Waldorf Education - One family's story

We are asked to remove our daughter

Not long after the meeting between the school, social services, educational welfare and the psychiatrist, we were called in by Joanna's class teacher and told to remove her from the school.
The really sad thing was that she was beginning to settle. She had become really close to the new girl. They were firm buddies, and together were coping with the bullies. You could say they were working through their Karma.
The teacher, however, had other ideas. He wanted Joanna out of the school. He was determined to see the problem as residing in her. He had given us until half term to settle her, but he reneged on this and told us to remove her immediately.


I will never forget the day we left. Joanna had a friend now and wanted to stay. She had always found change difficult, and now, through no fault of her own, she had been cast out of the only school she had ever known. We got into our car and she began to cry. Then I began to cry. We sat in the carpark crying together for about half an hour. Then I took her home, and the next day I rang the local primary school.
"For they could not love you
But still your love was true...
This place was never meant
For one so beautiful as you."
We went to visit the village school two days later. It seemed very nice. I even asked about Richard as he, too was still excluded from Kindergarten. The headmaster said he had no problems with Richard's soiling. We decided to think it over.
Joanna started there the following week. She was terrified. She wouldn't stay unless her father stayed, too, so Father stayed. The school had no problem with that either, unlike the Waldorf school, where parents were not allowed into the classrooms except to help with craft lessons.
The teacher took me aside and asked what on earth had happened at the other school, and I defended them! The teacher, however, said she had seen behaviour like this before and she thought she had been bullied.
Gradually Joanna settled and became happy. I remember one afternoon when I arrived to collect her. She came running into my arms and shouted "Mummy they played with me!"



Sadly the bullying did not end there. It continued whenever we visited the Waldorf school for fundraising and social events. In the end Joanna refused to go anywhere near the school, and I was criticised for not helping at workdays when I had no one to care for her. 
The mother of Joanna's new friend at the Waldorf school remained in touch. She was a great support to us. She was the one who began to make me see it was the other children who had upset Joanna. She told me they were now doing the same to her daughter.
That June we all went to the school summer fayre.
Joanna, who had been branded a troublemaker and thrown out of the school, baked cakes for the home produce stall and helped her father run the coconut shy. None of the children from her old class spoke to her apart from her old friend who, at one point in the afternoon came over and asked Joanna to go and play with her. Joanna was very nervous and didn't want to go. I encouraged her as I thought it would be good for her.
Finally they ran off together. A few minutes later Joanna was back at my side. She just stood there saying nothing. I asked her what was the matter but she didn't speak to me. She stood there like that for several minutes then a tear began to roll down her cheek.
It was ages before she was able to tell me what had happened. Once they were alone, the other girl  had begun to mock her, saying very cruel things. I was astonished, as this girl had been her friend. I wanted to go over to her mother to get to the bottom of it but they had gone home. Then, a week or two later Joanna began receiving very nasty phone calls from a pupil in her old class.
It was over a year later when discovered that her old friend had been making the calls. Because she had taken Joanna's place as the victim she was very angry with her for leaving. Fortunately they were able to make up after she confessed this when the two girls met at the Advent Fayre where we and her mother were helping. Later still the girl's family left the school for financial reasons. I should have seen then that the writing was on the wall for us but I was in denial.
The two girls remained on good terms but their friendship waned as they were now in schools many miles apart from each other.