My life has been turned inside out and upside down since March 24.
To make a very long story as short as possible, I will just explain enough to say that Hannah (my 15 year old) was attacked at school by 3 girls. Not jumped in some secluded area, but in full view of the on-staff police officer and the school resource officer (a man who could easily moonlight as a bar bouncer) right in front of the main office of the school. The school resource officer jumped in and took the hit intended for Hannah and was given a bloody lip. Yeah. Scary. Unbelievable these girls - no respect for authority, let alone fellow students.
Luckily the school surveillance camera caught the entire incident. The offenders have been charged with disorderly conduct and I have been to court to fight for orders of protection, which were granted.
The school principal, on the other hand, doesn't seem to think this incident is something he needs to be bothered with. Just another fight, one of many throughout the school day. Although I have presented him with a mountain of evidence that this is the result of months of bullying and harrassment by these girls, he continued to blame Hannah. Regardless of the fact that Hannah had been down 3 times to the office that week alone trying to get help, it is easier for him to take the stand that she must have deserved it somehow and now it's over. Not.
I don't use the word "hate" in speaking of other people very often. But, I will say I hate this man. I won't go into detail just because it is a very ugly story, but in keeping with my 'look on the bright side' attitude, I have to sing the praises of Michelle Bradley, the Assistant Superintendent, and Terry Ann Carbone, our Superindent of the school district.
Mrs. Bradley and I became acquainted with each other when she was a teacher at the elementary school my daughters attended. I was there a lot volunteering and, although Mrs. Bradley wasn't a teacher to any of my girls, we just hit it off. She eventually became the principal of the school and is now the Assistant Superintendent. I hadn't spoken to her in years, our paths just never crossed anymore, other than at some district school functions and it was simply a warm "hello how are you" kind of conversation. I continued to admire her and was always happy to see her.
A few months ago she contacted me because she had heard I was having difficulty with one of Hannah's teachers (another ugly story - some teachers just shouldn't be teachers) and at that time she told me if there was anything she could ever do for me, to let her know. I was so touched that she would get involved in such a minor incident (and don't even know how she found out) and I was again reminded of how much I like Mrs. Bradley. She is truly a Good Woman.
Well, after running into a dead end in trying to get the school to address the bullying and harrassment of Hannah, I was at my wit's end. In desperation, I called Mrs. Bradley to see what, if anything, the school district should be doing about the attack. She immediately got the Superintendent involved. Mrs. Carbone is one tough woman, let me tell you. She forced the principal to meet with Pete and I that very day to discuss the problem. I wish I had a tape of that meeting. She was wonderful! To see and hear her put this ignorant bastard in his place was so encouraging. Through her, Hannah has now been assigned a sort of "bodyguard" to escort her (discreetly) to her classes until Hannah feels safe. And if she never feels safe, the school would provide an at-home tutor. Anytime Hannah feels threatened she should come to the main office and seek his help.
This battle is far from over. Just last Friday, 3 different girls threatened Hannah and were getting ready to fight (taking out earrings and putting up their hair). She sought refuge in a classroom of a caring teacher until they passed and then went to the office to report the incident. The principal's response? To accuse her of being the problem and sent her home for the day! Let me again mention that I hate this man.
Needless to say, I am a nervous wreck when she leaves for school. I am now taking a prescription tranquilizer. I worry every second of the day she is there. I am sick to think that her memories of high school will be nothing she will want to remember. The school is completely useless in addressing the bullying problem. It's too big. The administration is too overwhelmed. Hannah wants to go to school and I put on my brave face and send her. She's stronger than me. I want to move, send her somewhere else, but from what I hear, that's not the answer - bullies are everywhere.
So what does any of this have to do with beading? Well, as a thank you to Mrs. Bradley and Mrs. Carbone, I made them post-it-note holders for their desk!
When I went with my mom to the stamp store a few weeks back, I picked up this tube of papery-fabric flowers. They are such fun to work with!
Here is the inside fabric for Mrs. Bradley's.
And the back:I used the same velvet, but made my favorite motif on Mrs. Carbone's. I added a hint of purple to match the fabric liner.
Today I'm going to the school (again). This time to meet with all of Hannah's teachers to set up a game plan to help her refocus on school work. Wish me luck. I will try to "Keep Calm and Carry On"