Here's the story but I am not going to say which side I fall on. I will when all the verdicts are in.
My daughter is in the gifted program at school. There are 350 fourth graders of which 22 are in this program. Over the years the parents of gifted students and the gifted teacher here have banded together to keep these students in the same class. In fact, most of them started together in the same preschool I teach at now.
Last year things hit a boiling point, however, and the closeness became a problem when Mean Girl Syndrome hit. Some of the gifted girls started bullying each other and were understandably miserable. Last year, when this was all going on, E was not a part of this. Even though I had written on her entry forms that she was in the gifted program, somehow her records never made it to the new school. She attended the gifted program but was not truly considered "part" of the program. Her class last year held 16 of the lowest performing students in third grade and 3 students similar to E who had also not been earmarked yet. Her teacher, however, was exceptional and although E struggled with having no friends, her teacher more than made up for that.
This year is different. E's fourth grade teacher is brand new to this school. She is an older woman who has taught for many years but is currently in school to receive her masters. She is absent at least 2 of every 10 days. Since she is new and the gifted kid's parents complained about last year, the gifted kids were split up into two classes, one being hers. Essentially she was given this gift of 11 high performing, love learning kind of kids, but she also got 3 on-level kids and 3 of the worst discipline problem kids. This has created a situation.
The 3 discipline problem kids have been allowed to take over the classroom and create an environment almost impossible to learn in. Several parents have talked to the teacher. The teacher's response was to say she would never allow HER children to attend this school and she's never even heard of kids as bad as the kids she is dealing with. This prompted the parents to go to the principal who has made several visits to the classroom.
So here is what I would like your opinion on:
Bullying is a problem in this classroom. The teacher showed "Chrissa Stands Strong" to the students, an American Girl movie on bullying. After the showing, the girl in the classroom who is the most disruptive to the class stood up and told the whole class that her parents were both drug dealers and are now in jail so she lives with her grandmother. She then went on to tell the class that she had to take a pill everyday to help her control her anger.
Question: Was it appropriate to show this film and allow this child to make this admission?
Feel free to answer however you would like. I know exactly where I fall on this issue, I would just like to know how you feel.