Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Rise And Fall of A Tyrant

You may have gotten the impression from my posts that the bullying has stopped.

It hasn't. The bully has simply taken a new tack. He is sneakier, subtler, and more cautious. There have been three incidents since Diminutive One has been back at school. He may be obtuse, but he's not stupid, so the things he is saying are seemingly innocent. And really from any other kid, they would be. But not this kid.

The difference is, the school is now falling all over themselves to protect my son. On each occassion, the bully has been immediately and unceremoniously hauled into the Principal's office. I am not allowed to know how they punished him, because it's a "confidentiality issue", but I'm wondering how effective these consequences could be given the fact that he's still up to his old tricks.

The lawyer has advised us to let the school handle it...for now. We got everything we asked for, and now we have to demonstrate some willingness to work with them.

There are ten days of school left, and there are lots of special activities planned for the graduating 5th graders. I know how devastated my own kid would be to miss those things. And even though I kinda hate that kid, I don't want to be the one responsible for him missing them. I don't want to take that from him just for spite.

We are only willing to put up with it to a point, however. We've discussed with the attorney just where the line in the sand is drawn and we're agreed about that. Once it is crossed, we will move forward with legal proceedings, regardless of how many school days are left.

The boys will be at the same school together next year, and although it's been noted on both student's records that they are not be in any classes together, there are bathrooms, hallways, lunch rooms (no monitors in Middle School) and common areas where my son could be victimized.

So if the kid can't get it through his thick skull that he is not to so much as glance at my son, he will have to pay the price.

But an interesting thing is happening. Word has gotten around. Parents are calling me, emailing me, approaching me in public to find out if what they've heard is true.

But most importantly, they are talking to their children about it.

As a result, these kids are getting wise to the fact that they don't have to just lie down and expose their bellies to the slavering beast.

Yesterday afternoon Diminutive One came crashing through the front door, flushed and nearly bursting with the story he had to tell me.

"Guess what happened today Mom!"


The words tumbled out of him with scarcely a pause in between.

"At recess, we were playing kickball and when it was my turn Bully said get out of here because you're not even on this team and then the team captain said yes he is cause I chose him and then Bully said he wouldn't be on a team with anybody who sucks so much so the team captain said fine you're off the team and then he tried to go on the other team and they said they didn't want him and then he tried to play anyway but nobody would let him get the ball or take his turn kicking and then got mad and said why are you all taking his side I didn't do anything to him and then the whole class was like WHAAAAAT? you are such a liar we all know what you did and then he stomped off and sat by the door by himself for the rest of recess."

His eyes were bright with excitement and gratification. Somebody had stuck up for him. An entire class of somebodies.

And it's spreading. Kids on Bully's ball team, in his Target class, at ASP...they are all, suddenly, standing up to him.

One Mom with whom I spoke, who is a teacher at the school and whose daughter has had the misfortune of being seated next to him at lunch now that they are assigned seats to keep him away from my son, said to me...

"I told Girlie Lou that if that kid says ONE THING to her or touches a single hair on her head, she better let him have it. I told her to knee him where it hurts if that's what it takes. And then tell the teacher immediately and then tell me. None of us are happy that he's still in the classroom. He is a terror and a delinquent and we don't want OUR kids exposed to him either."

Truthfully...and you will think I'm crazy here...I feel bad for him. There is something wrong with this child and he isn't getting the help he needs. And now he is suddenly, after reigning supreme in his little elementary kingdom, finding himself shunned, reviled, and....accountable for his behavior.

I don't think he understands that he has brought this on himself and I don't think there is anybody to help him understand that.

He is going to be a lonely child if he doesn't mend his ways, and likely a lonely adult as well.

But I can't worry about every other kid in the world. I can hardly stand the stress of worrying about my own.

I just hope somebody starts worryiing about him soon.


  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Notes and letters to myself.... said…

    I don't think you are crazy at all. I think you are a loving human being who genuinely cares about the welfare of others.

    That kid didn't get to be a bully on his own. I worry about kids like that as well, what's going on at home for him to behave that way.

    This is how the Eric Harris's and Dylan Klebold's of the world get their start.

    I am so happy that your son is being supported as school.

  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    No, I don't think you're crazy either. He is a child and though accountable, may not be totally responsbile. I hope he does get the help he needs. I hope there IS someone to help him understand.

    I'm glad you took that action you did, as it seems to have sparked a revolution of sorts. Bravura to the parents and children willing and able to follow your lead.

    ~~and geez, how could I? Mea culpa :-)

  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger Lise said…

    I'm so glad the other kids have circled their wagons around your son. But I also wonder what will happen to the bully. And why the school isn't getting some help for him. I'm guessing his homelife isn't exactly ideal.

  • At 5:15 PM, Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said…

    Where on earth are Bully's parents???

  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    What Amy said. Now that kids are sticking up for themselves and for your son (yay!) it's time for someone to do something about Bully. This kid clearly needs some guidance and quickly.

    But oh my lawd, I was bursting when I read DO's story. That must have been awesome.

  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger merinz said…

    I do hope that the school are communicating with the other childs parents and also working with the child.

    This whole episode is a wake up call for them, and also a chance for the child to examine his own behaviour, to be helped and given the skills to make some changes.

  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Where are Bully's parents? Probably both working huge hours to keep their job. And too tired to do anything with him when they're home other than yell at him for being a PITA. Bullies aren't built in a day, they come from years of parental neglect and ignorance, tolerance from the school because the school KNOWS that the parents can't or won't do anything, and until someone makes a fuss, the school is going to ignore it.

    Schools don't WANT to pay for special ed for a kid with emotional issues. That costs $$, and we must never, not for one second, forget that schools are first and foremost a business. The business is way more important than the services they provide. Schools will NEVER deal with a problem kid without a parent forcing them into it. It will NEVER happen.

