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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:27 PM
Original message
Boy Refuses To Attend School Over Bullying
Boy Refuses To Attend School Over Bullying
Calif. Boy With Cerebral Palsy Claims He's Picked On

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Many kids are bullied at schools across America. Sometimes bullying can be so bad that it can seriously affect a student's quality of life.

One Bakersfield, Calif., boy doesn't want to go back to school because of bullying, reported KERO-TV. Tristan Ranney, 10, claims to have been picked on, punched, and pushed around while attending the Aurora School Program of Special Education.

His mom, Deanna Ranney, said she has tried speaking with school administrators, but has hit a dead end. She remembers the day her son came home from school with bruises on his body after he was in a fight with several schoolmates.


She said he was born premature and has cerebral palsy.

http://www.local6.com/spotlight/14621760/detail.html
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. The kid's got lucky parents.
When I told mine I didn't want to go back, they said the problems would remain the same regardless of school I went to.

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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. I was told, when I was that age, by my parents, that it was my problem. I went back to school,
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:32 PM by IsItJustMe
picked up the biggest stick I could find, and took care of it. Got expelled for three days, and learnt all the wrong lessons.

School was hell.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
39. why should a child have to solve these problems?
The problems are there because the adults in charge choose to turn a blind eye to them.
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lateo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #39
50. Indeed.
So astonishingly simple for most folks to see yet...
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. One of my nephews
dropped out over this. He was very thin and the other kids were relentless. He got his GED and is now attending college. He has since filled out a bit.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is so sad. Why don't the schools do more to protect children from bullying?
It's been going on forever. And nowadays, it's worse.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Oh for pete's sake...a little of the broad brush don't you think?
There are plenty of schools that offer anti-bullying programs provided they have the staff to coordinate them. Not all schools have the programs, staff whatever....and some of that is the fault of the government---NCLB costs money, less money for other things. Sure there are schools with inept administrators, $60,000 for a 65 hour work week...how many competent takers do you think there are for that?

And what of the little darlings who can do no wrong per their parents? Think they learned to bully from some crap at home? You bet they did.

The only thing stopping the US form having great learning centers are the citizens of the US themselves.
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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. Bullying
I've watched bullies in action -- they KNOW how to do what they do when the teachers turn their backs. Like football penalties, it seems it's always the kid who retaliated or responded to the first punch that gets flagged.

You're right that there are those parents who think their child can do no wrong. On another note, my son's last teacher was a bully. She even bullied me within 2 minutes of my introducing myself. It was jaw-droppingly rude. I've never met anyone more offensive in my life. I took my son out a week later because when he told me what she'd done/said to him in class in front of everyone -- I KNEW it was true -- and probably worse than he'd said. She's a "darling" of the school administration, cocky in her tenure, and pompous, too. She bullies everyone, and she's not going anywhere. She sets the tone in the classroom, and has an attitude. It filters down. (She was in the orthodontist's office with her child one day, and she bullied her husband, too. A real monster.)

My little guy is a polite boy. He was given a "good manners" award the year before. He does ask questions, though. He's curious, and some teachers don't like being questioned. They have to be the authority. He was only 8 and wouldn't sass anyone. Unfortunately he doesn't defend himself very well -- especially if it's an adult doing the attacking.

I'm just saying -- that while the parents and students aren't perfect, neither are teachers. I've had enough of their being sainted by the media. My favorite aunt and cousin are both teachers with advanced degrees. They see it, too. Bullying comes in all forms.
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #35
49. When i read that about the Teacher, it reminded me of the scene from "Uncle Buck" with
with the late, great John Candy. This scene;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYV2uiKsWCc

About the 3:00 point is where he sits down with the Asst. Principal.

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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #49
91. Wow! Never saw that before.
I like the 5:00 minute mark where he tells her off! Wish I'd done that. I was polite, diplomatic and in shock!

Thanks for sharing.

:)

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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #35
82. It seems that the best teachers usually quit.
I read that the average duration of a new teacher's career is down to 4 or 5 years now. They leave because they can't stand the discipline problems and the parents. The bad ones seem to stay on forever, though.
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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #82
92. Interesting
Our school district doesn't even have discipline problems. LOL! They are so wound up, and yet they have no idea how lucky they are to be teaching in our community. (I grew up in a city, and trust me, these teachers are as spoiled as they claim the kids to be.) One teacher punished the entire class when one child left the lids off the markers (this was in 1st grade). They go ballistic over stuff like that. They take recess away from 2nd graders for very silly reasons. It's just nuts. When they built the new school (gorgeous), they told the kids they had to be quiet and tip-toe through the gymnasium for indoor recess. They had to line-up (of course) and be quiet -- for recess!

