There’s a lot of things in my life that I hope I never have to do. Some of them are things I hope to never have to do…AGAIN. Bury a child. Return to drug rehab. Go back to nursing. Re-marry. Those are the things that come to mind immediately.
However, something I really hope I never have to do again is deal with my son being bullied in school. This blog post dropped off a couple of weeks ago after an incident at my sons school brought my flow as a writer to a crashing halt. In light of all the anti-bullying campaigns going on, I found myself smack in the middle of the controversy.
Apparently, my son was approached by a young lady in his school about smoking pot with her. He told her that he didn’t do that, told her that he thinks people who do are losers and left it at that. Should he have said that? Maybe not. No sense in making people feel bad about their personal decisions, but I was nevertheless proud to know that is his take on drug users. This in turn incensed the young lady.
Sometime around noon, she tapped my son on the shoulder. He had his back to her and when he turned to see who was tapping him, she proceeded to strike him, close fisted, right across his face. She left large, red welts across his cheek. As he was always taught, he did not retaliate with violence, but rather with a “What the Fuck, Lindsay?” She stormed off. He was sent to the clinic for some Tylenol and an ice pack for his face. At approximately 4pm, I received a call from the school telling me what happened. All the administrator said was that my son was involved in an altercation. She was not forthright with the details immediately, so I was incensed. The details were not coming out as fast and furiously as I wanted them to. Is he okay? Is he hurt? Is he safe? Where is he now? And…the all important, if this happened at lunch, WHY THE FUCK AM I FIRST HEARING ABOUT IT NOW??? To say I was livid is putting it in graciously mild terms.
The admin told me that the girl will be suspended, however, my sons “involvement” in the incident was going to be investigated. My sons involvement? He never touched her. Never laid a finger on her. What the HELL are you investigating my son for?? This girl is obviously a bully. According to my son, this isn’t the first time she has hit a boy in school, simply because “she can”. She knows they won’t retaliate.
Her reply to me was “We don’t understand how we can qualify this young lady who assaulted Nick as a bully. She’s in all honors classes!” *ROFL* Really? Because if you are a piece of shit who assaults other people, you can’t possibly be smart too? Well, hell…there goes my entire High School career! LOL
The first night it happened, I was enraged. I was literally pacing the floors wondering how I can get this girls address so I can beat her father to a pulp and claim “Well, I’m a girl. I can do what I want and get away with it.” I was so angry. Someone struck MY baby. My little boy. The child who I nursed back to health after open heart surgery and a time there that we weren’t sure he was going to make it back into the safety of my arms. MY baby. Who the FUCK are you to touch MY child? To make him feel unsafe? To harm him in any way whatsoever, simply because he opted not to conform to your drug use? Seething. I was literally seething. And what would be the aftermath? I told the administration that I intended to press charges of assault against the girl. When I told my son of my intentions, he begged me not to.
“It would ruin me in school, Mom,” he said. “Please don’t do it. It will ruin me.”
So here I am, caught between needing to do what is right to protect my son and my sons comfort and safety in the days that would follow thereafter. It was a confusing time for me, especially as I watched his facebook page, posting video after video of angry songs about kids being bullied. This obviously was affecting him deeper than he was letting on. And all I can think of was how angry I was. I am so angry. And Alone. And I want to hit something. I want to hit it so damn hard over and over again until it hurts as much as I do.
What to do next? What do you do?
I go to the girls facebook page and find that she has written in her “info” that she has bipolar disorder and anger management issues and that if you “fuck with her” expect to get “fucked with right back”. But, my son never did anything to her. He was a victim of abuse. For any of you who have read my blog for any length of time, you know I was the victim of abuse at the hands of a man who beat me relentlessly for years before I finally got away. I don’t tolerate it in my life any longer and I sure as fuck will not be standing for it in my childs life. Further, since when is bipolar disorder an acceptable excuse for bad behavior? Obviously this child does not have her parents involved in her life or they would see her facebook page, as I did, and be appalled by most of what was written there. I did print out a copy of her page and send it up to the school to show them what their precious “honor student” was capable of when left to her own devices.
Eventually, Nick was completely exonerated of any wrong doing at all. Opted not to press charges against this little piece of shit, but did let her parents know that I have six months in which to change my mind about that and a police report in my pocket. So, hopefully, they will keep their little mongrel on a leash from now on.
I hope, in the rest of my lifetime, I don’t have to do this again with my son. I hope that the rest of his school career is safe and nurturing. I never want to see that look of pain in his eyes ever again, nor do I ever want my level of anger to rise so high that I do something stupid in retaliation for a wrongdoing directed at any of my children or grandchildren.
If nothing else, it has only gotten me more involved in The Trevor Project, an organization that is seeking to stop bullying. Their agenda incorporates the bullying of gay teenagers to the point of suicide, but really, any child who is being bullied and threatened in school is encouraged to seek help before opting for the final act of suicide, simply because they just can no longer take the ridicule. Being different, whether it is because you are gay, you are fat, you are tall or you refuse to do drugs with your peers should not make you a pariah. People need to learn to respect that we are all different. We are all unique and everyone has a place in this world.
Bullies are small minded cowards with big mouths. Nothing more.
If you are being bullied in school or are the parent of a child who is being bullied, I encourage you to join in me in my endeavor to get out the word about The Trevor Project so that no more teenagers succumb to suicide due to being bullied in school. If you have an urgent emergency and need help, call The Trevor Project. That number is The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
In the interim, I must encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your life and watch the short film “Trevor”, the movie that inspired The Trevor Project. It is 15 minutes that will change your life and make you realize that yes, it DOES get better.
You may watch the movie in full HERE Please encourage your children to watch it as well.
Nine children in the past 6 weeks have killed themselves due to bullying. Those are nine beautiful lives that were full of potential and promise being snuffed out in the springtime of their lives. So much in store for them, so much lying ahead for them and now, they will never know.
We have to do better. We have to.