This week my youngest daughter was suspended from school for hitting another girl in her class. According to everyone involved the other girl was making fun of my daughter’s dad being a fag. My girls (and I) adore their dad. He is caring, loving and kind. He is always there for all of us. We divorced 9 years ago because he is gay but we remain very close. The girl who was hit received no punishment.
I was immediately called down to the school and met with the principal. He suspended her for 2 weeks. It wasn’t a bad hit so no one was physically hurt, but they have a zero tolerance for physical harm. They apparently have immense tolerance for homophobia, name calling and meanness.
I, of course, wrote a letter to the school board, the PTA, the principal and the local newspaper. It caused quite a bit of upset. I was not defending my daughter’s punch, but I was defending my daughter and her impulse to protect the one she loved, to stand up to meanness and homophobia and to let the world know what she values and believes in. I admitted that response is much better than impulsive reaction.
And I spoke out against a one sided rule book that only defines harm as only outward and physical. In my life my greatest wounds were never physical. I see the same in my children. I was very proud of my daughter and was clear with her about that- and also the need to respond appropriately next time. Her dad simply hugged her and said how much he loved her. He loves us no matter what and we love him no matter what.
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