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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Kindergarten Bully

I am pretty much at my wits end. And no, it is not because I had to use Paint to draw the above image (although I am pretty peeved about that too). You see, I knew my son starting Kindergarten would be not the least bit easy, but come on! Homework I can handle. Spelling I can handle. Writing I can handle. Even reading I can handle. However, there is one thing that I just cannot handle:

A Kindergarten bully!

What the heck!?! How in the universe does a five/six year old become such a little monster at such a young age? Here's the deal:

My oldest son is being bullied by another classmate. At first, I figured it was because this bully was a new kid and was just finding his place among his peers--and so I let it slip. The problem with giving this bully a break for starting a new school is that the bullying continued and got worse. I knew my son was having problems, because every day when school let out he would mention the other child's name and proceed to tell me how the bully hit him with his lunchbox, pushed him down or pulled his hair. Once, my oldest came out of the school with an icebag over his eye all because the little twirp scratched my son in the eye and made him bleed with his fingernails!

Then, one day I actually met the little bully...and I realized his mom was the same woman that won't speak to me outside our sons' school. Then the unthinkable happened--the bully hit my son in the face with his lunchbox right in front of me as hard as he could and his mom DID NOTHING! You've got to be kidding me, I thought! I was so shocked, I just stood right there and watched she and her little monster walk back towards their car.

My oldest was so upset!

I don't blame him...I mean, at that point I too had enough of the little bully twirp. To make matters worse, the bully's mom wasn't even disciplining her child for hitting my child. Personally, if my child had done that to someone else's child right in front of me, I would have jerked my son up and had a talking with him right then and there. Not only would my son have to apologize to the other kid immediately, but I would also apologize to the other parent and then ground my child when he got home.

This is Kindergarten folks...bullying needs to be nipped in the bud right now!
My son was so upset from getting hit in the face that I could see the tears starting to form. I don't know what overcame me right at that moment, but I turned to my oldest and told him to go tell The Kindergarten Bully to stop hitting him.

To my shock and disbelief, my son did just that...and a little more. He ran up to the bully and screamed, "STOP HITTING ME! I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT!!!" The bully's mom just stared at my oldest as he continued to scream at her child.

I was just a little bit overtaken at that moment, so it took me a couple seconds to process the situation and decide what to do next. To be honest with you, I was proud of my son for standing up for himself. But I know my child's screaming can get out of control, so I ran over to my son and firmly told him, "That's enough, stop screaming," and then looked at the bully's mom square in the eyes and said, "I am sure his mom heard you--and I am SURE she will do something about it!"

I didn't see The Kindergarten Bully or his mom for a week.


KMDuff said...

Way to empower your son to communicate his dislike for being hit. That is a hard situation.

Kristi said...

One of my biggest gripes about public schools, and one of the reasons I'm looking into putting my kids in a charter school. Sigh. It's getting to the point where I think we'll all decided to educate our kids to ensure a good education instead of just learning survival of the fittest. Good for you for handling it so well.

Kristi said...

K, lots of typos in there. I meant to write, "It's getting to the point where I think we'll all decide to educate our kids at home to ensure..."

I've always been a really bad typer.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Don't worry about being a bad typer, i due it ell the tyme. :)

I'm with you Kristi--I have definitely thought about taking my kids out of public schools starting when they leave elementary. If I can afford at that time to put them into private schools, I will most certainly be doing that.

KM--Yep, I am too still pretty proud of my son. Now I have to face the woman at school today. I am trying really hard not to have a total meltdown with the parent.

Patrick said...

Tough situation, but sounds like you handled it well. Here's a comprehensive look at kindergarten bullying

Mindee said...

Get the school involved. They can be the go-between so you don't end up hitting that mom with YOUR lunchbox. ;)

If all else fails, insist that they be separated. Your kid shouldn't have to worry about getting beaten up at school.

Cowgirl said...

You're a good mommy. I think I might have taken the lunch box from her son, and smacked her with it.

Grr... let us know what happens!

Cowgirl in the City

Cowgirl said...

