School Visit Time

Plans come and go, especially as a parent. The boys were supposed to be in school today, and I was going to write a review on a new book for Tuesday Tales. Instead, TechyDad and I will be researching school options for our boys. Over the last year, a lot has changed. Things that had been acceptable are now terribly bad.

For weeks I have wanted to sit down and vent on my blog about the happenings, but knew it was not the right thing to do. Still, I need to write something. I have to come clean that things are not going well.

I actually went to school on Friday and removed my son at 9:30 in the morning. Why? Quite simply we feared for his safety. Our son was punched in the ribs and had bruises after another child attacked him.

I want to say more, but need to save it. This was not the firs incident and we believe that our son was the victim of bullying. There is no acceptance in my world for bullying. People that look the other way and constantly make excuses for the bully will not be tolerated – it’s that simple.

Have you or your child had to deal with bullying at school? If you have I would really like to hear from you. How did your school respond? Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

What had once seemed so clear, is now quite blurry. As a parent, the unknown can be so very difficult – especially if you once believed in something.

TheAngelForever

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  • Sandra Foyt says:

    When my daughter was in 5th Grade, a boy threatened to beat her up on the bus. I didn’t know the family, the boy lived with his grandparents in my neighborhood, but they didn’t participate in neighborhood events or in the school.

    Still, I went over to their home and told the grandfather what had happened. And I went into the school and told the principal.

    That was the end of that situation.

    Another girl also verbally bullied my daughter, but her mom was an acquaintance who I frequently met at school functions. I described to the mom what had taken place, and she must have spoken to her daughter because it didn’t happen again.

    I know that it’s not always possible or advisable to go to the bully’s family, but it worked in these instances.
    Sandra Foyt´s last blog post ..Clowning Around with Ringling Bros

  • Stefanie says:

    My 4th grader has a bad kid in his class. He joined his class in February. This kid is bad and mean to all the kids. He started to focus some of his meaness towards my son. I let it go the first time, second time I contacted the teacher just to make sure she is aware and she was. She has ongoing daily issues with this kid. School admin is aware. Lately, he’s been leaving my kid alone, but I always ask him how it’s been going. If needed, I’d go to the office.
    But the bottom line is, as a parent, you need to do what’s best and be your child’s advocate. You did the right thing! Not sure how high you are going with this, but the principal has a boss and if you don’t like the answer you get or how it’s being handled, there’s still hope. I hope you can find a better place for your little buddy!
    Stefanie

  • Hey, I’m so sorry you are going through this. I do understand and I hope you find the answers you are looking for soon. I have written about this often and even attended a session at Mom Congress about it. Do your research and know your rights but trust your instincts. Let me know if I can help or at least lend an ear if you need me to.
    Jerri Ann Reason´s last blog post ..Listen Internets- Complaints Coming Down the Pipe- Fast and Furious

  • It makes me so sad that you’re going through this. Bullying and just mean spirits in general are terrible things to have to encounter. We can do everything at home to make sure our kids are taught only love and kindness, but then they go to school and are exposed to negativity and in this case, violence. I know it’s part of growing up and we all dealt with it when we were young too, but as a parent, it’s probably the scariest and one of the hardest things we’ll need to guide them through.

    I’m thinking of you and your whole family. I have no advice – only empathy and good energy being sent your way.
    Lyndsay Cool Legumes´s last blog post ..Ahhh- Spring

  • Katiw says:

    J was bullied through this past year. The little, 11 yr old, boy had some home issues as he was a foster child and was preparing to be adopted by a family who was not his foster parents. I had some understanding that this child was going through a rocky situation. I did however go in and speak with the principal who was very understanding of the issue and told me that I was not the first parent / child to make her aware of this little boy. J, with out any word from me also wrote the principal a letter requesting a meeting with her. She said she would say something to the child…it never resovled.

    A couple months later after the holidays J broke down and said that he was not sure what to do anymore. He was at his breaking point with this child and the child was no longer just picking on him but other students. He told his teacher who told him to deal with it. When J broke down to me I wrote a letter to the principal and his teacher saying that something had to be done or J was going to deal with it in his own terms. Not that I condone fighting but I understand getting to a breaking point and wanting to punch someone. The child was smacking books out of students hands, tripping them, hitting them upside the head and asking them if they wanted to fight. So back to the principal I went. She called J down and J told her what was going on and all that it affected or was involved. In the end they all ended up having a sit down with this child. The child did not realize that he was effecting them in such a way. He apologized and it ceased to ever happen again. J said that he worked on his relationship with this child before the child left to live with his adopted parents and even wrote him a very nice good bye letter. Thankfully it worked out.

