Where do we go from here?

It has now been 13 days since my son was assaulted at his middle school.

As we know, the bully, who “understood the severity of his actions”, was allowed to return to school just two and a half days later.

Just two and a half days of “punishment” for that boy, while my child will continue to have the lingering emotional scars.  When things like this happen, others are affected.  Of course, Nick is the one who has endured the most.  My husband and I have been impacted by what has happened to our child.  Our younger son has also been greatly affected. He is a happy go lucky 8 year old with a heart of gold who has been very worried about his big brother.  What this bully did affected our entire family.

Please excuse this post, as it may not be very organized today. I am speaking from my heart.

Some thoughts:

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1. Dear Bully’s Parents,

You had to come pick up your son from school on Tuesday, October 22 because he was suspended out of school for punching a younger, smaller child in the eye unprovoked. You have not once attempted to reach out to our family to say that you are sorry for the horrendous actions of your son.  You have not once asked how our son is doing, what you can do, if there are damages (and there are, not just the glasses and the doctor’s appointments, etc.), but you have not had the moral decency to say, “We are sorry our son assaulted your child.” This speaks volumes.  Not only does this give US the message that you just do not care, but what is this teaching your son? That you condone bullying?  Do you condone bullying?  

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2.  Dear School Board,

I am tremendously disappointed at your generic response to my letter. It is especially bothersome to me to know that we received an almost identical response to the letter another mother with a bullied child received from you just a couple weeks before. While I understand and respect that your main duty is to handle the master plan and budget, I believe that as elected members of the BOE, that you have a duty to the children in your schools. One of the board members knows Nick from when he used to attend Vacation Bible School. It is disheartening to know that individual members did not reach out or take the time to respond. Sadly, I realize that this is a game of politics.

Here is what the President of the BOE said, in case you missed my last post:

“Regarding your concerns, please be advised that the Board of Education has great confidence in Mr. Desrosiers and the teaching and professional staff at Rogers School.  I understand that you are working with him.  As a board, our role is to set policy, protocol and with community support adopt the budget.  All of those actions and resources are focused on learning and achievement and the creating safe environment our schools need to reach that goal.

 
Please understand that student discipline is a process that is progressive by design.  In some circumstances the Board could be asked to review suspensions, thus I cannot comment on any specific situation or student.
 
I hope this communication helps clarify the position of the Board.
 
Thank you, on behalf of the entire Board of Education.
 
Charles Perreaud”

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3. Dear Mr. Crane,

Each year, parents sit and listen attentively at parents’ night at school about how you are always there to listen. And you always seem so genuine. You stil have not personally responded to me, and that really does bother me, not just as a parent, but as a taxpayer in the West Irondequoit School District. I believe you are a good person and I have to believe that you do care about the children in your community. I really wish you would one day sit down with the parents of bullying victims, and with these children themselves so you can REALLY see and hear of the lasting impact these events have had, are having, and will continue to have.

Truth be told, I have felt greatly disillusioned lately about our school district. It is especially disheartening to keep hearing from other members of our community and other parents about bullying in the WICSD.

Here is just one letter from an uncle of a bullied 6 year old girl in this district. He has written this letter as an appeal to the media to investigate. 

Dear Ma’am or Sir,

I am writing to notify you that my niece, a student at Brookview Elementary School in the West Irondequoit School, Irondequoit, New York, was been hit (assaulted/battered) three times in a two week period by a fellow student. The third time my niece was struck, on Monday, 07 October 2013, the school left a message on my sister’s home phone about the incident, in spite of them having both parent’s cellphone number. Since then, my niece has been kept home from school, as both my niece and her parents feel she is no longer safe at Brookview School.

In spite of meetings with the teacher, the principal and the superintendent, no action has been, nor will be taken to ensure the safety of my niece. In light of the West Irondequoit School District’s inability or unwillingness to ensure the student safety of my niece, I am appealing to you to investigate and take action.
From a legal standpoint, both the Irondequoit Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff have informed my sister that there is nothing they can do. My sister is conferring with an attorney and is looking into home schooling because of the danger to her daughter within the West Irondequoit School District.
If it will assist you, I have copies of correspondence between my sister and the school district displaying both the school district’s unwillingness to do anything and my sister’s desire to work out a scenario that would allow for a safe environment for her daughter to receive and education.