Oh, by the way, thanks for the tip on Joy of Gardening book by Dick Raymond. I checked it out from the library, and its Mau-ver-lous, darling!

Thanks again

Screwed Up Texan said...

Patrick, great link.

Mindee, I recently got the school involved--even spoke with the principal herself--and they did not seem to take it seriously. I then spoke with the teacher, and she is supposed to be separating them. It has worked some, but still continues. :(

Cowgirl, I had to stay on the other side of the entrance from her as I feel like opening up a can of whoop-you-know-what on her. Also, glad you like the book, it is my all time favorite gardening book.

tcyarbs said...

I am very impressed with your ability to keep your composure. I am not sure I could have. How does this woman not feel compelled to intercede? How can you watch your child hurt another child? It goes a long way in explaining this child's personality and behavior.

Have you seen this woman again? At some point, she is going to have to deal with this situation-eventually, the bully will meet his match. I worry that my son has been bullied in social situations and he is too ashamed to tell me. I hope he has the confidence and strength yours does to stand up for himself. I love how you handled the situation. It is inspirational to me...and how humiliating to be that unfit, undeserving woman!

Susan said...

Wow - sorry to hear about that happening to your son. I can't believe some parents and their inability to grasp the severity of their child's actions. I hope the bully's mom got the message, but it's unlikely.

My daughter is in private school and bullying started in pre-k (3-4 year olds) last year!! I couldn't believe it when she got in the car in tears and said one of the other girls called her a stupid baby. We never use the word "stupid" in our house, so I was shocked.

The same girl (and her parents) didn't invite my daughter to her birthday party, but invited everyone else in the class. What kind of message are these parents sending to their young children? Unbelievable. My daughter is a very sweet child and all her teachers say she's extremely well-behaved and well-liked by the other children in class. I have no idea why this girl disliked my daughter so much unless she's jealous? Thankfully that girl is in another class this year. This year we have another problem child to deal with who makes my daughter cry at least once a week.

I didn't know I was going to be dealing with this at such a young age. The public school (RISD/TX) in our neighborhood has a very strong anti-bully policy and they have all sorts of programs to teach kids that bullying is wrong. I am not sending my daughter there because of her food allergies, but I wish her school would have the no-bully program.

When I was in school (70s-80s), I was bullied, but only from 6th grade through junior high. Kids can be cruel. I can't imagine having to deal with bullying from pre-k or kindergarten through the pre-teen and early teen years. I hope this is not a trend...

Screwed Up Texan said...

tcyarbs, I almost lost my composure with her a couple times. The only thing that kept me from saying something to her was that I did not want to embarrass myself in front of my three children and thirty or so other parents, some of which live in my neighborhood and are members of my Crime Watch group. Otherwise, I probably would've verbally ripped her a new one.

Susan, it surprises me how some teachers and administratives are just absolutely oblivious that bullying can happen in Kindergarten. I too was bullied in K and so I "feel" for my little boy. I thought LISD (Lewisville) had a good anti-bullying system in place, and perhaps they do, but I think too that the teachers are hesitant to heavily dicipline a Kindergartener. Sigh...I spoke with the teacher again today and she says she is continuing to work on it during class and even had a talk with the bully.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

SO great that your son was able to stand up for himself and verbalize his feelings!

Anonymous said...

I think you inadvertently handled the situation very well -- giving a dose of self-esteem too to your son by making him "handle" it immediately. My son in the K grade is facing the same problem now -- at the moment it is all verbal harassment -- 3 guys gang up at recess daily to call him dirty names. it's upsetting. And i think I am initially going to use your tactic to resolve it -- make my son say "no" to the bullies in front of their parents. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My first grader is dealing with some of the very same things. It's only the first wek of school, but he's had trouble with 2 boys every day since it started. Names, fear tactics and on Friday he came home with 2 big knots on his head from, "where the boys hit me." As a mother it breaks my heart and infuriates me! Monday we're sitting down and having a talk with administration- I can only hope my husband has calmed down by then!

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