A few days ago I wrote a post regarding the new gender policies being forced on schools in Alberta by the N.D.P. government. I shared how this policy was sexist and demeaning to naturally born females. The policy actually strips naturally born females of their “dignity” even though one of the goals of the policy is to treat all students with dignity. However if a naturally born female opposes this policy they are labeled a “bigot”.
Well it is interesting how real life sometimes throws a situation at you at just the perfect time. That is what happened Friday evening at around 10:00 pm.
We had sent our children off to bed a little earlier only to find our 11 year old daughter appear in our living room bawling, eyes red and face swollen. We eventually calmed her down to the point where she could actually speak and then we heard the story.
Our daughter is in grade 6, 11 years old, a slight build, long hair, wears glasses and measures 53 inches tall. Before Christmas a boy in Grade 6, M., started hassling our 11 year old daughter. He kept coming up to her saying “Will you date me?” and pressuring her. She would say “No I’m too young.”, “I don’t want to.” and “Go away.” This initially started with him hassling her at her locker. From there the harassment moved to phys-ed class. In class she told her teacher Mr.D., and the teacher spoke to the boy, but the harassment continued when the teachers weren’t looking. Then the harassment took to the school grounds outside during the lunch recess, constant harassment over and over of “Will you date me?” and my daughter refusing over and over, but saying no meant nothing. Finally it was the last straw, M. started harassing her one day in the school foyer and my daughter resorted to hitting M. with a hardcover version of Harry Potter. M. finally stopped the harassment. It took my daughter physically hitting back for M. to get the message and to realize “NO MEANS NO”.
I asked my daughter did she ever tell the teachers again that this was going on, and she said “No. It didn’t make a difference. He still wouldn’t stop. He did it anyways”.
Pretty sad. Pretty traumatizing. No didn’t mean no. The start of sexual harassment in grade 6. The beginnings of rape culture. No didn’t mean no.
But it gets worse. On Thursday, January 21st (2016) M.’s friend C. decided to take things into his own hands. I will share the email that went to the school principal:
I wanted to bring to your attention a problem that Rxxx has had with a gang of male students led by Cxxxx in grade seven. Rxxx estimates that a large gang of between 10 and 15 boys led by Cxxx surrounded her at the top of the field at lunchtime recess. This has happened for two days running. Cxxx kept asking her to date him while his gang surrounded Rxxxx. She kept telling them that she’s too young and she had no interest in dating them. They kept on at her, completely intimidating her, until Exxxx who saw what was happening told them to stop. He deserves great credit for standing up to a large group of bullies.
Rxxx was in tears tonight when she finally told me about it. This is a serious problem and cannot continue whatsoever.
Could you please call me to discuss and let me know how you intend to deal with this matter?
So if a girl refuses to date your friend, the solution is to get a gang of 10-15 boys together, surround her, intimidate her and demand she dates you. So if you fight back like my daughter did with the first boy, then you get a gang hunting you down as added intimidation. This is all because my 11 year daughter refused to date a boy. So much for no meaning no.
My daughter is 11, the boy heading the gang is 12. Now you may say these are little kids, but what you must remember is this “child”, the one with the gang, is the size of my husband; the size of a full grown man.
However age is not an excuse. Organizing a gang to intimidate a girl because she says no to dating at the age of 11…..at any age actually….is not a reasonable response.
And there is no excuse for bullying, except sometimes there is. You see C., the gang leader, has been in my son’s grade for years. Back in Grade 5 my son was bullied on the playground (it revolved around mini-stick hockey) by C., and we had meetings with the principal of the time. No kidding during the discussion we were told , regarding C., that “hockey was his life” and “he is from a transitional home”. I am sorry a bully is a bully and loving hockey and home life are no excuse for bullies to act the way they do.
So you can only imagine our response when we heard who the gang leader was. Shock and horror. An elementary school bully now uses a gang to intimidate girls who refuse to date. What is next, gang rape? That is exactly what is next. This is the reality .
