All of us have our horror stories of elementary school—the embarrassing or painful ones that we hopefully don’t still cringe at. We got through it, but most of us—including our parents or guardians—probably struggled to know how to deal with the situation while it was happening. There is no clear-cut answer when it comes to dealing with bullies at school, but this mom seems to be doing something right—even her daughter’s school thinks so.
Margaux Dawn’s daughter Luna was assaulted at school. After the first day of school, Luna came home and told her that a little boy made her feel uncomfortable when he tried to follow her into the bathroom even though she told him to stop. Taking action, Margaux practiced with Luna that night on saying “Do not touch me” and “Stop,” making sure not to say please or to be polite about it. Margaux also told her to ask her teacher for help if the boy tried anything again.
Despite informing the teacher and assuring their assistance with the situation, Margaux received a phone call from the school’s principal before the week was over. There had been an “incident.”
The same little boy had “cornered Luna, pinned her to the ground with his knees planted on her chest and forced her mouth open so he could lick inside her mouth with she screamed and cried for him to stop,” Margaux later described in a Facebook post.
A school employee eventually pulled him off of Luna, but the damage had been done. Margaux could tell an immediate difference in her little girl. Her spark was gone and her confidence “torn to shreds” by the experience.
“She was terrified. I was livid,” wrote Dawn. “After only four days of school my confident, bubbly little beansprout was suddenly nervous and unsure of herself.”
Timidly, Luna told her mom that she was “worried because she can’t stop bad things from happening to her.” Heartbroken, Margaux talked it out with Luna and was able to pinpoint where her confidence had been fractured. She decided to sign Luna up for Jiu-jitsu. After researching, Margaux found a woman-led black belt Jiu-jitsu school—the only one in the state of Oregon.
It immediately helped. Luna left the first class beaming! She told her mom, “No one is going to touch me like that ever again.”
Margaux cried, relieved to see her daughter’s spark return.
Then another “incident” at school happened. This time with an older and bigger student who didn’t want to wait his turn on the playground during recess. Luna was playing on one of the structures when the older student yanked her off and began throwing her around by her collar. Using her training, Luna used his own weight to knock him to the ground, but he still wouldn’t let go of her. So, she proceeded to put a knee to his chest and got him flat on his back. He still wasn’t letting go. Luna pressed further, pressing against his neck until he started sputtering and finally released her. As soon as he let go of her she backed away quickly.
Margaux received another phone call telling her of this “incident.” The principal informed her that Luna was not in trouble, in fact, her response was “perfectly appropriate.”
Margaux plans to frame a transcription of the principal’s voicemail and will proudly display it on her desk. She also tried to get a cake to celebrate Luna’s courage, but the grocery store declined to write “Baby’s First Choke-Out” on the cake.
In the end, as proud as she is of her daughter, Margaux also added that she has no ill-will towards the boys who assaulted Luna. She sees these behaviors as cycles and is empathetic to the unseen struggles that would shape this kind of behavior in a child—she hopes everyone can do the same.