She needs to learn to deal with life and bullies and idiots and mean superiors who bark at them. Haven't you ever had a job that was much the same environment? The problem with being a parent is walking that fine line between protection and preparation. Our job as good Mommies is not to protect them from the cruel world, it's to prepare them to enter it and know how to defend themselves. She needs this experience. I tell my son that he can help those other kids learn how to be good like he is by showing them how a good boy behaves. It'll get easier with time, Mom. You both need to learn to handle this life changing experience and treat yourself for being good girls, sticking to it, and making it through.

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Sounds like a prayer assignment. Prayer does change things as does walking as an example.

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My children are in a public school and I have seen nothing like you talk about. They school is large 1200 K-4 and it is run very well. I dont mean to sound gruff but maybe you have preconcived notions about children in public school to begin with? I am sure they are NOT all with out manners? Not all teachers "bark" orders maybe they are just not as tender as you would like them to be.

I am a Christian mother and I also want success for my chilren at some point they need to live in the outside world. If you dont think she is ready you need to find a way for private school or homeschool. I suspect that your child may know about your preconcieved notions of public school and she is taking advantage of those feelings. You cant tell me that in one week she has not met nice children? Oh and schools take bullying VERY seriously. Go to the prinicple and get the little boy removed from the school if it continues. You might feel better. It may have just been friendly teasing...these children are just learning how to be together in a school setting.

On the other hand homeschooling is a very good option if you can't provide private school. There are alot of resources to help you.

I am not trying to be incensitive. My children are a little older and I have seen the things they have done to convince me to change my mind.

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My suggestion would be to have the parent teacher conference and see what the teacher has to say about it. If you feel like your daughter is telling the absolute truth (and not embellishing, because kids this age sometimes blow things out of proportion) and the teacher is not willing to listen or come up with a plan to help, then I would go to the principal. If she is, indeed, being bullied at this young age, it could impact her impressions of school forever and that would be a shame! Work through all of the channels you have access to (teacher, principal, school counselor) and if none of those things works out, then you may have to consider moving her to a private school and/or homeschooling her.

I guess as a parent, I would just want to know EXACTLY what is happening and if my daughter was being overly dramatic (which is entirely possible with my daughter), then I would work more with her on expecatations. I agree that children in general are not taught to respect each other or adults anymore and that is a crying shame, but this is how the world is and you won't be able to shield your daughter from that forever. While it's your job to protect her from outright bullying, she will have to learn to cope with rude people and not everyone is going to be "Miss Manners" to the complete detriment of our society. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you wholeheartedly about how disrespectful kids are nowadays, but I also think that we have to be realistic in that there isn't a whole lot we can do other than prepare our kids to be the role models and not allow the "bad seeds" to take over. Teach your daughter how to do what is right and use the other kids as examples of what is not right. The bad apples are in every workplace in America, so she will eventually have to learn to deal with them. This is probably a bit young, I mean it's Kindergarten after all, but maybe you and the school counselor can help her learn to manage those confrontations or situations where kids are being rude. Coach her on what to say and who to ask for help and when. I'm so sorry that your daughter had such a rough week. It really is very sad that it has come to this, but I feel like you can work through this with the school staff. Be assertive and be willing to listen open mindedly. I hope it all works out for you!

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Hi A.,

Wow! You certainly have got some diverse responses! Don't you just love mommies? The good ones certainly are passionate about their children and are passionate about their choices! Gotta love that.

In my circle of friends, I have friends that home school, friends that send their children to private Christian school, and friends that do public school. All three venues are thriving because different schools have different strengths/weaknesses and fit needs of different families. How wonderful to have a choice! It is you and your husband's responsibility to do what is best for your daughter and her schooling.

Here is my main point. In all three venues, your daughter will have to deal with kids that do and say mean things or inappropriate things. In all three venues, you will have to equip her to deal with these children. For example, in my little circle of friends, one mom that home schools had one girl tell her son (when no one was looking) that he was ugly. The mommy who sends her sons to private Christian school (very conservative, non-denominational)told me that her son learned the F word in first grade. My sons go to public and we have had days where someone has said hurtful things. My husband has helped me to see that it is in our childrens best interest to (age appropriately) teach them how to cope with "mean" kids. Everyone gets picked on for something, it is only a matter of time. Equipping them to deal with it is key.

There is no one answer for every family! Since you are in public school right now, bullying is taken VERY seriously! It is a "magic" word that will snap administrators into ACTION! If it boils down to continual bullying, then take it higher and higher until you feel satisfied. With all the Columbine stuff happening (due to bullying), public schools (in my area and experience) intervene swiftly and with authority.

I'm wishing you all the best, for you and your family!

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I can't change the world for you but I will put in my 2 cents.

It may get better in time for your daughter. This is a BIG adjustment. School just started and although she's still a baby (I think they are at that age), in the next few years she will develop some independence and how to deal with situations.

For now, I think you are doing everything you can. Bullying is usually referenced in the school handbook. You should have a copy and I would reference that. It should be intolerable at your daughter's school.