    Our school though has a bad case of bullying but not like I mentioned above. Above actually rarely happens in our school. The bullying that happens is to push a person out of their ‘clique’. In school they call it bullying by association. It is dreadful and I feel bad for the kids. L even see’s it in second grade. She does not hang out with the girls because one day you are friends and then next day you are not. Even at 8 yrs old she has no tolerance for it. It certainly affects children in many different ways. J asks to go to counseling when things get bad and he is at the end of his rope because he knows that it is not right to fight but that is what his brain tells him he should do, to protect himself.

    Good luck B! It is so hard as parents to watch out children tread their way through this junk. We have to stand there, be their adovates and be their voice!

  • Lori says:

    Beth I am so sorry your family is dealing with this. I was actually bullied for many years in elementary school. The teachers turned a blind eye to it, because the bullies where the favorites of the teachers. When my parents confronted the school or the parents it only made it worse. I was afraid to go to school and it was truly a terrible experience. Finally when I graduated z8th grade my parents chose to send me to a local catholic school (rather then endure 4 more years of misery). The change was the best thing as i made many friends and thrived in the new environment. I only wish they had moved me sooner. I actually have this fear for you kids. They they will either be bullied and there will be nothing or i can do to help them, or that they will be bullies ( i truly hope this is not the case and if it is that i don’t turn the same blind eye). My thoughts are with you, and you are not alone. I hope you get some piece of mind soon. Hugs from me to you

  • oldfriend says:

    I know this isn’t what you want to hear…

    Boys fight. It’s natural. It’s how the order of the pack is established.

    I was bullied quite a bit in grade school. Then one of my bullies pushed me too far… I hurled a chair at him and knocked him unconscious. That was the last time anyone ever bullied me, and my place within the pack was determined.

    My suggestion– tell you son to never throw the first punch, but after someone else punches first, try to break the kids nose.

  • TechyDad says:

    @oldfriend,

    Sorry, but we don’t plan on teaching our son to break anyone’s nose or knock kids unconscious. I was bullied extensively from elementary school through high school. I did get pushed past my breaking point and lash out once or twice and it changed nothing beyond getting me in trouble.

    NHL needs to learn that he has support if he is being bullied. He can go to his teacher and/or to us. We can help him in these matters. He is not alone. Unfortunately, that’s a lesson I didn’t learn until late in high school, when I had already gone through over a decade of bullying.

  • oldfriend says:

    @Techydad–

    I know we aren’t going to see eye to eye on this one…

    There’s not a teacher or administrator in the world that can make the problem of bullying go away. At best, it won’t happen in front of them, but it’s still going to happen. Kids are inherently mean to one another. Put three kids in a room and two of them will decide that they don’t like the third. It’s not nice, but it’s natural. Some kids (bullies) exploit what they see as weakness in others. Unless the “weak” fight back, or at least prove that they are not willing to be bullied, they will always be picked on– or ostracized. Running to a teacher for protection and being a tattletale only makes it worse, as they are perceived as being even weaker, and often end up as social pariahs.

  • Liz says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. I’m sending lots of hugs, prayers, and happy thoughts your way.

  • TheAngelForever says:

    @oldfriend

    Sad to say that I can not go into complete details here. This is a child that has a LONG history of violence at school. Punching is the least of what this kid has done to many other students and faculty members over three years. The bigger issue here is not placing this child into the proper location so other kids do not have to worry about being injured. There is always an excuse for this child and others. Sucker punching a child to the point that they have a monster sized bruise on their chest is NOT acceptable. Comments that were made by officials were pathetic at best and not something that will be tolerated.

    Oh and our son did try to stand up for himself. Just saying.

  • TechyDad says:

    @oldfriend,

    And what happens when the bully is much stronger than the bullied? Or when the bully teams up with 5 of his friends to pick on the bullied? The latter happened to me in High School. If I passed one of the bullies in the hall, they’d ignore me. But if three or more of them were together, they’d make my life a living hell. Should I have fought back? I would have gotten beaten up and somehow I doubt bullies respect kids who they can beat up.

