Little Warriors, as you grow you will be faced with obstacles in your life. The road is not always easy, as much as we try to shield you from any pain or discomfort. There will come a time when you need to react for yourself.
Stand up for who you are, protect those who struggle, and be strong to voice your opinion.
Bullying occurs everyday in schools all over the world, and at all different levels of severity, starting as early as Junior Kindergarten.
This is my son, Kane. When he was 6 he was faced with his first bully. Once he was punched in the face and hit his head off the brick wall in the school. My husband, Matt, made several trips into the office to discuss the issues, because I cannot keep my cool when it comes to the kids. The next school year came and things seemed to settled down. Until I got a phone call from the secretary saying Kane had been hit in the eye and was very upset, and to come get him. My natural reaction was, "Oh, must have happened in gym or playing, etc." When I got to the school, I was greeted by the secretary who said, "We have had one heck of a day." So I asked what happened. Kane was hit in the eye with a rock by the bully as he was running by.
Well, I saw red, and had some choice words for her, that I later had to apologize for. When I saw Kane he was holding ice on his eye and upset. When we got to the truck he melted down, saying he was scared and didn’t want to go back to school, and he was worried that the next school year the bully would be in his class. Keep in mind, he’s 7 years old at this point. I held him tight in the parking lot until he decided it was time to let go. How do you think that makes a parent feel? HELPLESS!! School is supposed to be a fun and happy place.
We went home, and I got looking at his eye, and it didn’t look right. I called the doctor and explained the situation, and they said to come in immediately. After being examined it was found that Kane had an abrasion on his eye, and his cornea was full of blood due to the force of the hit from the rock. He was patched, and needed to be seen the next day. If the levels didn’t go down we were looking at long-term vision loss. So the object was to keep him at low activity... not an easy task.
Talking with a police officer who made a report, he kindly told me that no child can be charged until they are 12 years old.
Later in the evening, after I forwarded on the information to his teacher, the principal finally decided to call. When I asked why the bully isn’t accompanied by a teacher or someone in the yard, given the past history with Kane and other students, she laughed at me.
You don't laugh at an angry mom. Especially someone like me.
I asked for the superintendent's email, and the principal nicely replied, "I will be sending my points as well with this conversation." YES, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO! It's time to get in the game and do something about this!!! This has gone on way too long.
The next day we had a follow up with the doctor. The blood level had not gone down, so then came four more days of being patched with low activity, in the hopes we don’t have long-term vision issues. The school was informed and it was communicated that a safety program was being created. FINALLY, some movement! Why is it that something tragic or severe has to happen before progress occurs?
During the days of his recovery I called our lawyer for legal advice. The only written statute is that the parent of the bully has to prove they did everything possible to stop the behaviour. THAT’S IT!!!
After the four days, Kane was cleared to return to school, where accommodations were finally put in place for his safety.
But this opened our eyes, and hopefully yours as well. There is nothing in place to protect our children from bullies. Unfortunately, bullying has been around forever, and will continue, and as parents we can't control it. But we can control how our kids react to it, to stand up for themselves and others being bullied. To voice, "You hurt me," "I'm not your friend," "I will not play with you," "Leave me alone!" To feel pride and build their confidence that they did not back down, instead of feeling bad and insecure, or that they are the problem.
The Don't Back Down collection was created to support bullying prevention organizations. Children are hurting, parents are hurting and watching helplessly.
Time to fight back. Teach our kids Don't Back Down.