Respectfully,
James W. White
Irondequoit, NY

More of my thoughts today & an update

Through the power of Facebook and Twitter, each day I have continued to hear from other concerned parents. One mother at Dake has told me of her son being bullied while at Rogers and Dake. The bullying last week invlved being slammed into a locker once again, this time leaving marks.  If you are reading this and you are a member of our community, I implore you to speak up and express your concern and discontent.

I spoke with a well-respected Democrat and Chronicle reporter last week. I know that I am not the only parent in the WICSD who has been in contact with her and I do hope that after she investigates that there will be some sort of progress.

It is not all bad here– I am not naming names, but there are some really amazing 5th graders at Rogers Middle School who have reached out to Nick and he knows he is loved. Thank you, parents, for raising such wonderful kids.

I submitted our letter of intent to homeschool today. We will not send Nick back to the WICSD. They have failed him. I will homeschool him for the remainder of the year. He needs to know he is safe. He will be visiting local private schools as well and we plan to send him to private school in the fall. I have to say, though, what would other parents do? Both my husband and I work from home.  While my husband must adhere to his schedule, I am a beauty editor for a magazine and telecommute. I do social media for a skin care company as well. I am able to shift my writing so it is at night and weekends. I am not tied to an office or a boss and thankfully have a great deal of flexibility. I CAN homeschool Nick and take him on field trips and get him into homeschooling social groups.

What if I could not?  I would have to:

A. Quit my job, causing a financial burden to our household.

B. Send my child back to an unsafe environment.

This is a decision that most are faced with. And it is unfair and should not have to be this way. There needs to be something different done in response to bullying in this school district.

When bus monitor Karen Klein was bullied on a school bus by children, those students were not allowed to attend their regular classes at school. Greece handled that properly. Why can’t this district?  Making the kids who are bullied seek a new environment punishes the victims and sends a message to other students that if you bully, you will be allowed to resume your normal life within days.  What lesson does that teach? West Irondequoit has failed to provide any type of meaningful action in this situation and I continue to be disgusted, disheartened, and greatly disillusioned.

 

*UPDATE 11/4/13 About an hour and a half after this post was published, I received a phone call from the Superintendent. He offered no words of apology or concern over what transpired at one of his schools. Nothing should surprise me, but I really felt like, “Hey, how is your son doing?” may have been a good place to start. Nope. I was told if I would like to discuss things more, he would listen. When I said I wanted to sit down and talk about how bullying is handled in the WICSD, I was told that we could discuss Nick and not other students who, and I believe the words were, “may have made some mistakes.”

How many other children?

Yesterday, I posted Nick’s story to the Channel 13 Facebook page. For those who aren’t local, 13 WHAM is our local ABC affiliate.

You know, I realized we had a HUGE problem being swept under the rug here, but I did not realize how far-reaching it is in the WI school district.

Parents have been coming out today sharing their stories. This school district MUST act.

Some comments from other West Irondequoit parents:

“I had to remove my son from West Irondequoit Schools in 6th grade after realizing the bullying situation was not going to change…”

“The WIBOE talks a great deal about bullying and maintaining a respectful environment, but I have yet to see them take action that send a clear message that innocents such as your son will be protected while perpetrators will be punished. I have heard other stories equally as disturbing and know families who have switched districts.”

“I love West Irondequoit and our school but I’m so very very saddened and let down by seeing this happen. It’s not only with Nick. I keep hearing more and more and more. It’s so devastating.”

There are many other comments, many other emails.

WICSD, please listen to us.  So many of us have CHOSEN to reside in Irondequoit and pay the high taxes we pay because we wanted our children to have a West Irondequoit education. Our children deserve a safe environment.

