Sunday, 25 May 2008
by Mama Turtle
...is their child coming home from school to tell them that again, they're being bullied, and no amount of reassurance and advice is helping their child in the least.
It's a few different knives in my heart: One recalling just how painful it really is based on personal experience, the other feeling guilty at not being able to protect my child from the kids in the world that for whatever reason, are mean. Still another one is feeling directly the hurt and anger that my kid feels too.
I'd asked him many times if he told the children to stop, if he ignored them, if he told his teacher? He'd say yes but nothing worked. This week, as it took everything I had to coax him to get dressed for school, I realized it was glaringly obvious this was not going to stop, and wondered if the teacher had any real idea of what was going on. Finally I said, "I'm going to write a note to your teacher."
So I sat my sleepy mama brain down and wrote a quick letter off the cuff - to paraphrase: "Dear Miss.... I'm writing to bring to your attention the problem my child has been having with several classmates...teasing, and invasion of space and property (schoolwork and materials)...this has gotten so severe I have to coax my child to go to school each day... All of my children have had a rough transition to a new school and I would like for my child to be able to enjoy the rest of the school year without the added stress of bullying. Thank you for your time and please feel free to call me at...."
Something like that. I told him to be sure to give this to his teacher, but I think he will because he seemed overjoyed that mommy had (finally) done something solid on his behalf. I guess I was expecting too much out of such a little guy to feel ok enough to really go to his teacher about it. I myself never really did take much of the advice I was given, including going to a teacher, and I know ignoring it never worked either. It's not just "in sight" of teachers in the classroom - it's also on the walks or bus rides back and forth to school, the cafeteria, the playground, the hallways... It wasn't until I was in eighth grade that I once broke down to a parent (why I didn't go to my highly protective father sooner I don't know) about the blatant sexual harassment I was enduring in Economics. One irate phone call to the principal later (and a meeting where I was pretty much forced face to face to tell the ass to stop what he was doing) and it ended.
Not that I want to get on the phone and start yelling and screaming, and I do best when I write something down anyways. I am expecting the teacher to call me when she first gets a chance to to be honest (I don't know why I don't have her number like I have the other two teachers' numbers but I can call the main office if I need to for it). If I don't hear from her and hear any more about this from my kid I will be calling the office next, though I do hope this is the beginning of the end right now.
What would you do if your child was being bullied in school?