Tomas Valero knew something was wrong. It had to be. There was no other reason why his daughter would come home from school every day while crying. He knew that he needed to discover the root of this problem and that he would need to be stealthy to do so.
The answers to his questions left him horrified though.
Starting at a new school can be very difficult for a child. Not only are they about to face all kinds of new challenges. These could range from their lessons to dealing with separation or even making new friends. Parents and teachers are there to support and help children adjust to these.
However, no matter how supportive parents are or how good teachers are, children still struggle with such big adjustments.
One thing that can make it difficult for a child at such a time is if they have to deal with a particularly strict or unpleasant teacher. Tomas couldn’t help but wonder if this was what was happening to his daughter, let’s call her Jane, at school.
Tomas made up his mind to find the cause of his daughters distress.
Parents all know that when your child is upset, nothing else in the world matters other than making it better for them. Tomas was no different. The more his daughter seemed to struggle, the more he worried.
Warning bells kept going off every day as his daughter came home more distraught than the day before.
One of the biggest and most distressing signs that Tomas noticed was how his daughter was gradually becoming more emotional. At first, Tomas just thought that it was because she started a new school. After all, she needed to meet new people, while she is in a place she doesn’t know.
But as he watched it simply get worse over time, Tomas knew that he was missing something.
His daughter began to cry and ask if she could stay home and not go to school. It became so frequent that it became a normal part of their day. Jane would break down and sob every day before she went to school.
Tomas needed to find out what was upsetting her so, but how?
From Bad To Worse
Tomas had thought that things would get better over time but after months of seeing his daughter turn from a happy, bubbly child into a stressed, distraught wreck took its toll. She even seemed to become afraid of going to school.
Mornings became a combination of cajoling, threatening, and coercion to get Jane to go to school.
Despite his many attempts to talk to her about what was happening, Jane would always just keep quiet and refuse to say anything about what was happening. Something was impacting her negatively though, that much was clear.
Tomas spent days trying to think of a solution.
Jane went to kindergarten at Pine Grove Elementary school. Before she started attending school, Jane had always seemed to be a happy child like any other. She’d never had problems with making friends or adjusting before, however.
Jane was no longer the daughter Tomas knew.
Starting to Change
One thing that Tomas knew for sure was that the change that Jane was going through had only begun once she had started at her new school. Even so Tomas couldn’t figure out what had caused the change in his beloved daughter.
Who or what was at the school that could do this?
Before going to this school, his daughter used to get very good grades and she had always received positive feedback from her teachers. There had never been any problems in the past.
However, a few months after starting at Pine Grove Elementary school all that changed. Not only did she not want to go to school but her general behavior changed and her grades started to deteriorate.
To make matters worse, his daughter began to become emotional both before and after her school day. Something was very seriously wrong and Tomas had had enough.
He couldn’t bear seeing his daughter so upset, unhappy, and emotionally distraught anymore. While he felt powerless, he knew that he had to do something. Enough was enough. He was going to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
The Concerned Father
We’re sure any parent would feel worried about the well-being of their child. It was hard seeing his daughter unhappy every day. He was beginning to get more and more worried about her.
The more he tried finding out what was wrong, the more the little girl shrank away. That’s when he realized what could really be going on.
A Stable, Happy Life
He thought about it a lot. Then, he came to the conclusion that she must be getting bullied by one of her classmates or even by one of her teachers.
They had a stable and happy family life back at home, so he knew that couldn’t be the root of his daughter’s unhappiness. But how could he find out the truth?
Patience Is A Virtue
It’s very important to be patient. It might even be one of the most important virtues we can all learn, even if it’s difficult to practice. When it comes to teaching small kids, this becomes that much more valuable.
If you ever had to deal with kids, then you know how hard they can be to handle. As an educator, patience is part of the job requirement.
Her Formative Years
Even more concerning was that his daughter was still so young. She was in her formative years, meaning that she was going through a crucial and important time of her life.
What happens during this time of her life will mold her into the adult she will be in the future. That’s why it was so important that Tomas got to the bottom of it.
Tomas and his wife raised their two daughters and one son with a certain mindset, always making sure to surround them with positivity and encouraging them to be their best selves.
