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Public Service: Calamba City Hall *NEW* Main Number (6349) 5456789

Public Service: To all Calambenos,

Calamba City Hall *NEW* Main Number:

+63 (49) 5456789

One number. One city. One Calamba.

The Politics of School Bullying (An Open Letter to the School Head/Parents)

To:    XX XX XX Thru: XX XX XX From: Cecilia Regina Aquino Blanquera-Marmol Parent XX XX Re: Request for dialog with XX's parents August 5, 2010 Dear XX XX, Greetings! Forgive me for opting to skip the usual niceties and allow me to go straight to discussing my concerns that compelled me to write this letter. I am Cecilia Regina "RJ" Marmol, mother of XX XX currently enrolled in your school in XX XX XX. It has come to my attention that my son is being bullied at school by a certain classmate of his, going by the name of "XX". I do not know his last name. As early as the first few weeks of this school year, I have been consistently nagged by my son that this boy I have mentioned has been causing him too much "bother" -- which, at first I did not take as anything harmful. I am a parent and have been a kid myself so I perfectly understand that such 'incidents' are relatively normal and I refuse to come off as an uptight or unreasonably protective mother (as there is no such thing). However, as days progressed, he came home with the same story to tell almost everyday -- and it always involved the same kid. He actually came home one day from school with his uniform looking like a canvass of aimless doodles of crayons, polo shirt, pants, socks and all. He cried a river and apologized profusely as soon as he came through the door. He said he and XX were coloring (like the rest of the class, I presume) until they found themselves coloring each other's uniform. He said it was XX who started it, but quite frankly, it is irrelevant to me who started what. What bothers me is that this seems to have been the acceptable norm and everyone seems to have either grown comfortable or apathetic to it. And if I may say so, I am disappointed. I'm sure you understand that it is difficult enough to instill good values at home only to be negated by uncontrollable outside influences. Further, the frequency of bullying and the level of damage is getting worse by the day. Today, he came home crying and complaining about painful cheeks while gesturing how XX (has once again) pushed him to the wall. I don't intend to wait until he comes home complaining about something far worse. This may be child's play, I know. But there has to be a fine line that separates child's play from ensuring 'safety first'. Besides, my son says that XX also hurts his other classmates and whenever he mediates (as he was taught at home), he gets the brunt of the slight 'child's play-beating'. I have enrolled my son in  XXX under the impression that he is in good hands. And much as I want to withdraw him, I've already paid for his tuition fee for a full school year last April. And it's barely two months into the school year. On a side note, I'd like to commend the teachers who have been painstakingly and continuously changing the seating arrangements to avert similar incidents. But this doesn't seem to be enough to arrest the root cause of the problem. They are now many seats apart yet the bullying remains to persist. I believe that nipping the problem in the bud the soonest possible will avert any future irreparable and regrettable damage to both kids and parents. My son is just 5 years old (as compared to supposedly more mature 6 or 7 yr-old classmates) and speaks rather poor to moderately understandable Filipino which he only learned/developed in your school last year (in Prep). I wonder if that has anything to do with the bullying, assuming it's a frequent 'misunderstanding' issue. But he tells me XX makes fun of him more than he does his other classmates. I'd like to know why. I have witnessed this myself when I fetched him from school a few days ago. XX purposely agitated my son to draw attention to himself and continuously fueled my son's annoyance with persistent name-calling -- so this is no telltale account. My little boy is a "volcano of energy" -- but mostly of the endearing and not of the annoying kind, and while he may be 'playful' for a grade one student, he is no war-freak nor does he incite kids to rebel or horse-play. He is retentive and most times, he plays only when he thinks he's done with his work. While I'm in no position to advise the parents as to how to deal with their son's behavior, I encourage them to have a serious and meaningful discussion with their son. I believe this will make a huge difference and I feel that discussing this with his parents together with their teacher is an important step towards behavior correction. In this regard, I am requesting for a dialogue with the parents of XX. According to the handbook, all issues about student behavior and requests for parental reprimand must be coursed through the teacher's/your office. Also, it is not in my nature to approach parents for casual conversations and conflict resolutions and I do not do things without paper trail. Please advise XX's parents as to when we can meet to rectify this issue. I look forward to resolving this once and for all in the interest of the kids and their well-being and education. Thank you so much for your time. Best regards, Cecilia Regina 'RJ' Marmol Parent Noted: _________________________________________________ XX, Class Adviser _________________________________________________ XX, Dept. Head