Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLEASE, Mothers: Read, Learn, and Educate Your Sons

Today I'm sharing something different than I planned.

I was supposed be showing off my newly painted armoire...

Another fabulous before and after.

But, sometimes life happens.

And it shook me enough that I felt like I should share it with you.


No.

Scratch that.

I felt like I must share it with you.

No matter that it is embarrassing.

No matter that it will cause speculation.

And no matter that some people might feel that something so personal 
should not be fodder for a blog.

I will not name any names, but I will execute 
my constitutional right of free speech.

When something happens to you that you 
never thought would ever happen...

Couldn't even fathom would happen...

You know you have to warn other parents, other moms,  
so they don't feel the same heartache and horror.

So I do this for you...

As a mother of a son...

Like I am.

Yesterday started as any other day and ended like no other.

I am sitting here, late at night, a gazillion thoughts running through my head, unable to sleep.

What if...

What if...

What if...

Thankfully, I have a dear friend who is a powerful prayer warrior and I know her prayers, and mine, prepared the way and gave me the words and strength I needed yesterday afternoon.

To fight for my son.

To fight for Ian.


My eleven year old son.

A 6th grader...

My prankster, my joker, the one who always makes us laugh...


A solid A/B student.

A respected athlete.


In the end...

Just a kid.


You could say I'm pretty proud that somehow, someway, during all the mistakes I've made in parenting, I have done this one thing right.

I've managed to raise a pretty darn good kid.

No, he's not a perfect kid, but all in all, a good one.

Yesterday shook all that to the core.

And then some.

I was painting the armoire when my two oldest sons 
got off the bus from the middle school.

I was focused solely on a reveal planned for today.

So silly it seems now.

You would think you would have an inkling of something happening that was going to change the way you look at things.

And believe in things.

But you don't.

The door slams...

Ian:  "Mom?  Mom?  Where are you?"

Me:  "I'm in here.  What's wrong?"

Ian:  "Did the school call you?"

Me:  "No.  Why?"

Ian:  "Well, they're going to be."

Me: "Why?  What happened?"

Ian:  "I accidentally did something.  It's bad.  I didn't mean to!"

And through the roaring in my ears 
I hear fragments of what he's telling me.

Playing...

Game...

A friend...

Competition...

Pulling people through the door...

This girl...

Touched...

Will be charged...

Sexual Harassment. 

Oh my God.

I had to get him to repeat it to me a couple of times before I got it.

He and a friend had been holding the doors open at the school to let returning classes into the building from recess.  A job given to them by the teachers.  Evidently, it's something the two boys do regularly.  

Yesterday, they decided to have a competition: Who could get more students to pass on their side of the door than the other.

The competition got spirited and they began pulling their friends through their side of the door.

I can imagine it.

They're laughing...

Egging each other on...

"I'm winning!"

"No you're not!  I am!"

A couple of boys having fun.

And then Ian made a mistake.

He grabbed at a girl's elbow to pull her through his side of the door and in the process made contact with her breast. 

And she hit him in the face and ran off screaming.

He had no idea what he had done.

He was puzzled, but being a kid he didn't think anymore about it.

And didn't for while.

Until he was told by his teacher 
that he needed to go to the school's interventionist.



Where he was sent with no inkling of what he had done and no explanation was given to him by the teacher that sent him.

"Just go, " she said, when he asked why he was being sent there.

He knew he was in trouble, but he had no idea what for.

Where he was kept waiting while the interventionist finished getting the story from the girl and one of her friends, as a witness.

Where, when confronted with the allegations, he was shocked.

And when he denied the charges and tried to explain what he had done, his words were twisted and used against him.

Repeatedly.

Where he was found guilty and unable to prove his innocence.

Where he was given five minutes of the interventionist's time compared to the 30 minutes or more the girl was given.

Where he was told - as a minor - without the presence of a parent - that what he had done would probably result in sexual harassment charges being brought against him.

Where, the interventionist, after threatening such charges, decided that her after school meetings were more important than calling his parents.

Where he was then excused after being told about the charges and then put on the bus with the very same girl that accused him.

Where he had to sit and listen for a 45 minute ride, as she cried and proceeded to tell the entire bus that he had grabbed her breast.

And so the small town rumors will begin.



Mothers...

I beg you...

Educate your sons.

This is not the world we grew up in.

Our society, in an effort to overcompensate for past injustices to women, have swung so far the other way that boys are guilty until they can prove they are innocent.

Accidental contact...

And your precious child will have to face some very adult consequences for actions they don't even understand.

I found myself trying to explain to an 11 year old what exactly sexual assault and sexual harassment meant on my 20 mile drive to the school.

That what he accidentally did in the course of play, is on par with good touch, bad touch.

That it is synonymous with rape.

And that the repercussions to his character, his integrity, and his reputation are far 
reaching.

And I am FURIOUS.

Have we, as adults, 
really become such a perverse society that we see sexuality in everything?

Is the world such an evil place, that children, 
in the course of being children, cannot act and behave as children?

Because they have to worry about such things?

Do I have to tell my sons not to touch girls in any way?  

No high fives because you might accidentally miss their hand and hit something else?

Not to play touch football with them during recess because they could potentially touch a part of the body that is private?

