Is Your Child Being Bullied?
Bullying seems to be one of those tragic hot topics in the news lately. Unfortunately, bullying has touched my family personally.
Yesterday, I made the decision to pull my youngest son out of Middle School and homeschool him. Why? Because after several weeks of him begging to be homeschooled, he uttered the words, “I would rather be dead than have to go back to school and face the bullies again.”
As a parent, those words sliced my heart into shreds.
I hugged him and told him I would homeschool him. I am fortunate to be in a position that I can do that. I think about the other parents who are not able to pull their kids out of school when the bullying gets too much for their children to handle.
I know some of you reading this will be thinking, “Your child just needs to toughen up. We had bullying when I was a kid. Everything turned out alright.”
To you, I say this … You have not experienced the merciless and violent bullying that is prevalent in schools today.
I could list all of the names of young people who took their own lives, because they just could not take the constant assaults, both physical and emotional, but I’m sure you are familiar with the horrific stories.
Recently, a beautiful young woman named Brandy Vela shot herself in front of her parents and grandparents because she could not live with the bullying anymore. Even though she died in November, the cyber-bullying continues. Think about that for a minute. The child is dead and the bullies keep up with their sick games.
These are children, bullying other children to the point they see no way out other than death. Can you imagine being bullied to the point that death is a welcome alternative?
The schools all like to pat themselves on the back with their “Anti-Bullying” campaigns. Forgive me, but that’s a bunch of Bovine Scatology right there. When the bullying would happen, my son would speak up and let a teacher know. However, if the teacher didn’t see it, it was just his word against the bullies.
Some (not all) of the things my son has experienced since he started school here:
– Being told on the first day of school as he’s riding the bus, “Why did you have to move here? I hate you.”
– Having his locker repeatedly slammed shut by the girl who’s locker was next to his while he’s trying to get his books for the next class.
– Doors slammed in his face.
– He was threatened repeatedly by a group of males that they were going to beat him up
Those are just a few of the things he went through last year. This year, the bullies have progressed:
– While studying in a group for Model UN, one of the bullies from last year came into the class and in front of the teacher, kicked my son from behind so hard he fell to the floor.
– Another classmate told my son that the world would be a better place if he would just “Drink bleach and die.” That wasn’t enough for this child. The next day, when my son showed up back at school, this same child said, “I see you didn’t take my advice. I told you to drink bleach and die. Get it right next time.”
My son went to the teacher, crying and told him what this boy said. The assistant principal assured me the boy was being dealt with, but because of privacy issues, they could not tell me what.
Just to be clear, I wasn’t sitting back doing nothing during all of this. I repeatedly went to the school and met with the administrators, demanding they do something. When the physical assault happened, I told them if that child ever touched my son again, I would not be going to the school, I would be going straight to the police to file a restraining order and assault charges.
In case you think we must live in a “bad school district,” think again. Our family lives in the wealthiest county in our state. Every school is either rated a 9 or a 10 on Great Schools. The school my son attends is rated a 10 and is a Blue Ribbon school. Most of the students come from white upper middle class families.
Nothing stops these bullies. It’s as though they have no humanity, no conscience, no compassion, no soul. Bullies today don’t just stop at teasing, it’s as though they want to push someone to the point of suicide.
Check out this story from the Daily Mail:
‘In sum, we conclude that there was probable cause to show that the coercive quality of the defendant’s verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the eighteen year old victim had to cope with his depression, and that but for the defendant’s admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death,’ Justice Robert Cordy wrote for the court in the unanimous ruling.
The case drew national attention after transcripts of text messages Carter sent to Roy according to the indictment were released publicly, showing her urging him to follow through on his plan to kill himself and chastising him when he expressed doubts.
‘I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!’ Carter wrote in one message according to prosecutors.
‘You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,’ authorities say she wrote in another message.
This is not an isolated incident. Things like this are going on all over the United States in Middle Schools and High Schools. I’m not even going to pretend to know why. Is it the internet? Video games? Working parents who don’t monitor their kids?
Why is it that children today think nothing of encouraging other children to kill themselves? Why are other children not coming forward and saying, “Stop! What you’re doing is wrong!”
Because to me, seeing the bullying and doing nothing, is almost as bad as the bullying itself.
This week, I will be registering my son as a homeschooler. I will order his curriculum and continue to encourage him to be the kind, happy and outgoing child he has always been, despite what he endured at his school.
My concern is for all of the other children who’s parents do not have that option. What happens to them?
My prayers are with them.
Bullying is an intentional, aggressive and repeated behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength.
It can take several forms:
Physical (hitting, punching, beating)
Verbal (teasing, name calling, threats)
Emotional (intimidation using gestures, social exclusion, threats)
Cyberbullying (Online harassment, hate messages, threats, impersonation, and other digital abuse)
• Your child comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings
• Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches
• Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time
• Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers
• Finds or makes up excuses as to why they can’t go to school
• Takes a long out of the way route when walking to or from school
• Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school
• Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home
• Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments
• Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
• Experiences a loss of appetite
• Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem
If your child is being bullied, get them help with a counselor or other professional. Bullying is not just a rite of passage or something you just have to deal with.
No child should feel unsafe when they go to school.