Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bullying is alive and well!

My 12 year old son has been bullied since kindergarten. Guess who started it and made it okay for this to happen? His kindergarten teacher.  It took a bit but we were able to document what she was doing.  She was doing it to other kids as well, and she was doing things that were very much against school policy.  We had to go up the chain of command right up to the school board.  Yes we got her removed but the damage was done. Over the last 7 years the bullying has gotten so bad that his life was hell at school. The level of violence directed at him is difficult to understand, especially considering the so called zero tolerance.
In grade one he was being picked on by kids in grade three. In the school "playground" they would gang up on him, pick him up by his arms and legs and slam him into the cement. He would come home with scrapes and bruises. We confronted the school about it, it was a small play area and the teachers would just ignore what was going on.  But when we confronted them with what Nick was telling us they admitted it was happening.   We told him he could defend himself, that even though the school had a no tolerance policy he could do what he needed to to stop the boys and get away.
We got a call from the school after the first break. It turns out Nick decided offence was better than defence. The way the teachers described it was, "As soon as the bell went Nick ran out of the classroom, out to the play area. He ran up to the group of 6 grade 3's that would hurt him every day. He took all 6 down to the ground before the teachers could stop him.”  They were trying to suspend our grade 1 for taking out 6 grade 3 boys. The boys who hurt Nic never got in trouble for what they did, and the school knew about it because when we confronted the school they knew who was hurting Nic. So who did they go after, the victim who decided to stop being the victim.
For the last few years one kid has made it is goal in life to torment my son. He is a popular child and got all his "friends" to pick on Nick as well. The bully made sure everyone understood that if someone was my son’s friend they would be bullied as well.  That my son could not play in any games, or even play at the park by the school.  My son hated going to school. It was reported to the school consistently.  It was so bad that the school told the bully that if it continued they would suspend the bully.  All that happened was Nic got bulled more buy this kid’s friends.  Nick was told that if he told anyone about the bullying it would get worse.  He was afraid every day. 
The bully’s dad actually encouraged his son to hurt ours and would get mad if he did not actually do anything to Nic.  It was so bad we had to call the police on the Dad twice because he threatened to hurt me.  He would walk up behind me on school grounds, lean over and whisper threats that no one else could hear.  He would stand outside our house and look into our front window.  So the dad was told that if he did not stop he would be charged with stalking.  The result, the violence to my son went up.
This summer the kid and his friends made a point of hanging out at the park behind my house and picking on my son every time he went outside. At one point my son asked for a pocket knife and bugged us all summer for one. What we did not know was that he wanted it for protection. The boy who picked on him had one and told him he was going to "Shank" Nic. He spent all summer trying to stay in the house because he thought this boy would kill him. It all came out on the first day of school. We pulled him out of school. He spent 3 weeks out of school as we arranged for a new school that we have to drive him to because there is no transportation when you put your kid in an out of catchment school.
He loves his new school, but is so used to being picked on he is having a bit of a problem adjusting. It feels uncomfortable for him not to have to constantly watch his back. It is uncomfortable that kids want to play with him, and talk with him and be friends instead of hurting him. This is in Canada and there is a real issue with victims being punished for what others do all the time.