The perils of primary school friendships

I'm bloody furious today.  I picked S up from school but before she came out of class, her class TA asked if she could have a word with me.  Turns out S has been given a 'Stage 3' warning today in her lunchtime.  Stages at her school are levels of naughtiness.  Stage 1 is 'You're talking whilst a teacher is talking' or similar, through to about...well, I don't really know what Stage number it is but effectively you're expelled.

S is a really good little girl. She's very friendly but suffers a lot of anxiety as well.  She's never been in trouble with the school in any way.  Her 'best friend' and her best friend's new friend, however, are a different kettle of fish.  M, the best friend, and S used to get along very well indeed. That is until A came into the picture.  Sadly, M and A struck up a friendship which is not the best.  A is a total little shit sod who clearly is not controlled or disciplined by her parents in any way.  That's quite clear from the number of stages that she has had.  Sadly, her influence has affected M on more than one occasion, resulting in A and M together doing nasty things to S.  There haven't been a lot of events, but enough to see the pattern very clearly.  A and M throwing crayons at S's pictures on the wall to try and ruin them and upset her...A and M pretending to be sick at lunchtimes knowing full well that S has trouble coping in the lunch hall...general horrible little girl things that one nasty little brat encourages another to do.

So today, M encouraged S to hide one of A's shoes.  A was happy with this as they were playing a kind of 'shoe-hide-and-seek'. However, it turns out that S threw the shoe into some shrubs trying to hide it (she informed me), at which point M goes running to a teacher to say what she's done.  Nice.  Anyway, they all get in trouble and are put on a Stage 3.  This is normality for A and I doubt her parents would even bat an eyelid at such an event.  M has had one or two Stages but I'm sure her parents won't be too happy.  However, I'm sure they'll find a way of making her a semi-innocent bystander as, apparently, they keep saying what a horrible child A is (but keep having her round and encouraging the girls to play - go figure).

I don't generally get involved in school-yard politics but this time it's gone too far. I've asked the TA and teacher to ensure that S does not play with M and A again.  We've had a long chat to S about what friendship means and explained that M is not a friend and A is certainly not one.  Oddly enough S does not like A at all but liking M so much, has meant that M 'forces' S to play with A if she wants to play with her.  I resorted to a text to M's mum.  It clearly said my feelings about A and the relationship between the 3 girls (I'm not friends with A's mum you'd not be surprised to know, so clearly couldn't text her.  I'm currently debating having a word with A's mum but I feel it would be a waste of my breath and time).  Obviously I've not heard anything back from M's mum, and nor did I expect to.  To be honest, I'd never even consider being friendly to M's parents if it weren't for our children going to school together so as far as I'm concerned, nothing lost there.  As for S, she's a sociable little girl and I'm sure she has lots of friends to choose from. Isn't it sad that this sort of thing goes on in primary school?  I don't ever remember such things when I was at school as we all seemed to just get along as one big group.


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