We Need to Teach Our Girls to Stick Together

by - March 26, 2018

Something happened in my classroom this week that blew me away. Middle schoolers tend to have an obscene amount of drama, and after awhile you sort of become desensitized to it, but something happened this afternoon that left me reeling. 

Last class period of the day. Students start filing in loudly discussing some drama that occurred in the hall. I'm half-listening, half-paying attention to the computers that I'm putting back into a cart. Everyone is crowding around one boy in the class and he's insisting that he didn't do anything

I ask everyone to go to their seats. They do. The discussion continues. I start to listen. The boy apparently slapped a girl in the back of the head in the hall. The table of girls sitting. by the door is saying, "if she snitches, just say that she was annoying you or that she hit you first." I pause. One of the girls says, "I hate that girl anyway, she's annoying." 

This scenario jarred me because here was a group of girls defending a boy who hit a girl... because they don't like her

First I talked to the boy about what happened and made sure that he understood that hitting anyone was not okay.

Then I talked to the girls. They said that the girl was annoying. That she annoyed everyone

I was really taken with this because these girls were essentially excusing a boy for hitting another girl simply because they didn't like her. 

We need to teach our girls to stick together. 

We need to teach them that it doesn't matter if you like each other, no man is ever going to get away with hitting one of them. 

We need to teach them to value their bonds as women and to advocate for those who are having difficulty advocating for themselves. 

We need to teach them that when they see a woman being abused that they need to surround her with love and support and encouragement. 

We need to teach them not to make excuses for men who will abuse women. 

We need to empower them to have the strength to stand up and refuse to accept it when any woman is being abused by a man. 

And this starts when a middle school boy hits a midle school girl in the back of the head.

[side note: the incident was ultimately referred to the guidance office]


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