Do not come in contact with girls in a crowded school hallway because you might brush up against their chest or their rear end?

Really?

Is this what the world is coming to?

To make matters worse, when I immediately placed the phone call to the principal, he had just been told of the matter by the interventionist.

Nearly 2 hours after it had occurred.

I knew before he did!

And he had no information for me.

But he could tell me that the allegations were very serious.

"Are you going to be there?  Let me throw myself together and I'll come to the school."

Have you ever tried to put make-up on while you're crying?

While your mind is racing a thousand miles an hour trying to figure out, "How can I fix this?"

Well, if you're a woman, I'm sure you have.

While running to the car, finally a peace came over me enough to think clearly and I thought,  "Call Holly. Ask her what to do from an educator's standpoint.  See what his rights are."

My cousin is an elementary school teacher in North Carolina.

And together during the frantic drive, 
we managed to form a plan of what I was to say.

Now, whether I stuck to it or not, I'm not sure.

I think I got most of the points across.

The plan to stay unemotional didn't pan out.

I got angry.

I raised my voice.

I even stood up on one occasion.

I definitely wasn't at my best.

But with the Lord's help, I got through it.

And I fought for the rights of my son.

And in my mind, 
for the rights of all the sons that are in our school district.

Enough is enough!

Political correctness has gone too far!

In an effort to protect our children, 
we are seeing guilt where there isn't any!

Now, that being said, I KNOW there are incidences where sexual harassment has occurred on our school campuses.

And I'm a firm believer that any verbal or physical sexual harassment should have immediate and harsh consequence.

Girls should not be silent should they experience this!

However, this is not that situation.

And this is what I am beyond angry about.

Where do we draw the line?

What is and what isn't
SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

The entire event was handled 
inappropriately from the get go.

1)  His teacher refusing to answer when he questioned why he was in trouble.  Instead, he was alone and blind-sided with the accusation.

WHERE WAS THE LIASON FOR MY SON?

2)  The interventionist only taking the time to hear the girl and her friend's side of the story, while Ian and possible other witnesses to the incident were not questioned before opinions were formed.

DOES HE NOT HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS?

3)  The interventionist felt it necessary to inform a minor child that he may be facing the very serious charge of sexual harassment  without the presence of his parents.

I HAVE NO WORDS.

4)  The interventionist feeling that the accusations against my son were serious enough to warrant the threat of pressing charges, but not serious enough to warrant an immediate call to his parents, nor to inform the presiding principal immediately.

AGAIN, NO WORDS.

5)  The interventionist seeking the opinion of a teacher, who without hearing anything more than the girl's side of the story, advised immediate suspension.

GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT?
IS THAT HOW OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE WORKS?

6)  The accused being placed on a 45 minute bus ride with the accuser while she continued to perpetuate the story on the bus to whomever would listen.

AM I THE ONLY ONE 
WHO SEES THE PROBLEM WITH THIS?!

I am sitting here with a pounding headache even thinking about what my son endured.



Over accidental contact during an innocent game.

This isn't a teenager we're talking about here.

This is an 11 year old.

An.  Eleven.  Year.  Old.

Thankfully, our principal is a reasonable man.

Thankfully, he didn't jump to conclusions.

Thankfully, he listened with an open mind 
to what Ian and I had to say.

And thankfully...  He didn't throw me out of his office the first time I raised my voice or tapped on his desk with my forefinger.

Thankfully...  He took the time to listen, heard about the scenario in which it happened, and realized that while they were goofing off and the school does have a hands off policy, what Ian had done was an accident and was not intentional.

The school interventionist...

Another story.

To save herself, she sat there and lied about having brought up the possibility of sexual harassment charges.

"I didn't say he was going to be charged with sexual harassment.  I said that this particular incident could possibly be construed as sexual harassment."

I'm sorry lady, but my son is not an idiot!  I think he knows what you said.  And the truth is, you had a scared 11 year old sitting in your office ALONE and true, what you said and what he heard may have been two different things...  BUT the fact of the matter is, had I been sitting next to my son, there would have been no doubt what you said because I would have heard it!  You don't sling "sexual harassment" around without darn good reasoning!

She made excuses for why she neglected to call me.

"It was the end of the day.  I had meetings.  You were on my list of parents to call.  I call the parents of anyone that comes into my office."

Excuse me, but this is not about a kid cheating on a test.  This is not a kid who talked back to his teacher.  This is not a kid that was cutting up in the hallway.  You are alleging that my child sexually harassed someone and you don't call me???  

You are insane!

She made excuses for why she didn't interview Ian's friends for character witnesses or get more than one witness who was someone other than the girl's friend.

"I didn't have time."

But yet you had time to talk to her, to talk to her friend, and barely give my son the time of day before you formed your opinion.  You had time to tell my son he was being accused of sexual harassment.  You had time to confer with a teacher to determine that he should face suspension.  Really?  Time for all that, but no time to really talk to my son or other witnesses?

Wow.

And the next one really takes the cake...

When further pressed about using the sexual harassment term and the fact that I was not happy about having to explain to my 11 year old son what it meant...

And I quote:  

"Well, he knew what "breast" was."

And that was when I stood up.  

I admit, I exploded.

