Kids, Bullies and Life

While my 3 children were growing up, I tried very hard to instill in them the ‘Golden Rule’ – treat others the way you wish to be treated. But as we all know, kids can be extrordinarily cruel people. I’ve often wondered why this is – what the purpose and cause of bullies is. I still remember the kids making fun of me back in elementary school. I was afraid of storms, I had excema and would scratch of my tan in the summertime leaving white spots, and my last name was Brown. I was a prime target! Schools nowadays have implemented anti-bullying curriculum, but I don’t think there will ever be an end of bullies. I think they grow up into adult bullies – you know the people you have to work with that are intent on making your life at work miserable. I wonder if they were schoolyard bullies?

My oldest son, Jason, experienced bullying in 6th grade and I truly do think that it was a pivital chapter in his life. I was actually working on the campus, transcribing and putting together books for every student in the school. What a fun project – I still have my kids’ three books. They were put in a real hard cover book and they got to personalize their cover. I knew he was being picked on and I had many conversations with the teacher. He was an older gentleman in his 60’s, so I felt that he was addressing the issue. I kept in touch and talked to Jason about it. About two weeks before school was out, the stuff hit the fan. There was an incident with another male student and I was ready to pull Jason out and forget the last couple of weeks of school. I called a meeting with the principle and the teacher. During the meeting, I was astounded to hear the teacher proclaim “it’s just a chain, part of growing up. The stronger pick on the weaker, and then they pick on someone else. He just needs to lift weights and bulk up”. The principle hopefully had some choice words for the teacher after the meeting, I hope. I could have cried – I felt I had let Jason down. Obviously the bullying had continued on, even though I had addressed it with the teacher.

The effects were almost immediate – he changed the way he looked and his attitude changed from passive to ‘no one’s going to hurt me anymore’. He started skateboarding, wanted an earring, colored hair dye – a total transformation. He was going into middle school, so I went along. At 21, he still has the attitude that people aren’t going to hurt him anymore, more of a cold personality, even though his heart is big and soft, not many people get to see that side of him anymore. Truly sad and if I could go back and fix it I could, but we can’t. We have to move on…

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