I have asked before and I will ask again. What about the bullied children who are NOT talking about what is happening?  What will it take for you to realize that there are children who are suffering?  You undoubtedly have heard all of the stories in the news. There are children so scarred by being the victims of bullying that they are seeing no other way out and are taking their own lives.

I implore you to do something.

Disgusted.

After hanging out with our neighbors this evening, we came home and I picked up my phone.  A friend had texted me to let me know that she was informed by another parent with a 6th grade child that the boy who assaulted Nick was in the cafeteria eating lunch today.

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#1– What happened to the out of school suspension?

#2– This happened TUESDAY. Today is Friday. The boy ASSAULTED my child in front of the principal, teachers, and students.

#3– The principal, with whom I spoke on the phone this afternoon DID NOT MENTION he lifted the suspension! I had to find out from someone else.

#4– I am disgusted.  Other parents are disgusted. This is WRONG. There is no justice for the victims of bullying in the West Irondequoit schools. What will it take?

My Letter to West Irondequoit BOE and Administration

Two years later

I am back here after the long journey I believed to be over.

Much to our dismay, events have transpired which have prompted us to remove our son from his school.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the entire West Irondequoit Board of Education, Superintendent Jeff Crane, a local reporter (Linda Quinlan at the Irondequoit Post) & many other relevant district members. Names and a bit of personal information have been removed to protect privacy. 

Sadly, my letter has not been the only one to be sent out, as my child is not alone. Nick’s name is left here because I have talked about his story before —

LETTER FOLLOWS:

I would like to would like to introduce you all to my son, Nick.

Nicholas is 10 years old. He’s in the fifth grade at XXX in the West Irondequoit Central School District. He is funny, charming, a bit quirky, both very respectful and well-respected. He is an avid reader and a chess player. He enjoys doing math problems in his spare time and reading the comics, even though he doesn’t typically pick up on humor because he interprets words very literally. Nick has Aspergers.

Nick has a thirst for knowledge and truly loves to learn. He is an old soul. At times, it seems he is like a little old man trapped in a little boy’s body. He is a remarkable young man. I know that all parents think that about their children, but if you have had the pleasure of encountering Nick, you would agree.

At around 10:30 in the morning on Tuesday, October 22, I received a phone call from a deeply concerned principal, {PRINICIPAL 1}. Before I move forward and forget to mention this, I have to tell you that I believe with all of my heart and mother’s intuition that {PRINICIPAL 1} TRULY cares about the children in his care, and that he truly cares about my son. I can see that in his eyes when we speak and I can hear it in his voice when he calls from school.

{PRINICIPAL 1} informed me that Nick had been punched in the face, in the eye, by a sixth grade student. The boy walked right up to Nick while he was at his locker and punched him. He committed this act of assault with teachers, students, and the principal in viewing range. Nick did not even have a chance to defend himself–not that he should have to at school.

This boy, with a complete disregard for authority, respect, and human decency, assaulted my child at school on a hallway full of witnesses. We did file a report that afternoon with Officer Nichols at the Irondequoit Police Department to be sure the incident is on record.

The incident started in chorus. Nick is a member of the 5th and 6th grade chorus at XXX. He loves music and singing. The child who assaulted him was two people over from him on the top risers. The boy (who we now know is named STUDENT A) said “Fuck you”, “You better shut your bitch hole or else your asshole is going to be whooped”, and sang the words, “Nick is a fucking bitch, fucking ass, and fucking jerk” to the tune of the song “Conjunction Junction” which was being sung at the time.

After doing this, Nick asked TEACHER A to use the restroom and walked by, asking her quietly if he could please talk to her at the end of rehearsal.

He was frightened and very upset by this student. At dismissal from chorus, TEACHER A asked Nick to stay for a moment since he had wanted to speak with her. STUDENT A told Nick, “You better not tell on me or you are going to be sorry.”

STUDENT A left and Nick told TEACHER A what had happened. Nick did not know STUDENT A’s name at the time, as they hadn’t met. Nick found out from another student (who heard what was going on and was afraid to speak up) that the student’s name was STUDENT A and he told TEACHER A.

After leaving chorus, Nick walked to his locker and was unpacking his bag.

