I can’t tell you how mad this makes me. For a child with depression, calling him “Debbie Downer” in front of his peers is really no different than calling a child with a learning disability “retarded”? Her actions lack any compassion and consideration. While the teacher laughed it off, my son was dying inside. When he came home he fell apart emotionally and today is still replaying those words inside his head, even saying, “See I am a Debbie Downer” when upset.
What made the situation worse was that the principal responded with an email stating that the teacher did admit to calling him that name but was doing it because,
“She was trying to get him to open up and respond in a more favorable manner, which he did. There was no intent on the teacher’s part to make him stand out and the comment was not made to scold or punish him but was made light heartedly in an attempt to involve him in a positive manner.”Huh? Are you kidding me? Honestly, it feels like they’re trying to cover their butt for a mistake the teacher made. In no way does calling a child a name in front of his peers “involve him in a positive manner.” This response is just lipstick on a pig!
Then in response to the fact that other kids are now calling him this name, the principal responds with an invitation for us to tell them who the kids are so they can address it. Which is ridiculous since the only reason these kids are calling my son this name is because the teacher did it, thus making it appear acceptable. If anyone needs to be talked to, it ’s the teacher!
As you can imagine I was pretty upset by this, mainly because I saw the impact this had on my son, it hurt him to his core, undoing all the positive work we’ve been doing in therapy.
Thanks to my rockstar husband, he decided to take things into his own hands and contacted the principal directly letting him know that he needed to cut the crap. He explained the impact this teacher had on our son, requesting that the teacher apologize to our son and to leave our son alone for the remainder of the year and in the future, she should refrain from using her “strategies” to help him open up.
In the end, the principal admitted that “sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong, it looks like this time, we got it wrong.”