Bullying can take many forms.
- Physical harm, such as hitting, shoving, or tripping.
- Emotional harm, such as making fun of the way a child acts, looks, or talks. Writing mean things about someone in emails or online journals (blogs) is also bullying.
- A girl may form a group and exclude another girl or gossip about her.
- A boy may shove another boy and call him names.
We have had three experiences with bullying. Or that's what I know of. Kid's wont always tell you, or in our case they may not pick up that they are being bullied.
The first happened when Roger was in 3rd grade, Lucy went to the preschool at his school. The known school bully (this kid was awful, anyone and everyone were his targets and mom could care less), really he got to stay for so long because well he paid money and the priest wasn't going to give up money. (he was finally kicked out when other large families started leaving the school because of the situation) Ok back to the story well he called Lucy retarded because she still did not talk. Roger hauled off and hit the kid. I got called into the office and really nothing happened. The school principal was like the kid deserved it, Roger was provoked and defended himself.
The second was in 5th grade. His teacher actually picked up on it and came to talk to me. She said she believed this was happening and she was afraid that it may escalate above just verbal with the boys. She did not want Roger to get in trouble if something happened and he just had enough and fought back, she wanted to step in now. What she did was have the dare officer come in and talk to the kids about what bullying was and what can happen if do it (i.e. you can go to jail even in 5th grade). I know one of the mom's who had been talked to about her son originally said oh there just boys, but when told I will press charges if this continues she finally took it seriously. The bad thing was her son and Roger used to be really good friends and we were social but after that no more. We moved shortly after that so who knows if the boys stopped or moved on to another kid.
This year Roger came home with a bruise I wrote about it here. Some follow up to it. Roger has told me there were three boys in his PE class that he says he thinks they are trying to insult him. Well the PE teacher was not going to have it and all three got in trouble. I don't know who they were or what the punishment was but it seems to have ended. No more meltdowns right when he walks in the door.
How do we stop it. I'm not sure. I don't even know if it can be stopped but something needs to be done. Kids are killing themselves over this, Ashlynn (10), Ryan (13), Jared, Jasmine (10), Tyler, Phobe, Meghan, Eden (14) these are just some of the names, there are many more and saying oh it's part of life is not good enough. It should not be part of life. Kids should feel safe when they go to school not worried about who is going to bother them today.
We need to get society and the schools to realize that while assemblies, posters, and anti-bullying pages are all well and good. It is a baby step in the right direction. All the assemblies, posters, and pledges in the world are useless if there are no consequences for the bullies. There needs to be a firm consistent stance that bulling in any form is not acceptable.