Author Topic: Harassment issue at a set build  (Read 3642 times)

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jess1532

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Harassment issue at a set build
« on: Jul 09, 2013, 12:16 am »
Hi,

I am the SM for our high school's summer theatre program and today I encountered an issue that I am not sure how to deal with.  One of the rising freshman in the program left the stage during a build to get a drink and came bursting back in less than a minute later looking absolutely petrified, at first she refused to tell me why and claimed she was fine but she eventually caved and told me an ex-boyfriend of hers was out in the lobby and he claimed to have been waiting for her.  I thought it was normal high school drama at first but she glued herself to me for the rest of the build and stayed in the theatre until I left which was an hour and a half after the actual build ended.  On the way home she explained to me that this boy has harassed her in the past and was physically abusive while she was dating him.  My first reaction was to go to the director and that is still my plan for tomorrow, however she has begged me not to and swears she will deny it.  My other issue is this boy is not a member of the theatre program and therefore has no tie to our director and with school out I'm not sure what, if any, disciplinary action can be taken against him.  Any help you can offer on this would be greatly appreciated.

loebtmc

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #1 on: Jul 09, 2013, 01:25 am »
Is there a teacher or other adult you trust? You absolutely must tell someone. This girl might be truly in danger, and it sounds like she may be. And, by extension, you and the rest of the folks she hangs with may be in the line of fire. If she is this scared, keeping it a secret supports the bully and potential abuse.

PSMKay

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #2 on: Jul 09, 2013, 02:57 am »
He's trespassing. If you see him around again, call the police.

nick_tochelli

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #3 on: Jul 09, 2013, 07:25 am »
Tell the director. I'd presume they are a teacher at the school and if that's the case they will have been trained on how to proceed. School being out doesn't give this.....gentleman....free reign to stalk his ex.

Don't let her wander the school alone. If she leaves the auditorium make sure someone goes with her.

ejsmith3130

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #4 on: Jul 09, 2013, 10:45 am »
I agree 100% with Kay- if he shows up again, call the cops. This is a bigger issue than you are expected to handle. If anyone is in danger of physical harm, the police need to be informed.

jess1532

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #5 on: Jul 09, 2013, 03:00 pm »
Thank you all for your help. I spoke with our director today and he is working with the school to find a solution. At this point my only worry is my freshman who is still terrified, I am trying to walk the line between being a friend to her and an adult.  I do not care if she gets mad at me for talking to the director, it had to happen, however I am concerned that if this boy does show up again or continues with this behavior in another way she will not tell me or anyone else.  At the moment my ASM is accompanying her when she leaves the theatre, however my ASM told me that she was very evasive and hard to keep an eye on today.  So I suppose what I'm asking is how do I protect someone who clearly does not want and will not accept help?

PSMKay

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #6 on: Jul 09, 2013, 03:27 pm »
Expel her from the program then. Her presence is attracting violence and endangering the rest of your people.

megf

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #7 on: Jul 09, 2013, 10:33 pm »
PSMKay, I have to disagree. Expulsion only teaches this student that her ex still holds an extraordinary degree of control, and that even adults in a position to protect her will cede authority to him instead of support her.

I'm glad to hear jess1532 is working with the director, and that the director is, in turn, collaborating with school officials (admin, campus security...?) to find a solution. My next question, for the group at large, is WHAT ABOUT THE PARENTS?

This young woman is still, legally, a child. Without knowing the particulars of the neighborhood, the school, the unique details of the summer drama program, I'm very curious why this student doesn't have a parent or guardian picking her up, or, in fact, mentioned anywhere in this thread. (jess1532, this is clearly sensitive - I don't, nor does the general public need, to have these details about your situation!)

In my view, if the SM and ASM are the people helping this student through a scary, scary situation, they should be kept thoroughly informed of the steps taken by the school, director, parents/guardians, and any other people involved. They (and the rest of the adults) should also have a picture of the ex, so they can spot him if he is indeed hanging around the campus.

Expulsion is the absolute last thing that should happen. All it would accomplish would be to sever the already-tenuous lifeline this kid has to adults who can supervise and teach her this summer, and, hopefully, provide a healthy model for how to handle a terrible experience safely and with grace.

RuthNY

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #8 on: Jul 10, 2013, 08:12 am »
YOU are also a student. It's great that you recognized this as a real threat/problem and alerted adults. Now, let the adults deal with it. And, if they don't, if you see this guy again, call the police. period. And encourage the girl to do the same. You and your ASM should not be in charge of protecting her. The adults around you should be in charge of protecting you ALL!
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
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jess1532

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #9 on: Jul 10, 2013, 08:55 am »
Just to clarify a few things, The girl's mother is not picking her up because she lives within easy walking distance of the school.  As far as involving the parents goes, I spoke with her mother on the day this came to my attention when I dropped the girl at home and was told that the girl was "seeking attention" and "it is not a big deal", however any student feeling unsafe in the school is a big deal to me and the rest of our program.  As far as my ASM walking with her goes, that was what our director suggested we do while he works with the school to avoid her walking alone and keep this issue as private as it can be.  It is much easier for my ASM to magically need to leave the theatre at the same time this girl needs to than it is for any of the adults. 

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loebtmc

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #10 on: Jul 10, 2013, 02:41 pm »
I am encouraged by how this is being handled, especially in light of the mom's clear issues - discretely, respecting the young girl, while adults work to support. And I hope the mom doesn't find out the seriousness of this issue the hard way.....

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hbelden

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Re: Harassment issue at a set build
« Reply #11 on: Jul 11, 2013, 01:46 pm »
A fantastic set of resources that every woman should have at her fingertips:

http://rainn.org

Thank you for your concern for this young lady's safety.  I hope my daughter grows up to be as much of a leader as you are, jess1532.

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Heath
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Heath Belden

"I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." - Sondheim
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