Thursday, February 6, 2014

On Being Loud

When I picked my daughter up from school last Friday, she was full of indignation about the way [an adult] had treated her entire class. She told me that he was out of line and I needed to complain and tell him so. I gulped, because it wasn't how I'd planned to spend the beginning of my weekend, but she was so trusting.

At eleven years old, she was bringing her problem to ME. She was counting on me to amplify her voice. Even if nothing came of it, it would speak volumes to her that I believed her and stood up for her. This is exactly the kind of empowered female I want to raise! 

So I wrote an intense email to this man, and copied his boss. I explained how his behavior was out of line, how the kids in his school deserve to be treated respectfully, and how proud I was of my daughter for having the self-protective instincts to not put up with, or even shrug off, his abusive manner.

And... the man's boss called me the next morning--Saturday--to thank me! She said she hadn't known about what happened and would talk to him on Monday. And sure enough, this week I got the longest apology!

Instead of justifying his behavior, he frankly acknowledged that it was unacceptable. My friends and I have far too much experience with excuses framed as apologies, or responses that shine shame back in the eyes of the victim. It did me so much good to see what contrition looks like in a professional relationship. It did me good to be loud and know that I was heard. 

And it did my daughter good to know that her voice matters. She has seen that her voice can make a difference--for herself and for 200 of her peers.

1 comment:

  1. Well done--and once again, wow. To a non-ATI raised outsider speaking up for yourself or your daughter at school is such a typical thing. Part of the reason I have no fear about sending my kids to public school is because I know I have a voice.

    That makes me understand why people with an umbrella of authority mindset would choose homeschooling.