My department head kindly let us go early on Friday at 2:30 so I rushed to the school to pick her up before aftercare. She was momentarily excited to see me but when I asked her how her day was she said something had happened but she wasn’t actually sure what. Clearly that was confusing to me, so I asked her to explain. She went on to tell me that some kids had said she’d called another child an ugly name. When I inquired as to what name it was, she called out a name I didn’t recognize it as a real word. I continued to ask her and she kept saying different words but they were all nonsense words. Finally, after a few guesses and some concentrated thought, I realized the word she was TRYING to say. The reason she couldn’t get it right was because she didn’t actually KNOW it. In our house, we don’t use this word nor any form of the word.
I kind of blew her off and said not to worry about it that it would blow over by Tuesday but she insisted it wouldn’t. She went on to say adamantly that she did NOT say what they were saying she did and because she clearly didn’t even know what that word was, or how to pronounce it, I believed her 100%. As we neared the interstate to go home, she began to get upset. Jenna is not an emotional child and never has been. If she is crying, you better believe there’s something wrong. It was then that I began to get concerned. I asked her why she was so upset and she said she didn’t think the teachers believed her and the whole 4th grade was talking about her. I could tell this wasn’t something I should take lightly, so I offered to email the teacher involved. She said that was OK but continued to be upset. So, we turned around at the next exit and headed back to school.
I spent an hour talking to her homeroom teacher as well as the teacher involved. There are several kids who said they heard her say it and several kids who said she did NOT say it. But they are very clearly concerned about the situation. After I talked to the teachers, we stopped by the office and spoke with the principal.
I have to say, I left the school I have grown to love with a sick feeling in my stomach. I am not actually sure they believe my girl. I would put my life on the line betting she did not say what they are accusing her of. If you are a parent, you know what I’m referring to. You just know. I know. I believe my child.
And this is not over. The principal was going to call the other child’s parent to see if he said anything. Then they were going to address it again on Tuesday. All weekend Jenna has worried about this situation. She has gone over and over (with me, with the teachers and with the principal) how in the world anyone thought she said this word she doesn’t even know. How do you explain to your child that there are mean kids (yes, even in Christian schools) that will lie about you just because. She talked so much about it last night that she literally fell asleep talking about it.
This morning when she got up, I asked her if she slept well and she said, “so-so”. I said why just so-so and she said, “Because I can’t quit thinking about the school thing”. And so it began again. And I know what she means. I can’t quit thinking about it either.
I’m very angry. Not really at anyone involved (except the kid that started it and we don’t know who that is), but I’m angry that anyone would dare think my child would say such a thing and then not believe her based on just her word. I know my child’s heart. I know when my child is lying. And I’m not a parent who defends her child to the end when I know she’s wrong. But this time she’s not wrong. She’s being accused of something she did not do.
I’m angry that I have to explain to my 10 year old daughter that Satan is alive and working hard to get her heart. It should not be so. I should not have to have this conversation right now. I’m angry that I have to watch my child’s heart break because people she thought were good kids and even friends lying about what they heard and some of them gossiping about it behind her back. She is TOO YOUNG to have to learn this lesson already. I sat and watched my child cry about losing friends and having friends talk about her. I watched her cry fearing her teachers did not believe her. I watched her cry telling the same story over and over again to teachers and principals only to hear them speak to her with questions in their voices.
And I’m so angry. I took her to get mani/pedis today in an effort to get her mind off of this situation. But other than that, the only thing I know to do is pray. And pray we have. This morning we prayed that God would remove the worry from our minds. And we pray that whoever started this lie will be convicted so much that they come in on Tuesday and confess what they’ve done. I pray that God will give the teachers and principals the wisdom of Solomon to know what the truth is. And I pray God will protect the heart of His child. I pray He will make this right and if it doesn’t right itself Tuesday that He will give both Jenna and I peace that one day the truth will be known.
If you think of it, please pray with us. Especially on Tuesday when Jenna will have to relive this all over again.