STUDENT A walked up to Nick and asked in a threatening tone, “Did you tell TEACHER A?”

Nick answered truthfully and said, “Yes.”

Immediately following, STUDENT A punched Nick in his face, hitting his glasses.

Nick has a mark by his nose, a small bruise on the eyebrow, and his glasses are broken. The lens popped out and a screw is missing from the side.

Nick started to cry because of the pain. He could not see and he heard {PRINICIPAL 1’s} voice telling {STUDENT A} to go with him. Nick said his eyes were still closed, but he heard another student, {STUDENT B} asking {PRINICIPAL 1} if he could walk Nick to the nurse.

While walking, Nick encountered {TEACHER B}, his Social Studies teacher, who walked him the rest of the way to the nurse.

Nick sat in a chair in the school nurse’s office, was checked out, and then {SCHOOL COUNSELOR} came down to check on him and discuss the incident. Nick laid down and {SCHOOL COUNSELOR} popped the lens back in his glasses so he could see again. Nick rested for about 30 minutes and went to his math class because he was worried about missing work.

I picked Nick up to come home immediately following my return from a doctor’s appointment in Bushnell’s Basin. He recounted everything that happened and is frightened. He does not want to return.

This incident is bad enough in itself. Unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident.

Nick has been pushed on the stairs, shoved into a locker, and verbally taunted.

As many of you are aware, in October 2011, Nicholas suffered a concussion as a result of bullying and nothing was done because of the circumstances. Emails expressing concerns about one student, {STUDENT C}, had been sent to both {TEACHER 3} and {TEACHER 4} during 2nd and third grade.

On this particular day in 2011, {STUDENT C} knocked Nick down at recess. The recess aide gave the child 5 minutes of time out as a punishment.

When time out was done, the child went after Nick once again. Fearing for his safety, Nick attempted to run away from {STUDENT C}, and in doing so, struck his head on the metal ladder leading to the monkey bars.

Because {STUDENT C} did not physically push Nick’s head (that time) into the ladder, he had no consequences even though Nick was trying to prevent being hurt for the second time in one recess period. Nick fell unconscious. He was seen at RGH in the pediatric emergency room, and diagnosed with a concussion.

After that incident, we attempted to come to some sort of resolution by talking to the boy’s parents, {ELEM SCHOOL COUNSELOR}, {TEACHER 4}, and {FORMER ELEM PRINCIPAL}. Unfortunately, nothing was done. I contacted {SUPERINTENDENT}. I understand that the school just wanted me to go away and stop fighting for my child. That is quite clear. I believed things would change–that this was an isolated type of incident.

I was very wrong.

Things were fine in {Teacher 5’s} class last year. There was quite a bit of supervision and Nick did not have anyone physically hurt him in 4th grade.

Fifth grade has been a different story.

Nick was pushed on the stairs by a boy named XXX and I reported it to {SCHOOL COUNSELOR}. The day after I reported that, I received a call from {PRINCIPAL} to let me know that a boy named YYY had pushed Nick into a locker. When Nick is very nervous or anxious, he repeats words or bites his lip (or nails). He was muttering the word “meep” over and over again. Apparently, this bothered YYY and instead of asking him to be quiet, he resorted to physical shoving. At that point, Nick was extremely nervous about school. He was scared to be in the hallways.

One of the measures that had been put into place was that there would be more adults in the hallways when there were transitions since these events were occurring during times that are typically unstructured. We told Nick is would be OK–that it would be safe. He had faith in us. He believed that our word as parents meant something. He believed that the adults at school could keep him safe.

Tuesday’s assault proves that Nick is not safe at XXX Middle School. This incident took place with faculty, staff, and {PRINCIPAL} in the hallway. If Nick can be bullied with these measures in place, there are no measures that can be implemented to guarantee his safety.

Again, I wish I could even say that these events are isolated. We know this is not true. A fellow 5th grader who lives right on our street was bullied during 4th grade. She kept being bullied. She was bullied in after school care (again, by STUDENT C) while at XXX Elem. She was bullied over and over last year. Her mother had no choice but to pull her from the district a few weeks back. She is now in a safe environment.