"Are you kidding me?  I cannot believe you just said that!  That is your excuse?!  He knows what a breast is?!  Well of course he knows what a breast is because the public school system feels that it's necessary for them to be TAUGHT what a breast is.  You have Sex Ed for them for God's sake!  It's a body part!  Of course he knows what a breast is!  I cannot believe you think that my 11 year old knowing what a breast is, is on par with him understanding what sexual harassment is!"

At that point I looked at the principal and said, 
"You will do something about this and you will do something about this now!"

I'm pretty sure the woman is not my biggest fan.

Well, guess what?

The feeling is mutual.

I have a feeling that had this been left up to the interventionist, who is a woman, my son would have been charged with sexually harassing his classmate because in her mind, he was guilty with no chance of proving himself innocent.

All on a girl's say-so.

And even though I walked out of that office after 2 hours on a pretty good note, since I have come home and thought about it more, the more I am seething.

Absolutely seething 
at the whole injustice of it.

Our children's innocence is taken fast enough, what, with the junk on TV, the mess they sneak into movies, the smut they're taught at school in the name of "education", and now I have to tell my son that he has to be very, very careful about what he's doing around girls because if he accidentally touches somewhere he's not supposed to, it's sexual assault.

I ask again...

What is this world coming to?

Where is common sense?

In the name of political correctness have we lost it?

And the thing that scares me to death 
and the thing they kept circling back to was:

It's not about what happened, 
it's how she interpreted what happened.

So.

Sexual harassment is up to the 
"interpretation" of the accuser.

Well, that just opens a whole other can of worms.

If a girl interprets what your son did as sexual harassment, 
then he is guilty of it, no matter what his intent!

So, I sit here worrying about the girl...

Does she really believe he grabbed her breast on purpose?

About her parents...

Do they believe my son grabbed her breast on purpose?

Will they press charges?

Will they understand the innocence of it all?

What if they don't?

Oh my God.

And then...

I worry about the rumor mill, that the girl, in her quest for drama and to be the center of attention (like a normal pre-teen girl) has begun.

I worry about what people will think of my boy...  my son.

Will they hear and believe it?

Will they perpetuate the lie by repeating it?

Will people snicker and talk behind his back?

Will it color how his future teachers see him?

Will it change how his present teachers see him?

Obviously for one it has...

The one who recommended immediate suspension without ever talking to Ian.

I haven't quite figured out what to do about that yet.

I hate the thought of sending him back in her room.

The first battle with the school has been fought, 
but I have a feeling the war is far from over.

But I have a voice.

I have this blog.

I will tell our side.

It will be heard.

Before the rumor mill does its damage.

My God.

I feel absolutely sick.

My heart is breaking for my boy.

And if I can help one mother protect their son by sharing this deeply personal story, then I have done something.

Educate your sons.

Let them know what is at stake.

And tell them to be careful.

Because in the end, it's their word against hers.

Truth today, is merely up to interpretation.

And my son lays in his bed sleeping unaware, 
while his mother prays.





45 comments:

  1. Laura, I don't even have words. I'm shocked, but in some way not surprised. That's where we are these days. Praying for your family, and making sure we talk to our own kids making sure they really understand what can happen to them.

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  2. My heart is breaking for you Laura. I was getting riled up just reading it. I have mostly girls but we have taught them that unintentional touching is just that...sometimes things get bumped or what not...crap, i can't start our front loading washing machine without my girls pressing buttons (sorry wanted to make you smile) I have faith that in the end, things will be ok and this will be a life lesson for your family and for others. It just sucks to have to go through all this. I worry about you. Boys can get over things pretty good, its us Moms that hang on to these things in our heart to protect our kids.
    Deep breaths and smart thinking. You are doing great so far. You are a good MOM!
    Hugs
    Karin
    artisbeauty1@gmail.com

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  3. Laura, my heart breaks for you and your son. I have a son and 2 daughters. My girls certainly have been taught the difference between intentional and unintentional touching. We have taken "sexual harassment" to a point that it never should've gone. I'm appalled at the treatment your son received by the interventionist and the teacher that knew nothing about the situation. You're absolutely right to be angry about how this was handled. You're doing a great job handling this! Keep defending that wonderful son of yours!

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  4. Oh Laura!! My heart is breaking for you! There are no words really. I sit here mad for you. You ARE a fabulous mother and I know I would have been on a war path. You kept your cool far better than I ever would have. I would have be threatening legal action and made sure to see that that interventionist had consequences for what she had done. I am guessing she has to have some degree in child psychology and if she was even paying attention in class should had known what an 11 yr old boy would and would not understand. The fact that you were NOT called ASAP or the girls parents to meet together but that she took it upon her self to throw around such serious allegations. I am sure that she fed in to what had happened with the girl and thus made the girl feel even more like a victim though it was truly an accident. I just don't know what to say. I am sending prayers up for you my sweet friend. It is stuff like this that makes me want to home school my children.

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  5. I'm shocked by what happened to your son but I'm even more shocked by the way the school handled the situation!It's a sad and cruel world the kids have to grow up in.I have a nine yr old granddaughter and I plan on talking to her and trying to explain the difference between intentional and accidental touching,either 'from' her or 'to' her.Clearly the young girl in your case was only wanting attention for herself and didn't stop to think what her actions could do to the life of another child.I bet the school didn't hesitate to call HER parents!!!!I will keep your family in my prayers and especially your son!!!!

