Bullying…..why must this exist? Children and teens have lost their lives due to this unnecessary torment. Does it make these bullies feel better about themselves, to stab and poke these poor victims to the point of no emotional recovery? Or are they subjected to a broken home life? Do they not know the security of a loving environment? What drives them?
I keep reiterating in my blogs, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SOMEONE HAS BEEN THROUGH, SO BE KIND AND DO NOT JUDGE. I don’t always practice this, though I try my best. When it is your own children that are harmed, though, we have entered another realm of fierceness. The thoughts that enter my mind scare me. Thoughts that I would never act on, but man, it is sure satisfying to dream about inflicting harm on the person that has subjected your child to sadness, pain, and even death, at times. Suicide is even more frequent in children and teens, and almost always due to bullying.
Where am I going with all of this? I am speaking from my personal experiences with Reagan and Bailey. My kids have always been targets for different reasons, and because of that, I am always on high alert. This is where that protective bubble comes in, once again, and wanting to surround them with maternal safety that NO ONE can penetrate.
Reagan was bullied for the first time in Kindergarten. His name was Rico, and he was Reagan’s friend for the first few months of school. I remember waiting in the pick up line, watching his class play on the playground during recess. Reagan was happy at the time, and it did my heart good to see him chasing his friends around and laughing. I believe that when Rico realized what a tender hearted boy Reagan was, he started in with torment.
I’m a little embarrassed by this story, but I will tell it anyway. Rico told Reagan, that if he were to drink muddy puddle water, he would wake up as a ninja the next morning. Apparently, there were puddles out on the playground. I hate to say it, but Reagan laid down and stuck his tongue in this dirty water, and when he got up, he saw Rico pointing and laughing with some other boys. Reagan was a mess. He told me that he cried for the rest of the day. He told me what happened as soon as I picked him up, and I was furious, to say the least. I was also in shock that he would even do that!! Sadly, Reagan did not wake up as a ninja the next morning, but he did wake up a little more aware of Rico’s intentions as a “friend”. When Rico asked him to eat his “booger sandwich”, that was the last straw, and they were no longer friends.
I know you are wondering what I did about this, as a parent. Well, I emailed AND called his kindergarten teacher right away. She told me that bullying would not be tolerated, and she would handle it immediately. I don’t know if she ever talked to Rico and his parents, because I never heard back, but I had some doubts, because Rico made a few more hurtful comments throughout the year, and his teacher had a meek personality. Now, let me clarify, that having a meek personality doesn’t mean she didn’t take care of the situation, it only means that there is where my mindset was at the time.
Reagan was bullied AGAIN by a girl named Madison. The first grade started off as a flirtation between them, and he would blush when her name would come up. Madison soon took advantage of his crush, and started poking him with a sharpened pencil under the desk during class. She would whisper ugly remarks to him as the teacher taught class. And you know what? After not getting a response from my emails/calls from the teacher, I marched right to the principal, who in turn, marched right down that hall, straight to Madison. It never happened again.
Reagan is a very sensitive young boy. He likes to make comments as if he is tough and doesn’t care, but he cares more than most boys his age. He cares about what his classmates think of him, he cares if his routine is disrupted, and he cares about animals, especially Sasha, his favorite dog. He is a rare gem, and maybe that is partly because he has a sister with autism. Autism affects the entire family, but children have different coping mechanisms and they struggle the most.
Bailey has never been bullied, shockingly. Her classmates hold her hand in the hallways, they always greet her with a smile, and she is very well liked by all. Besides a brief time frame, she hasn’t had any social skills issues, and she enjoys being around other kids, whether they are regular mainstream or special needs.
However, Reagan came home a few days ago, and he told me that his friend (let’s not name any names, since this is a fresh incident), has been making fun of Bailey. Reagan’s class and Bailey’s class pass in the hallways and also have lunch at the same time. This kid has made comments to Reagan, and other classmates, that Bailey is “ugly” and “fat”. Now, you know I’ve been enraged, and these thoughts in my head are scary. I’ve already informed Reagan’s teacher, and I’m saying my prayers that she nips this in the bud. Under no circumstances, is bullying okay, and when the child is special needs, it brings on a whole new level of anger in me.
My daughter is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. She has this enormous personality, is super talented, and smarter than most know. Hearing someone call her ugly and fat hurts my heart tremendously. If elementary children are making these comments, how will the children treat her in middle, and high school? This has become my worst fear, that she would be bullied because of her autistic traits. How am I supposed to protect her when she is in school? Should I transfer her to a private school, a charter school? Home school her? My frantic mind awaits for this teacher’s reply, and I’m already worried about her future and what lies ahead.