My daughter came home from school today and showed me her backside. She had a flap of jeans barely covering her bottom. It seems she was leaning against a fence in the park at recess, and as she went to walk away, her pants caught on a piece of the fence. One of the older English speaking girls helped her out of the situation, but it cost her a big rip in her pants.
When I explained to her that she could have called and asked us to bring something else to wear, she said she didn't know how to do that. The poor thing doesn't know how to ask for help at school when she needs it. I further explained that she could have told the teachers about her pants and could ask to call her parents, but in an effort to force the kids to speak French, the teachers act like they don't know any English, and she believes them. And to try to tell the story in French was just unfathomable. She just toughed it out. I asked if any of the teachers knew about her pants, and she said "no, I just kept turning my bottom away from people so they wouldn't see." She was proud to report that only 4 people knew of her ripped pants, one of them being her brother. This happened in the morning, and she was at school until 5:20.
I'm glad that when Q was sick at school, it was obvious to everyone, and they had him lay down in the sick room, as they phoned me to come get him. Otherwise, the poor little creature would have toughed it out, too, because he certainly couldn't have explained how awful he was feeling in French.
I have tried to tell the kids that if there's a serious situation, the teachers really do understand English, that it's okay and important to speak up if they need to in English. But they don't believe me.