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Question
Posted by: Debbie | 2011/09/28

Teenager - switching schools

Hi there. My daughter is currently in grade 9 at an Afrikaans school. She is really unhappy and has been since she essentially started there. She is pretty and really popular with the boys which leads the girls in this particular school to attack her personally on whichever level they can. The latest incident is a prefect that forced her to take out new ear piercings (second holes) that she had done 4 weeks ago (they still need to heal another 2 weeks). Her ears were left bleeding and painful. She only ever wears one pair of school approved ear studs. She wants to go to one of the two English schools in the area but people tell me it will be too big an adjustment. She does well academically and her English marks are never below 75%. How would we go about making this very important decision? I''m torn.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sadly, kids do that, and they can be exceptionally cruel to each other, maybe because they can, even without realizing it, tap into their own fears and insecurities to use this against another.
In the incident you quote, go firmly and assertively to the headmaster, pointing out that she was wearing only the school approved ear studs, and that the prefect had no right to do what she did. Ask for an apology from the prefect, as publically done as was the assault. And mention whatever the other examples have been, and what he/she can suggest to improve her happiness at the school. Use this as an example to see how good the headmaster and school are at dealing with problems.
If they prove unsatisfactory, condier making the move to the other school if this is practical. I don't see why it should be a problem for her, if her English is good enough ( I'm guessing it isn;t her home langauge ? ) for her to manage with all her lessons being in English
But Romany's view is a good one, too. By keeping strictly within the school's rules and codes, she can avoid giving the nasty one's any legitimate reason for upsetting her. And she's right, that if they don't find they can upset her, the harridans are likely to move on to someone easier to upset. But that's why the headmaster needs to intervene because bullying must never be tolerated in any school, for any reason.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/28

I too had the same problem with my daughter.... to the extend that even the female teachers victimized her. She was a fashionmodel and went overseas regularily and featured in many magazines in swimwear and lingerie so you can just imagine !!!
Your daughter is going to have this for the rest of her life so she may just as well start getting used to it. Jealous females will always be around.
My advice.... which worked for me, is as follows:-
She needs to stay in that school as taking her out will mean defeat to her and satisfaction to the rest. As soon as the girls see that they cannot make her angry, they wil focus their bitchyness on the next victim.
Encourage your daughter to follow the rules strictly. If the dress should be long, wear it long, if only one piercing is allowed, have only one piercing. No mascarra? Then no mascarra. No lip gloss? then no lipgloss.
If she does everything as per the rules, even the prefects will get bored with victimising her. Just nod and smile.
Another important lesson I taught mine and until today she thanks me for it " Make your worst enemy your best friend" 
Good luck, I know we just want to climb in there and take out all the ugly females to protect our young, but that is not the way.
She is pretty and clever... she will come out tops!

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/28

Sadly, kids do that, and they can be exceptionally cruel to each other, maybe because they can, even without realizing it, tap into their own fears and insecurities to use this against another.
In the incident you quote, go firmly and assertively to the headmaster, pointing out that she was wearing only the school approved ear studs, and that the prefect had no right to do what she did. Ask for an apology from the prefect, as publically done as was the assault. And mention whatever the other examples have been, and what he/she can suggest to improve her happiness at the school. Use this as an example to see how good the headmaster and school are at dealing with problems.
If they prove unsatisfactory, condier making the move to the other school if this is practical. I don't see why it should be a problem for her, if her English is good enough ( I'm guessing it isn;t her home langauge ? ) for her to manage with all her lessons being in English
But Romany's view is a good one, too. By keeping strictly within the school's rules and codes, she can avoid giving the nasty one's any legitimate reason for upsetting her. And she's right, that if they don't find they can upset her, the harridans are likely to move on to someone easier to upset. But that's why the headmaster needs to intervene because bullying must never be tolerated in any school, for any reason.

Reply to cybershrink

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