In every grade school class there is that one girl who develops way ahead of the pack. She's the envy of some, the nightmare of others, and an easy target for bullies. And for one sixth grade girl in Missouri, the bullying got really out of control when it started coming from her school administrators who told the 13-year-old to get a breast reduction!
Well, the school got one thing right -- something needs to be done about the boobs. And by that I mean the administrators who would dare tell a child that their body is the problem.
What's next? Telling the overweight girl that she needs to take up an eating disorder so people will leave her alone? Or maybe the schools will start requiring plastic surgery for the kid with the port wine stain?
Or, you know, we could just tell the bullies where to shove it.
Sigh. I wish I could re-write this story for this poor girl, that school administrators would have done their jobs and told the kids picking on her breasts to grow up.
But for some reason this "blame the victim" mentality seems to be entrenched in schools all across this country. It's not just the boobs in the Riverview Gardens School District. A mom recently related that her son was being called a gay slur by his classmates. The school's response? They told her to cut her son's hair.
This is just what the bullies want -- they want to make life harder for their victims, and when districts turn on the kids who are being wronged, they're playing right into their hands. This poor girl is simply growing. She can't help that. But in telling her to get a breast reduction, the school is trying to make science and nature the bad guy here instead of the kids who need to learn some compassion.
Is it any wonder kids are bullies? We still have adults who work with kids and who find it acceptable to treat kids as if their naturally developing bodies are a problem. Until the adults change, this is not going to stop!
Have you dealt with a "blame the victim" issue in your district? What happened?
by HollythornJanuary 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM
I personally know how that poor girl feels. I was in a C cup by the time I was 12. All throughout my school years I had problems. In gym class I was not allowed to run. I was told by the gym teachers that I was causing a disruption and I was too much of a distraction to the boys. The principle of the thing is that it was way wrong for them to tell me that, but since I HATED gym class I didn't mind so much.
when i was in highschool i lived in a very rough neighborhood therefore going to a school with a lot of issues including drugs, fighting, guns, promiscuity and teen pregnancy. when i first got to highschool i was in the band which meant weekend trips and friday night games. so, initially, when you are a freshman girl in the band, guys look for the easy targets to get their rocks off with on these trip. well, i wasnt an easy target, and while i wasnt a prude, i was only 14 and only interested in school and band. so, since i turned the guy down it became open season on me. i got bullied the entire 4 years of highschool and called some of the most unimaginable names amongst other things. my life was even threatened if i had told. but i still confided in my band teacher. since he didnt want to lose him good musicians that was involved in the bullying he pretty much told me that they are just being boys and acting that was becuz they like me. he gave me the old boys will be boys speech and told me to deal with it.
by dfcinnamonJanuary 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM
I would tell the school to mind their own business about this situation and also if they want to pay for the breast reduction go ahead. They are there to protect out kids, not to make them feel like crap. They need to take care of the bullying situation. Probabily it's a boy that has the same mentality as his father. That is where they learn this type of behavior. The girl needs to double up her fists and give this little prick two good shiners. This way she could tell everybody the boobs did it.
by Anonymous 31January 20, 2013 at 12:38 PMWhen I was in 7th grade (in 1973) we had a middle school assembly- with the ENTIRE school present....a male teacher said in the microphone, "Jennifer, if you're BRAIN was as BIG as your BOOBS you'd be a GENIUS". This was an elite private school and he is STILL teaching there almost 40 years later. I hope he realizes what a stupid thing it was he said...classmates Still talk about it....had a profound impact on cruelty. (PS Jennifer had an enormous chest and was known as the nasty class b#@ch, but students still saw the horror of this and has empathy for her).
It is absolutely inappropriate. I do think there is a difference between an administrator telling a child, "Well, if you want the bullying to stop, get a breast reduction." and maybe a situation where the student is complaining about their chest and says they don't like their body and they don't want to go through this their whole life, I don't want a big chest (blah, blah, blah) and an administrator says, "Well, you could look into breast reduction later on if you feel that way, but for now... blah blah blah". I can see something like that EASILY being turned into "Mrs. So-and-So said to get a breast reduction." You know what I mean? I would just really be interested to hear the other side of the story and the context of the comment. It could have been totally not meant as a solution to the bullying at all. There ARE bad administrators out there, and maybe this person DID make a horrible inappropriate comment. I've just taught enough 8th grade girls to know better than to just accept their word flat-out. I am not calling this girl a liar. Not at all. I don't even know her. I am just saying, it would be helpful to hear from the administrator and to know what the exact conversation was. Know what I mean? Either way, the suggestion is inappropriate and not a solution to bullying issues.
