"I Am Not Scared" Project
A senior girl who had problems with school attendance, inappropriate behaviour, bad grades and other „bad student“ attributes, became pregnant. Students who thought very little of her now started to avoid her. The girl made her situation worse because she stopped attending school at all, and the finals were coming. She had no formal note why she was skipping classes, so her peers started to point out her behaviour to teachers as an example that a student can skip classes and still take the finals.
The girl’s mother has cancer, so she doesn’t have enough powers and emotional strength to take care of her daughter: soon she’ll be alone; she has to learn how to take care and protect herself. The mother was not married when she had her; the father is not present in her life.
Another reason for bullying was the father of her unborn child whom she was living with at that time: married man, recently put to prison for stealing.
Moreover, the student used to tell lies not only to school administration, to the teacher, but also to her classmates.
The mother of the pregnant girl suffers greatly from this situation, but she has no power over her daughter (she lives separately) and is very ill. The teachers tried to help the student stop bullying and help her graduate, but due to student’s constant lies or suppressed truth they was very hard to help her; also the student lacks good will to let the teachers to help her.
In this complicated bullying case any bullying prevention program wasn’t used, but there were many consultations with school’s counsellor, girl’s teachers and school administration.
This bullying case is the life lesson for other schoolgirls and their peers, that teenagers sexual relations gives additional pressure not only on them, but especially on their parents, also makes it harder to gain good education. This kind of situation (premature sexual relations resulted in teenage pregnancy) causes troubles for teachers (to keep bullying outside the classroom) and school, because usually these situations cause reduced learning results that result in reduced teachers and schools ratings and prestige.
The most important negative outcome of this situation is that it forms negative view in children’s’ subconscious: children shouldn’t see pregnant peers in the class, because it forms illusion that it is normal, real and natural.
The girl understands why she receives negative comments, why her classmates started to avoid her presence, that’s why stopped to attend the school. She doesn’t pay much attention to those comments, because she starts to regret her previous behaviour that put her in this position. She doesn’t have complaints about her classmates and doesn’t blame them, but feels hurt so she skips classes.
But she feels to have a right to demand from teachers to work with her after classes (after her classmates are gone home), because she is punished enough: she has no father, her mother has cancer, her boyfriend is in prison, she is pregnant, etc.
Her classmates feel sympathy for her situation; however they do not spare jokes, because she created all her problems by conscious actions. In addition to this, the girl often demands more rights from teachers that she does duties, and due to her attitude she gets treated more easily: administration and teachers try to avoid confrontations and stressful situations and give the student opportunity to take tests after the term and possibilities to take tests had already expired.
The other part of students doesn’t comment or bully the girl, but they do not approve of her actions and behaviour previous becoming pregnant and during her pregnancy.
Class teacher has informed school’s administration about upcoming problems long ago (at the beginning of 10th grade), because she ran into the student in the supermarket and after small take she found out that the girl was already living with her boyfriend and are renting a room together. Also teacher acknowledge administration about other family’s problems. School administration obliged the teacher to follow the situation and to assess the student to finish the school year (at the time due to poor attendance it was possible to leave her to repeat the course).
The teacher encouraged her to talk in order to help her, and to study at home, if she chooses not to attend the school. The next time the teacher met the girl in the shop, she confided that she had really badly cut her palm, that resulted in broken nerve which is way she needed to have a surgery and couldn’t attend the school.
The teacher encouraged the girl to try to solve her problems regarding grades and not taken tests by going to subject teachers and explaining situation and trying to ask for the help and sympathy instead of demanding something she wouldn’t get. Teachers were going to stop her from taking finals because she hadn’t attended a single class during the last semester. However, the teacher was saddened by the fact, that the girl constantly changed her mobile phone number, it was hard to contact her; only one girl from her classmates had access to her at rare occasions.
School administration tried to ignore the situation till they got a police notice: the girl together with her boyfriend was put in jail for thieving, but she was released. The student managed to get an exceptional meeting with whole school administration: it was decided that will be given a possibility to graduate the same year with her classmates, the schedule of her tests.
The girl has no father. Her mother is unable to help her daughter, but she has complains about the bullying students – her daughter doesn’t go to school because of them.
School counsellor didn’t have the opportunity to talk to the girl, because she just didn’t attend school and it was hard to contact her.
School administration contacted Education department with the question whether to allow student to take final exams; the answer was positive and the girl manage to pass most of her exams but with low grades.
The state together with parents should take care of children that they would grow decent citizens and that they act their age. Children – the classmates – should not only fell sympathy, but also should try to help such girl to try to become a better person to her, to her family and everyone around her and most importantly – to create a better life for her unborn child.
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I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission