update: my coworker won’t stop caressing me — or the kids we work with

Remember the letter-writer in 2015 whose coworker kept caressing people — including the kids they worked with — even after she’d been told to stop? (First update here, and second here.) Here’s the latest.

I’m the OP who wrote in a few years ago about Kim, my then-coworker who couldn’t keep her hands off of coworkers and the kids we worked with in a youth recreational program. I also wrote in with a couple of updates, one somewhat recently, although the actual happenings were a year old. When I wrote to you recently with update #2, I thought that was the last news I’d ever have to share about Kim. But I found out that it actually wasn’t the end. There were big developments, and I suspect when you get to the next line, there will be a collective cheer heard ’round the world.

KIM WAS FIRED!!

Yes, you read that right! I have a friend/acquaintance from that workplace that I’m still in contact with occasionally (he hangs out with my husband more than me). He still works there and filled me in on some of the more major things that happened in leading up to this. It turned out that when left unchecked, Kim got worse. A LOT worse. Her head got bigger and her arrogance increased. She developed a following of parents of some of the kids that she coached (I knew this before. There weren’t many when I was there, but she definitely cultivated a following and it seems that following only increased after most of the other program parents left). The yelling and screaming at kids was pretty constant, although I think she had her following brainwashed into believing that she was just being ‘tough’ with them. She started trying to assert more control over things that definitely weren’t hers to control, like programming and facility space. One time she had some of the kids that she worked with come in at a time when they weren’t normally scheduled and tried to take over half of the gym space where a scheduled class was being held. She informed the instructor (didn’t ask nicely…informed her) that she was using the space, and the instructor said “No, you’re not.” Much yelling ensued (mostly by Kim) but the exercise instructor didn’t back down. So happy to hear the instructor stood up to her!

Another time, the non-confrontational supervisor made an error in the schedule which was not in Kim’s favor. It was discovered when the floor supervisor (my friend) told Kim that her time with her group was up and that there were people waiting to use the gym. She refused to have her kids leave. The FS actually tried to compromise and have her only give up some of the space, but she wouldn’t even compromise (there was enough space where both groups could have shared until the schedule was sorted out.) Non-confrontational supervisor was in a meeting and so they couldn’t ask her. So instead, Kim went to talk to the dad of one of her kids, and he came over and proceeded to get in the face of the FS and was definitely behaving in a threatening manner (who knows what Kim told him). FS held his ground and the angry dad actually got NCS out of her meeting! She came to the gym, looked at the schedule, admitted she made a mistake, apologized and asked Kim to work with it until she could get it fixed. Then Kim started yelling at HER, basically insulting her for making a mistake! And then NCS got fed up and actually raised her voice back at Kim! I suspect that by this point, Kim was getting so full of herself that she wasn’t even trying to put on an act for NCS anymore. I mean, you do NOT scream at your supervisor in front of patrons and expect to have it end well, but Kim evidently thinks she can do no wrong, you know?

So the most egregious incident did, unfortunately, involve one of the children in the program. My friend witnessed this and wrote her up for it. There was a fundraiser for the program. The money was due and this girl hadn’t returned any money. She was a scholarship participant, so probably didn’t have a lot of money to put to this, and from my experience, not everyone participates in this anyway. Well, Kim couldn’t accept that this girl wasn’t turning in any money. During the girl’s practice, Kim repeatedly asked her about the money. Why couldn’t she contribute anything? Other kids did….where is her money? Doesn’t she want to support the team? And on and on. Kim apparently grew more frustrated. She pulled the girl out of the practice and told her to just do push-ups since she didn’t turn in any money. She kept berating her about the darn money, in front of all of the other kids, while the poor girl was doing push ups. The girl was crying by then. Then Kim put her foot on the girl’s back (which you are NEVER supposed to do). My friend stepped in at that point. He proceeded to formally lodge a written complaint for this incident, and it went to the head guy (the one who never got back to me like he said he would). She was suspended for 3 weeks because of this incident!

Alas, that was not the end of her (though it should have been). I received all of this information at once and the incidents were probably not relayed to me in chronological order, so I’m not entirely sure of what was the final nail in her coffin; I think it may have been where she tried to take away the exercise instructor’s space and it devolved into a shouting match. I do know that due to some needed reshuffling within the larger organization, the head guy moved up to another position and a new guy was put into that position. My friend made sure that the new guy knew what had happened with Kim and the girl, and he said something about Kim being watched and that they were getting everything in order to take action. And eventually, they did. They fired her!

However, the next day, she tried to sneak into the facility to talk to some of the parents, her ‘following’. One of the workers saw her and alerted NCS that she was there, and NCS waited for her. Sure enough, she came through the door into her area and NCS immediately told her that she had to leave through the fire exit door. She did, but she waited outside and still tried to catch some people as they brought their kids in for their programs. She hung around and refused to leave, to the point where the facility had to call the police to tell her to get off the premises! How I would have loved to be a fly on the wall!