The one principal told me my son "presents differently." What does that mean? He's got an interesting mind, and is very right-brained. He's rather articulate for his age and very inquisitive/interested -- not the quickest in math. Not the best/neatest handwriter. So, this principal then told me, "This may not be the right place for him..." Unreal. It's the only elementary school in our district!

I home school my son now, and he's really become an independent learner. It's amazing to me how my children would spend 7-8 hours in school and come home with tons of homework. What's that about? They had my child all day, and that's not enough? Why aren't they allowed to have time off? The teachers complain the kids have too many extracurricular interests. Weekends were filled with projects/reports -- busy-work.

Anyway, we're happier. We found a secular curriculum, and my little guy is very happy.


Here's what I think: I think they're teaching this generation of kids to be subservient to authority.


Just venting, I guess. I know there are great teachers out there somewhere -- and great schools, too. My aunt is a fantastic teacher, as is my cousin. Very creative/fun people! Wish they worked in my district! LOL!
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
85.  Anti-Bullying Programs Also Encounter Stiff Opposition from the FUNDIES
The Fundies claim that anti-bullying programs are part of the "Gay Agenda".

"Boys will be boys", they say, and if their boys aren't allowed to beat up your boys, your boys might "turn gay".
If they actually are gay, they obviously deserve whatever they get, according to these so-called Christians.



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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Because the kids who do the bullying are the popular kids...
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 05:11 PM by YellowRubberDuckie
...or the more affluent kids. The kids they are making fun of are the disabled, the poor, etc.
Or it's the kids on the team who are "winners". So that makes it ok, because they bring glory to the school...
Duckie
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. Not always. Poor kids from lousy, abusive homes are at least as bad at bullying.
Kids who do the bullying are often abused at home.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
33. Go Figure That
My observation is that the bullying wasn't done by the first-tier popular kids, more like 3rd. The ones who are almost someone, but not quite.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. Well under No Child Left Behind, test scores come first
We no longer focus on what is best for kids, but how to up those damn scores. So we have no recess and very little academically that can't be related to raising Reading and Math scores.

There were several great anti-bullying programs that were developed in the late 90s, following all the horrific school shootings. But I doubt many of them are still thriving. Schools can't really afford to do much other than work on those damn test scores.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
22. If you stand up to the bullies (which is about the only thing that works)
YOU get suspended.

Kids who are bullied just can't win.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Yep that's exactly how it works. n/t
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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. *Story of my life--even today.*
I used to skate at an ice rink where this woman who was 20 years older than I am was a "better" skater and a constant bully to me. It was impossible form me to run through my programs or skate any of my elements cleanly when I had to share the ice with her. It seems she knew my routines and made it a point to cross my path and intentionally mess me up. Not only that, she had a tendency to throw loud tantrums, scolding and harassing everyone in her path.

The management wouldn't do anything to discipline her. Why? I think it was because sometimes she would put on a show of being really "saintly" to everyone (except me), so she would only torment me when their backs were turned.

I wonder what would have happened if I'd called the police on her....
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. We do what we can.
We actually, in spite of your perceptions, do care more than a little about our students, about the climate at our buildings, and about protecting students from bullying.

If you want to help, here are some things we need:

Bullying increases in schools that are overcrowded and understaffed. Address those issues first. Enough school buildings to keep the student population low, enough teachers and classrooms to keep class sizes small, and enough support staff to make sure that there are always adults around to supervise grounds, hallways, bathrooms, cafeterias, etc.

Then make sure that every school has at least one full-time counselor who will not only counsel children, but help teach positive social skills.

Lengthen the school year, and lessen the high-stakes demands, so that the focus can be FIRST on a safe, nurturing climate for every student, and then on academic achievement.

WE WOULD LOVE TO DO MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO STEP UP AND LOBBY FOR THE RESOURCES WE NEED TO DO JUST THAT?
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
4. I had a similar experience
with the district not responding and they chose to ignore my demands that they help my son. Luckily for my son I was a stay at home mom so I just camped out at school to protect him. Now he's in high school and I can't be there but because he has Asperger's I demanded that he not take gym, locker rooms and gym class in general are some of the prime bullying territory, so it's in his IEP.

I suspect the suicides we've had in the district might have been bullicides and most school shootings are related to bullying - it just depends which way they turn the pain and frustration.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. It wasn't a fight - a fight is between equals
so I take exception with the use of the word fight in the story.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. This is the same media that reported the filmed rape of a 3 year old girl as a 'sex tape'
:puke:
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bullied at a Special Ed school. Uffda!
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've been the victim of it, as has
my son who has autism.

