Times have really changed. It used to be that if a little boy chased a girl around the playground and try to force kisses on her, it was called cute. If he pushed her, she was told, “Boys are mean to girls they like!” All sorts of bizarre gendered notions about how to treat other people and what is acceptable start getting implanted in us as kids. Well, these days, that dismissive nonsense doesn’t cut it.
A mom named Margaux Dawn went viral on Facebook after sharing a story about her daughter being harassed at school, in all the classic little-boy-with-a-crush ways—except there wasn’t anything cute about it:
“On the very first day of school my daughter came home and told me about a little boy in class who had followed her around constantly, making her uncomfortable, despite being asked to stop. He had tried to follow her into the bathroom as well.”
“I advised her to firmly tell him again (without saying ‘please’ — because this was a command, not a request) and to ask her teacher for help in getting him to stop.
We practiced loudly saying ‘DO NOT TOUCH ME.’ and ‘STOP FOLLOWING ME’ in the bathroom mirror together.”
Dawn also spoke with a teacher about what was going on and was promised that they would be watching the situation. Before the end of the week, she received a call from the principal and was told about another “incident.”
“That day, the same little boy had cornered Luna, pinned her to the ground with his knees planted on her chest, and forced her mouth open so he could lick inside her mouth while she screamed and cried for him to stop. A school employee eventually pulled him off of her. She was terrified. I was livid.”
Dawn was heartbroken that after only four days of school, her “confident, bubbly little beansprout” had become scared, because she felt she couldn’t “stop bad things from happening to her.” Heartbreaking words for any mother to hear. Though Dawn says the school swiftly handled the situation in a responsible manner, it couldn’t bring her daughter’s confidence back.They talked about it for a long time, and then decided to sign up for a self defense class a local place called Unicorn Jiu Jitsu. Not only did it restore Luna’s confidence, she got so confident she started kicking butt:
“We kept coming back because after the very first class, Luna beamed radiantly at me and firmly said:
‘No one is going to touch me like that ever again.’
Big, ugly tears.
Baby, you’re damn right they won’t.
… And they didn’t.”
“Yesterday at recess, an older and larger student didn’t want to wait his turn to climb a play structure. So he yanked Luna down off of it and started to throw her around by the collar. Luna used his own weight to put him on his rear-end in the barkdust but he still did not let go of her. So she put a knee into his chest until he was flat on his back, and then pressed her shin against his neck until he began sputtering and released her. At that point she backed quickly away.”
Luna did not get in trouble for her actions, as the prinicipal apparently described the response as “appropriate.” And her mom is very proud:
“The baker at the grocery store declined to write “Baby’s First Choke-Out” on a celebratory cake I bought, but that’s alright.”
On the very first day of school my daughter came home and told me about a little boy in class who had followed her…
Dawn eventually edited her post to ask people to stop commenting with threats towards the little boys who harassed or bothered Luna. While she is proud of her daughter and thinks she did the right thing, ultimately these are all children who learn their behavioral lessons at home:
“I was angry at first too.
But I ask that you collect yourself enough to realize that those behaviors are a cycle.
Please exercise empathy.
Please understand that there are unseen struggles in everyone’s life, and the kind of struggle that would make a child act in this way are horrific enough without adult strangers wishing harm upon him.”
Strength and compassion. A truly deadly combo.