This apparently happened this summer. It’s very sad that it took them THAT long to actually do something, but I’m glad they have. But I shudder to think of how much crap she tried to pull; I mean, the stuff that I reported should have had some effect, but it didn’t. So the fact that they actually fired her…well, I’m just thinking that her antics must have gotten a LOT worse in order for them to finally be pushed to take that step. And when I relayed my concerns and complaints and non-confrontational supervisor just defended her or tried to explain away her actions with “she’s energetic and she makes mistakes and needs more training”, I thought she would protect Kim forever! So it’s almost mind-blowing to think what had to happen to make HER on-board with firing her! I think Kim really went off the rails enough and someone finally woke up and said ‘hey, this isn’t normal’. I heard she’s working with a college team, but she’s pretty far down on the coaching totem pole to the point where I wonder if she even has any interaction with the athletes themselves.

{ 135 comments… read them below }

      1. (another) b

        I don’t know — I’m glad Kim got fired finally but this update seemed really gossipy and drama-filled. I don’t think we really needed the play-by-play. It’s not high school.

        1. ContentWrangler

          But don’t you think a little schadenfreude is part of the big draw for advice columns? It was a crazy original post and had a crazy ending. For an update, I prefer more detail than nothing.

        2. Anna

          This was a nutty situation and the update is almost guaranteed to be nutty, too. I think it’s really up to Alison whether or not something is “too gossipy” and shouldn’t be posted.

        3. FelineMind

          Honestly, I was feeling this way too. Maybe because I read the letters all at once instead of spaced apart, but at some point I was thinking, “OK, you don’t work with her anymore… stop monitoring this situation you can’t control.” On the other hand, if she has friends who still work/worked with her and she’s naturally hearing all this gossip, I can understand it finding her. I will admit feeling vindicated when a former horrible coworker of mine was fired from his position after I left; he was a big factor in my leaving.

        4. staceyizme

          The whole situation had an excessive amount of drama inherently. As for the update, it wasn’t really overblown so much as relating sensitive material from the perspective of an outraged and aggrieved party. If you don’t like the play-by-play, you don’t have to read beyond “fired”. Bottom line boom- it was delivered fairly early in the update.

      2. RB

        I thought this update did a really good job of capturing the situation. I’m not sure why someone would have a problem with it. It seems pretty objective to me. I can picture the situation happening exactly as she described.

        Thanks for sending this — except for the part with the girl, it was great, although some of those kids may need therapy.

  1. Foreign Octopus

    Hallelujah!

    Kim sounds like a nightmare, and the organisation sounded very disorganised. I’m so glad that the new Head Guy was able to see clearly through it all.

    I just feel sorry for that little girl who will be carrying that memory around with her for years.

    Thanks for the update, OP.

    1. Hildegard Von Bingen

      No kidding. I got to that part – the woman putting her foot on the back of a kid doing push-ups and crying – and I was stunned. Who the hell did this woman think she was? A DI at Parris Island MCRD? That right there should have gotten her canned. Unbelievable.

      I love happy endings. I love justice. This update was glorious.

      1. WellRed

        Yes, the berating her till she was crying alone should have been grounds for dismissal. Also, off point, but they…fundraise by getting money from the kids in the program???!!

        1. cheluzal

          Just like schools do, probably overpriced chocolate and wrapping paper.

          As a soon-to-be parent, I would be LIVID if someone even kept touching my kid. This shows me I need to really establish an open line of communication with my child, too, so we can know these things. I’m an educator and I know some kids think teachers can do no wrong, but heck yes they can…parents need to stay involved.

          1. Candi

            One of the lessons I taught my kids was “adults can make mistakes”. We’re still in charge, but we make mistakes. (They were four and six when we first went over this.)

            I like to think that being able to talk about the mistakes their teachers/staff made at school -some funny, some ‘um, what?’, and a couple that pushed the ‘Mama Bear’ buttons (looking at you, Elementary School Principal) helped with communication in the long run.

            And yes, that meant owning up to my mistakes to my kids -and kids notice. (Which can really be embarassing…)

        2. Specialk9

          If I ever found out a coach pulled that shit on my kid or any kid on the team, I would hope I’d have the composure to call Child Protective Services. As opposed to beating her with anything handy. Incandescent with rage, indeed.

          1. teclatrans

            I have been enjoying your comments over the past few days, Specialk9, and boy do I relate to this one.

