Dear Counsellor: They say my child is boisterous
Q: I have a child. I did not get any help from the father. We are from the inner city. I had to do domestic work, sell in the market and do a little farming for our living. She is very helpful around the house.
It is not a problem for her to go to the market and help me sell produce. In fact, she is very good at selling. She bargains well with my customers. I had to drop out of secondary school to have her.
She is now attending a prominent high school. She is one of the brightest children there. She did so well in fourth form that they wanted her to sit some subjects in fourth form, but I did not have the money at the time.
However, the teachers claim she is boisterous. She talks out of turn. She talks too much to other students. She is always arguing cases for other students. Sometimes she does not conform to the dress code.
The school claims she is too flashy in her accessories. In fact, the school administration is threatening to expel her. I have spoken to her. She claims she is misunderstood and that they are giving her a fight. To be honest, I have no problems with her at home.
She attends church with me. I have invested a lot in her. She has ambitions to become a medical doctor, but this cloud is hanging over her head. What can I do?
A:Congratulations to you for struggling with your daughter to the point that she is doing very well academically. It is possible that the administration is misunderstanding her assertiveness as aggression.
Perhaps having honed her skills in the market she is now a confident child. She obviously has a heightened sense of justice because of her experiences. It is also possible the teachers are aware of her socio-economic background and believe she must know her place. In addition, some persons are from the ‘old school’ and believe children should be seen, and not heard.
I would suggest you have a talk with the school’s guidance counsellor, and see what help can be given to your daughter in operating in a difficult environment. In addition, try engageing the school administration to ascertain what they perceive the problem to be and what they want your daughter to do.
The school is complaining about her dress. Perhaps it is a clash of cultures. It could be that your daughter is attracted to bling and loud colours while the school prefers what is loosely referred to as sober and cool colours.
Please encourage her to conform when at school. Let her wear what she is comfortable with on weekends. To expel a student, the school board would have to be involved.
There would have to be a hearing at which time you and your daughter would have the opportunity to plead your case. In addition, please get your pastor involved in this case.