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Friday, July 1, 2011

Life lessons learned

Tomorrow the choir which my daughter belonged to for seven years is leaving for a Europe tour, which my daughter was invited to be a part of, but was revoked because she went to a movie.

Almost three months ago there was a choir workshop day. I arranged with the conductor that my daughter would be leaving half way through the day. However, when she got there in the morning of the workshop, my daughter was singled out and felt harassed by the leaders for not staying the day. I believe as a parent, it is my right to take my child out early of a Saturday workshop if I want. Do parents not have a say in what their child is doing, anymore? (But that is neither here nor there now.)

You see, my daughter was invited to a movie for her friends birthday that same day. We decided she would go to the movie, since due to our financial situation she hadn't been to a movie for well over a year. I also felt it was no one's business but mine why I was taking my daughter early and I refuse to budge on that point. Plus, the reason is quite personal - financial, and I felt that it is not the conductor nor the musical director's business about our financial situation.

Rewind six weeks prior, I was called by the chairman of the choir to offer my daughter a place in the Europe trip, compliments of the choir. After much discussion we agreed with thanks to take them up on their generous offer. I am still very thankful for the offer, no matter what transpired that workshop day.

Back to the workshop, after my daughter called and said that she had gotten in trouble for leaving early, I went over to pick her up (three hours before the time I had originally said) because she said she felt intimidated. When I got there he choir director came out and spoke to me, telling me that it was unacceptable that I was taking her early and at that point he threatened to remove my daughter from the trip, if I didn't return her to the workshop later that day.

Ok, maybe it is acceptable practice to offer threats and maybe I didn't understand that by agreeing to take up the choir's offer of a trip that basically they could bully my child. Fine, I accept that the consequence for missing a part day workshop is revoking something they offered, I have no problem with that and I say that they are within their rights to do that.


Monday morning. The director is also the music teacher at the highschool. My daughter was in grade seven, and she attends school in a wing of the highschool. He is not an elementary teacher. He waited for my daughter at the cafeteria doors when she and her classmates went in for lunch, and cornered her and harassed her to tell him why she did not return to the the workshop. He would not leave her alone until she admitted that she went to a movie. He then told her she would not be attending the Europe trip with the choir, and left her crying in the hallway. He said she could tell her mom. I did not receive a phone call, and the only communication I received from him was a day later in an email, citing dishonesty and that she couldn't be trusted to respect the chaperones of the trip.

I wrote an email to the chairman explaining our side of what happened. Which I have never received a reply to. So, I can only assume that his behavior was reasonable to the chairman and the board of the choir.

Yes, my daughter did leave a workshop early
Yes, we didn't tell him where she was going
But, no I don't feel that he handled the situation properly

I feel that the punishment did not fit the crime

You can't tell me that every other member of that choir was at every single practice, workshop, concert, etc. He made an example of my daughter that day and he continued to speak about us at practices in the following weeks that we were bad people and he was right to do what he did.

Like I said, I am not arguing the fact that the trip was revoked, I am just saying that the way he did it was not acceptable and not the way to deal with a thirteen year old girl.


The best part of this story is my daughter feels that this was an intervention from God. That something bad may of happened when she was in Europe and this was God's way of keeping her safe. While I am angry, she sees it as a message! I have been worried that this might effect her and cause issues with her esteem, but it hasn't - she says it doesn't matter!

A lesson learned indeed.


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think he was unprofessional when he approached her a school.

She is such a wise girl.

ter@waaoms said...

He was definitely unprofessional, and while it's too bad your daughter missed that trip, I must wonder if the children could even be trusted in the care of this adult.

carolpie said...

Wow. He is a bully. So sorry because that is just nasty.
Hate to say it, but this is why I homeschooled.
I also had mean teachers in school. One teacher used to hit me because she would have us read and I was scared of her so I was too scared to read. So she would hit me, which only made the situation worse. Really made me scared to read or sing in public for about 20 plus years.

MTgunfighter said...

Does the administration of the school/choir know what this guy is doing?

If not, I would make absolutely sure they knew before he takes these kids to Europe. In Europe, parents won't be able to protect their children from this guy's bullying.

Josee said...

OMG this is so bad. Adults bullying kids. You are so right to have not bulge on your plan. I think she is right something bad would have happened in Europe.

Sheri said...

I hope she's wrong about something bad happening on the trip (obviously), but what a smart girl to find the upside of this! I'm sorry it all turned out that way :(

Ginger said...

Wow, that is really a bummer and totally not fair!
I think you and your daughter handled it great though.
I'm sad that she got sad but she's right,it could be for the best.
Have a happy weekend with the family sweetie!!