My kid, a six-year-old boy in the first grade, was about to start school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There was a tour of my son’s elementary school Riverside Elementary before the session commenced. The adult who is the focus here is just a random parent of a fellow student. The school was abuzz with kids broken up into groups by grade.
I felt it was an exciting moment. Kids were interacting and making friends. All the kids were in conversation, groups were walking by with children chatting and laughing. My boy was engaged in a conversation with another child. Suddenly, he got singled out. Was he too loud? I am not sure. He might have been a little loud, but not more than the other kids.
I would have had no issue if she said politely, “excuse me, you’re being loud, can you quiet down?”. What happened was different.
She barged through a group of people. This woman thumped my son on the chest with three fingers. She kept her fingers there. She bent down until her face was three inches from his. With a mask on, she scolded him sternly, “You need to stop talking. I can’t hear!”. She could have easily moved closer to the tour guide or asked him nicely to quiet down. I was a witness to this event. They were talking about kid stuff like Minecraft and dinosaurs.
I did not say anything at that moment. I did not want to cause a scene in front of other parents and children. Now, I am thinking about contacting the school counselor or principal. I don’t feel comfortable with the possibility that she might volunteer or interact with another parent’s child. My partner wants to take legal action, but I am still considering it. My state’s laws do consider this kind of action as assault. She was very aggressive. Now, my child who was excited about the school feels called out for just talking.
I don’t think a child talking requires physical reprimanding. I might be overreacting, but I am unsure about the next steps. I want her to understand that it is not okay to touch a child that is not hers. She handled someone else’s child in an inappropriate way.
For the record, I did ask my child to quiet down to avoid further upsetting the woman. She kept giving us dirty looks even after my kid stopped talking due to her outburst. It seemed as if my child’s talking really ticked her off.
Next time, I plan on confronting her. However, is legal action too far? My local community does not look kindly on this.