It IS the responsibility of the school to enforce a
zero tolerance policy on bullying.

That child is their responsibility while he attends school.

If they don't have one ( why in the hell not?)
then they need to get one,ASAP.

There is no excuse for their lackadaisical
look the other way crap.

If the school Admins. still refuse to do anything,
the parents need to get an attorney and file
charges against the school for negligence.

Our local SD has a zero tolerance bullying policy
now and it has worked!

Bullying is WAY down, now.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. I made ONE phone call to the administrator.
I explained to him that the kid who body checked my (then) 9 year old daughter into the wall and then stood and laughed at her while she cried was getting ONE free pass from me. I explained that IF she ever came home again from school with any report of a kid laying hands on her, my next phone call was to the police because it is called assault.

When he tried to tell me that they have a "zero tolerance" policy, I explained to him that "zero tolerance" don't mean shit to a kid caught by a bully when the teachers are not paying attention. My "zero tolerance" policy" is that I will sue the crap out of not only the district for failing to protect my kid while she is in their care, but also the parents of the kid that lays hands on her.

I then asked him how much were they prepared to spend in civil litigation costs.

That kid is now in a different class.

I also have talked to my kid about the fact that if ANYONE lays hands on here she has my full permission to kick the shit out of them. I told her she better never be the first to throw a punch but it is fine by me if she is the last one standing. So far, so good as far as the physical stuff.

The emotional stuff, is way more insidious, and much tougher to deal with. For that, I have no answers, and would welcome any insights offered.


Laura
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I gave the same exact advice to my son, and it worked. I also called
up the bully's parents and put them on notice that the next person they would be talking to would be my lawyer, who would help me with the police report, the assault charges, etc. They were (predictably) snotty and bullying on the phone, and I signed off by saying the lawyer bit after trying to reason with them.

I also gave my son permission to knock the snot out of any kid who assaulted him, but to try to avoid his face if possible. We practiced punches for a week, I taught him how to go for the solar plexus and genitals, etc. I'm his mom and had several women's self-defense classes which helped.

He beat the bully up at the bus stop and that was the end of that.

Oh, and by the way, the school was positively Darwinian in its attitude -- quite unbelievable and annoying. They also were snotty, saying that "kids fighting" on school grounds would get them both suspended, my kid ought to stand up for himself, etc., the usual. An all-around unpleasant experience which should have been nipped in the bud at school and on the school bus.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
86. They Can't Even Make Up Their Minds
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 05:10 PM by AndyTiedye
"kids fighting" on school grounds would get them both suspended, my kid ought to stand up for himself


So they want your kid to stand up for himself, but they'll suspend him if he fights back. Typical. What do they expect your kid to DO?
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. That's EXACTLY the speech I gave to a friend whose small son was hit in the eye.
It's assault and battery. It's CRIMINAL. Call the police and file charges. There's no exemption for "kids" engaging in criminal behavior, even though the punishment is more limited. It's still criminal behavior.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Amen.
It's the school's job to protect the kid as if they were the parent --that is the school's legal responsibility during a school day.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. Excellent response.
I explained to him that the kid who body checked my (then) 9 year old daughter into the wall and then stood and laughed at her while she cried was getting ONE free pass from me. I explained that IF she ever came home again from school with any report of a kid laying hands on her, my next phone call was to the police because it is called assault.

When he tried to tell me that they have a "zero tolerance" policy, I explained to him that "zero tolerance" don't mean shit to a kid caught by a bully when the teachers are not paying attention. My "zero tolerance" policy" is that I will sue the crap out of not only the district for failing to protect my kid while she is in their care, but also the parents of the kid that lays hands on her.

I then asked him how much were they prepared to spend in civil litigation costs.

EXCELLENT response. My son is a special-needs kid due to lots of medical issues (VCFS/22q.11.2 deletion syndrome, aka DiGeorge syndrome), and I found out the hard way (via IEP meetings and whatnot) that administrators will tell you anything to get you off their case, but will not necessarily DO anything unless they think failure to act will hurt their bottom line.

I also have talked to my kid about the fact that if ANYONE lays hands on here she has my full permission to kick the shit out of them. I told her she better never be the first to throw a punch but it is fine by me if she is the last one standing. So far, so good as far as the physical stuff.

I TOTALLY agree with your approach. I think that some school policies that punish resisting a bully the same as bullying actually contribute to the bullying problem.
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
66. "Administrators will tell you anything...but will not necessarily DO anything."
EXACTLY. I was bullied (not hit -- physically groped/sexually harassed -- and I'm a GUY!) in middle school -- two different schools, too. It was a slice of hell, and every time my parents complained to either set of administrators, nobody did shit.

