I hesitated to write this post because I am not sure if this was bullying. If it was not, I believe it was on it's way to bullying. Princess A loves school and not too long ago she was so excited because a 'club' was being formed at recess. A little girl started a club at recess and asked Princess A to be in the club with a few other little girls. The little girl was originally in Princess A's first grade class but was moved into the new first grade class when the district authorized an additional first grade due to over crowding. Princess A was excited about the club but something about it made me pay close attention. At first everything went well but after a while I could tell Princess A was not as excited. I continually asked her about the club and what they did as a club. Eventually Princess A told me that the leader of the club was in charge and the rest of them had to do what she wanted all of the time.
I talked to her about playing fair and that everyone needs to take turns. After our talk she went to school the next day and things did not go well. As usual the little girl told them what to play. Princess A wanted to play something else and told the girl so. The little girl then told Princess A she was 'out of the club' and got upset. Princess A felt bad that she had upset the girl and tried to make it better. Princess A and the rest of the girls in the club spent the rest of recess taking turns to try and apologize to the little girl. She just kept running away until recess was over. Princess A came home and told me all about it. I was glad Princess A was out of the club and hoped that it was over. School was out for a few days and I spent that time casually talking about being a good friend and making decisions for yourself.
When school started again the little girl went on as if nothing had changed. Princess A said she did not understand why the little girl did not remember but that the club was back on. At this point my husband and I told her no clubs at school! Princess A was all ready to tell the girl that she could not be in the club but that she still wanted to be friends. Princess A was the one who wanted to still be friends though I did encourage her to think about how true friends should act. I also emailed her teacher and asked for help with the situation. Princess A's teacher is no longer the other little girl's teacher but she was able to talk to her at lunch. After school Princess A told me her teacher talked to the little girl and told her no more club at school. Princess A never had her talk with the little girl and the funny thing is she gave Princess A an invitation to her birthday party. Princess A's teacher called me after school to tell me that she talked to the little girl, who did not admit to everything, and that the school would keep and eye on the situation. Princess A does not really play with that little girl much during recess but I am going to continue to keep a close eye on her interaction with this little girl. We did not go to the birthday party.
Was it bullying? I hesitate to use the word but in many ways it was. One person telling everyone else what to do and when they don't want to they are manipulated emotional into doing it. That to me is a form of bullying. I can not believe that we are dealing with already in first grade! It has been a few days and everything seems to being going well I just hope it continues to be so.