I want to get back at the PTA president for making me feel uncomfortable

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female company employee in my 30s. I have a son who is in fourth grade, and I had an uncomfortable experience with the parents of his classmate.

A girl in his class was bullying my son, and in one instance, she broke some of his school supplies. I spoke to the homeroom teacher about the issue, and it was resolved after the girl apologized.

The next day, the girl’s father called me and said he wanted to speak with me as soon as possible. It was the weekend, so we decided to meet the following week.

On Monday morning, I saw him waiting for me at my son’s school. I got scared, so I canceled our meeting. I received 20 calls from the girl’s parents that day. When they called again the next morning, I asked my husband to deal with it, and it was resolved.

It’s been more than a year, but whenever I see the girl’s parents, I feel like I want to get back at them and beat them up. But the mother is the president of the PTA and the girl apparently has good grades. My husband says it’s all water under the bridge, and my son doesn’t seem to care. We can’t win in this situation, but is there anything we can do?

— T, Tokyo

Dear Ms. T:

I don’t know what to say, other than I’m sorry you had to go through such a difficult situation. It used to be an ironclad rule that parents do not interfere with squabbles between children, but it seems that this rule does not always apply nowadays. There is an increasing number of cases in which both parents make a big deal out of it by lodging complaints. It’s such a shame.

Fortunately, your son doesn’t seem to be bothered by what happened. So, I think you should do what your husband suggested and forget about the whole situation. Remove the notion of wanting to get revenge or hitting them from your mind. I worry that you will end up lowering yourself to their level if you hold onto such negative thoughts.

Also, I am concerned as to why you are still holding onto a grudge for more than a year. Maybe it has something to do with you feeling like you “can’t win in this situation.”

You wrote that the mother is the president of the PTA and the girl has good grades. But who cares?

You should be proud of your son for showing such grace by letting bygones be bygones, as well as his ability to move on after being bullied. If your resentment is rooted in unnecessary jealousy, why don’t you start by letting that go?

— Masami Ohinata, university president