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  6. I can totally understand your story because 2 years ago when my 11 year old daughter was in 6th grade she was accused of inappropriate actions on the school bus that led to the same type of situation where she was thrown into the principal's office and questioned without a parent present. How infuriating that they would do that to our babies..that they had to endure something like that alone..when I finally got the phone call at the end of the day I was in disbelief, she is a good, sweet girl, a straight A student. I asked her what happened and when she assured me that the only thing she did was laugh at some boys that were saying some inappropriate things I was ready to fight for her. My husband and I had to go to the school and meet with teacher, counselor, principal, accusors and our daughter..when it was all said and done the accusors admitted that maybe she hadn't said anything and maybe they just thought she did. She was not punished by the principal. It was over right?? WRONG. The next day she was treated differently by a certain teacher. This teacher had made rude comments to her about the situation. I was beyond mad, I was filled with rage. I once again call the school and told them this better never happen again. It eventually was forgotten about and it has been 2 years since it happened, but it was an experience that shook me to the core..I will be praying for you and your sweet innocent boy.

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  7. I wish I had something magic to say to heal or fix or even erase this tragedy for your son, you and your family. But, I do know who can help, God! I will be praying on Ian's behalf to The Lord. As a parent, I can't imagin the horror; and yet, as a parent I can understand the heartache. God is good! Cling to him. Romans 8:28.

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  8. Sorry to read this. It does seem like an injustice that I would find myself in because this life can deal us some crazy hands. My next step would be to seek the help of the local news channel, if things don't go the way you wish....and seek legal counsel. Good luck. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

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  9. I am so incredibly sorry this happened to your son. It sounds like an 11 year old having fun and playing and not realizing what happened, and it hurts my heart that they treated him the way they did. I'll be praying for you and hope that God is on your side.

    *hugs*

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  10. Prayers to you - seething is what I would have been too, but you handled things wonderfully...instinct is to second guess yourself, don't - I would suggest you write everything you do and say down and keep record of it in case this incident doesn't go away as quietly as you'd like - always good to be prepared

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  11. First of all, I think your blog and Facebook are the perfect place for this!

    As a past 5th grade teacher for the last 13 years, and the mother of a 6th grader as well, boy, oh boy does this ring true for me!! After 13 years of teaching I have seen many "stories" from girls who just want to exaggerate in order to get attention. Luckily, I haven't seen it like this, it was always between other girls.. caddie behavior. The more attention it brought for that girl, the better.

    From a school stand point, this was ALL done the wrong way and you have many legal rights as a parent. In fact, the way the school handled the situation could get them into some SERIOUS trouble!! Calling you the minute he walked out of the office should have happened immediately. In fact, they should have called you to the school. The "interventionist" saying they could press sexual harassment charges makes her a BULLY! The teacher not telling your son why he was going to the office... BAD! In fact, you should email or call her. Shame on her. She knew very well why he was going and didn't want to take the time to explain to him what was going on.

    I would tell your son to stay FAR away from this girl. She's nothing but trouble. ALSO, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT.... what she is doing... blabbing about it to everyone is considered BULLYING!! She SHOULD be sent to the office for this!!!

    In the end, you ARE your child's biggest advocate! Don't forget that. What you are doing is right!

    Over time, in fact.. in a few days, this will all pass over. It will be forgotten. We're talking about middle schoolers. They have more important things to worry about right now. Like... who's dating who.. who broke up with who.. etc. It's all about where they fit in society in middle school. It's a social thing.

    Although they'll forget it, you won't. It will remain with you forever. But, could God have allowed this to happen just for this very reason? So you could educate other parents? Educate the school on what they did wrong and how to handle it better the next time?

    You may want to contact the district offices/superintendent to let them know what happened. I know my principal would FREAK whenever a parent went to the district. Just a thought!

    Many prayers and hugs being sent your way!
    Claire

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  12. I'm so sorry for you .My son as a grown man went through the same thing and it took months to prove he was not guilty. The problem is some female's think it it okay to accuse to get attention and no one listens to the male. Keep on keeping on and GOD will get you through. HUGS!

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  13. Laura,

    I am so shocked to read of what happened to your son! He must have been so scared and to think about him having to ride that bus home with this girl makes me so angry. You should have definitely been contacted right away and called into the school. It sounds to me like the interventionist at the school failed at her job in several ways and was inappropriate as well. This makes me worry as I have a nephew that goes to the same middle school and one that will attend this school in a couple years. I am amazed that you were able to sit down and blog about this so elequently. I think my rage would still have me reeling. I have texted my sister to read your blog so she knows what is going on in her son's school!! As a mother of 2 daughters I say you fight for your son like a grizzly!! Hugs to you and your son!

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  14. Oh, Laura....my heart is aching for you. As I read this my stomach was in knots and I can imagine how much more yours is, too. Our son just turned 14 but he is a young 14 and I worry about him having this same issue...and we homeschool!! There are a few little girls at church (6 or 7) who like to follow him around and I've felt the need to tell him not to be alone with them or let them sit on his lap - ever - because I'm so scared of that one day where a little girl is seeking attention for all the wrong reasons and it will be her word against his.