Believe it or not there is more to the story, as if it isn’t disturbing enough. My daughter has a friend named J. and he plays on the same hockey team as C.. Evidently, according to J., members of the hockey team are playing a game of “Truth or Dare” and the goal is to “PRANK” our daughter. A game of sexual harassment. A game of intimidation. This is society’s way of having “fun”, of playing a game.
This makes me feel sick to my stomach, not just as a mother, but just knowing we have monsters like this in our society, monsters at the age of 12.
Sexual harassment is not “fun”.
Being intimidated by a gang to date is not “fun”.
And if this projection continues gang rape is not “fun”.
And this is all happening AT SCHOOL.
Now I have to own up to something, and this is pretty sad. I actually asked my daughter “Is this all true?”. I was actually going to wait until we spoke to the principal to write this as if that was going to provide validation to the harassment my daughter faced. I had her go over the story many times. I asked her would J. say the same as her, would E.? I feel awful that I interrogated her when she was the victim. My goodness, how awful for a victim to have to prove they are a victim at the age of 11.
But that is how society has made us to be. A girl is raped and the immediate response is “she led him on”, “she was wearing sexy clothing”, “she was drunk”….it is always the girl’s fault. This is why so many sexual assaults are not reported. This is why so many rapes are not reported. The female victim knows nothing will be done so she doesn’t pursue justice.
This is exactly why my daughter NEVER told another teacher. Telling a teacher didn’t make a difference, she was still harassed.
My daughter said “NO!” She said “NO” over and over and over, but these boys wouldn’t listen.
The teacher did nothing wrong. The school did nothing wrong. But the fact of the matter is our children are not even safe in schools from their own peers.
Thank goodness our daughter had the bravery to tell us as this had been going on for weeks and weeks. At least now we can attempt for steps to be made to keep her safe.
Thank goodness E. was there to rescue our daughter from C. and his gang. It is frightening though to think of what could happen if E. hadn’t been there.
So this leads me to the “Things happen for a reason” portion of the blog post. A few days ago I wrote a post regarding The Alberta N.D.P. Governments new policy “Guidelines for Best Practices” Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions”. This policy’s goal is “Minimizing segregated areas”. In short, any gender can use any washroom. Boys can go into the girls washroom and girls change room. Yes you read that right.
Parents have been worried about this policy, but when we speak up we are called “homophobic” and “bigots”. We have been assured we have nothing to worry about.
But we do.
When this policy comes into play what happened to my daughter today and yesterday in the school yard can happen in an isolated change room or bathroom.
My daughter being surrounded by a gang of boys on a playground being intimidated to “date” someone is bad enough. When this policy comes into full effect MY DAUGHTER COULD BE RAPED IN THE BATHROOM BY THE SAME GROUP OF BOYS, this is not beyond their capacity, and E., being a decent boy, won’t be there to rescue her.
If sexual harassment is a “game”.
If sexual harassment and intimidation is a “game”.
Then RAPE too will be a “game”
A fun little game organized by boys on a hockey team.
Our children are not safe in current circumstances. They have peers that are predators. This is proven. My daughter has experienced it. The N.D.P. government’s policy will severely put our children at extreme risk.
It is not hard to see the projection. An elementary school bully becomes one who sexually harasses in middle school. The ONLY direction this goes in the future is unwanted sexual touching, sexual interference and rape.
I am not fear mongering. I am not being a bigot. I am not being homophobic. I am being realistic.
My daughter has faced, at the age of 11, sexual harassment and intimidation, giving all genders access to the bathrooms and change rooms she uses turns her from student to PREY.
This blog post will go out to the school principal this evening, as well as the relevant government officials. We will speak with the school principal on Monday, and I pray the response isn’t “the boys were just having fun”.
I for one don’t think sexual harassment is fun.
I do not think intimidation is fun.
I believe NO MEANS NO.
But it doesn’t matter what I think, what I know is our children ARE NOT SAFE IN ALBERTA’S SCHOOLS.
Please note, I am posting this now, prior to any school meetings, to prove to my daughter that I completely believe her. What has happened to her cannot be changed. What has happened to her needs to be shared. My daughter deserves to be treated with dignity and part of that is believing in her and not let her victimization be undermined.