As much as this topic is in the news these days, I can't believe how much it goes on. For the last month or so Tommy has come home from one of the houses on the street saying he's been bullied. This is such a hot topic these days and I know it's discussed in school. However sometimes when he says he's been bullied, I feel like he's exaggerating and maybe it should be "bullied" in air quotes.
Today was different, he came home crying, elbow bleeding a bit and said he got a dodgeball thrown into his back, a football thrown into his face, and pushed onto the concrete. Then he realized he had left his phone down at this kid's house and got hysterical at the thought of going back to get it. I wasn't sure what to do and I was pissed. I wanted to go down there and knock their heads together (I am a GREAT role model for anti-bullying) but I didn't. I marched down there instead of flying on my broom, and I confronted them.
The bully was actually a stranger kid, one I had never seen before. But he looked like a typical bully. Crew cut hair, freckles, square shaped (twice as big as Tommy, apparently a 4th grader), almost a charicature. He looked like his name should be Butch or Buster.
He said they were playing dodgeball. OK, 3 kids on 1 isn't dodgeball, and what a stupid game, it practically promotes bullying. I asked what game they were playing that constituted throwing a football in Tommy's face. No answer. I asked what game they were playing that constituted knocking him to the cement and he said he didn't do it. I KNOW when kids are lying, he kept denying it. So I played a trick on him and said "what if I told you I saw you do it?"
Dead. Silence. I'll say right now that I did NOT see him do it and I'm not condoning lying to a child, but once he thought I did boy did he back off, apologizing all over himself. Anyway, long story short, he lives in the neighborhood and I told him I would involve his parents if it ever happened again. I also told Tommy to stay the EFF away from that house. It's bad news. The kids do whatever they want, the whole time I was yelling in their garage the dad never came out. I speak in a shout, imagine how loud I am when I yell.
So how does this keep happening to kids? Adults have to go to diversity training in some occupations so that they don't get in trouble for offending someone of the opposite sex, or someone of a different minority, etc. The schools should be more involved but where are they going to get the money? Already our school is down to a part-time librarian, they get P.E. one week out of the month (it's no wonder obesity is a problem), same with music, art and computers.
I wish I had the answers, it's just amazing to me that it's discussed everywhere you look, but it still happens down the street on a regular basis. Sometimes being a parent stinks.