Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because the bully blues just go on and on...

Y'all must be getting sooooo tired of me writing about bullies. I know I am.


Okay, so... the Impossible Son comes home and announces that he never, ever wants to go back to "that school" again. And I just knew... I just knew.

"What happened?" I asked.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, first, before I go on, let me assure you all, he's fine. Just some minor scrapes, sore muscles, and shock. And he doesn't want to go back to school. And what little trust he had in the school is... well, shot.

So... they didn't have P.E. today, they had music. So after lunch, they were allowed to go out to the playground. However, the second graders have the lunch period before the fifth graders, so the big kids have to wait in line behind some orange safety cones until the little kids clear the playground, and then they're allowed out. A new kid in the Impossible Son's class, we'll call him "Lug," had been in class long enough to know this rule, but was impatient to get on the playground, I guess.

Now, the Impossible Son's class teacher wasn't out there. Her class was being chaperoned by the school counselor and another teacher, Miss C.

Okay, so Lug decided to run out onto the playground, and the Impossible Son caught his sleeve gently (and this is the counselor's word, not mine) and said, "Hey, you can't go out there yet, Lug."

Lug turned and backhanded Mr. Impossible, then grabbed him by the arms, twisted them, and took him down to the ground. The counselor said she was shouting at them, but they couldn't hear her, and she got there as fast as she could. By the time she and Miss C. got there, Lug was about to stomp Mr. Impossible in the face.


Yeah, I'm still shuddering over that part.

So, they pulled Lug off of my 4' 3", 66 pound son and hauled him to the principal's office. This was around 1 p.m. and the counselor said that she, the principal, and the assistant principal were dealing with him from then until 3:15 p.m.

But they never called me... and they didn't inform his teacher, either.

And guess who Lug's teacher is? I bet y'all can't. Yeah, she's the Impossible Son's former second grade teacher, the one who started us all on this lovely little round-about of bullying and denial. Yay.

So... when the Impossible Son told me about this, I was... livid. Though I managed not to audibly snarl. So, as soon as I sent the Impossible Son on to grab his things, I turned to the phone and put a call in to the school, demanding to know why I wasn't called when my son was attacked on the playground.

Oh, yeah, that took them aback a bit.

I was transferred to Mrs. S., his main teacher, and I left a voicemail, then went back to the main office and asked to speak to the counselor, "since I understand she is a witness."

Yeah, that shook them up, too.

She was on bus duty, though, so, I gave my cell phone number and waited for the call back. And she did call back, within ten minutes, and I got the story from her. At least, the part about the actual attack. What happened to Lug after wasn't so clear, though the counselor hastened to assure me that my son didn't have to worry about Lug again. She said, "There were some other issues, the longer we dealt with him, and the fact of the matter is, he won't be allowed back into this school until his... er... issues have been dealt with."

That didn't sound very encouraging, and the longer she went on, the worse it sounded. Finally, I said, "Okay, so... do the Husbandly One and I need to file charges for assault and battery? Because I have to tell you, I am not liking the sound of this at all, and the fact that you're telling me absolutely nothing isn't exactly inspiring confidence in me."

"Oh, no, no, we are dealing with this, Mrs. J, I assure you!"

"I also have to tell you that what little trust he had in you and the rest of the staff at your school is completely shot. You assured him last year that he would be safe, and he was extremely upset when he got home. He doesn't feel safe and he is begging us to transfer him..."

"OH no, there's no need to do that, Mrs. J.! Really! This boy will not be a problem, and your son will be safe..."

His grades are dropping, and he's having trouble focusing. I know he's been having bully problems again, but he's been telling me he's been dealing with it. I was planning on stopping by after school this week, or waiting for the conference I'll be having with his main teacher on the 20th to sound her out, but... no, I don't think it can wait now.

Oh, and after the call with the counselor, the phone rang again, and it was his main teacher, and that's when I found out that she hadn't been told, either! Nor did the Impossible Son tell her when he got back to class, which really puzzled her. "He didn't seem upset or anything," she said when I told her. "He just came in,grabbed his book, and started reading!"

I sighed, wondering how she could be teaching this long and not know this. "Look, Impossible has been having bully issues since second grade, and that was because Mrs. Oblivious Teacher, who is now teaching fifth grade with you, basically ignored it. She told him to stop trying to get attention for himself. And he's had ongoing bully issues since then. And every single time, it's taken a major effort by myself and his father to get your school to deal with it. He has no trust in the teachers, and no trust in the staff. He doesn't trust you on principle. It has nothing to do with you personally. Let me put it this way, if he ever actually comes to you and tells you someone is picking on him, or hurting him, or making fun of him, you can take it as read that it's bad, because if it wasn't, he wouldn't say anything to you, because he fully expects you to ignore it."

I could tell that shocked her, but... she has been ignoring him over the last week. Which was why I was planning on stopping by after school, so I could ask her why. And find out what she thought was going on (the answers to that are always so illuminating... and depressing).

Mr. Impossible is supposed to talk to the counselor tomorrow morning, but I'm planning on dropping by to talk to the principal myself and ask what the hell's going on, what is going on with Lug, and do whatever is necessary to shake the fog out of their brains. This is RIDICULOUS.

Man, oh, man, do I wish we could afford private school!! Or to transfer him to a better district!!

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