But God forbid I should cuss the bullies out, or threaten them to try and make them STAY AWAY. Administrators would land on me like a sack of bricks.

Hell, even fighting back (against my parents' express orders -- thanks, Mom!) didn't do shit, because half the bullies were hulking jackasses a grade or two ahead of me, or (in the second school, a K-12) high schoolers.

Anybody tries that shit with my future kids, they get one warning. After that...well, I like the "press charges and sue the district and the family" better than "arrange for a brutal beating or a shallow grave in the woods," but I'll do the latter if that's what it takes.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #66
84. I admit freely that there is a fair amount of Redneck genetic material in my family tree..
I also am pretty open about the fact that I grew up in an area where there were a lot of disputes settled outside the legal system.

I realize that not all kids CAN fight back, and I realize that not all people feel it is appropriate to fight back. I disagree, but I do realize it is a personal decision. I will tell you that my personal experience has always been that turning the other cheek means that you get bruises on that side too. I have observed that the kids who do not take any crap just don't seem to have as many ongoing problems as the ones who choose to stand up to the abusers. Sometimes being seen as just a bit "dangerous" really isn't such a bad thing.

In our school district, we have an administrator that will tell you what you want to hear and then not do anything unless he is forced to. I have seen a few parents with kids who were having issues that got nowhere with this guy, and that is just not acceptable. As a parent, I would never dream of standing by while I watched someone hurt my kid, and in my opinion, NOT pushing the issue of a bully at school is just as much of a failure to act. We trust the schools to protect our children when they are at school, and the schools letting bullies slide IS a failure on their part. PERIOD.

I also have a very real issue with the idea that "kids will be kids" when it involves criminal activity. Kids can (and do, sometimes) die from this shit. Most certainly, they can be left permanently injured by "just a schoolyard scrap." I fail to see how ANY adult can turn a blind eye to it, and I especially can't get my head around the idea that an educator would let it go. The teachers' hands are tied, sometimes, by the administration, and in cases like that, I think that as a parent I have let not only my kid, but also the people who DO give a crap down if I just roll with it and let it slide for fear of making a few waves.

Consider the idea that if YOU (as an adult) got grabbed or got slugged without a policeman standing there to observe it--how would YOU react? Would you come up swinging or would you cower? I, personally, will come up swinging and I will try my hardest to make sure they don't lay hands on me again. I studied martial arts precisely because I do feel so strongly about this. I am nobody's punching bag, nor do I feel that anyone should be.

The teachers and othr adults in a school have a finite ability to be everywhere all the time. As has been pointed out, the locker rooms, school buses and playgrounds are especially problematic. In places like that, make no misake, it really IS survival of the fittest sometimes, and I feel it is up to me to equip my kid to deal with those situations. When my kid was younger, I always counseled her to "just walk away" if anything started when the teachers were not around. Now that she is older and has a better sense of right and wrong, I trust her to make her own calls about when she feels a reaction is appropriate. At this point in her life, I am just FINE with her kicking the crap out of anyone that has laid hands on her first, and I will go to the mat for her if she is ever in that situation. If it is verbal abuse, I trust her to walk away. She is now old enough to make that decision.

There is almost this attitude (in some circles, anyway) where people will wring their hands and talk about the problem-- but then they do nothing. It is like they are afraid they are gonna make someone unhappy by demanding the things that we are ALL entitled to. Personally, my opinion is that I could give a shit if someone gets pissed off at me for demanding that my kid be safe. They have that obligation when she is in her care, and I intend to hold them accountable. The schools are acting "In loco parentis" which is Latin for "in place of a parent." According to the courts, when parents send a child to school or college they delegate their authority to the teacher/lecturer (so far as is necessary for the childs welfare and so far as is reasonable to maintain discipline) both in the interests of the school as a whole and (above all) of the individual student. They ARE responsible for keeping her safe just as I am.


YMMV.



Laura
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. Damn right!
If someone were to hit me, it would be assault. I sure as hell would call the police and press-me-some charges.

Assault is a crime.
Dont waste time talking to pencil-neck school administrators, CALL THE POLICE
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
43. I hope it's not always
"teachers not paying attention." It's many things, including inadequate adult presence in hallways, on the grounds, near restrooms, and other areas that teachers can't see from the classroom. It can also be inadequate response from administrators. I had a new student start a fight at recess this year, after numerous office referrals for bullying and for general disrespect for everything and everyone on campus. I wanted him suspended. He got counseled instead. And he was allowed to stay on the basketball team. What am I supposed to do the next time he punches another student? Offer him a spot on the track team?