My daughter wasn't bullied but some girls were very nasty to her in first grade. You know, that petty stuff where they excluded her from playing within a group. I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer often so I observed the children. I kind of "nudged" her to associate with a group of girls who I found to be very sweet. I worked out very well. If your daughter can befriend a girl or two, this will be a comfort zone for her and will help her tremendously.

I would invite some of her new friends and maybe their parents to your home. Get to know them and as your daughter gets to know them, I think she will like school much more.

As for society, kids and manners. Well, all we can do is our part as Moms to do the best we can and try to set an example.
Some things you just can't control.

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It sounds like there was some debate in your home prior to the start of school about manners and how awful public school children are, which might be part of the issue. Kids will take what they hear put it into context the give it back to you when you don't expect it.

Now I'm not discounting that your daughter probably is dealing with odd (at least to her) behavior from some of the other kids. If its bullying, it needs to be addressed. And you need to talk to her about other people and that they are different. Not all children in public schools are bad. I'd venture to say that most are kind and sweet (mine are-they use manners and go out of their way to help and be kind).I actually thought that the kids at the 700 a month 'christian' school my son went to last year were HORRID!

Consider the way you talk about things in your home, could this be a plea for your time? And not really a public school issue at all?

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this is the perfect time to also teach your daughter how to handle bullies, rude people. there are mean people everwhere. teach your child what to do. firm voice on what she needs. as for the cafiteria staff there dealing with these types of kids an perhaps were this type of kid growing up. again meanness is everwhere and you daughter needs to be able to stand up for herself and let other people know there behavior isnt ok. as a kid myself i would use a loud athoritive (sp) voice and tell the other kid" do not hit me" it got the attention of the kid and everyone else around. usually scared them enough that they backed off. i did not get weggies, very few times did i get bra popped, never got hit if i did it was only once from that person. this is just my opnion. i am so proud of you for teaching your girl to be nice and smart and what school is about but you must teach your daughter to stand up and what to look for in a friend.

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There are many explanations that you will have to get to the bottom of. My son had a good kindergarten teacher but she was given a huge number of disruptive kids and it was bad all year. I tried to volunteer and help her as much as possible.
The other explanation could be that the class is overcrowded, right now in the school I teach in there is over 24 kindergarteners in a class and the teachers are overwhelmed and it will be weeks before they hire another teacher and split the class.
Another explanation is that the teacher is inexperienced and does not have a good grip on the class behavior. How long has she taught and has anyone else you know had this teacher and was it a good or bad experience???

Where in the world did your child hear that you should home school her?? Are you and your husband talking down the school in front of her? That seems a strange thing for a child to say off the top of her head???
All children have to adjust to kindergarten. It takes a few weeks. One thing I would encourage that helps them adjust is if they are looking for the good in their day instead of looking for things to whine to mom about and getting reinforced for whining.
One routine we started when our kids were young was each night at dinner to tell something interesting about their day. They would tell something and we would all discuss about it. Good habit for life to look for the good. There will always be one kid that disrupts, I have a foster kid in my first grade class that throws fits, but your daughter should be looking for the other kids in her class that are doing the right thing. They are there. The very first thing I have to teach my class each year is that there will always be people in life who do not do the right thing and the way you can help the world is by not being that person. How can you help the situation. Your child is not helping if they whine and complain and look for the bad in others. This is the real world and no it is not perfect. Pretty nice, but not perfect. Going through public school made my kids so strong in what was right. The bad and it's consequences are so visible and black and white and they never wanted to be like that. My oldest daughter went to Christian school and the kids had a much harder time discerning when they were teens between right and wrong because it was always kind of gray, arrogance, hypocrisy and rebelling against over controlling parents.
So after you wade through all of these possibilities you will arrive at what is best.
I do think that my children are too important to be in a class all year where the kids are too bad for the teacher to teach. If after two weeks and conferencing with the teacher it has not gotten better than I would request a different class. You have alot of choices in public school between different schools and teachers. I sent my kids to a elementary that had a friendlier atmosphere and picked teachers that I knew were experienced and fair. Get involved and teach positive problem solving.

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I am a 9th grade teacher, and you would be apaulled at the things I hear and see on a daily basis. Unfortunately children today are not taught to respect authority and most parents are too busy to teach their children manners, etc. I like you expect my boys, even at age 4 to say "thank you", "excuse me", "yes ma'am" ,etc. My husband and I would love to put them in private school, but just can't afford it and they will have to go to a public school, and it scares me. Your expectations are right on. Our society should be more polite and respectful of each other. Though I don't have an answer for you, I do support you.

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You home school ;o) ... Kinder is not even required here in the State of Texas ... we have wonderful Laws here in Texas that make it the most home school friendly State ... check out http://www.thsc.org/ ... Now, forgive me for being so forwad in my initial response. It is truly a very personal choice but I do believe that children should be taught to love and respect through the actions of their peers and adult care givers ... they are merely 5 at this age and I believe it is still a very tender age! I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone in thinking all your very natural thoughts of wanting to keep your child safe emotionally and physically. Good luck with your tough decision ... be strong and remember ... you are your child's best advocate! You are her parents!