      2. Hills to Die on

        I got so sad and angry reading this. I had a Girl Scout counselor scream at me as I was sobbing when I was a kid and I have never, ever forgotten it. Especially since my mom didn’t really care. I hope that girls parent was not a part of the following. :’(

        1. Tap Tap Jazz

          SO MUCH shady s*it happened to me in Girl Scouts, including a sleepover at a leader’s house where her sister walked around the house naked. I would NEVER let my child join Girl Scouts.

              1. Candi

                I agree, Elizabeth.

                My sister’s troop was basically social gatherings (and cheezy ones at that), but others in other groups (the high school had at least two, maybe three) did so much more, more in line with what the Scouts are supposed to be known for.

                And it is very much dependent on who is in charge of the various groups. If they’re bad, the group will be poorly run.

                Kind of like good and bad managers. :P

              2. Hills to Die on

                It’s not sandwichy, and it is a very positive program so it’s important anyone reading understands that it’s very abnormal to have anything like that happen in Girl Scouts. :)

          1. Hills to Die on

            Yeah, my mom was mad that the counselor changed in front of us but not the screaming in our faces.

            I do think it’s abnormal. Most of my scouting experiences we very positive and supportive as well.

        2. copy run start

          I had a swimming instructor throw me into the deep end of the pool as a kid (I was scared to get in). It did not help me get over my fear of swimming, but the unholy rage my mother unsealed on that guy helped a tad. I’m sorry your mother didn’t have your back.

          1. Candi

            I am so sorry that happened to you. That teacher deserved everything your mother unleashed, and probably more.

            In high school, I was scared silly of going off the diving board -but we had to as part of required PE curriculum.

            I had never particularly liked that particular PE teacher; I found her abrasive and curt for most of my high school years. But when it came to diving, her firm but gentle coaxing and encouragement, her handling of the situation got me off the board and into the water.

            Three times!

            Good teachers make so much of a difference. I wish you’d had someone more like mine.

            (In my state, a certain number of years of PE is REQUIRED.)

      3. staceyizme

        There should have been three calls made on the day of the assault (or battery? what is the foot on the back, an unwanted touch or a physically forceful act of aggression?) of a child doing push ups- 1) the police to report an assault at that point and 2) CPS to report an abusive adult too, not to mention 3) the local or state authority that grants the facility its license. It would have been more difficult for “Kim” to persist in her misdeeds if the authorities had been apprised of the goings on far earlier in the timeline.

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Seriously. I’m so glad she was finally fired but my heart breaks for all the children she bullied, abused and humiliated.

    3. AnonMinion

      Yes, the part about the little girl was hard to read. Honestly, the LW’s friend should have stepped in MUCH sooner.

      1. Anna

        I think in cases where someone has bullied everyone, there’s a hesitation because what difference has stepping in done previously? I wish the friend has stepped in sooner, but thankfully they stepped in at all. I don’t think it helps people to step up when our reaction is, “Yes, but couldn’t you have done it BETTER?”

  2. Aeon

    Hallelujah!

    If she were a guy, he would have been fired ages ago (and possibly not allowed to work with kids/adolescents ever again, let’s hope that in this case it will finally happen!)

    1. Dizzy

      Why’s there always gotta be that one person who, whenever a woman does something abusive, MUST speculate about what would happen if the genders were swapped? What does that add to the conversation? Plenty of male coaches have gotten away with abusing players for years, even decades.

      Yeah, there’s an overarching cultural problem of casting men as aggressors and women as victims in our collective mind, but tbh that’s a different conversation for a different day.

      1. Aeon

        You are right, it doesn’t add anything to the conversation, my bad. It is just that while statistically the percentage of women sexual predators is far lower than male predators (and I admit, I have never read about a female serial sexual offender), it does happen and it also appears to be taken less seriously than male sex offending in many cases (though I have a sense that this is “improving” a well) .

        I am just glad that this woman is no longer working there and I hope she will never work with children/teens/adolescents again.

        1. BethRA

          I think you’re vastly over-estimating how quickly action is taken against predators of any gender. The news over the past serveral months have been full of stories about how pervasive and constant sexual harassment and abuse are and how very rarely do the perpetrators suffer consequences. So yeah, I really doubt that the reactions would have been that much different if Kim had been male.

          1. Ruffingit

            Yeah, see Dr. Larry Nassar for a good example of this. Team doctor for the National Women’s Gymnastics Team and allowed to get away with egregious abuse for decades.

        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          I live in a community where a serial female sexual predator abused young girls for years. There was also a male coach who did the same. They both were found out and disciplined the same way at the same time. She’s not the only serial predator I’ve heard of, and I think if you think back on the cases of female teachers sleeping with underage male students, you’ll realize there have been several high profile stories about women.

          You may not hear about women offenders as often, but that doesn’t mean that they get away with abuse more often than men. As BethRA notes, there’s often a significant lag time between when child sexual abuse occurs and when it’s addressed (if ever).