We know of a sweet girl in Nick’s karate. She was a kindergarten student at XXX Elem. in the West Irondequoit School District and repeatedly bullied by a boy in her class. Instead of getting to the root of the problem and addressing the boy who had been physically hurting her, the victim has to be moved to XXX Elem.

This punishes the victim. It is a pattern.

These are just instances of people we know right in our tight-knit little circle. There must be many others.

I have met with{PRINCIPAL}. He is the epitome of what a principal should be. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe he will exhaust every effort and avenue to keep his students safe and happy.

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to make our son feel safe. I am a mom, first and foremost. I love my children with all of my heart. I have a younger son in {TEACHER 6’s} third grade class.

We moved here from the Park Avenue area of the city, which we happened to love. Knowing the reputation of the city schools, we moved here when Nick was a baby because we believed West Irondequoit schools were worth the extra taxes so we could give our children a safe environment with a fabulous reputation. We honestly believed that this would be best. It is not. It has not been.

I ask all of you, what will you do to ensure that my child is safe? That my other son will be kept safe? That the other West Irondequoit students are safe?

The Dignity for All Students Act, as you know, addresses bullying.

Here is what it says:

“Bullying has been described by the U.S. Department of Education as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, bullying generally involves the following characteristics:

An Imbalance of Power: Children who bully use their power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity, to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

The Intent to Cause Harm: The person bullying has a goal to cause harm.

Repetition: Bullying behaviors generally happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to:

Verbal: Name-calling, teasing, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting and threatening to cause harm.

Social: Spreading rumors about someone, excluding others on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, and embarrassing someone in public.

Physical: Hitting, punching, shoving, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things and making mean or rude hand gestures.”

1. My child was verbally bullied in chorus by {STUDENT 1}. He was threatened. {STUDENT 1} attempted to use threats and intimidation to control Nick into not speaking up about what had happened in chorus.

2. {STUDENT 1} CLEARLY intended to cause Nick harm when he walked up to him and punch him.

3. Bullying behavior has happened more than once and with this act being done in the presence of authority figures, has the potential to happen more than once.

4. Nick was verbally bullied. He was physically bullied.

My son is supposed to be protected by the Dignity Act:

“The Dignity Act protects all New York State public school students from discrimination and harassment by students and/or employees on school property or at a school function, not just students who are the subject of discrimination or harassment based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity or expression), or sex.”

The West Irondequoit Central School District has a duty to provide my son with a safe environment:

“Once an allegation or report of bullying is made, the school district or BOCES has a responsibility to take appropriate action, which includes investigation and taking necessary steps to protect those involved. All districts and BOCES must adopt and enforce a code of conduct for the maintenance of order on school property and at school functions. The code of conduct must govern the conduct of students, teachers, other school employees and visitors and must include the procedures to be followed in such situations (Education Law §2801[2] and 8 NYCRR §100.2[l][2][i]).

It should be noted that charter schools are also required to include in their disciplinary rules and procedures, pursuant to Education Law §2851(2)(h) and, or, if applicable, in their codes of conduct, provisions to comply with the requirements of the Dignity Act (see also, Education Law §§10-18 and 8 NYCRR §119.6). The charter school’s disciplinary rules and procedures, or, if applicable, its code of conduct must also include the procedures to be followed in such situations.”

Most of you are parents yourselves. Would you in good conscience be able to place your child back into an environment where he has been assaulted right in front of the adults who are there to protect him?

I cannot. I love my son. I fear for his safety. I cannot get the image out of my head. We live across the street from XXX Middle School. To know that I was at home sipping a mug of coffee while my child was punched in the eye at his locker without anyone being able to protect him is not something I can or will forget.

I want to know what the West Irondequoit School District will do to address not just the district-wide bullying issue, but I want to know what you will do specifically to make sure that my son is able to have a safe, quality education?