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We experienced much the same thing when our son started public K after a private Christian pre-K. I thought he would adjust. He became the class policeman, tattling nearly every day. He kept telling us he had no friends because he wouldn't do "bad things like the other kids." We thought he was exaggerating, but only 2 kids came to his birthday party although the entire class was invited. I also noticed staff barking orders at the children. As a former teacher I can tell you that it's not like that in every public school, but we were sorely disappointed with our local neighborhood school. We are homeschooling this year and one of the most dramatic things I've noticed (only one week in) is that he is sleeping with his light OFF and has not had any nightmares! I encourage you to transfer your precious daughter back to the Christian school where she was obviously more comfortable and was learning well.

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I'm very sorry for how your daughter is feeling right now. I don't have a lot of advice for you, except to say that your daughter's experience sounds very typical. While your paid-for Christian school can help teach manners, public school can only partially help. Part of that is because teachers can not control what other parents do and do not teach their children. You have all walks of life going to public school, and unfortunately manners is one area where that sometimes shows.

For the most part, I think teachers are doing their very best with 22+ kids in the class. If you heard staff "barking orders" at children in the cafeteria, there are a couple of explanations for that. One is that these are not their normal teachers, they are often aides and other staff that help with the chaos of the cafeteria. Two is that "barking" is often necessary in a large, open, LOUD room where children are often going wild and not listening. I don't know what it is about the cafeteria, but the kids start to go wild and are difficult to control. And unfortunately, the school doesn't have a lot of staff to put on cafeteria duty. It does not inspire, but sadly, this is the only way sometimes.

The bully is definitely something to continue talking to the teacher about, and she will do all she can.

I think this is a great time to teach your daughter a couple of lessons. One is to always always feel comfortable telling Mommy and Daddy what is going on. Two is to help her think of ways SHE can help HERSELF in this situation (alerting the teacher without being a tattletale, moving away from the child, ignoring him, etc.). Find some books on bullies to read to her and think through this situation. Third, and very importantly, public school will start to give her a dose of real life, that we can't always control other people or the situation, and that not everyone is sweet with lovely manners. While it would be wonderful if the teachers could instill this in the children, it doesn't work when parents aren't doing it at home. Later in life, we all have to deal with rude and pushy people, and even bullies. Giving her the tools to deal with that now will empower her later. She can hold her head high with wonderful manners and knowing how she should treat people, but still be able to deal with those who can not act right.

Kindergarten is a wonderful year of learning about how school works and how life works. The Kindergarten teacher is going to do all that she can to instill everything you want in these children. But without the support of parents like you, the other children aren't going to always live up to your expectations (and mine, I'll be honest!). It's a sad state of our society, but it's where we are as a society. Please don't blame the teachers.

I also don't think switching classes is good at this point. That will not teach your daughter the right lesson. Work with the teacher without blame and accusation, and she will try to fix the problem. Going over her head to the principal is not what you should do in the first couple of weeks of school. Please give this teacher a chance. She will not want a bully preying on the children of her class. Give her a chance to ascertain the situation. And - no offense to you or your child - children often tell the truth only as they see it. I'm not saying she's lying. I'm saying that she sees the truth in her 5 year old, sad-to-be-in-Kindergarten way. I had children tell me all kinds of things about their parents (I only believed about half of that) and I have had my own nieces tell me all kinds of things about their teachers (I only believed about half of that as well!). My own children are not in public school yet, as they are too young.

Good luck with everything. Go into your conference with the teacher without being accusatory and just truly asking for her help in transitioning your child. I think this is very normal for any child going into Kinder (it's "real" school and very different), but especially for those that have no school experience or who have gone to small, private, church programs.

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Dear A.,

Please do not think that all public school children are rude and disruptive. I have two very nice girls who
are thriving in the public school system ~ a 9yr. old
and a 13yr. old ~ and I can honestly say that the majority of their classmates have been, and are, good kids.

Ther first thing to note is that ALL of the children are trying to adjust to the first few weeks week of school. Be it their first time in a school setting, transfering to a new school, or just getting back into the swing of things, there will always be a period of adjustment.

Give it a few weeks and if your daughter is still having problems with this child ~ ask the principal to transfer your daughter to a different class.

I would highly reccommend that you keep the lines of communication open with your child's teacher. (I like to use e-mail as it helps document what is being discussed, times, etc...) I would also include a note on one of your first e-mails stating that in the future, if needed, you may be sharing the information in your e-mail communications with the principal.

FYI ~ Principal's are reluctant to move the "bully" but will usually accomodate your request to move your child if you can show that this child has been repeativly bothering your daughter and that you and your child's teacher have been in constant communication about this particular problem & have been unable to correct it.

My advice is:
(1) listen to your daughter
(2) keep her teacher posted on what your & your
daughter's concerns are
(3) reassure your daughter that you and the teacher
are on top of this.

Also, please keep in mind that in a large school setting, there will be some children who have diciplinary problems. Public schools can't "kick these kids out" (as they can in private schools) just because they are being difficult; so they have to have people on staff who are trained to work with them ie. councelors, principals, asst. princ., etc...

