My son goes to a private school. I put him there thinking he would, in some measure, be safe, at least more so than in public school. He’s in the third grade. He’s doing well, reads at almost 7th grade level according to the standardized tests, is extremely creative, follows the rules, puts reasonable question to authority, gets along well with his teachers and classmates.And he’s getting bullied. Everyday. Verbally and/or physically, pretty much every DAMN DAY. This has been going on for years. Zero tolerance they say. We’re working on a solution they say. We have a plan they say. Yeah, that’s why when I pick my son up some days; he’s on the verge of tears, tears that rain in a torrent as soon as he & I are safe in the car.
Yesterday, what resounded with me was “why won’t they keep us safe from him Mommy?” (notice he asked ‘won’t’ not ‘can’t’) and “Why don’t they make him leave mommy?” and sadly- when I ask what the teachers do-“ I hate my teachers, they won’t do anything”Good questions, those are.
They are trying to do something, they say, they have a plan. Big damn whoop. The plan is about helping the bully. What bullshit. What about what it’s doing to my son and the other kids that are being tortured? Everyone is so intent on helping the BULLY, that they are forgetting the damage he has inflicted and continues to inflict on his classmates.Forgetting that at night parents like me have to stay until their child falls asleep because he’s scared.
Forgetting that at night, the bullying doesn’t stop, it revisits in dreams, the kind our kids wake up crying from.
Forgetting that parents like me are on overtime trying to compensate for the damage inflicted on burgeoning self-esteem, damage that will last a lifetime.Forgetting that by not protecting, lifting up and cherishing the kids who are getting hurt, they exponentially add to the damage.
Forgetting that the bully getting all the ‘fix it’ attention is the wrong message. There is no apparent consequence for him. But the kids who are getting bullied get in trouble for ‘tattling’Forgetting that this is the stuff kids are dying about.
All the positive reinforcement techniques in the world do not stop the message the bully is pounding into these children. That they are losers, they are stupid, they are worthless. The message gets through and it sticks. Compounded by all the ‘forgetting’.And I’m beyond pissed off.
And I am grateful that my son trusts me and believes in me enough that he brings his hurts and sadness to me, and we work on it together. But I can’t fix it, and that breaks my heart.