Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bullying Lawsuit

The story about a high school student in Fayetteville, Arkansas who has been bullied to the point other kids beat him up on the school bus and in classrooms makes me sick. This child has endured YEARS of physical and mental abuse. The public school district did nearly nothing to stop it. His parents finally filed a lawsuit. Suddenly, people are taking the situation seriously.

My first thought after seeing the story was where are the parents of these bullies? If a school called me to say that our girls are bullying another child, you better believe we'd take immediate action. There would be serious consequences for their actions. This boy was beaten up by dozens of different students. How is it all these junior high school and high school students have been beating up another student for all these years and none of the bullies' parents have tried to stop it?

My second thought was about his parents. How was it they didn't take stronger action until now? I might have a short fuse, but there is no way I'd let other children bully our girls for three or four years. The first thing I would have done is pull them out of the school district. As soon as that was complete, the lawsuits against the bullies' families and the school district would have started flying.

I realize his parents thought they were doing the right thing by trying to work with the system, but guess what? The system doesn't always work. In the end, your job as a parent is to protect your child at all costs. Allowing other children to beat him up in the classroom, on the bus, or in a park, for years and years is not doing your job. In the interview, his Mom said the school district would not call the police, even though she requested it. I kept wondering why she didn't call the police? You cannot rely on others to take care of your children.

Luckily this story (so far) ends with a lawsuit and not a child with a gun in a classroom. It's a horrible and sad story. It's also strengthens my resolve to be an activist parent who is willing to fight the system when I think it is in the best interests of the girls.


Julie K said...

Bullying comes in many forms. My step-daughter was a silent victim (not mentioning it to us) for months in grade school. She thought she could handle it, but it was a whole group of kids. I have to say I was greatly disappointed in the school (a private Chicago Catholic school) in their awareness and ability to recognize the situation (of the change in social dynamics) and their ability to address the problem. There were changes they could have made us aware of, but didn't. It took my husband's pushing to have a meeting called about it and one of the Father's was greatly upset to hear about his son's actions (not just in our case, but overall that the teachers started commenting about). He was mad at the school for not bringing his child's poor behavior to his attention sooner for corrective action. I was impressed with him... some of the other parents, though, didn't seem to think there was a problem with their kid (those are the one's that worry me). So many parents today are blind to the actions of their children. Doing nothing validates the bad behavior! My step-daughter was pulled from that school and finished up 8th grade in a new school (and had a much better year overall), but it went on longer than it should have.

AngelasGiftNook said...

I so agree with everything you said!!

Our son was having a problem at school with a child bullying him. I immediately went to the school and they had it taken care of that very day.

There is no way I would have let it go on!

Nicholas said...

I am 16, I would like to tell you that I was a "victim" of Bullying but I can't. I have put up with name calling sense the 3rd grade. I have never done anything about it. I don't think that I can. Counseling is pointless and the school doesn't care. I will tell you that I have never been "beaten up" but when you have been mentally bullied for 10 years, it adds up. I am not totally depressed but I am not that happy a person anymore. I am now thinking about home schooling just to try and get good grades and some peace. I wish that it didn't take a lawsuit for schools to care. I also would like to note that the school has filled assault charges against students for less then what happened to me today.