You are correct about the parent's role, though. A parent who communicates clearly enough will get SOME action in response. We won't get more supervision, because a parent complaint doesn't add anything to the budget to pay for it. We will get action on the offender.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
53. I'm really glad this worked for you. Unfortunately, there are
many kids unable to physically or verbally defend themselves. My autistic son is big and strong, but he is generally peaceful. But I'm afraid he could actually crush another kid's trachea without meaning to if he was pushed far enough. And probably no one would know the reason why.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:32 PM
Original message
The emotional stuff is the pits.. I've been there 3 times (3 boys)
I just told them all that their school years were a small sliver of their lives, and the things that are so important NOW, will NOT affect the rest of their lives, if they don;t let them..

I told them that the creep who may be "dissing" them now, for their good grades or whatever, MAY just end up the guy who changes their oil at the Jiffy Lube..or that girl who won;t go out with them.. well she may well end up as a not-so-cute woman who THEY would not even look twice at on the street..

Looks and Popularity are sooooo important to young teens, but we have to help them see beyond that 5 year span of time, and coach them into the post-18 yr life where they will spend MOST of their lives..

My kids were popular, and had many friends and did not bully others, but I know there are many not so lucky..

My youngest did tell me once, that he remembered me telling him that he would not even remember the names of some of the most "popular/important" kids, and at the time he wondered...but as a 28 yr old just back from his 10th reunion..he said.. Mom, you were right"..
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
59. It is easy to look at the prespective now
but difficult to see it then. I am so glad I made it out and lived to see my life but I can honestly understand why some don't make it. It is so easy to get caught up in the whole nightmare.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
64. About the "most popular" kids--I have got to share this story!
Oh lord--I just had an amazing experience along those lines earlier this month!

some of the people in my high school class are talking about trying to put together a multi-year class reunion, and they sent out a round of emails about a planning meeting. I was amazed to even be contacted because I was declared MIA for the first fifteen years of reunions (in spite of the fact that my parents STILL live in the same house they lived in when I was four.)

Anyhow, I actually went to this meeting. There were exactly four of us that bothered to show up, and one of them was "the guy" out of our class. He had a locker next to me for FOUR years of high school and barely spoke to me in that time. He never really knew I was alive, I think.

I was sitting there drinking a glass of iced tea listening to this guy, and it struck me that he's just a horrible dweeb--and not terribly bright, at that! Think of a cross between Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) and Barney Fife (Don Knotts) and you are getting pretty close to what this guy is now. The term "arrested development" comes to mind.

I try and tell my ten year old that this stuff she is facing now will go away before she's 80, but to a kid there is no real point of reference--ya know? To THEM it is NOW, and it hurts like hell. All I have been able to do is to help her ID what is important to her, and talk about how SHE feels about this stuff. I hope to hell it is enough!



Laura

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. It WILL be enough.. as long as she knows you are available to hear her gripes
and complaints.. That 5 years between 13 & 18 is the hardest time for both of you :)
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. I learned something new the other day....
Did you know that the bullying problem at Columbine was rampant and WIDELY KNOWN?! No one would do anything about it. Those boys were a product of their environment. They felt there was no other way out.
Kids are cruel and when their parents encourage it, when the administration refuses to do something about it, everyone suffers. I was teased mercilessly for years because I was always the chubby girl. Looking back, I really was just chubby until I got into high school. But it was awful. I feel so bad for that little boy.
Duckie
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. Right and it was also very Christian -- far worse than is well known
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 01:27 PM by MindPilot
I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by a student who was close to Klebold and Harris at the time. It's pretty easy to see how a kid can be driven to that level of desperation.

edited to make sense
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. To my eternal shame
my first thought, the one that flashed through my mind without reflection, was but for the grace of God I could have done what they did. The desperation gets overwhelming.
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #30
78. You're not the only one.
It hit me especially hard, being the same age as they were, and also an actual member of the subculture that was being demonized in the media. I was interviewed by a local radio station the day after the shootings, at a local Gothic boutique that was a regular hangout for me at the time.

The consensus in the store was that, as tragic as the shootings were, as outcasts ourselves we wondered if anyone would have given a shit if it was a Christian jock that killed a bunch of "freaks".
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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
81. the fact they turned a blind eye is so horrifying and sad
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 06:33 AM by kagehime
i was a senior in high school (and about 75 miles away) when columbine happened. it hit me hard because i know a bit of what it's like to be there.

as more information came out, i brought up the bully issue and was shot down time after time. the backlash was not against the bullies. no. it was against the music, the video games and their black trench coats. that's right, the matrix made them do it :puke:

i was bullied in high school (hell, going back to elementary school), i was harassed, i was verbally abused in plain site of the administrators. i don't know if (but sincerely hope that) schools are any better today, but it sure as shit isn't seeming like it.

