The gymnastic assistant is texting my daughter.
Dear Stop It Now!,
I am concerned about a young assistant at my daughter’s gymnastic club. I recently found out that this assistant has been texting her and is on her facebook page. She is 13 and feels uncomfortable, doesn’t know how to ask him to stop texting her. She is worried she will cost herself a position on the team if she speaks up. How should we handle this?*
Dear Concerned Parent,
It is inappropriate for this adult to befriend your daughter in this way, and your daughter absolutely needs you to bring this to the attention of her coach and the club owner. Your daughter should feel confident that now that you know, you will address these concerns.
The fear that speaking up will affect your daughter’s standing on her team is understandable but not speaking up can lead to much worse consequences. Your daughter (and the other student athletes) deserves to practice in an environment that feels safe and comfortable.
Speaking with others
Are there any other concerns with this assistant’s behavior? Look over our warning tip sheet, Signs That an Adult May Be At-Risk to Harm a Child. Are there any other kids or parents concerned about this man’s actions? It may be helpful to talk with other parents you know to see if they are aware of any other issues. Finding support among other parents can be helpful in taking next steps.
It would be completely appropriate for you to approach the assistant yourself and let him know that you have found out that he is texting your daughter, and that you expect this to stop immediately.It is still important that you let the coach and owner know as well. This is a good time to talk with them about safety expectations, and to review the policies and procedures of the gymnastics club to ensure that the safest environment possible for youth is being maintained.
To help you prepare for these conversations, read our tip sheet: Learn about Sexual Safety in Sports: Talking about Safety in Coaches Who Show Inappropriate Interest in Kids, as well as our FAQs on Sexual Safety in Sports. Additional resources can be found on our resource listing guide: Student Athletic Program Safety.
Help your daughter to “unfriend” this assistant on Facebook, as well as block her phone number. As a side note, you may also want learn about overall internet and cyber safety. These two websites offer some tips about safety, for both youth and parents:
I hope this information is helpful and wish you and your family the best.
Stop It Now!
Last edited on: August 3rd, 2018