          1. Lissa

            I read an interesting article about how if anything often we punish female criminals *more* harshly because people have a stereotype of them “getting away with it” so don’t want to do that, so overcorrect. Not sure if it’s true or not but I could see it.

            Also there aren’t as many women offenders which means when you do get a case like Mary Kay whatsis, it stays in the media for YEARS as opposed to male offenders where it’s drowned out by…all the others. People get really rabid and fascinated by cases with women committing these crimes.

        3. Specialk9

          My most abusive coach was male, and nobody cared until he went too far to a bunch of adult males.

          He was a caricature of an abusive coach. They didn’t do anything about him constantly screaming purple-faced at a team of girls, winning or losing, and he was notorious for how his athletes would break down sobbing at school over him… But suddenly he was replaced, after a decade plus of this crap, when the refs revolted. The refs kicked him out of the game for being abusive to them, *then* kicked him off the field, THEN kicked him off school property… then all signed a letter saying that the school would not get any refs as long as he can was coach. Voila, new coach.

          So I’m not sure where you get this idea that men are so mistreated and have to walk on eggshells.

      2. Hildegard Von Bingen

        I think it’s a valid comment, and here’s why: sometimes I hear people say that we need more women in positions of power. And, yeah, we do. But it’s not a panacea.

        IMO what we need are more people of character in positions of power. Now, many of them should be women. But just putting a woman in there is no guarantee of anything. I wish people would be more nuanced in their thinking. Your 46th chromosome being an “X” is not a guarantee of good character.

        It makes me mad to hear people talk in sweeping generalizations about women (in fact, I hate most sweeping generalizations – they tend to be inaccurate and imprecise), in the same way that it made me mad that the GOP thought putting Sarah Palin on the ticket would appeal to women. Nope. Not at all. More women, sure, but more women who know what they’re doing and are decent. Good character, competence and decency are not sex-linked characteristics. I look forward to the day when we are all judged by the content of our character. Period.

        1. Dizzy

          I agree with you.

          What actually bothers me about the oringinal comment and others like it is that in my experience the people writing them are trying to shift the conversation to “poor, poor wronged MEN! Just *look* at what WOMEN in power are allowed to get away with! MISANDRY.”

          That’s evidently not the case here, which is fantastic!

          1. Aeon

            Wait, that was not at all what I meant!

            I realise that I was too quick in writing a comment on this post, and it is mostly based on personal experience (My brothers football/Soccer team when he was younger had girls in them. When they had to shower the male coach ofcourse couldn’t enter then, and all the boys went to the second dressingroom. However the female assistent-coach always entered when the 10-11 year old boys were under the shower, it took a long time before there was any action taken against her even though a lot of boys then were very uncomfortable).

            So no, I shouldn’t have made a generalizing comment on this post. But I resent your misandry comment, because I realise that – even in this time and age – WE WOMEN are far from equal to the rights and oppertunities that men have and get in the current society. I did not and do not want to shift the conversation to the “poor men”.

            I also want to add that English is not my first language and should have taken more time to think about what I tried to convey instead of quickly what I wrote. I was just releived that Kim finally got what she deserved.

        2. Delphine

          We need more women in power to represent a deeply underrepresented half of the population. We don’t need women in power because they’re all better than men. Qualifying “we need women in power” with “only good women” so that we vet women in ways men are never vetted, is just another symptom of the problem. We already scrutinize women far more than men, without applying any increased scrutiny to men—which is really what should be happening. These character judgements need to go both ways, but they’re only ever brought up when women are trying to increase their power.

          Like, I agree with you, but I don’t agree with your reasoning that “if she has been a man” is something people need to hear because it encourages better vetting across the board.

          1. Kathlynn

            The answer to that shouldn’t be not to vet women for harmful bais/traits less, but to get men vetted for them more.

            1. Candi

              In other words, use Alison’s interviewing techniques, since they look for qualities that will benefit everyone and bring the best results, regardless of the starting point.

          2. Annoyed

            “…they’re only ever brought up when women are trying to increase their power.”

            Exactly. Scrutinize women harder and volila less women pass muster, less women gaining power, patriarchy wins again.

      1. Lady Phoenix

        Wasn’t there a famous movie actor and director that was able to get off scott free and move to another continent after raping underage girls?

        I mean, yes, more guy abusers get in trouble… but it is hard enough just to get THEM let alone female abusers. I have hard stories of obvious male perverts still being able to teach.

        1. Tuxedo Cat

          There was one in my public high school. He even had an MO where he would basically be grooming very much underage high school girls who didn’t have fathers and then act on it when they were graduating.