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DemGa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. I can't remember anyone doing anything about bullying
when I was in school. You were pretty much on your own in that regard. That was junior high - a long time ago.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
19. OMG
These stories just enrage me.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. I went to college 600 miles away from home
almost entirely because I was determined to never set foot in my hometown again after high school. I got spat on, beat up, food thrown on me, dragged to toilets, and of course called names all the time. No one lifted a finger. I wouldn't wish my 7-10 grade years on my worst enemy.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. I dropped out and joined the Navy
partly to escape the hell that was high school.

There was nothing a drill instructor could come up with I hadn't already been through.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. I had brains and pretty much nothing else
I am glad you made it through the Navy in one piece.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
27. Those parents should start homeschooling their kid.
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 01:38 PM by TheGoldenRule
Stories like this just break my heart and also tick me off to the max!

I've been around homeschooled kids. They DO NOT treat each other this way. PERIOD.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. homeschooling is quite impractical in many situations
I have a masters in education and scored close to a perfect score on both the GRE and LSAT tests and would have a tremendous difficulty homeschooling a kid with cerebral palsy. But for my dad, who was principal of a school for mentally challanged students, I would never even think of doing so. If I couldn't, I fail to see how most parents could.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. I know a mom who parents a child with CP plus 3 other kids.
Too many parents aren't willing to sacrifice for their children. They want other people to raise them. I think it's a cop out and one of the major things that is wrong with this country. People would rather have a two income home so they can have a new car etc than sacrifice one income and stay home with their kids and make sure they are safe and well educated!
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. the fact is I don't care how may parents you have staying home
it would be a close to unique person who could competently teach all the subjects a high school offers. I would do well in math, social studies, and the arts but horridly in French, English, and any sports.
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. not only that, but where does this leave familes where both parents work?
Homeschooling is definitely not an option for them.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #41
73. I know a single parent that homeschooled 2 kids-one on the autism spectrum. It can be done. nt
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #37
72. There are MANY ways to teach those subjects. You can buy language audio programs to listen to
in the car. There are dvds and websites that teach Languages and English FOR kids. You'd be surprised how much is out there for homeschoolers these days. But of course, it's all very hush hush because homeschooling is a BIG BAD UGLY thing to do to our kids because it's better to put kids in schools where they can be bullied and ignored and not develop a love of a learning but instead develop a love for all things superficial like what brand of tennis shoe the other kids are wearing or what the latest school yard gossip is. :eyes:

As for sports, there are many programs out there for kids to interact with other kids-soccer, golf, swimming etc.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #34
55. My son is autistic, and I have multiple degrees, but not in what he needs.
I don't appreciate your generalization. Some of us are SAHM when we could be working, but I'm here for my kids whenever they need me. But I can't be my autistic son's teacher; he requires special training that I am not trained in.

Alot of special education students benefit from being around the other children at school, too.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #55
68. If bullying becomes bad enough, learning is irrelevant.
I know of parents who, knowing the limitations of their ability to teach, recognize that some education is better than no education.

I hope that it's not necessary for me to teach my autistic son either, because in a perfect world, he'll learn more from a school than I could offer.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #68
75. Read post #69. nt
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:47 AM
Response to Reply #55
69. You would be surprised at how many parents are homeschooling their Autistic children
and children with other special needs. You are CHOOSING not to and that's your right. But you will never know if you can do it better unless you try.

Also, there are many ways to socialize children on the spectrum. Ever heard of Special Olympics or Therapeutic horse back riding? Not to mention things like Karate, arts and crafts, soccer and other classes and programs that most cities and towns have for children? It takes leg work and persistence, but socialization outside of school can be done and done VERY well and without the bullying and without the red tape and B.S. seen in most schools these days.

BTW, parents have a vested interest in their children's happiness and success in the school setting. Teachers, schools, and school districts DO NOT. Sorry to tell you, but your kid is just a NUMBER to them.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #34
74. That should read a mom who homeschools a child with CP plus 3 other kids.
:blush:
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #29
56. Not to mention homeschooling seems to get you hit with the broad brush
of being a mindless religious nut who doesn't know anything about anything. It's always nice when I see that canard come out around here :sarcasm:
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #27
83. But they shouldn't have to homeschool.
Homeschooling can be a good choice, but no one should be forced from public schools due to bullying.

Also, I've met a lot of homeschooled kids that are bullies. They're just better at hiding from the authorities. :)
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book_worm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
31. I know kids can be cruel but to pick on a handicapped student is
pretty low.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #31
71. The school was special-ed, so it's likely that the bullies themselves had similar problems
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
38. It has been alleged by some that bullying is
unofficially allowed in public schools as part of "the state's indoctrination." When pressed, the appearance of doing something about it created, but it seems too long term of an issue to be anything other than deliberately allowed.

