Dear Dr. Archer,
My 16 year old daughter has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This and her life experiences have caused her anxiety, depression and confidence issues. It has seriously hindered her school attendance and social life.
She doesn't feel confident attending school without a light touch of makeup because she has been bullied in the past by boys teasing her when she isn't wearing makeup.
She's dealing with her issues very well, and we've obtained holistic and medical help, but it's a slow process. The problem is that the school has a no makeup policy, and this is causing anxiety.
She only has two months of school left, and it's exam time. I've tried to explain it's a psychological problem, due to confidence issues and not defiance.
I would like to know your feelings on this issue and any advice you can offer. They are threatening to take her out of school at this crucial time, and I really think it's very mean and unreasonable of them. Thank you,
I do not know the extent of circumstances that would require your daughter to wear makeup when there is a strict policy at the school prohibiting makeup. Rather than focus your efforts on this aspect of the issue, I would wonder why you weren't demanding the school stop these boys from bullying your daughter? That’s where the problem lies.
Your daughter has every right to go to school and not be harassed. If there is a strict no-makeup policy, then I can understand the school standing by their policy. If they allow your daughter to break the rules because of confidence issues, I assure you it won't be long before several other girls show up with "confidence issues. "
These boys who tease and bully, however, need to be stopped. Their behavior should never be accepted, especially in light of the exposure of the damage it causes to its victims. The principal and teachers need to be aware of what's going on and observe these boys to make sure their behavior stops. If they don't, they will have to suffer the consequences.
I strongly urge you and your daughter to abide by school policy. The year is almost over and she should continue to receive help, if necessary, to gain confidence in herself.
She will find throughout her life that rules apply whether she's in school, on the job or in the community in which she lives. I wish her, and you, all the best.