Teachers and Parents don't know when the Kids are bullied, But the kids sure do

On Wed, Oct 3, 2018, 21:43  EMAIL from my daughter's teacher:
Sorry for taking some time to get back with you about -----s behavior!  Here are some things that I'm noticing at school.  First off, I have had a few reports of  ( daughter )in asked to stop doing something on the playground and then the same teacher finding her doing exactly what she was asked not to do.  In class, I have had to take tags away because she has told me that she has completed something and then when I have asked to see it, she tells me that she forgot to do it.  The other thing that I have talked with ---- out is coming to me for help.  When she is upset with someone, she tries to solve it by herself.  I have had a report that she has used unkind words to another student.  When S----and I talked, she let me know that the other student was doing something to bother her.  I told her that with problems like these, she needs to involve an adult instead of trying to handle it herself.  
I hope this is a helpful email.   ----- a is  sweet girl and a know that she wants to do her best in school!  I will try to be better about letting you know these things as they happen.

Thank you for your feedback Mrs ------- very much appreciated - we will certainly work with ------- on these issues. I talked to her at length about your email in detail. 
On the other hand- we have received numerous rather visceral - realizing it's hard to measure and quantify the precise veracity and severity - reports from *my daughter *that some students in class often harass, bother, disturb.. her, namely ----- on an almost daily basis. ------ frequently,  and ----- often most when she is taking a test. We always, continually and consistently tell her to tell you and never mind them. However. she told me with a significant amount of sincerity that she often does report to you but you either tell her not to worry about it or are way too busy doing other things. 
So, here is our dilemma... A frustrated child being told by her principal. social worker, teacher, parents, the correct response to report a problem to an adult soon finds a startling realization that reality is very far from idealistic conditions. " Welcome to the real world we say behind closed doors." 
I realize of course it's  impossible for a teacher to take care of "all" these little issues in the classroom. Unfortunately,  it's only the big things that have exploded that get our focus. ( Please as time permits, I have included 2 quick personal experiences on why I know it's impossible to see the little things in our classroom and life, but  why we need a mental reminder that little things are important.)
However, please be aware that what may seem like a nothing to you is monumentally important to a child. Especially children like -'my daughter who possesses seemingly " an abnormally" (by the worlds definition) high sense of justice. I'm not saying this to show my kid as someone more special or deserving but rather to bring this to your attenion as a matter of fact. My wife and I have had to learn this through difficult experience with Samey.   I've rarely experienced this from other children, including from my 3 successful  adult children while they were growing up.
In conclusion. please know we appreciate your hard work and thank you. We will work hard on this end and know you are also.
If interested - I enclosed a brief history of related experience below.
Andrew Sheets and Tram Nguyen Sheets 
I learned a very hard lesson at the inner city High School I was teaching. One day in my Spanish class, a boy on the low end  spectrum exploded, he started screaming and became very violent. My back was turned so I had not personally witnessed what later came out in the investigation as repeated bullying as the root cause.
When the problematic boy was removed, I found out through isolated questioning of other students,  that the boy who exploded had been continually and systematically   harassed by a two other boys in my class. When I made an honest confession of ignorance, one girl in my class openly mocked me by saying, "Come on! Mr. Sheets, don't stand there and say you didn't see ABC and XYX bullying the boy?"
I honestly, truly  had not seen the abuse right under my nose because I had a total of 175 students spread out in 6 periods ranging from Heritage Speakers, Level 3 down to beginner. My goal was to teach these kids Spanish to show the state of Indiana that my academic goals were met so I could be guaranteed both a job and have any hope for a pay raise.
 The lowest thing on the priority survival list for a teacher (to be perfectly honest) is the long hours of direct student interaction with parents regarding social, psychological discipline etc issues involving their children. 
Most of my time interacting with parents regarding issues with their children were after hours phone calls at my home during my family time. One night at 8 pm I was on the phone with a desperate sobbing mother about her problematic daughter. It was taking a toll on me when I realized that only a 20 hour day could a teacher truly do their job correctly.  And this is with 3 sets of eyes and ears...
My paycheck didn't directly depend on the most important issues in making sure Suzy and her mom's - social essentials of personal security -  needs were met, but rather meeting my academic goals, keeping my principal happy. Suzy (ficticious name to protect privacy) was a smart girl, but failing academically, and then began skipping class and acting out in my class when she would show up.
How did I really learn what was causing Suzy' s erratic behavior and failing grade in my class? It was only by laying in a hospital bed with 3 tubes in my body, when Suzy's mother, single mom,  my attending nurse's assistant told me at about 2 o'clock that morning in Community South Hospital. 
Yes, in a most bizzare moment of supreme irony, the mother of one of my problem students found out who I was and during our come to Jesus meeting explained in graphic detail some events of her precious little girl's typical day. Note: Suzy was a 15 year old girl arriving to a new school from out of town. 
Basically Suzy was being groomed by a gang of Lesbian students in our school. She had been enduring continual harrassment and threats to full acquiescence and compliance. Did I observe any of this? No. I honestly did not.
No. I had to write and submit lesson plans, course outlines, syllabus notes, long range plans, state reports, administrative reports, quizzes, exams, etc. Grading, counseling, extra classes, etc all geared to academics. I had to go to meetings, planning councils, performance meetings, Activities,  Fund Raisers, etc. 
Suzy and the low spectrum boy I discussed here saw all the posters in the wall that Bullying is not tolerated.  They were told repeatedly to REPORT all any any behavior. Our Principal wholeheartedly told the kids on the morning announcements not to allow and to report bullying. I as a teacher was trained mandatory training with my attached signature not to accept bullying and to watch for it, to know the signs. etc.
In the end:  it's all about listening to the silence and seeing the unseen .


Near the end of the school year, a bully was harassing my daughter on the school bus and pouring saliva mixed water on her. (Later found through bus video the boy had been punching my daughter). I reported the incident to my daughter's school  teacher, guidance counselor and principal, and asked  then to respond.  I sent 2 follow ups and finally heard a them.  BOTTOM LINE:  Your school talks about Bullying.  They put up Posters.  They tell us to be involved. They say it, but the cold reality is far from the rhetoric.  In reality our schools honestly can't really control bullying.  



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