    I know your son has rights and I am certain the school has mishandled this. Even to the point of not calling the girls parents...wouldn't you want to pick your daughter up yourself if something like this happened?? How mortified would you be to hear she had been on the same bus as the boy she is accusing???

    And that you weren't called to be in the room when a very serious allegation was being discussed with your son?? That alone should be grounds for legal action. I'm surprised she is allowed to be alone with a child accused of this in the first place. If I had her job I would make sure I had a third party _and_ a parent for such a serious accusation.

    Parents teach that if you get touched "here" or "here" that's bad and you need to tell someone. However, what a young person doesn't have is the discernment to know intentional versus accidental..and then, this happens. That the interventionist didn't help this girl make that distinction sounds like she is biased.

    I am and will be praying for your son and your family as you wade through this struggle. I'm so angry for you and wish I was there to come and stand along side you!! Know that I am in prayer.

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  15. It's not sexual harassment when the TSA does it but when an 11 year old mistakingly does he could face charges, awesome. Stay on that school and don't let up, I'm glad you're fighting for your child because none of them will. They say that they know what's best for your child but it's always guilty until proven innocent. By the time they figure out he didn't do anything wrong, the damage has already been done. You've had to talk to him, he's heard from his peers, teachers, friends, adults that he had respect for. it's really a sad world we're living in when things like this happen. Proud of you girl for standing up for Ian's Rights!

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  16. I,m so so sorry for you and your son. I understand your anger and heartache as my son went through a very similar incident as a young boy. After an investigation they said it was just a misunderstanding!!! how do we explain that to a child? You must put it in God,s hands and trust that it will turn out as it should be. Our God is a loving and true God who does not forsake us. much love Val

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  17. Do 11 year old girls even have "breasts"? Or are we talking "chests"? Which opens up yet another can of worms. I am so glad I had my daughters very young and they are in their 30s. I don't have to deal with this, thank goodness. I am so sorry that you do. And that your son will get an "education" for which he is too young to truly understand. I fear that now he will fear all touch. That he will not understand and thus go too far in the other direction. I don't know. This wouldn't have happened when my girls were young. It just wouldn't have been given a second thought. I feel so badly for you and your son.
    Brenda

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  18. Dear Laura,

    My thoughts, prayers and Mom anger are with you. We had a similar issue happen 2yrs ago, only it was a teenager on a bus and a bus driver with a "problem". Use that anger and advocate for your son. Make sure none of what happened ends up in his personal file at school (it did in our case). Use the prayers and thoughts to give you strenght. You are the solid ground your son will see.

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  19. I am so sorry that you have had to go through with this. I have had similar situations with my son, not about touching a girl, but other situations. For instance he was in the bathroom and a kid was teasing him. My son, a special ed student, had a pencil and he poked the kid with it. The skin was not broken. He ended up being led out of the school in handcuffs. I was there and begged them not to handcuff him. I was crying and beside myself. He had to stay overnight in juvie for that. Mortified that our son would be mistreated there and scared for life. He is okay. His record has been erased. There is a word for it but I don't remember.
    I am telling you this because I know that awful feeling you are having. He is only 11 and I can't imagine that this will even go forward as a charge. My son was young as well. I don't understand why this girl went so overboard. I would have guessed she was embarassed and wouldn't have made such a big deal about this.
    You do have to fight for your son. If you have to, hire an attorney. We did. I am so glad that you shared this so others will talk to their sons.
    Hopefully this will dissolve itself and you will be able to move on. Your heart will still be broken for a long time. And your son will not understand how you feel. I will pray that it stops here and nothing else becomes of it. You have to do what you have to do to protect him. Again I am so sorry.

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  20. Laura,
    There needs to be consequences for the actions of the teacher, interventionist and girl involved. Handling these situations with respect for all involved while fighting for your son will carry you through this with integrity. Knowing your intentions are to get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn't happen again will give you and your son credibility. I would ask to talk to the Superintendent and possibly the school board, especially over the actions of the interventionist. Educators are responsible for protecting ALL their students, ALL the time. This was gross negligence and totally out of line. Keep fighting. Hug your son.

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  21. Laura, Just know that many of us are praying for you and your son Ian. Remember that God will somehow use this for His good and His glory! You sharing this story is already helping others. It is teaching others the importance of educating not only our sons but daughters as well! I have two daughters and girls also need to be educated on the difference between accidental and deliberate touching. If the girl doing the accusing had been properly taught by her parents, then this could have been avoided.

    Trust that God is with you though all of this and that is what matters most! You are handling this situation very well (even though it may not feel like it at times). Thank you for sharing your story. Stay strong and keep being the amazing mother that you are!

    Blessings,
    Diana

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  22. Laura, you are so rigth to be standing up for your son, don't back down and I agree the Interventionist needs to be dealt with ASAP...

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  23. So sorry to hear that your son and you had to go through this.
    Keeping you both in my prayers.
    ~Cindy

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  24. I have 2 sons and this doesn't surprise me at all. I hear all the time - and have seen first hand - that what ever comes out of a girl's mouth is believed by the teachers. Girls are dandy and Boys are rotten. And girls this age thrive on drama. The more attention she gets the more she will thrive on it.

