Trigger Warning: Contains sexual content
Recently, a colleague from my days as a teacher shared the following story:
A class of Grade 3 students was assembling on the carpet of the library. An 8-year-old boy walked in front of a girl in the class who was seated. He faced her, bent his knees and began to pump his pelvis in front of her face. Other children pointed and laughed. Then he bopped her on the head with his hand and sing-songed, "Ha ha, you got tea-bagged!" Children continued to laugh as the boy skipped away and the little girl began to cry. She wiped her eyes and sucked back the tears as the librarian called the class to attention and began the lesson.
Are you as horrified as I am by this event?
Let's be perfectly clear: That little girl was sexually assaulted.
Hopefully she went home and told her parents exactly what happened. It doesn't matter if she understood what the boy was acting out--she knows that she was uncomfortable and humiliated and that she was treated with aggression. Hopefully her parents raised some hell at the school, at the very least demanding that the boy be moved to another class.
But from what I heard, nothing happened. The boy was not punished nor even spoken to about his actions. His parents were not phoned. The little girl's parents were not phoned. The incident was ignored and school life continued.
Friends, this is normal every day stuff in the life of a child attending school. And yet every time someone criticizes my family for choosing a different path of education, they invariably start with the argument that my children need to learn how to "cope in the world" and "how will they ever be socialized?"
If that had been my daughter who was sexually assaulted on school property while a teacher did nothing, I would have immediately pulled my daughter out of school, contacted the director of education and phoned the media. Somebody would have to answer for why school personnel are unwilling or unable to prevent and stop an act of sexual aggression.
It literally makes me feel sick to my stomach when I hear parents who really believe that events like this are no big deal and that the little girl will get over it. If I were sitting at a library and some guy came up and started grinding his pelvis into my face, would we all decide that it was no big deal and I should get over it? Do children not deserve to be free from assault and aggression, regardless of the age and maturity of the perpetrator?
Parents: Protect your Children. You are not teaching them anything positive when you believe that they must go through bad experiences as they grow up. What a horrible way to view life and to teach your child to view life! I want my children to grow up with the belief that the world is a kind and wonderful place, where life is full of abundance and richness and where the spreading of joy results in more joy coming their way.
It's funny how it makes some people uncomfortable that I think that offering my children experiences of joy and freedom and abundance is good for them. It's too bad so many people are so committed to their lives of scarcity and misery and frustration that they want the same experience for their children.
No thank you.