They know how important it is to develop a strong sense of self in kids to prepare them for what the future holds. Tomas wasn’t going to let all his hard work be for nothing.
The Tip Of The Iceberg
Keeping Tomas and his wife’s family values in mind, it makes sense that a harsh, mean teacher can seriously harm the children she cares for in the classroom.
Tomas and his wife definitely didn’t want that for their little girl. They started suspecting that they were only just discovering the tip of the iceberg — and uncovering a much bigger and ongoing problem.
Taking Matters Into His Own Hands
Being a resourceful person, Tomas decided he needed to figure out what was going on with his daughter.
He was having a hard time since his daughter was too young and shy to tell him about what was going on with her. It was time for the worried dad to take matters into his own hands.
Being the father that he is, he couldn’t just let his daughter get sadder and sadder with each passing day. He had enough and decided he was going to be the one to do something about it.
The only question was how? He thought about it for a while. Then he finally came up with the perfect plan.
Catching Her In The Act
But how could Tomas hear what was happening at school without having to be there at the time?
He knew that if he asked to sit in on the class one day, the teacher would just change her behavior. He needed a more creative solution to make sure he was catching her in the act.
And so, Tomas decided to ‘listen in’ – literally. He planned and built a tiny hearing device. The next morning, he carefully placed it in his daughter’s hair.
This would allow him to listen to exactly what was going on at her school. Hopefully, it would allow him to understand what she was experiencing there.
He knew this was a very drastic way to go about it, but it was important to him. It was important not only to know what was going on but to have proof on hand as well.
He didn’t tell his daughter what he was putting in her hair since he thought it might distract her throughout the day.
Tomas couldn’t wait to see what would happen over the course of the school day. He waited for his daughter at the door and smiled at her as she ran up the driveway.
He was excited to finally get that smile he knows and loves back on her face again. And soon, he’d know exactly what had been troubling her.
When Tomas started listening to the recording when she came home, he was shell shocked about what he heard. After listening to the whole thing, he was absolutely livid.
He couldn’t believe that this had been going on for so long! But, even though he was furious, he was still glad that he finally knew what was going on.
Listening To The Recording
From the recording, it sounded like the teacher was being very mean to the students in her class. Tomas continued listening to the recording and realized this must be the reason for his daughter’s problems.
He knew there was no time to waste. It was time for him to do something about it. He had to act fast.
He could tell that the teacher was taking advantage of her position in power. It hurt and infuriated Tomas to hear the person they had paid to care for their daughter behaving so callously.
But why? He really couldn’t wrap his head around it at first. Why would she do this to her young students?
Tone And Words
As he was listening, he found out that the teacher not only said offensive things to her students, but her condescending tone was also unnecessarily mean.
The recording allowed Tomas to hear just how much she screamed and yelled at the kids in her care over the most trivial things. What should he do now?
It sickened Tomas to see that a teacher would behave in such a way, so he decided it was time to raise the issue with the public school district.
When things like this happen to your children, it’s usually easier to take it up with someone who has the power to do something about it.
Taking Action Against Her
He knew that approaching the teacher in question would get him nowhere. So, Instead of talking to the teacher directly, Tomas decided there was a much better chance of changing things if he turned to the state school board instead.
So that’s what he did. He set up an appointment to tell his and his daughter’s side of the story.
Despite the fact that Tomas had a valid complaint as well as proof to back it up, the school district did nothing to help him in any way. He couldn’t help but feel disappointed by the response he got from them.
To him, it was absolutely sickening that the teacher had been tearing down children on a daily basis.
Can you imagine just how upsetting it must be to hear they weren’t willing to do anything about this problem? They did say they disciplined the teacher for what she did, but that wasn’t enough for Tomas.
And what would happen when his daughter went back to school? He wanted them to do more than that.
Taking It Upon Himself
Tomas wasn’t happy at all about the response he received from the authorities. The teacher was still teaching the class his daughter was in. He couldn’t help but feel like it was time for retribution.
Soon enough, he made the decision to take it on himself to do something about Mrs. Duncan, the mean kindergarten teacher.
What About The Other Kids?
The school offered to move his daughter to another class, but this wasn’t just about his daughter anymore.