    Don't let this drop. I would be at the school with your son in the morning for another meeting with the principal. Explain to him the concerns you have after you left his office.

    And - this is the most important - tell you want a meeting with the board of education or at least the superintendent of education. This has got to stop somewhere - make it your mission.

    Watch any commercial - men are protrayed as idiots that their all knowning, intelligent wife has to endure. yes it's funny - but how does that perception affect our children? Girls are smarter than boys and their opinions are more important. I've been troubled about this for a while.

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  25. OMG!! I don't believe how this can possibly happen.. I don't think things have gotten out of hand this badly in the Netherlands. Don't get me wrong, I understand how it happend and I would be furious!! I'm not saying that the system here is perfect but this case would not have been taking SO serious. THEY ARE KIDS!! Sexual education is given in our schools aswell, from the age of 12 and older and I do believe it's a good thing. It makes young adults aware of the "whats up" but I gues it depends on what is said and how it's told. The way the school went about it is wrong, no matter what, so incredibly wrong!! And is that girl was my daughter... Lets just say that I will always make sure my daughter understands the difference between something that just happens and something that should not happen EVER! My gosh.. I feel so sorry for you and your boy. I hope everything will turn out ok but for now, goodluck with the good-fight! It's incredible how stupid adults can be.. The way I see it the school should get a new interventionist cause this one has just proven to be the wrong person for the job. Thank you for sharing this story, I can tell you, this is something I'm going to remember and has made me more aware.
    Hugs!

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  26. Sorry to read about your trials. I don't have much to add except I see myself in your situation and reacting pretty much the same way. I don't have young children anymore, mine are grown, thank God. But the situations in life keep coming where we are on the defense. I don't know why it seems to happen to some of us more than others except to say there is a God lesson in this. When we don't know what to do and we keep trying to fix things and driving ourselves crazy, know this, that God is already there working on the problem. It will be ok, he will handle it. For all the worry, and I do alot of worrying, it doesn't change anything. Good advice if I could follow it myself. Take everything to God and he will direct your path and give you and your son peace. Be of good cheer, he has overcome the world.

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  27. Hugs and prayers for this to be made right. Hopefully the girl will realize ther err of her actions and regret what she accused him of. I totally feel your pain! Prayers that his reputation will not be tainted from this! I know he's an upstanding young man with a wonderful upbringing!

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  28. I totally agree with Claire!! Please, for those of us with kids still in schools everywhere, don't let this go! Things have to change. It has to start with someone. Please, please fight this.

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  29. I am seething and crying at the same time. I am a retired teacher, and all I can say is this was mishandled in every sense of the way. You MUST absolutely consult with a trusted lawyer. Sadly, you need to legally protect your son and yourself should this situation resurface in a year or years to come. I would want the lawyer to contact the district superintendent, rather than you. It needs to be taken seriously. I do not know you, but as a professional educator I beg you to not let this go without protecting yourself and son in every way, shape, and form. Please consult with a lawyer. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!

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  30. Laura, I am so sorry and SO FURIOUS to hear this! I don't know what's going on in this World but it scares me to death. I do believe that all things happen for a reason and there's a lesson to be learned from everything. Your son will learn alot from this experience but most importantly he will learn that he has a strong, loving mother who would fight till the death for him! I think you have all that it takes to bring awareness so this doesn't happen to another young boy. I've battled our school district for the rights of my own son (under other circumstances) and I've learned that you sometimes have to bulldoze them to make sure that your child's rights aren't being violated. I would DEFINITELY be taking this to the school district and the community as well. Write an editorial to your local newspaper. Perhaps, if you make a big enough issue of this injustice, they will incorporate appropriate vs. inappropriate touching in their sex education classes and also develop more thorough procedures should this be an issue in the future. GO GET EM GIRL!!!!!

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  31. My first visit here (found you via Pinterest, and I'm now following... love this blog!). And, as a mom to a one and only son (now grown), my heart goes out to you! I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through/endure this. It is a completely nutso world out there these days (seriously). I know there is still good in the world, but I agree that so much seems to revolve around sexual connotations, etc. I'm so sick of it! I agree with the previous commentor - go get 'em!! Will be praying for you ♥ -Tammy

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  32. You just know I have much to say regarding this.

    I won't sleep tonight.

    Bliss

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  33. Laura, I don't know you but I understand what you are going through. Sad to say, but political correctness has made this issue into a nightmare for many young people. There is a huge difference between inappropriate sexual touching and the accidental touching that happened with your son. The same rule (harassment is in the eyes of the harassed) is used in most, if not all, work places these days too. So I guess all parents need to 'teach their children well' to protect them from being thrown under the bus. The school and teachers involved acted poorly out of political correctness. You may be forced to pursue this legally to continue to protect your innocent son. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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  34. Oh Laura I am so sorry to here this happened to Ian. I think because for so long girls were scarred to speak up our society has taught them that any touch is wrong. It's the schools way of protecting themselves. However I think we should be teaching both our daughters and our sons what's appropriate. I am so happy to have Bloggy met you. You are such an amazing mom for standing up for your son. He will get through this because you have each other.

