Friday, October 21, 2011

Bullies

My original post is here, and it still breaks my heart to think that my sweet little monkey went through what he did!!

Stop Bullying: Speak Up



**Re-Posted in Support of the Stop Bullying Speak Up Campaign**
This is what we spent our Friday night dealing with, below is the exact semi-edited version of the e-mail sent to the principals of the school and the teacher. The remainder of the weekend entailed preparing my son to change classes and preparing both of them in appropriate ways to conduct themselves around said child, i.e. find the nearest teacher and asked to be escorted to the principals office to report the encounter, and if there are no teachers in the hall or near by, yell at the top of your lungs " Leave me alone" while you find the nearest adult in the school. Horrifying if you ask me to have to explain the gravity of this situation to a 5 yo and a 6 yo!!

After talking to my son this evening about his day at school there were some very disturbing things he told me. First, he said that the class was separated into groups to take bathroom breaks and “I” was in his group. During their trip to the bathroom, I (we will save his name from Internet viewers) started a conversation with Anthony and said, "I will beat your brother up." Anthony's response was "He is tougher than you." “I” continued by saying, "No he's not, I will bring a knife in my pocket and I will stab your brother and kill him."

With everything that has gone on this year between these two; I was assured that my child was going to be safe and that the two boys would be separated. I understand that you have separated them during PE, Music and Art. It seems as though this is not enough. Not only has he already attacked one of my children on several occasions, but he is now threatening my other son. “I” continues to taunt Anthony by whispering "boobies" during transition periods and while the teacher is testing other students. Most of ”I”’s behaviors have not shown any improvement through out the school year, in fact they are proving to be more violent.

This situation was brought to all of our attentions with Anthony being tripped by “I”, resulting in a broken nose. I am certain that this was discussed with Mr. S the day following the initial incident. After talking to Anthony on a regular basis regarding “I”, it became apparent that we had a "bully" we were dealing with. A few more calls were made to Mr. S to discuss what was going on in the class, i.e. tripping, hitting, kicking, and naughty language being used. Ms. B became involved after we were told of the naughty language and some instances where “I” was throwing basketballs at Anthony's private areas during PE. I was informed the children would be talked to and that “I”’s parents would also be notified of what was going on. Shortly after that, there was a conference scheduled as a result of a highly disturbing and graphic picture drawn by a child in Anthony's class. At this time there were a few other instances that were brought to Ms. B's attention regarding events that transpired earlier that same week. She took note of the allegations and informed us that she would begin an investigation. We have already seen that this child has no problem fashioning a weapon out of a paper clip and using that against Anthony, I have not seen anything this year to show me that “I”’s actions and behaviors are being watched closely and have no reason to believe that he is fabricating the story of bringing a knife to school.

In a time where guns and knives at school are plastered all over the news I cannot be certain that we are far from that in this situation. I want my children in an environment that is safe and secure. I am at a point where I do not know what to do. As parents we have to trust that our children are safe at school and that if they are in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation the teachers and staff at school are caring for them and will protect them from other students. The bullying has continued to progress and we need to resolve this situation fully. Time after time I am told “we are doing all we can do.” Something has to be done before another child has to endure what Anthony has or worse. I am astonished that this is something I even have to discuss regarding Kindergarten aged children.

It has been explained to me that this is not a common occurrence for children of this age, I believe the exact words were “We have never had to deal with a situation like this with children of this age” and “We don’t have an alternative learning center for kindergarten, if this were first grade we would have different options.” We have tried following all the appropriate channels of reporting these instances to come to resolution. My only next option is to contact the district office to get help from them, contact a lawyer to further understand my rights a parent and my child’s rights as a student, and to contact law enforcement regarding the threats and assaults against my children. Obviously these are not the most ideal options for all of the parties involved, however, at this point they are not out of the picture and it is beginning to seem like my only option to keep my children safe.

After all that, I read today on Amy's blog, of this tragedy.

I have to say they may not condone prayer in school but there will certainly be a lot of it for the rest of this year at least!! Here is my prayer for today, for everyone to have a better week and all kids to be safe in their school!

**Re-Posted in Support of the Stop Bullying Speak Up Campaign**

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life just passes us by

It seems like I spend most of my time running around, always in a rush, like my head just doesn't stop spinning. Life has become a delicate balancing act of what I need to do right now, and what can wait until tomorrow. The sad thing is I feel like I am missing out on a lot.

Everyday, normal, sit down, calm, laugh, sing, dance... my list could go on!! For now my goal is to spend a little extra time up front organizing, so that I have the time to sit, laugh, sing, dance, bake cookies, or snuggle in bed with the kiddos to watch a movie.

Last night we had our first "time out" and not the bad kind either. The "we are gonna take time out to be silly, have fun, and ignore bed time" kind of "time out".

With the cooler weather (Ya'll it's down right chilly - the low was like 53!!) I made a run by the store to pick up some hot chocolate and marshmallows. We got home, cleaned up, ate dinner and got ready for bed. Then we grabbed the blankets and all sat out on the patio with the lights out drinking hot chocolate and looking at the stars.

It was fun!! We will be having lots more "time outs" in our future!!