Friday, January 20, 2012

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This Is The Reality. And It Is Not Okay.

This post is one I've been avoiding. I have needed to write it, but have avoided it. The picture to your left is my actual front step, spattered with my notorious #5's blood. In fact, his blood dotted my front step, my walkway, my driveway, and the road all the way to the corner. It sprayed on the yellow shirt he wore that day.  I took a total of 67 pictures of his blood, making a record of the trail, marking the spots on the road. No parent should ever have to do that. But I did it, because I didn't know what evidence I would have to have.

#5 was bullied then assaulted by another elementary student this past Tuesday. #5 is 6 years old and in the first grade. We do not know the identity of the other child, nor his age.  We know that he is larger than #5. We know what he was wearing. We know that he was verbally bullying #5 after school, and #5 flipped him off, so he body slammed my little #5, which exploded his nose.  Thank God it isn't broken. We don't know his name.

We know the principal met with #5 the morning after the assault,  then called to cancel my appointment with him ( I had called the school Tuesday afternoon and requested a meeting to discuss the incident on Wednesday morning) because "#5 seems fine now". We know our school district got in touch with our principal after I filed a complaint that same day, and told him he needed to meet with us. Following that, our principal instructed my 6th grade daughter to tell her mother that he "Is too busy to meet with your mother any time soon".

After 2 days of no progress, I met with the resource officer for our schools, who is willing to help us figure out exactly what happened and where, so the identity of his attacker will be known to school officials as well as the resource officer. Don't get me wrong.  I don't want to press charges against a small child. But I do need our school to enforce their bullying policy, especially when the victim is only 6 years old.

As of today (Friday), it has been four days since the incident. I have spoken with the school district three times, and they have been very cooperative and supportive. I have spoken with law enforcement with success. I have spoken with #5's teacher, to let her know what's going on. I have not been able to speak with the principal about #5 or the bullying/assault since his dismissive call on Wednesday morning.

We are upset, and angry. To be honest, the rage I feel cannot be expressed in words. Someone hurt one of my monsters, and that is not okay.  I am very careful when I talk to district officials and law enforcement, because the emotion threatens to spill over every time. Truly, I am not trying to "make waves". I'm trying to make sure my child, and every other child in that school, is safe. I want to KNOW, not just HOPE, that the administration there is making an active effort to keep our children safe. I want my monsters to know they are safe. But none of us know this.

Physically, #5 is fine. There was no broken nose, no scrapes on his face, his backpack, coat, and clothing protected the rest of his body. There is no bruising, though we were concerned that there could be black eyes the morning after, depending on the force the other child used. But physical harm is not the only possible negative outcome, here.

My Momma Bear is revved up all the time now. I drive to school in the morning and walk to pick up my children after school. That may not sound odd to you... until you realize that we live three doors down from the elementary.

How much more? How much more bullying and hurting will happen until something is done about it? How many more children will have to have experiences like this before our principal cares? How many times will the aggressor get away with it before he is told it's not acceptable and will not be tolerated? How many other parents have been brushed off?

I will not stop. I will not go away. I will not forget the sight of my child on my front step, screaming and bleeding over half his face, his little hands cupped under his chin to catch the blood, already full and dripping all over the pavement. I will not let this go, until I know without a shadow of a doubt that this will not be tolerated by anyone else, either.

I will not be silent, lest my silence be construed as condoning these acts of violence. This is the reality of bullying. This is the reality of our school. This is the reality of a first grader. And it is not okay.


Unknown said...

Go and sit in the office, no appointment just go and make sure you push for a meeting. My mother had to do that when my sister and I were picked on.

The Pyxie said...

I wish I couldn't relate but we went through the same thing. 4 kids between 8 and 12 bullied my six year old.

The Pyxie said...

I wish I couldn't relate but we went through the same thing. 4 kids between 8 and 12 bullied my six year old.

The Pyxie said...

I wish I couldn't relate but we went through the same thing. 4 kids between 8 and 12 bullied my six year old.

Unknown said...

This story should be shared with every parent with children in that school and it should also be published in the local newspaper.

Grandma of #5 said...

I am reading this with tears running down my face. My heart is breaking reading this about my grandson who is #5. I am also reading this with such pride in my daughter-in-law's eloquence, intelligence and tenacity for putting in words what goes on every day, not only to my grandson but to so many children. What my grandson's Principal has done in refusing to see or meet with my daughter-in-law is unconscionable. Shame on this person for choosing not to meet with my grandson's mother. As I sit here and see in my mind's eye what has happened to my grandson, #5, my anger (rage) exacerbates. I, as well, will not allow this to not be addressed (only with my daughter-law's permission.) However I want my voice to be heard loud and clear that (as has been said in this blog) that bullying is not ok nor will it be tolerated. I am so fortunate that my grandson, #5, has a Mother who is not complacent and will stand up for what is right and just. This is true for all 7 children. My deepest and heartfelt thanks to #5's mom who is my hero. A reminder to everyone... bullying is not OK; not to my grandson, #5, any other grandchildren nor to any child.

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