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For the first time in 16 years of teaching I’ve seen real mean girl moments at my school.
By mean girl, I mean the psychological tormenting of a child by others. The girl who seems to be in charge is a “Queen Bee.” Until the last month I’ve thought she was a princess, but a pretty decent kid whose parents are pushing like crazy to make it to the Ivies.
I don’t know what happened, but almost over night she changed. And it isn’t pretty. She laughs at others, makes rude comments, acts as if she’s truly royalty.
It’s like watching an 80s teen flick.
I told her she’s let herself become a clichè.
I don’t let her keep up the mean girl moments. In fact, I’ve made it clear if I hear any more of them, the class will go to a no-talking zone. I’m serious about that.
It’s strange because my students tell me this kind of attitude is the norm this year.
In the past we’ve certainly had cliques, but rarely would a mean girl attitude be tolerated. The other students shut it down. Last month, the other students encouraged the behavior. I saw a couple of the girls looking uncomfortable, but they were still laughing, because to do anything else would mean instant eviction from the mean girl crowd. I told them they were just as much at fault as the mean girl herself.
I hope we as teachers can do something about this. It’s not okay. And the consequences can be devastating.