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  35. Laura, oh Laura my dear friend. I feel your words and feeling so strong. And boy righteously so. I too have an 11 year old boy so I can relate to that. It is unbelievable to me that the principle did not contact you ASAP. In fact, that they would be so accusatory with something so strong and not have you there with your son with doing so. They certainly in opinion were wrong on all accounts. Of course it is obvious this was not ill intent. I am almost thinking this young lady already has some issues, somewhere, with someone else. I know I should not jump the gun, but to me, that is hard core accusations to make on a young man playing a little game at the door. COME ON people! COME on. I would have been just as livid, and from what it sounds like, you handled yourself like a trooper..a true believer in your son, and the ONLY one at this point who stood up for him in that room. I know it will work out in the end but it is tough on your family right now. Just love on your boy, together as a family you will all get through this. I am so, so, so, so sorry you are all going through this. XO

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  37. This makes me very angry but also very fist-pumping happy that for once a parent stood up to the 'system'. My daughter had a similar in nature, but not content, episode with a therapist my granddaughter was forced to see by court order on information given the court about child molestation by her own father and step mother. Ultimately a concoction made up to hopefully gain custody to avoid paying child support.The therapist immediately said the step father was guilty but she had her own agenda..she had a sister who had been molested and refused to listen to my daughter which made the experience traumatic for her wondering how she didn't see it. It would be too lengthy to explain in a comment all that this therapist did, including trying to bribe my granddaughter to tell her about what happened with ice cream and a shopping trip? Since when is that part of therapy? This kind of accusation without foundation ruins mens lives just from the mere fact it was uttered. In the end, all was found not true and eventually my granddaughter, who was put in the middle of this by her own father, admitted it was made up so she would have to go live with him and her mother would have to pay him child support. Did I mention the step father was forced to move out resulting in divorce?
    It is disgusting how some issues are treated by adults and put totally innocent kids in situations like this.

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  38. Hi Laura, I just ran across your blog while blog surfing. As a mother of a 15 year old son, I clicked on the above post. I am shocked and almost trembling because of the injustice of this whole situation. I haven't read any of the other posts on your blog to see if there is a follow up but a hoping to find that everything came out ok for your son and for you. Although my son is not yet dating, I've had the talk with him about "no means no" and putting himself into bad predicaments, we've never really had a talk about how he could mistakenly be accused of doing something he never would do or think about doing. What happened to your dear son is very frightening and should be read by all parents. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Meghan

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  39. Hi Laura- just getting caught up on your blog for the time I missed and this blog post jumped out at me to read. I am so saddened and feel so bad that you and your son and entire family had to go through this accusation and difficult time at school and in your community. :( From the emails we've shared and by watching your posts, I can tell you and her husband are great parents, and would of never thought something like this would ever come about... we however, live in a different world today. Balance is what you're trying to say throughout your blog post, and it is so generous of you to speak out and share with other parents, so that they might save themselves some anguish from learning through what your family was put through. Innocent accidental touch vs. groping inappropriate touch are such crucial things to be aware of with young children now. My daughter is now 18, and I'm amazed just within the last few years what I would of had to do differently than what I did as a parent, for her well being as well as others she may of interacted with. The world has changed dramatically in the last 4-6 years, and continues to do so with lightning speed. Part of it too we need to remember is that we aren't struggling with flesh and blood, but of higher powers of spiritual darkness. Your family, their faith in God, and the way you are raising them to be Godly individuals will bring on more attacks as well... just hold on, cling to Jesus, fight for your family and childs rights (as the parent needs to be their strongest advocates), but ultimately you handled your situation very well. With strength, dignity and justice. I was agitated, upset and trembling while reading what your son and you went through and I had no emotions vested in it. I can tell you this, your sons life has been changed by this, but he also knows his parents will advocate on his behalf which is a good life altering to realize as well.
    Now here's what is awesome... You have developed a relationship with your son, so that he came home and told you right away what had happened. Wether it was out of fear or because he felt he could doesn't matter, because you as a parent than stood in the gap and advocated for him. That is HUGE! I was raised with a Dad that would of always believed the teacher and given them FULL rights to whatever with his children. I would not and did not feel ever that I could have that conversation with my parents and explain my side of the story. So in the whole picture of your story, I commend you for having a son that felt safe sharing with you, and am proud of you for advocating for your son. More parents need these kind of relationships and advocacy skills and also the desire to take the time out of their busy days and defend any wrongful accusations against their kids. You've also taken the opportunity to educate other parents to have conversations they might otherwise not of had. Hopefully, saving other families from going through your heart ache. It will also make a lasting impact for your son in his life, to know that you defended him when things were handled wrongly as they were in this situation, and that his parents are behind him and supporting him.
    And btw, middle school is the worst years with girls, attention seeking, boy craziness and the whole middle school craziness. So glad to be done with those years...
    Praying that things are better for all involved.