          A friend and I reported him. One of this guy’s potential victims was the daughter of a law enforcement officer too. The school investigated and sent this teacher to the middle school.

          1. Clorinda

            Your last sentence makes my blood run cold.
            Is the reasoning behind it that a guy who’s going after fifteen-year-olds won’t be attracted to thirteen-year-olds? Because, no. There are plenty of thirteen-year-olds who are physically developed enough to attract an ephebephile, even though they are mentally and emotionally CHILDREN.

            1. Tuxedo Cat

              I have no idea what they were thinking. My friend and I had just graduated high school when we were reporting this teacher, and as selfish as it is, I think we both got caught up in the first year of college to do more fighting. The schools have been restructured so the teacher isn’t there anymore, and I can’t find any info online.

              1. jane poe

                Working on your schoolwork wasn’t selfish (at least, not in a bad way). The school should have listened to you. This isn’t something you should have had to fight for.

            2. Commenter

              No, that’s not the reason. It’s simply a matter of passing the buck. Look at the Catholic Church.

              1. Lady Phoenix

                Yup. If a teacher gets in trouble at one school, they often jump ship to another school.

                I would think there would be cases where if you do the thing, your teacher’s license is permanently revoked and you can’t work with kids… but it seems that only happens if the teacher actually sleeps with a student (all the girls in Tuxedo Cat’s story were graduates so… school will probably go “Not my problem”, especially since some tend to be 18).

                1. Elizabeth West

                  Yeah, I read an article about the way they pass offenders on to new school systems way back in the late 1970s or early 1980s and it hasn’t improved much to my knowledge.

                2. Tuxedo Cat

                  He did things that my friend and I believe was were grooming. Stuff like inappropriately confiding in students, asking about boyfriends/sex lives, etc. He’d contact them outside of school. This was before smart phones/texting were popular, but email was around and he emailed them. We were not victims, but two friends were.

                  You are right that some were indeed 18. What he was doing may not have been illegal but it was wrong.

          2. Candi

            I’ve got one.

            Back some years ago in the city over, a guy was busted on having child porn and sex with a child. He was released only a third of the way through his sentence, in the early 1990s. (I think the total time served was about five years?)

            He’d been an elementary teacher before he went off to prison.

            The teachers’ union fought to get him his job back. The rational was that it hadn’t occurred on school property, with a student, or on school time. They basically bullied the adminstration into restoring his job.

            The parental response was epic, up to and including moving over district lines to get out of that district. (Easier with the smaller elementary districts, true.)

            The union held firm. And then the news apparently found something else to report and pretty much stopped reporting on the whole fustercluck.

            I looked much later, once the net and search engines were a thing, but never did find anything beyond the news items.

            (You young whippersnappers don’t know how much search engines changed the net. And get off my lawn.) ;p

            1. Tuxedo Cat

              Talk about hills people really want to die on. It’s maddening that the law didn’t prevent him from ever working with kids again.

        2. Hildegard Von Bingen

          Yes. Roman Polanski. A real perv who should be in jail.
          Justice is what we need. It’s all too often not what we get. But we shouldn’t stop demanding it and pursuing it. It’s a human right, IMO.

        3. CFrance

          Roman Polanski. (I might be spelling it wrong.) He can’t enter the US ever again without being arrested.

    2. Brett

      Well, since it was the yelling and verbal abuse, not the caressing, that got her fired, I would disagree. Screaming at athletes is more tolerated with boys’ teams and more tolerated from male coaches in my experiences.

      I think it actually depends more on the sport than the gender of the coach or athlete.
      More individual sports have learned to watch coaches closely for inappropriate behavior (because of the one to one time with coaches in those sports) compared to team sports. Contacts sports and sports with higher paid coaches in general are more tolerant of the screaming and shouting. If there is variation by gender, it tends to be on the gender of the athletes, not the gender of the coaches. Coaches of female athletes are both watched more for inappropriate behavior and get less leeway with verbal abuse, regardless of the gender of the coach.

      1. Specialk9

        “Coaches of female athletes… get less leeway with verbal abuse, regardless of the gender of the coach.” Not in my experience. Not even remotely. I still get mad at the dozens of school administrators and hundreds of parents who watched my coach do his thing, and nobody did anything. Instead I’m left feeling guilty for sticking it out under an abusive coach, but I was 13. I didn’t know better, and the adults did.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Yeah, I was surprised to hear this as well. In my experience, coaches for girls were just as verbally abusive (if not more so) than coaches for boys.