Many of these children are having problems at home, trouble learning & keeping up with their school work, anger management issues, or may just be going thru a rough period in their lives. This little boy may have never been in a school setting before and may be having trouble adjusting to all of the children, teacher, new rules, etc...

Just imagine how hard this is (or will be) on his parents ~ constantly getting phone calls about Johnnie's poor behavior choices in school today... If he's lucky he has caring parents/ guardians who are willing to work with him (in a positive way) on curbing his behavior. If not, he's in for a rough life.

Don't get me wrong ~ just because this kid is
around 5 or 6 yrs. old ~ it doesn't give him the right to single out your child (or a group of kids) and make her/their day miserable. I'm sure that his teacher is already keeping an eye on him and will do what she/he can to keep your daughter and others out of harms way while he learns to adapt.

Give them all a chance to get use to new their new surroundings, classmates and rules and hopefully everything will calm down. If not, that's when you contact the school principal to request a meeting about changing your daughter's class.

Bring a copy of the e-mail correspondance that you have had with your daughter's teacher to this meeting.

Most schools have a No Bulling policy which means that they are commited to providing a safe environment for all children to learn. This is not only to keep everyone safe, but to help those children with behavioral problem learn to deal with their issues.

Hang in there. Hope that helps. A

1 mom found this helpful

A.,

My daughter is 15 and sadly we've seen this her entire school life. We are in Cy-Fair schools, which are very good. She has complained since day one about the same things your daughter is saying. I've had countless parent-teacher conferences and they all say my daughter is a delight to teach, is respectful and considerate. It's the OTHER kids they have problems with. I (and they) think it's a result of several things....parents not being around to instill courtesy, respect, manners and consideration in their children, the influence of movies and TV (Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, etc) and video games (to a smaller degree).

No one seems to know what to do about it. The teachers and principals are very limited in what type of discipline they can dish out.

Many kids are wrongly diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, etc and medicated. The medications do strange things to their development and brains. That also can cause problems in their behavior.

Home schooling IS an option, it's a growing trend...but unless you can hook up with a home-schooling group (of which there are many, just google them)...your child misses out on the social aspects of school. We debated for several years on whether to home-school and eventually decided against it. As my daughter got older, I explained to her why these kids act this way and she understands. She's developed a thicker skin, has always tried to be nice to them no matter how they treat her and tells me she knows she'll have to deal with "jerks" in the real, adult world, so she might as well get some practice now. Of course, at 5 years old, your daughter is rather young for such deep thinking.

All I can recommend you do is talk straight and plain to her, continue to talk to the teachers/administration and keep a very close eye on things. Or consider home-schooling.

As for the "barking orders" situation...if you have a cell phone with video, tape them. Then meet with the principal and discuss it. I realize the employees are rushed and stressed, but barking orders is never ok. Maybe THEY need training in how to deal with large numbers of children.

Good luck and let us know how things are going.

1 mom found this helpful

After you meet with your daughter's teacher, and you do not see any changes, then certainly you can request a different class. Bullying is a basis for requesting a different class in public schools. I also recommend being involved with the school as much as you can so you can get a feel for the environment yourself. Also, if you are not satisfied after speaking with the teacher, escalate your concern to the principal, and the superintendent if necessary. You are your child's advocate. If the environment or classroom situation needs addressing, then it is up to you to voice your concern. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't believe all public schools are like this. We are in the Tomball School District and my daughter just started first grade transitioning from a Montessori school. She has so far enjoyed her new school. My son went to the same school and while there was an occasional child that was rowdy or possibly a bully there was not a scene like you describe. The teachers were caring and worked with the children. The children did have manners and I see the same thing when I go to my daughters classroom. Perhaps you need to think about changing classrooms to a different teacher if possible. or if you don't like the school altogether perhaps move to a different one (I know that can be a little tough). But not all public schools are like that.

1 mom found this helpful

I just wanted to chime in. Our son's school is also not like this. We are in Fort Bend County and they are very strict on being respectful to each other and they have a zero tolerance policy to bullying.

I definitely say have a parent teacher conference, and get the school counselor involved, not just to assist your daughter but to possible help the other children!

1 mom found this helpful

I would for sure stay on top of this! It could have some to do with this being her first time in public school and the BIG adjustment that it is. Public and priviate school are very different! I went to privite school until I was in 4th grade and then with to public achool4th grade on and my 4th grade year was very hard! Easier work but very different group of kids! I would continue to fight for her b/c if you don't who will? I hope it gets better for her and that she starts liking school!

1 mom found this helpful

A.,

My immediate reaction when I read your post was "Private School." I would suggest that you do anything in your power to enroll her as soon as possible. My oldest just started Kindergarten last week, and I've been very blessed that she's loving school, her teacher, and aside from a few of the boys "getting warnings and having sit-out time," I haven't heard any negative reports from her.

I've recently had the pleasure of reading a book my mom gave me, called "Psalm 91, God's Shield of Protection," by Peggy Joyce Ruth. It focuses on the promise that God made to protect us, specifically the protection of soldiers in battle. What I also took from it, was that it applies to ALL of us, even in our everyday lives, provided that we believe and lay our trust in Him. I've always lived my life with a certain sense of peace, frequently telling people, "everything happens for a reason, and everything will turn out just fine." Now I know why.