    Kids need to know that going to parents or teachers about bullying incidents isn’t “being a tattletale.” The teachers and parents aren’t outsiders interfering with kid-only matters; they are a valuable support network. Not allowing a child to access that support network is a recipe for isolation.

    Again, I have personal experience with this. I never told my parents that I was being bullied. I never went to the teachers for help. I bore the burden myself. I was unable to fight back and unable to ask anyone for help. The stress was all on me and it took its toll over the years. I will *not* deny my child a support network of teachers and parents because the bully might not like it.

    Teachers and administrators may be unable to make bullying disappear, but they can’t even make a serious effort if kids are told to never tell a teacher about bullying no matter how serious the situation.

  • Steffj89 says:

    B,
    I was bullied for many years in elementary school and the worst part was that it was initially started by a teacher. Then I went to 7th grade and it was wonderful…8th grade however was another terror entirely, hormones came into play and I was absolutely terrorized and sexually harrassed for the entire year. Things got so bad that I did get my parents involved about 1/3 of the way thru the year. We went thru the counselors and the principals and I was told that boys will be boys and to suck it up.
    The principal did try to talk to the boys eventually, but never notified their parents etc. We happened to go to church with one of the boys and my dad also worked with his father. I also babysat their younger children. I brought it up to the mother after several months because it seemed obvious that they didnt know and that nothing was being done by any of the adults involved. She was horrified, but after talking to the dad later, it was clear he was proud of the sons behavior that it showed he was “manly” . I am sorry you are having to deal with this, I know exactly how it feels and that its horrifying when you feel you are getting no response.

  • aubrey says:

    I am so sorry that your son is having to deal with this. As a parent I know how hard it is to see your child being hurt and wondering how to fix it. I saw Nick getting pushed into a fence by an older kid one day. The first time I let it go, second time I started getting upset by the 5th time I was done! I asked Nick what the deal was and he just said. “I don’t know he just started pushing me, he does that a lot” I went into the school and talked to my sons teacher, she called the other boys teacher and said it would be taken care of. I got a letter of apology from the child and the principal as did Nick. I think he gets bullied a little now, but he won’t tell me. Sadly I think he is feeling bullied by his teacher. He is rather sensitive and she is pretty harsh, which I don’t believe has any place in an elementary school classroom. If there was more than 2 weeks left in school I would be pulling him but he said he will just keep his head down. And he will be ok. It is so hard to not rush in there and tell her a thing or too though.

  • teawithfrodo says:

    I was bullied as a child, but since they kept most of the physical stuff off school property there wasn’t much the school could do. The worst part was one of the mothers watched while this happened and said she just thought it was kids being kids even though I was screaming for help. My mother called her up and ripped her a new one when I came home bloody in the face.

    I understand that boys are rough, but that kind of behavior is never acceptable. I don’t go around hitting people to show I’m the alpha. Also…if someone hit me and I turned around and knocked them out I’d be the one in trouble.

    I’d start by talking to the school. If that doesn’t work I’d take your son to the doctor, and then see about talking to the Board of Education and then a lawyer if they won’t do anything about it. Especially if the other child has a history of violence. If the school has a PTA bring it up with them as well and see of there are other parents who will complain as well.

  • I am so sorry that your son was hurt so bad. My oldest was bullied at school. It was a very bad situation for him. The school did try to intervene however the parents did not take any responsibility. in the end the school threatened to put everything in their record which means the colleges would know about it. They did end up leaving him alone but since they were the alpha students then they alienated him at school. Today though he is very successful in college looking into graduate school.We did have to threaten the school in another instance when a special education student attacked my younger son. They knew about his propensity to hurt my children and did nothing to stop him.

    I did teach my boys to fight back if attacked. While schools do look askance at that it does put the bullies on notice that they cannot bully your child. However, if you are dealing with a disturbed child this is going to have no effect. Here in the US if your school does not protect your child you can sue and if they are over a certain age (here in my state the age of criminal liability is 7), you can file a criminal complaint against the child and actually sue the parents. It is not ideal but you can also bring in social services once a police complaint is filed.In fact in one instance that I know of, the school district actually brought the criminal complaint when a girl was getting bullied and the parents would do nothing about it.

    It is sad that you have to move your child because of this other child but my parents did the exact same thing for my younger sister almost 35 years ago for the same reason. It was the best thing they ever did. It protected her.
    aspergers2mom´s last blog post ..9-11- Justice and Closure

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