Part 2: Acadia
Acadia is an amazing child. She is smart, funny & easy to get along with. She cares deeply for others & will stand up for people. Once we were shopping for a present for my cousins daughter who likes princesses. This little boy, about 5 or 6, came by, picked up a princess wand & started to play with it. His mom saw this & begin to taunt him “What? You a little girl now, huh? You a princess, boy?” & laughed at him. Acadia became enraged. She yelled at his mom “Who cares what he likes? It’s just toys! It’s not that big of a deal!”. The mom looked at her, then at me, then shot me a look that said “shut that child up”. I was so proud. My daughter understood more about life than most adults. We picked out something & left the store. Acadia loves dinosaurs, birds, bugs, Marvel superheroes, video games, comic books & reading. She watches documentaries about undersea life, outer space, time travel, & paleontology. She isn’t ashamed for who she is. To her, there isn’t a division between boys & girls except that girls can have babies & breast feed, but we are all basically the same.
This school year, Acadia entered 1st grade. At 7, she is the oldest since her birthday falls after the cutoff date. Everything is school was going fine, until January when she started acting up in class. She got F’s almost everyday in a month for her behavior & would tell us she hated school & never wanted to go back. This February the truth finally came out, three boys in her class were punching her & teasing her. She was too smart, she liked “boy” things” & “didn’t look like a girl”. Every other Friday they have a “Dress down” day where they can wear regular clothes instead of their uniform. The night before Acadia picked a plain brown shirt over her new Marvel Heroes shirt. Her reason for the choice was that she knew they would make fun of her. Come the next morning she decided that she would wear her Marvel shirt because she loved it so much. They told her she was wearing a “boys’ shirt”, asked her if she was a boy, & teased her relentlessly about it. I remembered the terror, the pain, the sadness that I experienced at her age. I told her to stay strong, use her words & when they hit her, defend herself. I constantly told her that what they were doing was wrong & we would stop it. Before we could even have a conference with her teacher she was ganged up by 2 of the boys, one pushed her into the other who then pushed her to the floor so the other boy could kick her in the back of the head. One boy was suspended, but the other boys continued to harass her. We called the cops who said they couldn’t do anything about it because they were too young. As soon as that boy came back to school he started hitting her again. One of the other boys pushed a desk into her face, & she was suspended for “throwing a fit” afterwards. She was recently suspended last week because the principal witnessed her slapping another student, what they didn’t see was this boy hit her first. She has begun to question her likes & her style because she feels like she needs to fit herself into this “girl” mold. We have decided to home school her so she can be whoever she wants to be without being ridiculed or hurt. She is very excited for next school year, but even more excited for the upcoming Avengers movie.