Ms. Ruth has written various versions of the Psalm 91 books, including one for youth and one for children. If you can find it, it might be great to read with your kids.

I've included a link to the NIV version below, and if your daughter has a childrens' Bible, I'd suggest reading it with her out of that. If you don't have one, shoot me a note, and I can type up the version from my daughter's. (I looked online, and couldn't find one I really liked.) I'd also recommend that you pray Psalm 91 over her before she goes to school.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+91&...

Best wishes and peace in your lives,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

I would just like to say not all schools are like this. My daughter goes to a public school and being respectful and good manners is the only thing to be tolerated in the classroom. I think you need to move up the chain and have a chat with the principal. That type of classroom environment is uncalled for.

1 mom found this helpful

I feel like I definitely have to put in my 2 cents. My children have both been to public school and private school. Going to a private school does not ensure a classroom of well-behaved selfless children. Infact, we have encountered some of the most spoiled and entitled children in the private setting. Many of these children come from money and tend to be pretty intelligent. Therefore they(some of the children) do not exhibit the outward disrespectful behavior, but are usually very good at hiding their mischieveous ways and usually find ways to ostracize others for their own entertainment. I have heard this from other parents time and time again. My children both enjoy public school and know that the behavior displayed by others is not always appropriate but at least they have a larger selection of friends to pick from and I teach them what is acceptable and send them on their way to make their own wise choices. Private school is no guarantee of a pleasant year. You will find that some children even tend to get special attention depending on how important their parents are ($$$$$$).

1 mom found this helpful

Sadly, you have entered the world of public school. In public school your daughter will meet all sorts of children, some will be kind and loving, others will bully and have poor manners. These children come from a variety of backgrounds and family situations (not all of them loving and kind like yours.) If you choose to keep your daughter in public school (and even if you do not)you can use this as an opportunity to teach your daughter to put her Christian principles to work. She will need to be able to practice tolerance and forgiveness. She (and you) will need to remember that a baby who puts his fist in your daughter's face has had a fist put in his face (probably at home) and is searching for a way to feel powerful. All bullies are in pain. She will need to work to search out friends who are of like mind to her (they are there). As for the adults, it is your job to advocate for your daughter in the adult realm. Talk, with understanding and forgiveness, to those who are not treating your daughter with respect. Maybe you are there to help make a change in this environment. The path is not always easy or pretty but it is your path non-the-less. It is up to you, and your daughter, what you choose to make of it and bring to it. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Simply put, that's public school for you. If you want your child to have manners, be cultured, educated, etc, then a good private school is the only way to go (or home school). My parents sacrificed and sent us to a private school and I'm so grateful for that. When I was managing a high end retail store I noticed that almost all the girls that ended up working there had all been in private schools. They simply were more drawn to the refined atmosphere that we created, and their people skills were excellent. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Even though you have had A LOT of responses, I felt compelled to throw in my two cents. I have a 13 year old son, a 8 year old son and a 10 month old son. My 13 year old attended a private Christian school from K-4 to 3rd grade. We moved to Round Rock, Texas and heard all these wonderful things about the public school system so we decided to put him into public school starting in 4th grade. Well, he went from getting straight A's to get A's, B's and C's. He just stopped caring. He had some good friends and he had his fair share of dealing with creeps.

When my 8 year old started Kindergarten, I experienced the same situation as you are with your daughter. He had attended The Children's Courtyard since he was three and was not sheltered by any means. He didn't understand why people were being mean to him and to the teacher. He hated going there in the morning to the point where he would start to throw temper tantrums in the car and I would be practically dragging him down the school hallways. During the first parent teacher conference (around the end of October) his teacher did not know how to motivate him and pretty much wrote him off and told me that she thought that he should be held back. I mean...it was my worse nightmare coming to fruition. I cried the entire night after that conference. So, I started researching private schools. I found one that was nearby and affordable and we decided to move him to this school after the Christmas break. Let me tell you...it was simply amazing. He was reading and writing and learning so much and he LOVED school and his teacher. It was like the bad nightmare had ended. He is now in the second grade at Shoreline Christian school and still thriving. It was the best decision and money I have ever spent.

Well, during this time, my oldest son, who at the time was in 6 grade (middle school) had told me that he loved first period. I asked him why and he said, "Because the teacher also gives us an easy worksheet that takes all of 10 minutes to complete and then we can have the rest of the time to talk." I was shocked at the lack of challenge he was receiving. I also noticed that he never had homework. He told me that any homework he was assigned he was able to complete during study hall. He had straight A's. I started researching private schools for him and found Summit Christian Academy in Cedar Park. He had to take and pass a 3 hour placement test in order for him to put in an admissions application. He aced the English portion but barely passed the Math. The incredible part is that he had just taken the Math Taks exam and missed nothing. Crazy. He is now an 8th grader at Summit and writing Essays and learning complex Math topics with ease. Again, the best decision and money I have ever spent.

