Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Me mind on fire, me soul on fire, feelin' hot, hot, hot..."

It was 100 F (37.7 C) at the school down the street from us today, and 101 F (38.3 C) at my son's school.

It's only May 25th!! Jays, this is going to be one scorcher of a summer! It's going to be another triple digit summer like it was two years ago, I just know it. Yay whoopie yay.

Yesterday, when I picked the Impossible Son up from school, he stated most emphatically, "Mom, I never... ever... want to come back to this school... ever... again."

And I thought, "Uh-oh, what happened now?" Because he'd been having bully problems, I'd emailed his teacher and while she didn't reply to me, he had told me things had improved.

Seems they hadn't really, he'd just been dealing with it... kinda. Mainly though, it was like a redux of what had happened to the Impertinent One in third grade. She had her best friend, whom she'd known since first grade, and suddenly, this best friend started withdrawing from her and hanging out with two other girls, one of whom started picking on Miss Impertinent. Then she started isolating Miss Impertinent, who had no idea how to deal with this, as no one had ever done this to her before. And the next thing the Impertinent One knew, her best friend turned against her, claiming that Miss Bully had told her all the bad things Miss Impertinent had been saying about her. And Miss Impertinent said, "Huh??? What bad things? What???" And it just got worse from there, to the point where I had to walk the Impertinent One to her classroom door, and pick her up at the door after school. I tried talking to the teacher, got nowhere because she was Mrs. LaLa FooFooBrain and tried to tell me that all her students got along and were such beautiful children. I tried talking to the counselor, Mrs. Fluff Bunny, who told me she didn't want to traumatize the "bright, sensitive child" who was bullying Miss Impertinent by labeling her as a bully, and the Husbandly One and I had to threaten legal action to get them to even sit down and fucking talk to us.

And we ended up transferring Miss Impertinent to a different school, because any administration who thinks labeling a fucking bully as a BULLY would be traumatizing to the BULLY is not one I want have looking out for my kid!!

Miss Impertinent still sees the girl who was her best friend, and is tentatively friends with her again, but... she doesn't trust her any farther than she could spit into a hurricane. Meaning not at all.

Okay, so... we have the Impossible Son. There's this boy who has been his best friend at school for two years. There's another boy who doesn't like him. And it's really, really weird how history is repeating itself. In fact, this other boy pulled the kind of bullying you see girls doing. He isolated Mr. Impossible from his best friend, and turned the best friend against him. And then got a third boy into the mix, who thought it was all just a joke. Then the bully from the fall, the one who had called Mr. Impossible gay and all that crap, started it up again, but instead of using the actual word "GAY," started singing the "A and B, sitting in a tree," song, using Mr. Impossible's name along with another boy's. And was under the impression again that because his aunt is a teacher at the school, he can get away with anything.

And after the Impossible Son related this to me, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I don't matter at all to Best Friend. It's like he doesn't care about how the things he's saying is making me feel."

"Then he's not your friend," I said sadly. "Because real friends don't do that to each other. Real friends don't join in and help bullies hurt you. Real friends stick with you and stand up for you. Or they run and get help. Real friends have your back and know you have theirs."

"I guess he's not my friend, then," he said and started quietly crying.

I hate it when my kids cry. It makes me want to go crush something, or start smashing something. You know, "Hulk go SMASH!!" but Jo style.

Then he said, "Mom, transfer me to another school... PLEASE? And let me miss the last three days of school! I don't want to go back, I really don't! I won't do it, I won't!!" and on and on, until I realized saying, "You can't run away from it, love," and "We will deal with this, I promise" just wasn't working, and I finally said, "Look, don't worry about it right now. We'll talk about it tonight, okay? Just take a few deep breaths, calm down, and let me worry about it, okay?"

And worry I did. After we got home, I sat down and fired off a tactical nuclear missile very much to the point email to his teacher, basically telling her what the problem was, who was causing it, the peripherals involved, and then informing her that we would be transferring the Impossible Son to another elementary school within the district next year.

It's funny, but I think it was the last sentence that got their attention, because this afternoon, after I'd been helping the Tall Blonde get soccer league pamphlets separated for the different schools in the district, my phone rang and it was the Counselor from Mr. Impossible's school. Mrs. Teacher had already answered my email, apologizing for not noticing that it was happening in her own classroom (evidently she had talked to my son before writing me) and told me she had disciplined the Lead Bully for something similar yesterday, but to another child. And then that she had been advocating for an elementary discipline management center all year, because, and I quote, "...we, as classroom teachers, do not have enough recourse for these such incidences..."

And she's right. They don't. They can send them to the counselor, who is now required to make them watch videos, and to talk to them. Just... talk.

HOWEVER... the counselor at my son's school is... just awesome. When she called, she told me about her discussion with the Impossible One, and then that she had called in the three bullies, plus Mr. K-I-S-S-I-N-G, and got their side, then pretty much stomped a hole in them read them the riot act. She quickly figured out who was the lead instigator, and who was just following along because they basically have no wills of their own.

*rolls eyes*

She made them apologize, then separated out the Bully Boss. and apparently decided that the videos and Firm Talking To™ weren't going to work. So, she decided to go back to a technique that had worked with the bully the Impossible One had dealt with back in second grade. The Bully Boss is going to be supervised over the next two days. He'll have to report to her every hour for ten minutes of face time and to find out what he's been up to. And she'll be in contact with his teacher, just to be sure she's getting the truth.

And when school starts next year, he'll have to report to her before he even goes to his new classroom, where she'll start the process again, until it sinks in that he's going to be watched. Constantly.

It worked before, but that was in second grade. I think 7 year olds are a little bit easier to intimidate than an 11 year old, but that's just me.

When I got to the school to pick Mr. Impossible up and drop off the soccer pamphlets, the principal made it a point to come talk to me, and said that all three boys, plus Mr. I'm-Immune-Because-My-Aunt-Teaches-Here, would be in her office first thing in the morning, where she would be talking to them about her expectations.

Yeah. You do that.


I'm taking this all with a grain of salt. See, I know why my earlier email was ignored, but yesterday's wasn't. I threatened to move my son to a different school. To move Mr. Impossible to a different school, I have to write a letter to the district to request it and list my reasons why. And, of course, the biggest reason would be because my son is being bullied and despite repeated demands requests for it to be dealt with, it was continuing to happen.

It would make them look bad (this is the "flagship" school of the district), and it would also show that the counselor had been cut out of the loop. It's always been my policy to try dealing with the teacher first, before going to the counselor and the principal. Basically, I give 'em three shots across the bow and if they don't respond, thenI go in for the kill to the principal and the counselor. This time, the counselor didn't know anything about it until this morning.


This was Mrs. Teacher's second shot. I mean, she dealt with it fairly quickly last semester, so I'd figured she'd deal with it quickly this semester, too.

Oh well. At least he'll have two hassle-free days before school is over for the year!

I'm just... so fucking done with this district. Seriously. I am.

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