Quoting Cafe Amanda:
Where's the rest of the story about the breast reduction comment? I find it odd that an administrator would say such a thing. I've worked in 4 different schools. I have never met an administrator who would say such a thing. I am wondering what the context was of the comment, if it was made at all. This post leaves a lot of details out. Obviously I don't think the child should be told to get surgery to fix a bullying issue. No one does! Which is why I am wondering what really happened. Even the article (link) said the school district was "looking into it". So, we don't really know what happened yet.
From what I gathered from the video in the news link, it sounds like maybe it was an offhanded comment (perhaps even sincerely trying to be helpful?) by whoever took the call. Regardless of who said it or why, it is absolutely an inappropriate suggestion for the situation, IMO.
by Anonymous 32January 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Uh I am one of these types of girls.........and to this day, I loathe my breasts. I do NOT understand WHY so many woman are so desirous of large breasts, they put in bags o goo, risk surgery and all that can go wrong!
To have big breast, like a holstein cow.
I'm a woman not a cow. I have wished all my life for a reduction. I did not do it, I wanted to breast feed- I learned to 'deal" with it... never grew to LIKE them. Udderlike, blue veiny, can't find comfort no matter what one does.. braless is uncomfortable! . phooey.
I would love to be told to get a reduction by some school or corporation.. get it ON TAPE.. so I can SUE the bejeebers out of them and FINALLY actually get one. That would be weird, wouldn't it? But I'm sure I could sue for someone harrassing me like this!
Poor girl- this is only the beginning of sorrows over large breasts.. you have the 95% of moronic men who think just because you have large breasts, you "want it".... Humans.. WHOever claims that humans are basically GOOD and LEARN the bad- are so dead wrong.
by sununner36January 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Yes, my son was bullied that way. I am glad so far in his first year of high school that it has stopped. Only one occasion did it even try and other kids nipped it in the bud; they told the person that words hurt and are not what a decent kid does to others. Stopped it right then and there. So glad as I said so far.
by SagaMomJanuary 20, 2013 at 2:26 PM
My point was that the school took it upon themselves to tell her and myself that she was a bad person. The boy who took part was not asked to leave school and he never last friends or anything. He was given a choice as to whether he wanted to continue his life as if nothing ever happened or to be a father.
So the point being, the schools, no matter what the situation have NO business telling a young teenage girl that she is bad just because some boy wanted to see how far he could go with her. Administrators and staff need to be more open minded on a lot of things, whether it is large breasts or a young girl getting pregnant. They need to be more sensible in all matters.
I went through something similar in highschool. I don't really see it as comparable though; unless your dd was raped, the pregnancy was well within her control, as it was mine. Breast size, not so much.
My daughter was kicked out of school in the 8th grade because she got pregnant. The pricipal and vice pricipal told her that she had to leave school because she was a bad influence on the other girls.
by tinamariebbJanuary 20, 2013 at 2:27 PMI graduated in 1993, a girl I went to Cleveland School of the Arts (in Cleveland, Ohio) with, got a breast reduction, when I was in 8th or 9th grade. For health reasons, her spine was curving. But, no one in the school suggested it! Her doctor did, based on her pain and her spine showing that. The state did nothing to restrict it.
As to the original post, a health professional suggesting it is fine, a school should not. A gym teacher can reach out to the parents if the child is having issues participating. But, people making fun of her? I'm tired of the schools going straight to victim blaming/shaming.
by cstargarnerJanuary 20, 2013 at 3:24 PMWe haven't dealt with anything like this yet but my son's only 3 1/2. I have had the director at his preschool try to redirect the blame to me when they gave my kids cheese-its for the 2nd time (he has a dairy protein allergy and absolutely can't have them and that's been made clear). The director tried to say that she didn't think it was a big deal bc I said that we were introducing some dairy on his allergy info sheet. I also said he absolutely couldn't have any dairy that I didn't send. (said we were introducing it so they didn't take milk, cheese, or yogurt away when I sent small amounts with his lunch.). Someone would end up fired though if they said something like suggesting plastic surgery for my kid. As mad as I got about mine getting sick from cheese-its, i'd flip my lid if this happened.
Whoa--"boys will want her" for her breasts? Totally inappropriate. "Girls will envy her"?? You're actually suggesting that the lust of teen boys and the envy of teen girls because of a young girl's breasts are things to be desired? Chance are, this girl has simply developed early and the other girls will catch up. Happened to me that way and in fact, I ended up with smaller breasts than most girls. But I would have thought that as modern women we would be totally opposed to idealizing the whole breast-obsessed culture. We certainly want our daughters and granddaughters to be proud of and comfortable with their bodies, but not because boys will lust after them or girls will envy them.