So...why Private over Public. It is a personal family choice and should be made on a case by case basis. Since I never attended Private school during my elementary and secondary schooling years, I asked my 13 year old to tell me in his own words why he thinks the Private school system is better than Public. He summed it up as this "The teachers have so much more power at a Private school." He said all the kids in public school knew the system and how to defeat the rules that the public school teachers tried to enforce. He said that it would take the teachers half of the class period to get order in the room before they could even teach the day's subject. Public school teachers have to put up with unruly, poorly parented kids because kids have to go to school by law. Private school teachers are not caught in this conundrum because your kid does not have to be there. If your kid does not conform to the rules, they can dismiss them from the school and send them back to the public school in your area. Also, since you are explicitly paying money for this school (you are also paying for the public school but you have to do this), you are more likely to ensure that your kid is doing his job at the school and receiving a quality education. I am not saying that there are not quality kids and parents at public schools...I am saying that there are some public schools that have a disproportionate amount of non-quality to quality kids and and parents.

Follow your instincts and do not make your daughter stick it out in hopes of toughening her up. You might just only make her jaded and destroy her spirit.

Hi A.,
I went to True Cross Catholic School the first half of my years (I'm an old 38 year old now:), then my mother placed me in public school. The difference was night and day.
Here is my theory:
Private schools, christian based schools, etc, are usually small. Public schools are large. I think that kids in public schools, in this day and age, just plain get lost in the shuffle. I also think that public schools SOMETIMES (not all the time) hire "less than qualified" teachers. Hence, the "barking" at children. You almost cant blame them, however, they get paid diddly squat and are subjected to un-ruly children. You also have to look at parents these days. I have known MANY people who have, I hate to say, BRATTY kids. These parents, in turn, DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!!! I think its just plain laziness. Tim and Mary are having a problem with lil' Johnny...."Well, we'll just let the underpaid teachers take care of it".....in turn, lil' Johnny is picking on your WELL BEHAVED child...its irritating, isnt it!?!
Well, sorry for rambling. I have been annoyed with this topic via nieces and nephews. My DD is two and a half. She will be going to True Cross Catholic School, just like her mother, or Pine Drive Baptist, where there are about 10 kids per class. I couldnt stand to think about being in your shoes...that would drive me CRAZY!!!

Good Luck to you and your DD!!!

M. :)

P.S. What about having her moved to another classroom?

Wow! I'm sorry to hear about her rough week. I think it is a good sign that the teacher is being proactive and maybe after the parent conference you (and your daughter) will feel better. If you opt to keep her in, you will just have to be patient to give her enough time to adjust. One thing to remember is that kids do not have to go to kindergarten, this is optional. I homeschooled my son for kinder and he's wanted to stay home for first grade as well. It has its challenges but overall I know what he is learning academically and more importantly spiritually. The curriculum I use is Abeka and very user friendly. On average we spend about 3 1/2 hours of school. It has been very good for our family as I recently became a single mom. The boys have bonded well, they are the best of friends. Hang in there! God bless.

I am sure it is unsettling for you to think your daughter is being mistreated at her public school. You are taking the right steps by discussing your concerns with her teacher. As a public school teacher of 15 years, I can assure you all public schools do not have employees who bark orders, allow disrespect, or allow unruly children to consistently terrorize others. I would also like to remind you that it is the law that all children have the right to a free and public education. Perhaps if the public school in your area does not meet your expectations, you should enroll your daughter in her former private christian school.

I just want to say that I am so happy you see this problem. I agree that our society has gone down the drain! My advice....if you cannot afford private school, you need to try to make a way for homeschooling. My husband and I do not make enough money to send our children to the school that we desire to, so we are homeschooling. We cannot afford to lose our children's souls because of public schools. Their souls are much more important than that. Nowadays, the public school system has the majority of ill-mannered, lost children. I would say, if your child was older and strong in the Lord, for her to go to the school to be a witness to help the lost children, but a 5 yo is so impressionable that it is important to keep them safe until they can fight the battles on their own. Pray that Jesus reveals to you what his perfect plan is for your daughter. Good luck with your decision, and bless you for doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

hey marie~
sounds like u've had a hard week along with your daughter, as we all carry the pain our children endure. i'm happy to hear that the teacher wants to set up a conference w/ u. i believe that the teacher needs to set the tone and expectations, her class will represent how they feel about her authority. don't u remember having teachers that u knew couldn't control the class and others u dare not test them? if things don't improve, u may need the principal to intervene and perhaps switch her to a more structured authoritative teacher, where the kids will behave. good luck....hang in there!

As our pastor in AZ said, "Hurt people hurt people." There are a lot of hurting people in the world - kids and adults alike. If you want your daughter to be surrounded by what you are teaching at home, look into getting her back into a Christian school. There is nothing we could have spent the money on for our kids that would have had a deeper impact. Yes, we had to sacrifice a lot but it is worth it. They were in Christian schools from preschool to high school and our daughter is just finishing up at a Christian college. They have made great lifelong friends who share their religious beliefs. But more importantly, they had teachers as mentors who partnered with us in bringing up good citizens.

