Lech Borkowski’s Letter to Director of Elementary School 8 February 2012

Lech Borkowski
[…]
Zielona Góra

Witold Gołdyński
School Director
ul. Truskawkowa 12
65-129 Zielona Góra

8 February 2012

Sir,

During the school day on February 7, 2012, my daughter learned that some children from her class have some very vague reservations towards her. A suggestion has been made that these nebulous remarks would lead to removing her from the function of the class president. I have never heard of a change of class president in the middle of a school year. It is hard to believe that it is the children themselves who thought up the idea of removing the class president. I would rather guess it is a result of parents’ action.

At the beginning of the English lesson the student Wiktora Krawiec announced that the pupils of the class V-a should express an opinion in writing, whether they like the behavior of my daughter Julia or not. According to the announcement the opinion should be brought to the weekly discussion class tomorrow, February 8, 2012, led by teacher serving as the class tutor. According to my daughter, the announcement appeared to have been made as a result of instruction issued by the class tutor Ms Grzesiak. I would like therefore to ask the question, whether Wiktoria Krawiec’s announcement was indeed made following instruction of Ms Grzesiak? I would like to receive an answer to this question.

The English lesson was the second lesson of the day. At what time did Ms Grzesiak learn about those vague reservations regarding my daughter? Did it occur during the first hour of the school day, which was the extracurricular math club led by Ms Grzesiak?

My daughter does not participate in the math club, but had an impression that the idea of directing to her those strange and vague allegations appeared probably during the first hour of the school day. This conclusion is supported by the timing of Wiktoria Krawiec’s announcement at the beginning of the second school hour. If this indeed was the case, it is natural to ask, what is the real program of the math club, if it generates such ideas?

I request a detailed written response about this issue. I request also

  • Names of students who expressed those vague allegations towards my daughter
  • Copy of allegations towards my daughter
  • Immediate meeting with children who expressed allegations and their parents. We would like the matter to be cleared immediately.
  • Written explanation from the School Director, if arbitrary, vague and rather nonsensical, as I infer from the context, remarks towards an outstanding student, exemplary also by her social attitude, can form a basis for writing denunciations of ‘why I do not like [name]’?
  • Does School Director accept Ms Grzesiak’s decision, who ordered to provide those unclear allegations in writing?
  • I request an immediate consultation by a school or outside psychologist for those children, who cause these problems.

I would like to remind, that my daughter was already earlier the target of bullying from some of her classmates. This occurred in classes 1-3. The lead role in degrading my daughter was then played by Natalia Piasecka. Julia was photographed with a mobile phone by Natalia during a change of clothes before the physical education lesson. When my daughter protested, Natalia blamed her for unwillingness to play. Natalia also announced in class a vote of the kind „who does not like Julia, raise your hand”. It is important to remember that and to ask, whether photographing an undressed child at school, carried out by an adult or child, qualifies for an investigation by a prosecuting authority?

My wife and I chose to wait patiently for the results of school action in this matter. We did not insist on immediate action to prevent this form of violence, although it was clear that the school made mistakes: it acted too slowly and arranged at some point a strange confrontation, when my daughter was placed against four perpetrators. The aim of the confrontation was allegedly to proof who is telling the truth. What a wicked idea! To add to the victim’s suffering by confronting her with four of the bullies! A psychologist would probably point out elementary mistakes committed by the school pedagogue, who arranged this confrontation. The truth could have been easily reached by other methods, e.g. through individual conversations and with a help of a psychologist. I was surprised that the school committed such elementary psychological errors. However, we decided to be patient and calm.

Today the problem returns in another form. A written statement on the theme of „Why I do not like Julia” seems to be new, somewhat more sophisticated form of bullying. An absurd allegation was already given a serious form of written homework, perhaps carried out with the help of parents, on the theme of ‘Why I do not like Julia’. This is a scandal.

My daughter told me that among those ‘unhappy ones’ is an aggressive boy calling another one ‘you idiot’, ‘gay’, using a feminine gender, which is very well known to Ms Grzesiak. Does Ms Grzesiak not see a problem here? Does Ms Grzesiak not see a connection between the behavior of the aggressor and the behavior of his father during parents’ meetings? I can easily see this relation. I would like to remind that Ms Grzesiak has not reacted to the words of the aforementioned man, who contentedly and self-assuredly claimed that nothing can be done with the aggressive behavior among boys. He also expressed the view that this is a private problem exclusively between two battling boys. Ms Grzesiak was then surprisingly helpless against this disturbing opinion. This behavior is not worthy of a pedagogue. It is the pedagogue’s duty to guard a safe environment, free of violence. I protested firmly at the time, expressing a view, that verbal of physical abuse affects the entire class, spoils the learning environment and there should be no place for this kind behavior at school.

I request the school’s authorities’ honest engagement in creating an environment free from abuse. Truly free, instead of empty declarations displayed in the school’s hallways.

If the school does not react to physical and verbal violence, it creates environment supporting bullying, not learning. I have not heard about children having to write homework essays on the theme ‘Why should there be no violence at school’ or ‘Why verbal abuse is as hurting as the physical one’. I am not aware of the School ever assigning this kind of homework.

Yours sincerely,

Lech Borkowski