My daughter goes to a non-denominational all-girls’ school. The girls range in skin colour, religion and cultural background. Everyone is accepting and tolerant of everyone else.
My daughter came home and told me about an incident in the lunch room the other day, and I’m not sure what to do about it. She said there is a girl in one of the younger grades who always brings a fish-heavy lunch. As you can probably guess, the smell is fairly pungent.
Apparently, the incident occurred when her group sat down together to eat. She opened her lunch box, one girl squealed loudly and a chain reaction ensued. They were all jumping up, squealing, grabbing their things and running away.
The poor girl was left alone at her table crying into her food.
My daughter saw it all happening out of the corner of her eye while she was grabbing some food and heading to a sports practice. She didn’t realize the extent of the bullying until she had left and processed what she saw.
Should I be reaching out to the school? The girl’s mom? Or minding my own business since I don’t even really know these people?
Put yourself in this young girl’s mom’s shoes. Would you want to know that another mother cared enough to say something? I think so.
Call the school, talk to the principal, tell him or her exactly what you told me. You weren’t there, and your daughter was only sort of there. But if it were your daughter, you’d want to know.
I imagine it will take some change on everyone’s part, including the mom and what she puts in her daughter’s lunch box. It’s not about compromising who you are. It’s about sharing communal space in the most amicable fashion.
FEEDBACK Regarding the married brother curious about his single brother (Dec. 23):
Reader #1 – “Based on members of my family, could he be questioning his gender identity or sexual orientation? Has anyone made comments (e.g., homophobic or transphobic) that could be preventing him from opening up?
“Be careful how hard you push as you could actually be pushing him away.”
Reader #2 – “The married brother should mind his own business. The single brother has had many years and numerous occasions to discuss his personal life and chosen not to. Prying into his personal life risks the good relationship they have.
“I believe if the married brother tries to satisfy his curiosity it will greatly affect the relationship they have. Leave it alone.”
Lisi – Both of these readers make good points. The single brother could be part of the LGBTQ+ community and not feel comfortable sharing that. But I don’t feel the married brother is pushing too hard - the single brother is always hanging out with them.
When this letter first came in, I was just watching snippets from that great holiday movie, ‘Love Actually.’ It gave me the idea that maybe the single brother could be in love with his brother’s wife and just want to be around her.
FEEDBACK Regarding the frustrated employee seeking a bonus (Dec. 28):
Reader – “I totally agree with the adage “if you do not ask you will not know.” However, when you go to ask you need to have backup documentation detailing how you contributed to the company. Detail all of the extra work you had provided and the skills you brought to the company.
“If the answer is still no, this documentation now forms the basis for your resume so you can start looking for a new job.”
Lisi – Well noted.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman dealing with her dying mother-in-law (Dec. 29):
Reader #1 – “Please stop allowing people a free ride. The damage is done.
“I agree she should support her husband but there is no reason to continue the charade. What about her?
“She should let everyone know how horrible they have been. Only then can some healing start.”
Reader #2 – “I totally disagree with your advice to Fed up with family. If a person has always been nasty and ignorant, why attend their funeral or change the way you think about them?
“I have plenty of experience with this in my family. I don't intend to suddenly pretend that all is well when one of them dies. No point going to the funeral. My husband and I don't believe in all the funeral fuss anyway. We won't be having funerals, just a gathering of relatives and friends that we’re close to.
Tired of family problems