    Gretchen
    Mimi-Toria's Designs

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  40. Laura, I missed reading this post until today, but wanted to share some of my own thoughts along this line. While the years went by much too quickly, I am somewhat glad my kids are grown now. I only recall a couple of times that I had to call the school to meet with a teacher or the principal, after I learned of something that happened at school. I believe your kids are being raised much like ours were, so I know how violated you feel after having your son accused of SH when he was just being a kid. Unfortunately, while boys mature physically at that age, most are several years behind girls in their inquisitiveness about sex. They are often naive about terms & matters that girls talk about. There are some young people who are perverted, & I recall my sister & a friend being subjected to oogling & suggestive comments when she was 11. Both girls had developed very early & a boy who was later diagnosed as mentally ill was the harasser. But having been a parent, youth leader, teacher, & school administrator, I've seen the gammet of how kids interact. I know boys will sometimes react impulsively, such as when one of my HS students smacked a cute girl on the rear. Even though he knew better, he wanted to get her attention. I also remember a couple of girls who claimed to have been raped, but both turned out to be lies. In time, people will see enough of Ian's character & of the girl in your story, & they will know the truth. Even though you are rightfully outraged at the poor judgement by staff, parents probably take these things more personally than kids do. By now it's been several weeks, so I would advise not dredging up the memory too much. Hopefully he's learned to be more careful, even though the experience has robbed him of some childhood innocence. As much as possible, let him be a kid. He'll be a wiser man because of how he sees you handle this experience.
    Things may not have been perfect when we were that age, but I agree that the pendulum has swung much too far toward the women's rights. All males are assumed to be sex-crazed, & are accused of having motives for even innocent actions.

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  41. When our son was about 6 or 7, 2 female cousins accused him & his male cousins of acting "nasty". After asking all the boys individually, we learned that the girls were the ones who initiated the talk, saying they were going to take their clothes off, etc. The boys were only 6 to 10 years old & weren't interested in anything like that, but the girls at 7 to 10 certainly were. Over time we saw several other instances where they acted inappropriately, but the mother always assumed the boys were at fault.
    When I was in school, the kids of one family were constantly in trouble--stealing, fighting, being disrespectful to teachers, you name it. Their parents always reacted by saying THEIR kids wouldn't do that, even though everyone knew their kids WERE guilty. But while I knew my own kids better than anyone else, I vowed never to react by declaring them innocent until I had all the facts, because I know that even good kids are capable of acting without thinking.
    When our son was about Ian's age, the bus driver called to tell me that 2 girls had accused T & a friend of talking dirty to them on the bus. The driver hadn't witnessed it, but wanted us to know what had allegedly happened. I knew that type of behavior was totally out of character for our son, because he wasn't exposed to anything at home--language, TV shows, etc.--to hear such talk. But I assured the bus driver that I would check into it & call him back. When T came in I asked for his version of the story. I made sure to start by telling him that while he had never given us any reason to doubt his honesty, if we found out that he lied we would start suspecting him of not being truthful in other cases. He told me that the girls were the ones telling dirty stories, but he & a friend didn't participate in the talk. A short time later the other boy stopped by, so I took the opportunity to ask about what had happened. He said the girls were the ones who were guilty, & said that he'd never heard T use any bad language EVER. I called to tell the bus driver what I'd learned, so the next day he asked a few other kids who were sitting near the boys. All confirmed that the GIRLS were the ones talking dirty, & that the boys didn't say anything back. I made sure to let T know how proud we were that he was the type of young man we believed him to be.
    It's a sad world we live in, where kids have to be educated about sex before many of them even think about it. I remember when my 7 year old daughter heard the word "rape" on the the radio & asked me what it meant. I tried to answer without getting into details, but it broke my heart that she would be growing up in a time when such subjects were discussed openly. Not that she hadn't already learned the difference between "safe touching" & "unsafe touching". I think kids should be protected from being exposed to mature subjects until they're ready to handle them, but it's not how it's done these days.

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  42. Some of the 'politically correct' content like mandatory sex eduation in the public schools led us to start homeschooling when our daughter started 6th grade. We chose not to homeschool our HS age son, partly because he was much less impressionable than she was. We did intervene when his teacher assigned his Honors Lit class the novel North & South by John Jakes. After I saw the word "lusty" on the cover, I checked it out & quickly decided it was not the type of book we approved of. Our son had only read a few pages, & most of the sexual content lay ahead. I talked it over with my husband & a friend who had worked in the HS, then called the teacher. Our son was afraid the teacher would give him a bad grade, but I assured him it was our right to request a more authentic account of the Civil War. When the teacher asked what I objected to, I had a list of scenes & pages that detailed all sorts of perverse behavior--& I'd only leafed through the book for a few minutes before calling her! Even though she agreed to let him read another book of our choice--Uncle Tom's Cabin or The Red Badge of Courage--my husband & I felt other parents should be aware of what their kids were reading. Since none had bothered to check out the book, I provided a few pages as a preview & told them they could request their child read another book. The next day our son came home & said the teacher had taken ALL the books back, because so many parents had called to complain to the principal. Apparently the same book had passed without incident for 3 years, because the administration hadn't been aware of the content either!
    So, my advice to you is to continue having a good, trusting relationship with Ian. But teach your sons to be wary of young females, provide good male role models, & protect them not only from some teachers & administrators, but also from what they will be exposed to in the name of "education". (Hugs!)

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  43. Sorry for writing a book! I didn't realize I'd ranted so much I exceeded the # of characters per post! I'm done now. ;-)

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