Friday, October 18, 2013
David and The Bully
October is National Anti-Bullying Month. Fliers came home from school requesting kids wear orange on October 9 to support anti-bullying. And on October 7, David came off the bus with the misery face on.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Kevin pickpocketed me.” He replied.
Evidently Kevin, who in less than 2 months of school has been suspended twice for bullying, pushed up against David and took his pocket pack of Kleenex out of his pocket, then waved them around the bus to show everyone. Tissues Kevin?
David wanted to confront Kevin and stand up for himself. In principle he should stand up for himself, but frankly I was a little worried. Kevin has a history of physical violence towards other kids. He kicked a boy daily in elementary school and ripped up the boy's homework. The boy didn't say anything at first and endured this for weeks until someone saw and told one of the teachers. Another one of Kevin's teachers would also make him empty his backpack before going home every day as he frequently stole from his classmates. During the first week of middle school, Kevin slammed a kid in the back with his heavy backpack. He received a one day suspension. A couple of weeks later, after the bus dropped him and several others at their bus stop, Kevin sucker punched a kid in the face, causing that boy to bleed. He was subsequently suspended for 5 days.
The next day, on the way to the cafeteria, David asked Kevin if he needed some tissues. Kevin turned around to face David and David told him that he had better not touch him or his things again. While Kevin initially denied taking anything, David didn’t back down. “I know what you did, you know what you did. Don’t do it again. “ Kevin ended up telling David he would never ever ‘steal from him again.’
Bullying is a serious problem that unfortunately isn't going away. Talk with your children. Be aware of what they are doing and who they hang out with. Step back, but also know when to step in to avoid situations getting out of control.
Standing up to a bully is empowering and David was so proud of himself for standing his ground. I’m proud of him too, but also relieved there was no physical retaliation on Kevin’s part. Hopefully that will be the end of it for this time.