My son was bullied for most of his school years past the 3rd grade, in Pennsylvania. Initially it was because I was a "Single Mother" the kids called him a Bastard all the time. None of them knew that his father lived in England and that it is expensive to get the permissions for my future husband to come to the states for us to get married, nor did they care.
Then came the bullying when we moved to California, he was an outsider ... not a "Native Californian". News Flash, neither were any of the children who were bullying him. This went from kids bullying him on the playground to one of the teachers assaulting him in the play area while dragging him to the main school, most of the older or kids that needed help were in Pods outside the school building. Our son was/is Dyslexic, hence a class in a Pod and the reason he was bullied by the children.
However, when an adult comes into a classroom/Pod, drags your child out by his arm with no explanation (our son had been taught what to do if he felt he was in danger), he kicked bit and called out for help, however his pleas fell on deaf ears. He was plunked down in the principals office and we were called. When we saw the state our son was in, clothes all torn up, face and legs bloodied we asked "who did this to our son?" we were told that our son did not cooperate with a teacher trying to bring him to the office due to a fight in the playground earlier in the day. YAY! Our son finally defended himself, well the school didn't see it that way.
I called the police from the principals office phone and told them that my son had just been abused by one of the teachers, we were never given a name. However, when the police showed up and they asked the principal for the name of the teacher (threatening to hold him responsible) I had my pen and paper in hand to write down the name he quickly blurted out.
His claim was that our son did not respond to a direct order from said teacher. We countered with, our son is a pacifist and will only fight back after he asks someone to leave him alone 3 times. We felt this was a fair way to raise him. Mr. Jones, for the sake of my sanity I am using a false name for the teacher, used unnecessary force to get our son from a Pod to the Principals office. Where he was just warned about fighting on the playground.
Now, our son was afraid to go to school. So, I requested an audience with the whole school (teachers included, this was in 1999) where we discussed bullying and that it should not be tolerated in school or anywhere.
We had a ballot box and asked everyone in the room "Have you ever been bullied at this school?" No names, just a head count and either yes or no on some paper we handed out. The paper was scored in the middle making 2 business card size pieces.
We had another box where we asked everyone another question, "have you ever bullied someone at this school?" Everyone had to participate and the results were shocking. There were adults in the school who admitted to bullying. Children as well.
What was very frightening is that 89% of those asked had been bullied at that school. A further 25% stated that they were bullies at that school, again there was adult handwriting in there.
I took our son out of the School and home-schooled him until my husband & I were married in 2001.
Once we were married we moved to England to live. We enrolled our son in the same school that my husband had gone to as a child (my hubby is 6'7" has been since he was 14 and was bullied at this school and had major anxiety problems over sending our son there). We thought it was rather convenient as we lived 2 houses from the front gates of the school.
However, then it started in England. He was bullied by one boy because his accent was different. This bullying, even though we had been to the school & police about it, continued until one day our son came home with a boot print on his forehead. We took him directly by bus, while his bullier stood across the road calling my husband the C word. We went on to the hospital and we asked them to call the police for us as we knew the name of the child that did this to our son. In England you are responsible for your actions once you turn 10. Our son was 11 and his abuser was 15.
The police told us that once we were done at the hospital we would need to come to the police station so that they could take pictures of the new and old bruises on our son from this other child. My son was a very shy person, the mere thought of having to take anything off in front of a stranger gave him an anxiety attack. The doctors gave him an injection to get him through the photos and a prescription for pain meds due to all of the bruising and the broken ribs.
We took our son to the Police Station, they were set up and waiting for us. Our son asked if his dad could go with him to have the photos taken and thank the Good Lord, they allowed it. I sat patiently (okay, not so patiently) waiting for the two of them to return. The police informed us that the child that was bullying our son has a long history of abuse not just of other children, but the elderly as well as theft, throwing Molotov's under buses or into Bus stops.
It wasn't until we left England after about 18mths there, we left to remove our son form a hostile environment. We received a parcel from my hubbies Mum with a newspaper article, Front Page, this kids name with his picture. He was there because he was the second child to be placed on an ASBO (Anti-Social Behavior Order), since it's inception by Tony Blair in 1998. You can read about the ASBO here: https://www.gov.uk/asbo, His fathers response was "Boys will be boys."
Once we were back in the States, our son being bullied was one of the reasons, the other was I (as a severely disabled person with Cancer) could not get the kind of medical care I needed, due to the National Health policies, We enrolled him in school and it was a vicious cycle, he was picked on because he had an English accent now, so did I and well, his dad is a given. We got that taken care of first go with the school.
I am happy to say that even with all the things my son went through, as it was like walking through a fire, he is a caring and responsible young adult with a son of his own now.
He is the person that looks after the little ones in the neighborhood who are too small to stand up for themselves. He has returned bullies to their respective homes, sometimes by their ear, and not only let the parents know but also the organization we all rent our homes from in our little quiet Cul De Sac.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.