Tomas was worried about the safety and wellbeing of the other kids in her class as well. As a parent, he knew he had to stand up for his child, but also for all the other children.
Never Giving Up
He was upset the school didn’t offer much in the sense of support or change. It was a problem that would greatly affect the lives of all these kids. As long as Mrs. Duncan was teaching, there will be children affected by her anger.
Even though he and the other parents protested together, the school didn’t budge. However, he and the parents refused to give up.
Word got out about what was happening in the school. Everyone heard about how Mrs. Duncan treated the little girls in her class.
Tomas didn’t get a lot of support after his initial attempts to get justice, but things started turning around when he made a petition on Change.org. Soon, parents everywhere were outraged.
Soon enough, the public arrived to rally around his house. He had over 2,000 signatures for the dismissal of Mrs. Duncan in no time. It was an even bigger surprise when Tomas found himself in the middle of the media spotlight.
Local news channels heard about what was going on at Pine Grove and they admired Tomas for his determination to get justice.
Far And Wide
It didn’t take long for the story to pop up all across the country. It meant that people all over the nation would hear about what this teacher did to the kids in her class, even if Tomas wasn’t able to have her fired.
This gave him a small sense of hope that things could still change.
By far, the worst thing about what the teacher did to Tomas’ daughter is that it was going to have a lasting effect on the child — and the other kids in her class.
Things that kids pick up when they’re so young tend to stay with them for a very long time, if not for the rest of their lives.
Putting A Stop To It
Had Tomas not noticed his daughter’s strange and uncharacteristic behavior and not worked hard to get to the bottom of things, she might have been traumatized for the rest of her life.
He was glad he had tried to put a stop to it. But it was a serious thing that also affected the other kids there, too.
A Good Mentor
Anyone who has kids knows how challenging it is to be a good mentor by leading by example. A lot of times, one will first have to scrutinize and criticize their own actions and behaviors.
This isn’t easy to get done, but it’s essential if you want to be a good role model for your kids.
Tomas did learn from this experience that there would be times when things are out of his control no matter how much he tried being the best parent he could be.
Despite this, he would go through hell and back to ensure the safety of his daughter. He also wanted to keep this from happening to other kids.
A Teacher’s Responsibility
It’s the teacher’s responsibility to impart lessons that go further than the set curriculum. They should help improve the imaginations and minds of the kids they teach.
These are things that will leave a massive impact on the lives of the kids as they grow older. A teacher is meant to inspire the kids they teach.
Did It Work?
It’s never a good idea for teachers to display abusive behaviors and assert dominance by fear.
All this does is stifle the progress of the kids and make them more anxious and fearful overall. Did Tomas’ efforts to fix the problem work? We’ll have to find out.
While Mrs. Duncan continues teaching at the school, we hope she’s at least come to the realization of how harsh she’d been to the kids in her class.
Tomas is still hoping against hope that the necessary changes will happen since he knows he’s in the right.
Standing Up For The Kids
It felt to Tomas like the school had been putting the lives of the kids at stake all thanks to the short temper of one teacher. He learned it would be impossible to make changes if he didn’t take a stand.
He desperately hopes his actions change the school system even just a little to make sure other kids wouldn’t be harmed.
Stronger Than Ever
This entire ordeal had been hard on him and his daughter, but eventually, Tomas admitted that it made their family that much stronger.
He never would have found out that something like this was happening if he didn’t go the extra mile.
By this point, his daughter is attending a class taught by a different teacher. If anything, Tomas learned how important it is to pay attention to his daughter and how she’s acting.
This has made him a better dad thanks to what happened — even though he had to face some hard truths along the way.
No matter what happens, Tomas will always be there for his daughters and son. He and his wife will stand up for their kids whenever and however they need to.
Without great parents who recognize the problem, their daughter would still be getting bullied by her teacher.
Setting An Example
Since the very day their little daughter left the hospital, her parents have always had her best interest in mind. This is what makes a good parent. Tomas and Laici always make sure to care for the needs of all three kids they have.
In order for kids to grow up and mature into members of society, having parents with a good head on their shoulders and a good heart always helps. A stable home life prepares the child for other things later in life. Aliya is truly lucky to have such a great support system!