          1. Brett

            This may come down to a difference in sports/schools too (and thus experiences). My school’s dominant sports were girls’ track and tennis, where the parents had a lot of power and money (the tennis team actually played an annual tournament in Tahiti, payed completely by tennis booster money). Our dominant boys’ sport was clearly football, where screaming at players non-stop through bullhorns throughout 2-a-days was standard and the parents/boosters were far more at the mercy of the coaches who would threaten to leave for other jobs.
            Meanwhile, I wrestled. One of the few sports where a coach can routinely throw athletes around the room. Verbal abuse was non-existent, so what they did to football players was pretty shocking to me.

    3. NotMsFrizzle

      I have to second that this MO is successfully used by male teachers as well. It is easy for manipulative/charismatic people to do what they want when working with underfunded and desperate supervisors, and unfortunately that describes many public school districts. I recently left a school with a teacher who could have been a male Kim – incredibly inappropriate boundaries with students, an army of parent supporters and a principal who could excuse and ignore his behavior to a shocking degree. I reported him locking himself in his classroom to be alone with individual students during recess and encouraging kids to break school rules as long as it was with him (this is a classic grooming behavior) on many occasions and nothing changed. I wish it wasn’t so common.

  3. Akcipitrokulo

    Sorry it took so long and so sorry for that little girl though. But at least she’s finally gone.

  4. MilkMoon (UK)

    Heck!

    I’m imagining this woman to look like Miss Trunchbull.

    It’s so disappointing that it went on for so long, and that they chose this maniac over the OP. It happens all too often where organisations would rather lose a good staff member (or more than one) who has a complaint than take responsibility and fix the problem – it’s happened to me. Ugh!

    Anyway, smashing that she’s been fired now, and that the OP is doing well!

    1. Tuxedo Cat

      It’s sad not just that they picked her over the OP, but they endangered children and were okay with losing business. It’s really mind boggling.

  5. Fezziwig

    Wonderful update, unfortunate that it took that much to get her fired.
    Question for the OP – did turning your hobby into a sideline work out?

  6. Don't Blame Me

    Oh my gosh, that poor little girl. :( We can never contribute to fundraisers. We’re broke and live far away from our families, so the most we can ever manage is one or two orders (but usually none.) I would be both furious and devastated if I found out a teacher or coach treated one of my kids like that over a fundraiser. I can’t believe Kim wasn’t immediately fired after that!

    1. DoctorateStrange

      I was absolutely furious when I read about that. I am just as furious with NCS as I am with Kim. If Kim had escalated the scene and the child got physically hurt, I would say it was just as much NCS’ fault as it would have been Kim’s.

    2. cheluzal

      We can afford them and still eschew them. I am tired of being asked to pay 3X for chocolate, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions I don’t need….so obnoxious.

      1. Will's Mom

        My kids are all adults now, but I used to just send a check for $10 or $20 dollars with a note that my child would not participate in selling items, but here is our contribution to your fundraiser. My checks were never refused and always cashed.

        1. Kyrielle

          I am reminded of how lucky we have been! I was braced to fight the door-to-door sales-y crud. Instead, my kids’ school fund raiser is soliciting donations (and yeah, my kids won’t be top earners because I don’t have them go door to door, but we send some in because we can afford to), and their Cub Scout den’s big fund raiser is the “pick up Christmas trees for recycling after Christmas” which teaches the value of hard work instead of salesmanship. I am really, really grateful – there’s another den in town that has a lock on popcorn sales (the groups agreed which one does what), and I’m glad it’s not the one in our school, because ugh.

      2. Candi

        I never participated either, part money, and part we all hated those things.

        I did, however, give a lot of quarters to be spent at the fundraiser Popcorn Fridays. And the kids loved the popcorn.

        There was another yearly fundraiser in the kids’ elementary school that involved yummy, yummy dinner. I can’t say the event name because it’s really, really distinctive, and Googling it kicks up the school’s site in the first three results.

  7. Isabelle

    I feel so angry for the little who was abused in front of her peers. It’s the kind of incident a child will remember forever.

    I hope Kim will never get another job anywhere near kids but judging from the way this was handled at the beginning, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  8. PB

    I’m so glad Kim was finally fired! I just feel so terrible for all of the kids who she negatively impacted during the time she was allowed to go unchecked.

  9. Mananana

    I am so sputtering-mad about the treatment of the little girl that it’s overshadowing the relief that Kim was fired.

  10. Emily S.

    This is good news. BUT, who knows what psychological scars this person left with the kids? As Isabelle commented earlier, the little girl was certainly traumatized by that incident. So sad. Personally, I think Kim is an example of someone who needs some help before being allowed to work with anyone. I just hope that she improves, and someday, figures out how to be a better, kinder person.

  11. DoctorateStrange

    Wow. Just. Wooooow. I’m with you, OP. I too want to be a fly on the wall when all this occurred.

  12. Lady Phoenix

    … Holy shit.

    Just… this woman… she should be put ona registry for HALF of the shit she pulled.

