Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tough Decisions

During camp this summer, an older female counselor made a favorable comment about Ben's genitals to his speech therapist. The speech therapist did not know this women and definitely felt uncomfortable with her making that kind of comment to him.

When I got wind of it, I knew it was a strange and weird comment to make about a child, especially to someone unknown to you. I knew it was unprofessional and that the she would probably lose her job over the stupid comment. So I made the decision to not say anything until camp was over. I weighed the positive and negative impact of this woman losing her job to Ben's experience at camp - less staff available, lower staff moral, etc.

One of my fears for Ben is to have him molested and he not have a way to tell us. I did not think that this woman was abusing Ben, I just think she said something in passing that she may have thought funny to share with someone else. I do think that when working with any children, sexual innuendos, jokes and passing comments need to be left at home.

What would you do? How would you handle this type of situation? Should I have complained right away?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I have no idea. It is inappropriate--absolutely. And it's surprising anyone would say that in this day and age. I would worry, too. This is a hard decision. I don't want to get people in trouble if it is an innocent sort of comment and she just wasn't thinking, but at the same time, she really should NOT have said that and anyone knows not to do that. If it bothered you (and it would bother me) it's probably worth addressing it to someone. Plus, the speech therapist must have been a little bothered by it too to tell you. With several people being bothered, I would err on the side of telling someone. She doesn't need to do that again and upset someone else.

    When to do it--I don't know. I tend to wait a day or two at least before doing anything so that I can calm down and make sure I'm not overreacting out of high emotions. I also typically do a lot of this type of thing in writing first, to avoid saying something wrong in an emotional meeting or forgetting something. I would probably have made my complaint in a letter first (then offered to meet if they want), but buffered the complaint with the statement that I didn't think it rose the level that someone needed to be fired or anything, but that it deserved mentioning because it upset you.

    I don't know. I don't think it would be bad to wait. I think I probably wouldn't let it totally slide though. I'd have to say something eventually... Do you know if the speech therapist said anything to anyone besides you?

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