And it is the first day of school. Your in the first grade... again. You spent your first year of first grade being bullied. Being told in class to "shut up and put your hand down." You spent the first year being made fun of for the lunches you brought, the clothes you wore, the way you styled your hair, and just about everything else you did or said. You got rocks thrown in your ears, birthday invitations crumpled up and thrown back in your face. You ended every day jumping inside moms car and swearing it went fine. "K****n was nice to me today, were friends now I think." When asked what you did during recess you answer, "I hid in my hiding spot because I couldn't find the playground teacher." And swear as well that it's okay, you like to hide in your hiding spots.
Hi, my name is April. My husbands name is Matt. We are the proud parents of a left handed, red headed, freckle faced, unique seven year old. We found out our son was being bullied in the beginning of first grade. The bully was a fellow classmate. The problem was brought up six different occasions via phone, email, and hand written notes to the teacher. Each time I had been told, "That's not okay," "I never see any issues with him and other kids?" And other non-aggressive uninterested responses.
I am a stay at home mother. At the beginning of our sons first grade year I had a desire to homeschool. My husband wasn't so on board, as our son is very out going, and full of energy. He (was) such a social little man, so to my husband is was a slightly bizarre idea. As we began to watch him struggle with reading, and I began to nag my husband seemingly every day about things our son would tell me, my husband slowly came around to the idea. When we found out he had to re-do first grade, the memory of last years bullying came front and center on my mind. Along with the fact that the only subject he has a hard time with is reading. He is excelled in all other aspects. My husband wanted to give it a try for a bit then incorporate homeschooling after the first month. As I sent my son on his way into the school that morning, I just knew we'd made a wrong choice. I had for the first time ever, left my phone in the car after a errand I ran, only to go fetch it a hour later and see multiple missed calls from the school and my husband. Then the chaos entailed. My husband relayed to me that the school had called, and our boy had been punched in the cheek. He was swollen and red, but appeared over all okay. I called the school on my way to get him and was told "Oh, he is okay. He is in class, he was punched but we don't understand what he told us. No one is in trouble, we believe it was a accident." As I walked in I demanded the principle and (they know me, sadly) she said well we think someone may have bumped him in line. He's fine. I'll call him down. I had requested he be brought back to the office immediately when I phoned in to let them know I was on my way. They were in no hurry so I myself went down the hall and to his classroom. He was crying, Had a red puffy cheek, red chin, and his eye was swollen. I confronted the teacher and waited until class was over and we had a conversation. I let her know last years history, and that our son would not be in for a while. His teacher worked with me very well, I was rather impressed. She let me know a third different story from what all the other staff had, that he had been beat up. That our son did not know the name of the children, and that she had spoke to my husband.
We kept him home the following day, which is today, and he will be home for a unknown amount of time. I phoned in to the school today, and phoned the other public school only to get the following news, we can not have him transferred to the other school. We want him to take reading and spelling in the public school while we supplement all other courses at home, the principle told me today that it is up to her and the other schools principle if he will be transferred. Now I do not know the extent of the truth behind this matter, but with the circumstance at hand you would imagine they had a system arranged where (if room allows, and for any child in this situation) that they could make it work. The principle set up a meeting for next Monday, and told me "Well I will leave a note for who ever is here tomorrow" as she is out of office. Now maybe it is my mother bear instinct, but I can not help but feel we are being brushed off. I feel that they just don't care. They are implementing to measure to help with the situation, they have not pursued the child who did this, they have not interrogated the child who accompanied the child who hit our son. My main and front concern is my child, in the back of my mind then comes everyone elses children. If our son is not there to push around, is it your son these boys pick next? Why is it that these young adults are having to go to extremes because they feel there is no way to avoid being bullied? Why do they have to hurt so bad they feel it wont end? Why do we see "13, 15, 16," etc. on the news of having pictures sent around the school, web, children mocked and bullied until we hear about there demise on the television? Seriously? Do not work in any field that involves children if your too heartless to put forth effort to protect them. Come on. Yet on the front doors of this school our son attends are these ridiculous half way taped fliers that say "Stop. Bully free zone" And things to that effect. Just because you hang a piece of paper up doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. I am in no way implying that there will not be a single incident that occurs, that is unrealistic. But I am standing firm and saying that no parents, should ever, have to take their child to the Dr. due to rocks being thrown in his ears. No parent should have their child stop eating lunch because they are afraid they will be made fun of for what they brought that day. No parent should cry because they hear their child hides under the toys at school, has no friends, and is scared of the days they can't find the recess teacher.
We will not just hush and go away. We will go to whatever lengths we need to make sure that the people that didn't care to fulfill their duties in the positions they are in will be reprimanded. We will make sure, every one hears our story. And has open ears and open hearts to the many stories like ours.