Now let me back up the truck and explain. I’m not a psycho mom who allows her child to do whatever he pleases. I understand that what he did is inappropriate but everyone else needs to understand what he’s been through in the past five months since school started.
We hear about bullying in school all the time but who really has experience with it? I do! And unfortunately lots of it. At the beginning of the school year a child in Will’s class was bullying him. It started out with mean things being said and progressed to pushing, kicking, punching, throwing things and even being cut/stab on the back of the neck with a pencil. The school filled out 5 injury reports from this bully hurting my son. FIVE!
On one occasion the bully child went into fits of rage when he didn’t get his way in class. He began throwing chairs and the teacher’s books. The classroom had to be evacuated for the safety of the children and the teacher. Will came home that day and said he feared for his life.
I was on the phone almost daily with the principal who promised to do his best to protect Will but he also added that even though the bully was at fault, he still had rights. They refused to move the bully to a different classroom. WTH! I was pissed off. I threatened to pull Will out of the school entirely if they didn’t immediately move Will to a different classroom. So they did.
Will cried when we told him he was getting moved to a different classroom. He was happy that he wouldn’t have to deal with the bully but he was sad for the classmates he was leaving behind. “I can handle the bully Mom, a lot of the kids in my class won’t be able to. You should leave me in there.” He basically wanted to stick around and deal with the daily bullying so his classmates wouldn’t have to. Will didn’t fight back when the bully did or said stuff to him even though we told him we were okay with him doing whatever he needed to do. He’s a lover not a fighter! He would rather suffer in silence than to fight back.
And on the very next day, the first day Will was in his new classroom, they had a school assembly in the gym and guess who decided to sit next to Will?! Yep, the bully. He basically tortured Will the entire time and when everyone got up to leave he stopped on Will’s foot. The foot that had just come out of a cast!
We then filed a harassment complaint with the State of Kentucky. We had to fill out detailed paperwork that included the dates of each time Will was harassed or hurt. Weeks later they interviewed the teachers, the principal, Will and the bully child. They then sent us a letter saying our concerns were warranted. Really?! Well no shit, we already knew that. The letter also stated that they would take care of the situation but everything was confidential so they couldn’t tell us what they were doing to remedy the situation.
Oh and I forgot to add that the situation is to be kept confidential. Obviously I don’t give a shit about that or I wouldn’t be writing this. I openly discuss the situation each time I’m with a parent of a child that attends the same school. I don’t mention the bully child’s name because I don’t have to, the other parents already know who it is because their children have had issues with this child too.
I feel bad for the bully child. He obviously has some major issues that need to be addressed. Is he a special needs child? He is not in a special needs class but he definitely has issues. Because we live in a small town William will likely attend school with this child for ten more years. The odds of him getting put in a class with this child again are great. If this child is a threat in second grade image what he’ll be like in high school if these issues are not addressed and fixed now.
We haven’t had any further issues with the bully since the state stepped in but that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder and pumping Will for information each day. If anything further does happen we have a few things on our ‘to do’ list; school board meeting, pressing formal charges against the child’s parents and moving Will to a different school.
This brings us to the current issue at hand, my son flipping off his classmate. During class they were discussing William, Shakespeare. The teacher asked what he was famous for and Will raised his hand and said he thought he was president once. Another child in the class (not the bully) made fun of him and said some things that hurt Will’s feelings. Instead of clamming up and keeping it all inside, he flipped the kid the bird and clearly got his point across.
That was a huge step for Will. It was inappropriate and we’ve talked about it and about different things he can do in the future. But for now I’m happy he took the leap and finally stood up for himself. It’s a hand signal, a gesture that requires no words yet it speaks volumes. For once he did something and I’m proud of him for that. Yes, he did get in trouble with the teacher and yes the principal was also notified. Buy hey, baby steps. Will has been through a lot and I’m happy to see he is finally willing to stick up for himself. From here we will work on ways to better get his point across but for now I’m okay with what happened.
*And a side note to the parents of the kid that Will flipped off, I know you read my blogs and I apologize for Will’s behavior but now that you know what he’s been through you can hopefully see why this was a big step. That still doesn’t make it right but I think he choose your child as a way to express himself because he feels comfortable with him. He apologized for his behavior yesterday in class and he will do it again the next time he sees your child. I’m happy Will stood up for himself, I’m not happy that your child had to be on the receiving end. I hope you understand.*
What can people like you and me do about bullying? We can listen to our kids/grandkids/neighborhood kids. If they aren’t being bullied they may know someone who is being bullied. Tell them what to do about it. Tell the school, tell the parents, tell someone! Do something. It is my belief that ass-hole parents will raise ass-hole kids. Let’s not let the ass-holes take over the earth! The ass-holes have rights but so do we and if our voices are louder and prouder then maybe together we can make a difference. Let’s raise a generation of respectful, caring kids.
Thanks for listening. Feel free to chime in or to message me if you want to talk about this. I’m not a professional on the subject but I would be more than happy to help you in any way I can.