Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bullying Does Not Discriminate

If you search for information on bullying on the internet, you get a ton of pictures of bullied elementary age kids and teenage girls verbally abusing each other in the school hallways. There is little to nothing about bullying amongst teenage boys.  Besides the stereotype of the scrawny geek getting shoved into the locker on the television shows, no one wants to talk about High School boys being bullied. When you hear about a boy being bullied, you picture scrawny, small, weak, geeky.  But what about the boy who is six foot tall, kind, gentle, and thoughtful? Is this the typical target of a bully? Is he our anti-bullying poster child?

As a school employee, I get the benefit of being at my kids' school from time to time. Today was one of those days. I love the random moments during the day when I get to look up and see one of my children winking, waving, or sticking their tongue out at me as they walk down the hall. Today; however, when I saw my son coming down the hall, it was not joy that filled my heart, it was panic, anger, and pain. You see, when he looked at me, he was not smiling. He was not waving. He was bloody. He was swollen. You could see the pain, the emotional hurt, but most of could very obviously see a broken spirit.

The circumstances were perfect. Perfectly ironic. A lockdown drill, a locked locker room and the coach had stepped out. The bully had his chance, knowing that he had time, that even by the time the coach notices them missing, he would have to unlock the door to get to them. In a moment when the school is preparing and learning the proper procedures to protect its students, mine was being physically attacked.

My son is not the world's best communicator, but he will do his best to work through anything with anyone. He doesn't want to learn to protect himself because he cares too much for others and cannot bear the thought of causing anyone pain, even if they are hurting him. He knew his father would chide him for not fighting back, yet he pleads with me that self defense classes are not what he wants.
He doesn't want anyone to know.  This young man, my baby boy who stands a foot taller than me is ashamed that he was tortured this way.

Although ashamed, beaten, and broken, my son was strong enough - amidst his fear of retaliation - to file criminal charges against his attacker even though the school only punished the boy with three simple days in ISS.

I don't know what is going to happen from here, but I do know one thing. It's about time we stop avoiding the subject and start protecting our children!

Originally posted on my other blog, Kaci Lusk Tutoring

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