RE: C, I, & A decisions of teachers

Donna Woodka (
Wed, 6 May 1998 13:37:41 -0700 (PDT)

Sounds like an *excellent* way to handle the issue, and thank you for
handling it. My son is often teased, and the teasing is never dealt with,
but if he happens to retaliate, that is often seen and dealt with.

Time to take the teasing seriously, and realize it has just as many
hurtful aspects as the physical stuff. The "teasers" get away with it so
often it's ridiculous. And, since teasing typically comes out of low self
esteem and the need to put someone else down, the teasers issues aren't
being dealt with either if teasing is ignored. They need help, too.


On Wed, 6 May 1998, Debbling 3 wrote:

> This has happened to me on more than one occasion (not just the fat issue,
> but racial stuff, too). My reaction and the direction I would proceed to take

> would depend on whether the person was a class member, the member of another
> class or an adult. Not long ago, we had an open forum when a few of my
> Kinder/first graders called a student from another classroom "gordito" and
> laughed at him. Keep in mind that being fat doesn't carry the stigma for
> Mexican children that it does for people born and raised in this culture, but
> nevertheless, they had meant to insult the child.
> I first talked to the child who had been made fun of and we discussed his
> feelings about what happened. I asked him how he would like to deal with the
> children who had teased him. He didn't have any ideas so I suggested that he
> take the opportunity to talk to the entire class (with me leading a
> discussion) on name-calling and feelings and what it actually feels like for
> this boy to be fat, how he sees himself and how namecalling affects his
> perception of himself. We had a great 45 minute conversation. There were
> some tears shed (by the offenders, the little boy and a few empathetic
> classmates) but the ability to actually talk with this boy, realize he was an
> intelligent, sensitive human being and not just a blob was of utmost
> importance to the children. I have seen a profound change in EVERY one of the

> children present that day, especially the offenders. They call each other on
> comments made, words used, etc. that could be offensive to people or groups of

> people. A few have also had heart-to-hearts with their parents about their
> use of insulting names for groups of people. And they are only 5-7 years old!

> Some parents have actually come to me to tell me how embarrassed they felt,
> but that they thought it was a good thing that the kids were learning this
> stuff because it wasn't anything they had previously considered.
> Anyway, sorry I rambled. But I have always been an avid believer of taking
> advantage of teachable moments, so I get excited when I get to
talk about it. >

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