  13. Kate

    There was a swimming coach just like this in my town. She finally got fired last year after about 30 years of people complaining that she’d grabbed kids and slapped kids and stamped on their fingers when they had cramp. She got away with it because of a small very vocal group of supporters (mainly the swimming champions, she never got angry at them).

    1. Sarah M

      Do we live in the same town? There was/is a swim coach at the local YWCA that’s a holy terror – screaming and berating the 4-year olds in her lesson group. I literally wanted to kill her (but settled for filling a complaint with the Director).

      1. Candi

        This kind of nonsense makes me want to video, post, name and shame… and I think net vigilante justice is the worst way and last possible resort to handle awful people.

  14. Hair Cut Question

    I’m curious to know what y’all pay to have your hair done. I’ve noticed that it varies widely from person to person. Just so we can compare, tell us what you have done, your gender (because that affects the price) and the price before the tip. You can tell us what you tip if you want to – I just want to be sure we are all comparing the same thing.

    I used to go to someone who charged $45 for a haircut/blowdry. She left town, so I’m trying to find a new person I like. The ones I have tried range from $65-$85 for a haircut/blowdry. I’m a woman with hair that is difficult to cut.

  15. I’ve been there

    But I want to call out some others, too. The people who hire her without doing their due diligence and put her in a position of authority over children. She should not be allowed to work in the field again and the only way to make that happen is for people to check her references/reputation before they hire her. In my humble opinion she has serious mental issues.

    1. LadyPhoenix

      Thiiiiiis… there needs to be some serious looking over with the company for letting a womAn who PUT HER FOOT on a child to continue being a grade-A punt.

      I am glad I don’t plan to have kids because now I am weary of ALL these programs.

  16. moosetracks

    I don’t think abusive behaviour can be chalked up to mental illness. Obviously abusers aren’t practicing healthy behaviours and can benefit from therapy, but this doesn’t mean that they abuse because of mental illness.

    1. Specialk9

      Lundy Bancroft’s work with abusers indicates that they are never out of control, though it seems that way, and that there is a great deal of logic and structure behind the apparent chaos. It all adds up to being exactly what one wants, by tearing down another person. It is so cold and calculating and controlled that it doesn’t seem like mental illness to me either.

      1. Observer

        Well, Kim does seem to have gotten out of control. Which was, ironically, a GOOD thing. Because her loss of control (screaming at the boss who had been sheltering her) was probably a key piece of her finally getting her fired.

        1. Klaxons

          Months late, so probably nobody will see this comment, but – I think there’s a distinction between being out of control of her actions, and being out of control of the people she’s affecting. She’s been out of control of her supervisor, her coworkers, and the kids being subjected to her abuse for a loooong time. As for her own actions, she knew what she was doing, as evidenced by the fact that her behavior escalated slowly over years and switching of jobs. Abusers know exactly what they’re doing. They always do. She probably just misjudged exactly how far she could push it. She’ll use that knowledge next time.

          The book Specialk9 is referring to proves that. (Warning for discussion of domestic abuse:) The abusers who habitually broke things and beat their partners, seemed somehow to never break things that were important to them; and they would claim to have “lost it,” but Bancroft asked them, “Well, then why didn’t you kill her?” And they would always have a reason. They didn’t want to go to jail. They didn’t want people to see what they were like behind closed doors. They didn’t want their partner to be out from under their boot. Do not believe what you’ve been told: Behavior is always a choice, bar none. Abusers always have control over their actions. I know it looks like they’re off in a rage and can’t be reasoned with, but that’s because they’ve chosen to go off in a rage and refuse to be reasoned with. They make choices based on what their priorities are and what they believe they’ll be held accountable for.

          Sounds to me like Kim was a missing stair for a really long time. I wish she wouldn’t become anybody’s missing stair in the future, but I would be very surprised to see that she didn’t just roll up somewhere new and start over.

      2. Candi

        Some kinds of mental illness include a severe lack of empathy -but lack of empathy doesn’t necessarily mean mental illness as it’s currently recognized.

        (I read a looooot of sci-fi… and lack of empathy beng a mental health issue comes up in a few of the more social science kind.)

        1. Klaxons

          Some kinds of disorders show a lack of empathy, but it’s actually pretty rare. More often than not, a lack of empathy is caused by privilege. Exhibit A: billionaires.

  17. neverjaunty

    Kim is a nightmare, but this organization should be shut down and the NCS run out of town on a rail.

  18. Delphine

    It’s deeply disappointing that it took so long to remove her from the post. This is how children become victims—the adults just dance around the offender until it’s beyond too late.

