This Fifth Grade Girl Should Teach A Class On Boundaries

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter

Fifth grade girl writes epic list of rules for boy annoying her at school

As women, we can probably name many times in life when someone harassed us and we didn’t know how to make it stop. Luckily, one fifth grade girl had no such problem when a boy at school was bothering her and is now going viral with a set of rules she wrote for him to abide by. Or else.

Ladies, meet Zoë. Your new life coach.

Twitter user Denny Dimples shared the list sent to her by a friend who teaches fifth grade. A student named Zoë wrote the list for Noah, a boy at school who apparently has zero chill or understanding of boundaries and consent. No other details are available for exactly what this kid did to piss Zoë off, but after reading her explicitly clear list, we’ve no doubt he’s been put in his place.

Noah, pictured as a naked stick figure with weird oven-mitt hands, is burned over and over by Zoë’s “rules and regulations” for how he’s to treat her. That is, to pretty much pretend she doesn’t exist. Rule number one is “do not touch my shoulder,” and it only gets more specific (and totally savage) from there.

She tells the boy, “do not get behind me with all that playing and foolishness,” which can be interpreted in several ways, none of them positive. Zoë obviously wants nothing to do with Noah touching her, and she’s sharing incredibly specific examples of what that means to her. Which is amazing.

Noah is ordered to not speak to our heroine unless it’s a greeting, “which will be never.” Got that, kid? Do not talk to this girl. She is having literally none of your shit.

She tells him not to play with her on the bus and reminds him of her “short temper” (oh my God, this kid is a goddess) and the fact that she’s too young for a boyfriend in the first place. She accuses him of ruining her day and says that though he likes her, she doesn’t like him. She also directs him to reread the list “500 times” so hopefully, her message will sink in.

Her note winds down with a threat to call her dad, her mom’s friend, her “fake” mom and a “janator” she knows (acknowledging her spelling is a little off, but whatever, the girl is on a spectacular roll) if Noah doesn’t obey these regulations. She also expresses concern that his continued harassment could put her into counseling, so it’s obvious she’s thought this out.

And to this we say, bravo, Zoë. She owes Noah nothing and her understanding of that at such a young age is something to admire.

As someone raised to be a people-pleaser, particularly when it comes to people of the male variety, Zoë’s rules brought a tear to my eye. Until at least my mid-20s, I would grudgingly accept unwanted attention from men and boys because I was scared of hurting their feelings. It makes me cringe typing that out, but it’s true.

Now, I’m raising my 9-year-old daughter to stand up for herself, as she’s definitely inherited my desire to make everyone like her, no matter the cost. She’s dealt with bullying issues for the last few years and it makes my heart ache thinking of her shrinking back when some asshole kid gives her a hard time. I can only hope to foster in her the level of self-respect and confidence someone’s obviously instilled in Zoë.

Sure, she might sound a bit harsh in her words, but if a dumb boy can’t take the hint and is making her uncomfortable, she owes him not one shred of sweetness. She’s making it clear she won’t be messed with, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a lesson many grown women still need to learn.

We wish Zoë the best this school year and hope that freaking Noah takes the 10-ton hint that she’s not interested and leaves her alone. Girls have enough to worry about without having to pretend they’re OK with even the most innocent unwanted advances. We should all raise our daughters to be so confident in expressing what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t.

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