1. I think E has a crappy, burnt-out teacher this year. The teacher is very nice, but completely disorganized and can't follow through with anything. This is what I have observed with my own eyes.
2. The parents her teacher is dealing with are the same parents I deal with at my theater. They are a formidable group when they all get together.
3. These parents and the gifted teacher have a folder of studies that show gifted children thrive when placed in one single classroom instead of being mixed in with lower performing students and have used these studies to create an "elite" society, of which E is finally swimming on the edges of instead of being completely shunned.
4. I think the showing of the movie was totally appropriate and generated the discussion for which it was meant.
5. The troubled girl could not have been stopped from making her admission and yes, I know the admission to be true. Her parents have been in jail for at least 2 years. As for medication, I do believe that to be true but can't confirm it.
6. As for E, this girl's admission gave my child a great deal of relief. E is smart and empathetic and totally gets the kids with issues. Her best friend for the longest time was an almost non-verbal autistic child. When E heard this girl's meanness was not a result of a fault of E's, but something unrelated, she felt better. She felt that the things the girl had been saying about her were not true, just a result of trouble at home. And knowing the girl was on medication made E feel better as well. I explained to E that just because this girl admitted all this, that still doesn't give her a right to be a bully, but E felt better just knowing that someone was trying to control this child.
7. I believe the parents of the gifted children created this problem by constantly forcing the class selection for so many years. Yes, gifted children may thrive when placed with similar children, but that is not the real world. In the real world they must learn to adapt and help, not look down and intimidate. I have a Montessori background and expect E to step up and help a child who may be struggling to read, or tutor an child in math. But, I also expect her to receive that special attention that challenges her and makes school a fun place. Neither is happening right now because the parents created a monster system...and in effect, a monster child. I am not sure she would be so disruptive if she weren't in a classroom where EVERYONE was so much smarter than her. If she was in a blended classroom, her self-esteem would not be suffering as much. She'd still be a problem, but....
8. I know this because the shoe was on the other foot last year. E was tortured by her class mates because she was the smartest kid in the class, in a class of the lowest performing children. She had one friend and that was it. Only she didn't act out, she retreated, but it is the same concept.
9. I know that many parents are in an uproar about this movie and girl's admission and I am being asked to join the crows and complain, only it is the one thing this year that I agree with. Do I maintain my silence, join the group and try to use this to force the teacher out because of her other flaws? Or do I stand up against the crowd and speak my peace, dooming myself and E to be outcast yet again just when she is finding her place amongst her peers?
I wish there was an American Girl movie for adults in this situation.