Albany – Today’s story comes from Melissa, a school teacher who asked us not to use her full name due to her job. It is also why there is no location noted. The dateline of Albany is simply because that is where The Albany Journal is located. She has two stories for us. We will run one today, with the other tomorrow.
My son was bullied for two years while he was in middle school. This one boy kept telling everybody that he was going to beat my son up after school and to meet in the commons area so everyone could watch. My son told me about it so I went to the school the next day to speak with the teachers. The teachers were very supportive and said that they would keep the boys separated and watch out for anything that went on.
That afternoon the little boy walked up my son and kept elbowing him in the back as they were walking down the hallway. He was calling him nasty, vulgar names, making everybody laugh and telling everybody my son was scared to fight. I went back up to the school the next day and spoke to the administrators. I thought everything was taken care of, but after school that day, that boy walked up behind my son, grab my son by his book bag straps and slammed him on the ground. My son jumped up and told him that he did not want to fight and tried to walk off.
The boy walked up behind my son again, grabbed him by the book back straps and slammed him down on the ground again. Both boys got suspended from school for fighting. The administrators said that the video showed my son being slammed on the ground the first time. Then, the video showed my son stand up, shake his head no and wave his hands no like he was telling the boy he did not want to fight. The video showed the boy slamming my son on the ground the second time.
This time, my son did jump up and start fighting.
At that time, I was a teacher at that same school. My son came to my room in tears with his clothes ripped and his body red and swollen. All he kept saying was that he did not want to fight but he knew everybody would make fun of him if he didn’t. He also said the kids were calling him a “snitch” because I came to the school to report the problem. My bosses were angry with me because my child got into a fight at a school where I worked. They seem not to care that he had been bullied for days and days and days.
Melissa’s story isn’t all that unusual. Many administrators refuse to acknowledge bullying as the cause for some fights, and instead classify the bullying victim who has had enough as the aggressor. They prefer a child to be the repeated victim of bullying, citing procedures they expect students to follow. However, as Melissa’s story clearly shows, following those procedures can actually provide ammunition to the bullies.
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