Bullying is a widespread problem today. Kids are often bullied in school, and they can be very cruel. Bullies pick on kids for a variety of reasons, and it can leave long-lasting psychological issues. Some children are bullied so severely that they end up taking their own lives. Finding out that your child has been bullied can be incredibly painful for the parent as well. This is something that Tomas Valero knows all too well.
A New School
It can be hard for a child to adjust to a new school. They have a new teacher, new friends, and a new home. When Tomas moved his family to a new home, he hoped for the best. Like all parents, he wanted the best for his daughter. Unfortunately, his daughter was having trouble adjusting.
Tomas started to notice his daughter acting differently when she started her new school. He says that she was more emotional than usual, and he chalked it up to her nerves and moving to a new place. He really started to worry when his daughter began to cry before school, begging to stay home. At first, it just happened once or twice a week, and soon, it was happening every morning. As time went on, things got worse. Tomas noticed that his daughter no longer felt joy or excitement about school the way that she did before the family moved. Tomas tried to talk to his daughter about what was going on, but she didn’t say anything. And he felt hopeless. He just wanted his daughter to be happy. He couldn’t figure out why his daughter was suddenly upset about attending kindergarten at Pine Grove Elementary School.
No Earlier Problems
According to Tomas, his daughter never had any problems at school. She got good grades; she received positive reports from her teachers and had a lot of friends. Just a few months after enrolling in her new school, everything fell apart. Tomas was desperate to find out what was going on with his daughter. As time went on and his daughter got worse, Tomas started to believe that his daughter was being bullied at school. He couldn’t get her to open up about it even after asking her directly. Tomas felt helpless.
Tomas knew that these years of his daughter’s life were incredibly important. These years would shape the rest of her life, so he needed to find out what was going on. If she were being bullied, wouldn’t her teacher see what was happening and stop it? Was the teacher too harsh? Tomas started to wonder if the problem was with the students or the teacher. He knew that he had to do something to find out what was happening to his daughter at school, so he came up with a plan.
The Plan: Hiding In Daughter’s Hair Bow
Tomas knew that if it was her teacher making his daughter’s life miserable that they wouldn’t admit it. He believed that the teacher would act differently in front of him, so he had to get creative. Tomas went out and bought a listening device, and he placed it in his daughter’s hair bow. He figured if he could hear what was really going on that he could get to the bottom of his daughter’s issues. It may have been drastic, but he had to do something. He didn’t tell his daughter about the listening device because he worried that she would get distracted. He knew that the best way to figure out what was going on would be to keep his daughter in the dark.
It Was the Teacher
When Tomas listened to what the recording device in his daughter’s hair picked up, he was livid. He could hear the teacher talking very hardly to her students. She was yelling and screaming for no reason. Not only was she speaking to the students in a harsh tone, but she was also degrading them and making fun of them. Tomas was angry and knew he had to do something.
Filing a Complaint
Tomas knew that he wouldn’t get too far if he went to the teacher, so he sent it to the state school board instead. He had a valid complaint about the teacher, and he also had the proof. When Tomas showed the school board the evidence. They claimed that she had already been disciplined according to School Board policy. This wasn’t good enough for Tomas. She was still teaching his daughter’s class, and his daughter’s behavior hadn’t changed. While the school did offer to move Tomas’ daughter to another class, he didn’t think it was enough. He needed to stand up for the other children who were still in the class.
Remove Mrs. Duncan
Tomas started a petition on Change.org called Remove Mrs. Duncan from classrooms. He got over 2,000 signatures. When the local news caught wind of the story, they wanted to speak to Tomas. Everyone admired him for his determination. The school refused to budge, but Tomas was happy with the outcomes. Mrs. Duncan was called out for her horrible behavior of children, and parents would know about it for years to come. This dad hid recording device in daughter’s hair bow, and he figured out what was happening. After she switched classes, Tomas’ daughter found joy in school again.