    I was just meeting with a client tonight. 1st grade son having issues with a really bad bully girl. Parents disinterested. School ignoring it. They will continue to ignore it because it's a parochial school and they don't do the big cull until 3rd grade. So the ENTIRE parent population of one town where the school is located when enmass to the principal and demanded that this girl not be in their kid's class. Hence she was moved to the other class with the kids from neighboring towns and is causing a HUGE problem. The only thing my client can do is to pull her kid out of this school and she is loathe to do that.

    Again, parents DO NOT CARE and do not want to be involved. They are of the belief that schools are babysitters, teachers of manners, and disciplinarians.

    Boy, are they wrong.

  • At 7:06 AM, Anonymous heidig said…

    Wow! Who knew?! I'm just glad things are finally working out for your son. Thankfully, I never heard of, or had to deal with, this type of thing when my girls were little.

  • At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Apryl's Antics said…

    Now that the kids aren't afraid of him and not siding with him anymore, I think he will take some of this to heart. Fortunately, there are only ten days of school left. I'd like to think this kid has a Summer to consider his behavior and return next year with a little humility. Middle school is a whole new playing field for sure and he won't be the big fish in the little pond anymore. Maybe I'm being a tad idealistic in hoping this kid will see the consequences are from his actions, but I think without the fuel of having the others on his side (out of fear or other reasons), he'll be less inclined to lash out.

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    While I think it's great that DO is feeling supported and bully is getting a dose of bitter medicine, I wouldn't assume that Bully is blind to his own behavior being the cause of this sudden change in the atmosphere.

    I also wouldn't assume, as many have, that Bully is necessarily coming from a troubled home where little quality attention is paid to his behavior.

    Two of the biggest bullies in my daughter's school were girls who were doted upon by their parents, seen as "darlings" by the teachers and high acheivers with great records of community service involvement. Their sideline occupation was to torture other kids emotionally. Both sets of parents were mortified and in complete disbeleif when the girls were eventually confronted.

    My older cousin was a horrific bully, not just in school, but with younger family members. My Aunt and Uncle lived for their kids and were extremely involved in their lives. When several of us finally told our Grandmother about his bahvior, my Aunt and Uncle were truly shocked. It was only then that they contacted the school to see if it was an issue there......and were appalled to find that he was a notorious bully in school. Both my Aunt and Uncle were PTO members, and my Aunt was a room mother for most of her kids school career.

    Some of the most effective bullies are those coined " house angel-street devil" That's why they get away with what they do for so terribly long. No one imagines this behavior of them.

  • At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Julie said…

    My husband's older brother was a bully, both at school and behind his parents' backs. He remained a bully until the day he died at age 60. Which totally explains why his body sat in the hospital morgue for a week before someone claimed it.

    I hope that someone intervenes on Bully's behalf to get him the help he so obviously needs.

  • At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am blown away

  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Angela said…

    It is great when people look out fr one another. Too bad it is necessary though.

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Sharon L. Holland said…

    Reading how you have handled the bullying of your son has been encouraging to me. My oldest starts school this fall and I have been worrying about bullying because I was horribly bullied as a child. It is reassuring to see that if it happens, there are ways to handle it and positive things to be done. Thanks for that.

  • At 6:58 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I'm so glad things are turning around for DO at school and that the other kids are also seeing that they aren't powerless against one domineering bully.

    But, yeah, I also get that twinge of "ugh" about the Bully b/c a happy kid doesn't hurt other people. He probably goes home to a lot of hell where perhaps he is made to feel small and powerless which is why he came to school and had to make someone feel smaller and more powerless than him.

  • At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    WOW~I am so sorry your family has had to endure this, and I just.don't.understand. So much I wanna say~but no words come. Sorry~it's my first visit to your blog, too! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    oh BA. am just catching up. what a terrible thing to be going through. but what i am reading here is signs of hope, of a shift starting to happen.

  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Although I am SO very happy that he's leaving D.O. alone... I can't help but feel a bit sorry for him, also.

    My youngest is only in Kindergarten and there was a boy in his class that was starting to torment a bit. Now, at 5, things are obviously very different than 5th grade. But hurts still hurt.

    I suggested to G that perhaps he should ask the bully to play the next time he was with his friends... that perhaps the reason he was being mean was because he felt excluded. My thinking was this ~ if we can nip this in the bud now, before it progresses to really serious bullying, perhaps my kid won't be his victim. G is quiet and a bit on the shy side and to me he seems like a potentially bigger target for a bully.

    So far, it seems to be working and they're not quite to the "sleepover friends" stage but at least from what I'm aware of, no one is getting picked on right now.

    I wonder how things would have been different for D.O. and his bully if they'd met and clicked at a young age. I think we should all be accountable for our actions and it is definitely NOT Ok that D.O. has been targeted... but I am wondering why this bully feels the need to make himself feel better by putting others down.

  • At 6:18 PM, Anonymous gurukarm (@karma_musings said…

    You are totally not crazy for worrying about this boy; seems pretty obvious no one else is, as you say.

    What really struck me is that so many other kids and parents have come over to yours and DO's side - which even more says to me, YOU GO GIRL!! You have led the charge which was obviously much needed.

    Good onya, mama!

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous MommyWizdom said…

    I haven't read all your posts about the Bully so I'm not privy to the whole story, but my experience is that children are mirror images of their parents. This Bully is probably bullied at home. His caregivers are probably just like he is... he is only copying them. So they don't think anything is wrong with him - how can they provide him any help?

    I think it's a very sad thing that you've had to hire a lawyer in order to get the school system to even acknowledge what's going on...

    But I think you're doing the right thing. And I am so glad, for your son, that it's working!

    Thanks for the great posts!



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