  19. Educator

    As someone who works with kids, I can’t imagine how traumatizing that must have been for the girl who wasn’t able to contribute to the fundraiser. Kids are often painfully aware that they are “different” and as a scholarship student, this may have already been an issue for her (not trying to speculate too much).
    The fact that Kim used her position of power to bully and humiliate a minor both socially and physically WITHOUT being fired on the spot is appalling. Punishing a child should never be punative and certainly never for something out of their control. I’m shocked that this wasn’t seen as a violation of Kim’s duty of care as well as an example of a terrible human being.

    1. MamaSarah

      If an adult caretaking my child did this, I’d break their foot…okay, not really but I am a thug when it comes to my child’s safety and wellbeing. Kim assualted a child should have been charged accordingly.

    2. Candi

      In one of the updates, the LW explained that it wasn’t a facility with as strict legal requirements for qualifications as, say, a daycare.

      As one commentator pointed out on another Kim post, people like Kim are known to deliberately seek out such positions because of the grey areas and loop holes around adult qualifications and what can and can’t keep you from working with children in various positions and with various organizations.

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out people like Kim deliberately seek out managers they can steamroll right over, either, or those who will play fictional ostrich rather than admit something went wrong on their watch. We see that all the time here and elsewhere, after all.

  20. wirving

    I’m really happy that Kim got fired, but I’m really sad that it took her putting her foot on the poor girl’s back before someone stepped in to stop her. Especially since the poor girl was already crying. :(

  21. MiaRose

    I’m really wondering, in this case, where Kim actually had pushed the girl down with her foot, would the girl and her family have a case against her? I hope there is a lawyer out there who can take their case pro bono. Kim needs to be charged with assault and child endangerment, if nothing else. I think what she did fits some of the criteria, but I don’t know for certain. This would hopefully ensure that she never works with children again if she can be tried, because simply being fired won’t guarantee that.

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Yes and no. Putting her foot on the child is battery (in the tort sense), but the damages are so low that I don’t think good lawyers would take the case. I suspect a DA would not charge her with child endangerment and/or assault based on what OP has told us.

      1. MiaRose

        That’s too bad, because someone like Kim will keep on working with kids until something really horrible happens.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Honestly, the best way to route out Kims is to give candid and honest referrals, and be thoughtful about blacklisting. People get worried they’ll be sued for slander, but it’s not defamation to explain the circumstances of why a person who is abusive to children was fired from a position of authority over children.

          But I agree that the lack of a paper trail often makes it easy for Kims to be rehired and to engage in abuse without oversight. The U.S. swimming ocaches’ scandal is a good example of how folks pass the buck to the detriment of children.

    1. BookishMiss

      Some people are not deserving of loving kindness. I’d say Kim is definitely one of them.

    2. Jennifer Thneed

      People like Jesus can offer loving kindness to people who legitimately harm folks. That’s part of the job description, right? But human saints don’t even have to do that. And people named Jennifer for sure don’t have to. They get to be fiercely protective of the folks who are victims, instead.

  22. Minnie

    Thank goodness she was let go; however, it’s disturbing that this toxic creep is still allowed to work with kiddos. SMDH

    As for the organization, it never fails to surprise me the level of lunacy with companies and management. It’s as if they would rather bury their heads in the sand and accept abnormal toxic behavior is okay.

  23. Lara

    So she caressed children, verbally abused children, and physically assaulted a child, and what got her fired was embarrassing the supervisor? Kay then.

  24. ContentWrangler

    I was so excited to see another update for this story. As I was reading, I was thinking the only thing better than kim finally getting fired would be her getting arrested, and then the police showed up in the final act. If only she had landed in jail. The original post had me so angry at your supervisor and the organization failing to protect children. These updates about the fall of Kim were so satisfying to read, even though it’s terrible that it took so long and that children had to suffer while adults failed to do their jobs.

  25. 2nd shift

    OMG, this ‘Kim’ sounds exactly like someone from our school district (same first initial by they way). She was fired from our school for similar behavior. She ended up getting hired and coaches at religious based school. She had her following of parents and other problem behaviors just like in the story from the OP.

    This woman would launch into angry screaming tirades at her her daughters while playing basketball with them in their front yard. It got so bad that I filed PS reports on her.

    She is definitely the poster child for someone with a personality disorder.

  26. Camp Counselor

    I read through this all absolutely appalled. I don’t know where OP worked but at the organization where I worked as a summer camp counselor for years even one of the most “benign” (I say that not really categorizing it as benign” would have been an automatic call to CPS as a red flag and a fire with no re-hire. What Kim was doing is just what OP said Child grooming. A highly dangerous practice that does condition children to accept abuse. It is also a tactic with parents to keep them off an abuser’s trail. This is something that should have been reported out of facility to authorities long ago. (All though OP this isn’t me berating you, you did amazing and the best you could, it’s just years of drilled in training talking)

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