Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bully for You!

I waver back and forth when it comes to the dreadful kids who my kids encounter as they wend their way through a school day, a soccer game, a park. “Back and forth” is too generous, I suppose. I am actually rather steadfast in my stance that the dreadful kids, the bullies, the ha-ha-I-can-bump-you-and-get-away-with-it jerks, etc., should behave or keep the hell away from me and mine. I am ferocious in the protective shield with which I want to encase my kids. I want to hurt anyone who hurts my kids, emotionally or physically.

But there are times when I’ll feel pity for these kids. It does not take much imagination on my part to grasp from where those kids come. They nearly always have crappy parents. Their parents nearly always came from crappy parents. There’s a cycle of abuse that explains nearly all of the kids walking around being total bullying jerks on the playground. I blame their parents. And I blame their parents’ parents.

Blame away, but the fact is it doesn’t change one thing in the here and now. It doesn’t make my son feel any better. He doesn’t care that the dumb ass kids who took his lunch Tuesday and flung it around because my son wasn’t sharing giving the kids his lunch are abused themselves.

Maybe they’re abused outright by their parents. Or perhaps they’re abused by the constant harassment of an older sibling whose said harassment is ignored by the parents. Or maybe they’re abused by something that’s just not right with their make-up.

So my son gets abused. Because, bully-proof all you want, it’s a jungle on the jungle gym, at the lunch tables, and after school at the park. Sure, let’s bench them for 10 minutes. Heck, bench them for the entire lunch break or recess. Really, hasn’t that done wonders all of the previous times they’ve gotten in a kid’s face?

So what do you do? My husband wonders if he should be having a word with these boys. Say one word to these loser kids, and we’re the ones getting a lawyer because some abusive loser of a parent slaps us with a lawsuit. Because it’s the American Way, dammit!

Me? I check to see if those loser kids are headed to the same middle school as my kids. They aren’t. And I feel a bit of relief. But I know that we’re just trading known bullies for bullies we’ve yet to meet. So I try to tell the kids not to let the jackasses get away with it. Turn them in. Turn them in even when it’s someone else being picked on.

Yesterday, the worst of the jerks was doing relay races. He and another boy, a boy with braces, collided. The poor kid with braces. His braces got stuck to the jerk’s face. And when he yanked free, blood poured out everywhere out of the jerk. None of it was the blood of the good guy. And what did my son say to me about the incident? “That was God talking.” I’d like to think it was.


["That's God talking" is one of my favorite lines. Here's an explanation of its origins in my life.]



1 comment:

Marilyn said...

This is so true. I taught middle-school for a while. Even the teachers worry about thier jobs because of the bullies. I had one kid threaten my life. I had one kid trash a computer. Who was punished... Not the bullies.

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...