Where does your child go to school? My children's public school is nothing like that. The kids are very respectful and happy. The teachers and staff are wonderful. My daughter did have trouble with an ill mannered child in kindergarden, but it was an isolated situation (she was not the only child in the class having trouble with the badly mannered child). We talked to the teacher and the situation was addressed quickly. We researched the neighborhood we chose to live in very carefully to assure we were going to the best school in town. It is a shame that schools in the same city or district can vary so much in quality, but that is how the system seems to be set up. Good luck.

All public schools are not as you have described. By all means, go to the conference....then investigate getting your child into a magnet school. Children in magnet schools seem to try harder because they know if they mess up they[re out.

Welcome to public school!
THIS is precisely why we pay for private school My son is in a sweet and loving classroom with only 11 other students and a teacher who could be making more in a school system but chooses to work in this smaller and private environment. I can't tell you how SICK it makes me that there are parents who actually believe that it's good for a young child to go through what your daughter is. They think it's so good for them, yet when they're adults they sure don't have to spend the majority of their life with a group of people that harass and agress them, do they? The adults can quit a job and go somewhere else, or they just don't spend anytime with people that they don't like. But somehow they think it's okay to force this onto children. Honey, your K daughter doesn't need togrow hair on her chest and she certainly doesn't need to go through bullying to make her a better person. If all the private school options are impossible for you, pull her out and get creative with her learning. Homeschool her or get another mom and take trns homeschooling. Her socialization won't be dampened because there are a TON of activities in hs co-ops and support groups all over. Texas is the BEST place to "think outside the box" whether you homeschool or not. The worst thing you can do for your child is to continue to try to comfort her every night, but throw her back to the wolves every morning. You're not sheltered and a wacko; you're very understandably disturbed by the low-quality in educational employees. YES, most adults dealing with hundreds of kids a day bark orders at them (because it's so much more "efficient" to tell them what to do....and we wonder why children grow up with few if any problem-solving skills now?) I'm only in my 30s but the lack of respect now by school authority figures toward their vulnerable charges makes me sick. And the lack of respect by some students can traumatize the "nice kids" (which are usually the quiet majority) in each public school classroom. Why not in private? Oh, usually because the parents have their kids their by choice and are usually more interested in their children's success in life. I used to run PTO but as soon as we pulled our kids out of public I realized how much more rewarding learning is to them, and how many more pros their were. I like to say: If you really want to eat filet mignon, why do you keep going through the McDonald's drive-thru and ordering it? Certain things are NOT on the public school's menu, and if you expect them, you will be banging your head against the wall for a long long time. (But it will be your kid who suffers more.) Also, hogwash with the exemplary and recognized ratings. A friend of mine just quit an "exempl" public school after one yr (she'd already been teaching 8 yrs prior in another school) because in her first-grade class she was mooned, hit, scratched, cussed at daily, stabbed with a pencil very, very badly, and told by the principal that she was a bad teacher because she kept sending kids to the principal's office. NOT UNUSUAL. I wish you good luck in your decision, I know it's tough because you don't want to do anything that wouldn't be best for your child. I'm not a snob, either, but in educational environments where there are many, many kids, most adults spend their time on "crowd control" and that fact alone really burns out superior teachers if they don't get off the hamster wheel.

A.,
I understand your frustration... COMPLETELY. My oldest daughter was bullied in first grade twice, ( where the other girl smashed her head into the wall of the gym ) and smashed her head into the floor and twisted her thumb to where we had to take her to the Dr to see if it was broken.
In 3rd grade she had another bully (who was actually a friend, but did what was fun at the time)... By this point I had enough. So I enrolled both my girls in Tae Kwon Do, this helps build there confidence, self-esteem, and also helps them to protect theirselves if ever need it. I know this isn't the path for everyone, but I also konw that kids these days are getting meaner and meaner, and they don't care, carrying guns to school... !! Sorry, didn't mean to vent, but we do need our children to protect theirselves, we are not with them all the time. Consider martial arts for your children. I have a good school, if you send me a note privately I can let you know if you are intrested.
God Bless

I so understand what your saying. I too have a five year old that started school this year. And I too have gone to school every morning with her so far and yes I see the same thing. It starts at home, parents are at fault. Its time for parents to be held more accountable for the kids actions. Make them lose time from work for parenting classes, family conferences with the students. Because if our kindergarteners are having to deal with this, it will only get harder!

I saw a bill board the other day that fits todays generation.

I parents life is a child guidebook.

I understand that the kids have to get the routine down, but the school employees seem so cold and military. Just this morning, I took my little one into morning assembly and after a few minutes she said she needed to use the restroom. I told her teacher that I would take and she said no, that she would have to wait. I wasnt comfortable with that at all, I asked how long she would have to wait and just at that point assembly did end. But just that need of my child, not being met left me thinking, can I do this another way?

You are doing the right thing with letting the teacher know everything that is going on. Have the conference with the teacher and talk to your daughter and ask her to give it one more week. The sad thing is that YOU may have already been labeled as a "problem" parent. Some teachers do not want to hear from the parent unless they initiate the contact.

In all honesty, this is one reason my kids go to a private school. I know that is not an option for all families. But Homeschooling is a good option.

Good Luck!

