On bullies and nausea

17 10 2007

I stumbled upon a blog today where the writer is describing what her child goes through in school. She is dealing with a bully. In kindergarten. Her daughter is getting spit on and pushed around. The school wont really act on it and she encourages her daughter to push him back. She didn’t say this, but I’m sure she isn’t encouraging her kid to spit back because hello! Eww. Bodily fluids in any form when not welcome is soooo uncool. Especially for a child.

For SBJ, he hasn’t yet encountered a bully. I don’t think it has anything to do with the school he goes to. I really don’t know why. The closest we have come to this is another kid that was in his kindergarten class and now also in 1st grade with him repeatedly gets in trouble, and manages to bring other kids down with them. This child is a girl. When he told me that, I was shocked. And I really shouldn’t have been because girls can be just as mean as boys when they want to be, if not meaner. I know that when I was growing up, I was a bit of a bully, but really only to my boy cousins. They were scared of me (probably still are hee!) because I didn’t let anyone push me around. Too bad I didn’t keep that mentality up as I got older.

This girl in SBJ’s class is ALWAYS involved when he comes home from school in trouble. Every. Single. Time. I seriously forbid him to play with or around this little girl and he knows this. But he always ends up in the frey and has already come home with one referral. I haven’t heard of her charming antics lately which is why I have not pressed the issue with his teacher as of yet. But really, as parents, what choice to we have when dealing with a bully? Especially if the school doesn’t step up?

I agree with Ash when she says that she is fighting fire with fire, not matter what the consequences her daughter faces. Because really, in the long run, that may attract the attention of the school that this other child is a problem and because of their lack of attention to the problem, other well behaved kids are being forced to act out. And I say good for her! This may not be the perfect way to do things, but to me, teaching your child to stand up to a bully is important. It’s unfortunate, but necessary.

SBJ has been taught that if someone is pushing you around and no one is willing to help, you go ahead and push back. He distinctly knows the difference between defending yourself and just being a jerk. A bully my kid is not. But if provoked, he will defend himself fully. I don’t see a problem with this one bit.

I know that schools cannot justify singling out one child as a bully without including some sort of protocol for all the kids. But its situations like this, that are starting as young as kindergarten (!!) that cause more extreme situations of kids fighting back. Honestly, I don’t know what the answer to this is on either side of this spectrum. But it is something that should be dealt with. Just don’t ask me how.

On an unrelated topic, after yesterday’s post, I feel extremely good. I know I made the right choices when I wrote about what was going on. Rura did read it, and his first reaction was that he was very glad to finally be right. Yea right. Totally NOT the point there buddy. Of course he was kidding and we actually had a nice little brief chat about it and in turn, I gots me some lovin. Not that a post like that is what it took for me to get me some, but I got me some either way. And it was good. And you didn’t really need to know that. And I have been starting way to many sentences with “And” lately.

But today? I feel sick. I keep fighting back waves of nausea and I don’t know where they are coming from. Yuck. I hope it passes quickly.



6 responses

17 10 2007

Nausea like The Nausea? Y’know the vague nausea…? Or or you just getting sick? Have some soup, you’ll feel better.

17 10 2007

The point is that KIDS SHOULD NOT BE PUSHING BACK BECAUSE THE SCHOOL WONT HELP. The school has a responsibility to meet the needs of each and every child on their property. Yes they CAN single people out and they WILL if the fucking PARENTS go in and press the issue. And if you dont have time to press the issue? Then why do you have kids going to public schools where these kids of things happen? MAKE THE TIME to bring it to the attention of the school. Furthermore, any time your kid gets sent to the office you make sure to tell him not to say A WORD until you get there. You as a parent essentially act as a lawyer, and showing involvement may have saved him from the referral.

Bullying is serious business and shouldnt be left up to little kids to handle. Yes, there are emergency situations where defense is needed, but there is no excuse not to bring it to the attention of an adult and rely on force as a last resort.

Hope you feel better.

18 10 2007

Thats all well and good in a perfect world. Unfortunately, my own experiences with SBJ’s school and also in talking to my mom who has been teaching for 35+ years, its just not a reality. Its sad and heartbreaking and you are right, it IS the responsibility of the school to take care of our kids when they are there. But its just not a reality. Of course they CAN single kids out. But 9 times out of 10, they wont. If you read the blog I linked to, you can see that the writer has spoken to the school and yet her child is still being bullied. Is she still failing to do everything she can? As parents with kids in elementry school, or middle, or high school, we TRUST the school when they say they will take care of the problem. And when they dont? While we wade through red tape trying to get the school involved enough to solve the problem, OUR KIDS ARE STILL GOING TO SCHOOL EVERYDAY AND FACING THEIR BULLIES! So everyday that we try and get someone at the school to listen, our kids are still getting pushed around. And I am sorry, but that doesnt work for me. While I deal with the adult end of things, I do not expect my kid to not stand up for himself. If it takes pushing that other kid down too, then so be it. We can deal with the consequences as they come. Unfortunately, I couldnt save SBJ from his referral. He came home with it. The school didn’t call in the process of him getting it because it was given as punishment from his teacher. And thats totally normal process. I wont fight it because he probably was involved in the incident that caused him to get the referral. He’s 6. He was disciplined at home but I was not about to protest the referral with the school. You nailed it though, force is a last resort. He knows to tell the teacher first and if he doesn’t get result, he knows he can defend himself. Its a good theory that the school has a huge enough heart to care for all 800 students in attendence. But its just not possible. They do their best with their short staffs and that is the scary reality in most schools in California and I suspect all over the US.

I feel much better today. 🙂 (this could have been a second post! LOL)

18 10 2007

I was bullied as a child, it has shaped who I am today (and not for the better). I wish someone would have and could have done something to help me. I should have kicked that little beyotches ass back then!

18 10 2007

Miss, Thank you!
It’s validating knowing other parents think about and have to deal with these type of issues as well. Cheers!

18 10 2007

Having worked in education (and dealing in crisis matters!), I think parents should push the issue until someone DOES pay attention. If the teacher isn’t responsive, go to the principal. If the principal doesn’t respond, take it to the district. If the Superintendent won’t react, take it to the School Board. Sounds extreme, but it works – and if it’s what has to be done to protect your child, well, it needs to be done.

Each school varied, but we were overall very responsive to these types of issues. Bullying is taken very seriously in the local school district, and it’s a zero-tolerance policy. I don’t recall a bullying case that required the intervention of the highest level of the administration, because after Columbine and other similar events, no one wants to mess with this.

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