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I really don't think that is the case
I think it is a matter that kids will do this if you let them and it becomes easier at times to let them.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. I suppose it's a small distinction.
the difference between my "deliberately allowed" and your "becomes easier at times". The reason I claim it's a small distinction is the end result seems identical.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. I think there really is an issue of just how much supervision
adults can have over the children. My worst places for bullying were in bathrooms, lockerrooms, and at cabins at band camp. Due to the vigilance over sexual abuse by adults there was often limited to no supervision in those places. I did have more than a few teachers who felt I was deserving of abuse since I was gay but for the most part it was in places where adults weren't due to the whole pervert thing.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
79. The Xtian Wrong Actively Opposes All Anti-Bullying Programs
The fundies consider anti-bullying programs to be part of the "gay agenda". :grr:

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #79
80. I know we lost a vote on the law here
so I am going to lobby my Senator by telling my story to him. I hope it makes him understand why this is so important.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
44. By Coincidence I was reading Rainbow Boys today
and came across this passage:

The scene is a school board hearing to decide upon allowing or not allowing a Gay straight alliances at a local high school

"It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Since I have only one minute (she takes out a picture of her son and passes it forward) "That is my son, taken his first morning of kindergarden. Smiling, happy. When I picked him up that afternoon, however, you would see a different pictureof him. Crying. Hurt. Sad. You see his very first day of school he learned a new word: 'sissy'. The next morning he begged me not to make him go back."

"I promised him school would get better. I believed it then. Now I realize I lied. For the past twelve years, every single school day he has been called names and obscenities, while most teachers have stood by silently. Some school officials have even told him he brought it on himself.

Simply because he walks and talks differently from other boys he has been hit, kicked, beat up, spat on, and recieved death threats. There are days when I wished my son hadn't been born gay. Not because I love him less for it, but so he wouldn't have to endure so much suffering."

end of quote page 180-181 Sanchez, Alex

Sadly that passage rings all too true for to many of us who were different in high school. I can't imagine being a parent having to make that statement. For kids at a special education school of all places to so bully a kid with cerebral palsy, just awful. Those parents should sue for a private school, that would get the district's attention in a hurry.
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cynthia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
46. An insight that hasn't been addressed in this conversation
There have been studies on bullying, and I don't remember the exact figures but it is something like 5-10% of kids are bullied, and 5-10% of kids are doing the bullying. That leaves 80-90% who are the ones who we need to educate.

And that education has to be - speak up, have some compassion, tattle if you have to, but don't be afraid that your protest will mean you are next. That is how the bullies get away with it. When children are trained in this way, the first person who speaks up is usually supported by everyone else within earshot and the bully is hounded by the mob of compassionate kids who only have to say "Leave him alone!"

In light of the disaster that is the United States today, I would say the same thing to all of us here. It may be the Neocons who are the bullies, and the homeless, the soldiers and the veterans who are being bullied, but it is up to us to say "Knock it off!" "No more"
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. much easier said than done
It takes great courage to stand up when someone is being harassed and most kids don't have it. I think punishment for those who do bully is the quicker route to solve the problem.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
51. Some people blame the parents, some blame the schools.
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 10:08 PM by Ilsa
To me, the school is completely at fault here. That child is disabled and should be protected by the school from abuse. The school needs to fix this and teach the children that this is wrong. Apparently the bullies' parents don't care. I have a disabled child, and I wouldn't stand for this.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #51
58. Especially since the passage of IDEA
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The parents of this boy may have grounds for a lawsuit.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
52. I fucking hate bullies.
They made my life a living hell in junior high and high school.

I have absolutely no sympathy for the motherfuckers. As far as I'm concerned, the little shits forfeit their rights to be treated as human beings when they do what they do.

If the teachers and school won't do anything, then by all means give your kid the green light to brain their bullies from behind with a baseball bat.