Wow! Talk about your worst nightmare! We are looking into private school for our son just for that reason, even though we can't really afford it. However, bullies are everywhere. I know in the parenting section of Barnes n Noble there are books about it.

Best of luck to you. I hope things work out quickly.

I would like to say that this is NOT the norm. The public schools my children have attended over the past 8 years have never allowed anyone to be disrespectful- students or teachers. I would not want my child in that atmosphere for sure! Sounds like you need to find a new school to attend. Good Luck!

Hi AnnMarie,
I am so sorry you are having to experience this.
Unfortunately public schools are like this and there does not seem to be anyone who really cares anymore. I don;t know how you can shield your daughter from the unruleness of these children unless you do home school her or put her in another private christian enviroment.
a lot of kindergartners are just behaving badly because they need the attention- some have not been in daycare and have been home with Mommy and are having a hard time adjusting themselves- the teacher hopefully has enough experience to try and teach them things your daughter already knows. she is way ahead and another environment would be better for her.
Another thing you can do is spend as much time as possible at the school by being involved with your daughters class. Most teachers will welcome "help" from a mom-and your presence will possibly give the other children a reason to change their behavior- and you will be able to shield your daughter somewhat.
good luck and blessings

You have received lots of advice.My oldest daughter attended private school for a couple of years and after a few transitions we found the perfect fit. Then I decided she is now old enough to go to the elementary school right behind our house. I had envisioned us strolling to school in the mornings, not a care in the world, but excitement in our hearts. Well that did not last long I tell you. We did finish that year, but she was shocked at how mean and disrespectful the students and teachers were. I even had a few run-ins w/ the principal b/c my daughter's teacher was a liar, and a bad one at that. My daughter still thrived, but I did not feel that she was challenged and she begged to go back to her old private school. She told me that the kids in her class were already talking about boyfriends and other stuff and she did not like those thoughts in her head. This was coming from a 2nd grader. Needless to say, the next year we went back to private school and she and I both love it. I sacrifice the leisure walks to school for a 25 minute commute to and from school every day (50 mins), and also pack a lunch daily, but my kids are happy, thriving and learning a great deal. I could not ask for more.

By the way, I tried the homeschool thing also and it was good if that is something that you enjoy. I homeschooled both of my girls for a year a piece. I just wanted to see what it was like and if I could do it, since I stay home. It is not for everyone, but it worked for us at the time. But now that I feel comfortable that they are receiving a quality education as well as the "Fruit of the Spirit" teaching, I am perfectly content to do the reinforcement at home. lol.

Its hard for many to believe, but bullying can happen in Kinder. I would alert the principal to observe the class if the teacher is not seeing anything. Kids are very sneaky. Also, talk to mom's of other kids if you can to find out if they are experiencing the same thing. My son goes to private school and there was a bully in his class. They did expel him for the bullying as hard as it is for any private school to let go of a paying tuition, but it should not be tolerated at all. Every year will come with its challenges. You're unfortunately getting an earl start. This should be an enjoyable time for her and you need to make sure that happens. You can do private (which possibly can be tax deductible for Kinder as child care) or move to another public school that has open enrollment. My mom moved me out of Kinder to a private school and I remember that year to this day. It is one of my fondest memories. I thank her to this day for doing that!

I would try to be as involved in the school as possible. If you can go up and volunteer or go and eat lunch with her I would do that. I worked at a public school before I had my daughter and it is totally different than private. You have about 25 kinders with one adult. That is alot of kids for a teacher. Then take in the fact that half of them can't sit still so they are having to deal with behavior problems as well as try to teach a class. I have noticed that there are a lot more kids that the teachers are having to parent. They are having to teach them how to have manners and how to act in certain settings. Some parents are dropping the ball on this. All I can tell you is to keep in contact with the teacher and do as much as you can to help out in the classroom. Good luck.

What kind of school people send their children to is a very personal choice, and the experiences people have will be very different from each other. So I imagine you will have some agree with you and some try to persuade you its not that bad, and to just deal with the bullying problem. We have some excellent public schools around us, yet I know that there will be behavior problems...children aren't perfect.

What I hear you saying is: How, as a society,we can let ill-mannered groups of little ones to go around unchecked in our schools?

I believe you are right in seeing that there is a societal break down. People don't understand morality and that the basic character traits that you listed as being important to you, have not been taught in many cases before children have gotten to school for many reasons. You have valued these things and are dismayed that others have not felt them important. Really, the assumption that parents have taken the time to do the same cannot be there in our modern times.

If you continue in public schools it will depend on the teacher whether they will emphasize your values in the classroom, or just be concerned with the areas that students will be tested on. The classroom will usually have problems if so, because they will always deal with poorly behaved children.

Its ok to let your child know what you value.

I just wanted to validate your feelings of "where have we gone wrong" as a society.

We have chosen to home school for a variety of reasons and have met many people who share the values you have mentioned. San Antonio has a wonderful Christian home school community google FEAST.

Hope all is well in the end.

I'm sorry. My sister went through a similar situation with her daughter when she was in school last year. In the end, she DID end up having to homeschool her. I realize that might not be an option for you, but she found she was left with no other choice.

Hugs,
S. (homeschooling mom to 4 girls.)

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