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
54. The Bullying at my school was so bad, I refused to go and was suicidal and had to go to a...
"Teen Stress Center" in the hospital, even though, at the time, I was 12 years old. My parents complained to the school that they weren't protecting their kid, the Assistant Principal told them that "Boys will be boys", that's when they pulled me out of Public School and sent me to a Catholic School instead.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. damn
I hope the Catholic school was better.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. Yeah it was...
Unlike what many people think, there were no nuns teaching at this school, and the only Priest that taught there taught Mathematics. Oddly enough, the school was slightly more advanced than the Public School for the same grade level, so my grades suffered that first half year or so in 6th grade, until I caught up. I was pulled out of the Public School in the middle of 6th grade. The school was OK, my most fond memory was "hippy week", one of the few times we could go to the school and disregard the school uniform. We all dressed as hippies of one sort or another, with peace signs, colorful clothes, bell bottoms, etc.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. I used to have major crushes on boys in those uniforms growing up
I think for me it would have been worse in that I would have been both horny and miserable lol. To this day I still love a tie on the right kind of guy.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. I will say I have a weakness for the Catholic Schoolgirls...
Cute little blouses and skirts. *sigh*
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #63
93. Somehow I think the Pope would have found your crushes more acceptable than mine.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
61. This truly is so sad, but I just have to say,
it wasn't so long ago that parents knew well enough not to give their sons names like "Tristan." :shrug:
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #61
67. Frankly, I can't believe you said that.
Am I reading this right? Are you saying a kid's NAME being different means we should believe it's okay for him to get treated like shit?

Or are you acknowledging that most children are vicious little brats who will seize on any excuse to hassle another kid?
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #67
88. The latter choice. And parents shouldn't be giving out those excuses!
The poor guy's parents should have stuck with Jayden, Hayden, Kayden, Quayden or Zayden if they HAD to be au courant with today's tasteless baby-naming fashions. :shrug:
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #61
70. Hey, Einstein. "Tristan & Isolde" was written in 1859. You're blaming the KID for his name?
Shame on you.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #70
87. I'd bet dollars to donuts that his parents aren't Wagnerians, and have never heard of Isolde.
I'm not blaming the kid for his name, just protesting (again) the naming policies of far too many parents in this country over the past ten years, fifteen years.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #87
90. My parents were from Europe and my first name isn't "Spike" or "John" to suit you.
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 05:45 PM by Bluebear
For all you know, "Tristan" could well have been an immigrant. Or maybe that's his grandfather's name and the family wanted to honor him. To suggest that bullying is a natural result of somebody's name is sad.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
76. My kid was so lucky
I am the mother of a child with CP. I don't know why, but she was never picked on for it. If other kids made fun of her, she didn't seem to notice it and believe me, I asked.

I will say that I am a tough old broad and the folks at her schools knew it. If my kid had come home bruised and beat up, there would be holy hell to pay.
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
77. I was bullied all throughout school for being queer.
And also for being involved in the Goth subculture. I suffered from severe depression and was suicidal over it. I ended up dropping out of high school altogether.

It's beyond depressing that it hasn't gotten any better since I left school in 1998. And that it's even worse, now.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #77
95. OMG
I know you've probably heard it a gazillion times, but good thing you got out before Columbine. That "goth profiling" shit was off the HOOK. I musta had about a dozen kids stay at my place and use my GED study guide after their parents kicked them out on the street.

(Yes, I actually did have an office job and an apartment before I went crazy. Go figure)
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-20-07 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #95
96. It was insane
I had friends who were suspended for wearing black at all, let alone trenchcoats. Then there were the random jumpings that were happening all over the place...an acquaintance in Jersey got attacked by some guidos in a parking lot and had to go to the emergency room for stitches.

Those were some scary times.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
89. At least she has nice parents. Mine threw me under the bus every time.
In fact, I'll go as far as to say, they encouraged a lot of the assholes who made my youth miserable.

Fuckers! :nuke:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
94. I was constantly bullied by the popular jocks. The school wouldn't do anything about it because...
Edited on Mon Nov-19-07 10:10 PM by Odin2005
...the bullies were the stars of the football team and if they got the punished they wouldn't be eligible to play. Finally my mom threatened to sic a lawyer on the school and on the parents of the bullies and the bullying pretty much stopped.
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RebelSansCause Donating Member (304 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-20-07 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
97. was nobody else bullied for their political beliefs?
and their atheistic ones? the shit i caught for being so far left on the spectrum was insane. here is a good example for you, i am a dedicated pacifist, as in i think the commission of violence does as much harm to the doer as to the receiver, and yet i was compared to monsters such as stalin and hitler. first of all, i believe neither in stalinism and certainly not fascism. (as an fyi, my family is jewish and 1/2 of my grandma's side was wiped out in the holocaust (austrian jews)) i also think it had something to do with my attitude. you see, i dont fight back physically, words are my weapons.

my beliefs come at you thick and fast, a complete and utter assault on the mind that can leave you dazed and stuttered. i think part of the constant and never ending persecution i faced do to my politics was because people were afraid of how i would respond in words. it was horrible, being told i love power when in reality i do not believe power is something i should ever have. i know it is not physical abuse, but i can not explain how heart wrenching it was.

yay for DU!
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