After Nick’s concussion in 2011, I stopped pressing. I believed the problem would be remedied. I made a mistake by trusting that Nick would not be bullied again. I will not be silenced this time and I will do everything that I can to protect my child and keep him safe.

{STUDENT 1} gets to return to school once his suspension ends. Life will go on for him. Chances are, he will find someone else to pick on who is smaller and weaker than he is. For Nick, though, and the others bullying victims, the scars are long-lasting. This is a real issue. What will it take for the district to really pay attention? Will it take a child who has lost all hope taking his or her own life? Quite frankly, as a mom, that is my biggest fear.

I know that people will not be happy with me for contacting so many with Nick’s story–but his story needs to be heard. The children who have been left no choice but to change schools or move need to be heard, too.

What will you do to protect my son? To protect the other victims?

Karley Ziegler Mott

Kudos to Molly Sprague & Eastridge High!

Molly Sprague is a student at Eastridge High in the East Irondequoit School District. This is our neighboring district (we are in the West) and I feel compelled to share my heartfelt thank you Molly and her peers for creating a new anti-bullying video.

I have never met Molly, nor do I know the teens in the video. According to a piece on the news (13 WHAM, Molly wanted to create an anti-bullying video because her brother and his friends have been victims of bullying. Together with some of her fellow Eastridge classmates, Molly’s simple message is clear–that we can all work together to combat bullying before it is too late.

 The world needs more people like Molly Sprague. 

 

Sharing Some Thoughts…

It has been quite some time since I posted and I do apologize. Day to day life has kind of gotten in the way of me updating this blog.

So, what is new these days? Nicholas is doing very well. He is a resilient, positive boy who sees the good in people and he has really done remarkably well since his October incident. Thankfully, the bully has not bothered him and Nick chooses to hang around with his supportive, caring friends, especially G. down the street and his Ninjago-loving pal E.

I guess you could say that we have returned to “normalcy.” Please do not read this as total acceptance. I am extremely disappointed in our school’s handling of things and I do not hesitate to share my thoughts with others.  And I am quite certain that if anything happens again and gets shoved under the rug, that I WILL pull him out of the district and let the world know why.

After this happened, I had a decision to make–I could use my voice to shout from the rooftops via the media outlets here about how our district didn’t address the matter the best way they could, or I could remain vigilant in other ways by engaging in ongoing discussions with other parents in our school and others.

While more would have been done if I had gone the route I mentioned first, this wouldn’t have been the best option for our son. Nick knows I fight for him and will always do so. He faced some flack from classmates about me sharing my voice. My blog posts were shared by some parents with their children, who teased Nick and picked on him for having a loud-mouthed mom who “talks about other children” on her blog. One peer told him that his father “hates” him because he was a “wuss”. This really affected my son and bothered me enough so that I have had to choose some other options for our son’s extracurricular activities because I do not want our son ending up in a group being led by that dad. It’s a shame that there are those who do not have empathy for others or who believe bullying is a rite of passage. I can shield my son from people like that and have done so. That is my job as his mother.

I have continued to read your emails.

Are you in Michigan?  Attention Shelby Public Schools — there is a bullying problem that is not being addressed. I’ve been contacted by a mother who says her son and others are being repeatedly bullied and that despite going to the superintendent on numerous occasions, no one has protected her child. This is unacceptable.

I was pleased to see a front page article today in our daily paper, the Democrat and Chronicle, about bullying and the new documentary called Bully.

Here is a trailer from Bully:

I would like to see school districts offering screenings of the documentary for parents, teachers, administrators, and students to watch together. It really takes a whole community for change to occur and I think that this could spark true action and dialogue.

Do you plan to see Bully?  Will you take your children?

Schools get an F at protecting our kids.

The subject of bullying is back center-stage in the Rochester area lately, as it should be.

Nearby in Wayne County, the Marion Central School District is being sued by the mother of a high school student because they say that the district didn’t do enough to stop the repeated bullying of their son.  Here’s a story by WHAM’s Rachel Barnhart about this: click here.  According to the story, the child has been tormented for more than two years and over 30 complaints to the school’s administration were made.


In Spencerport, a girl took her own life last week.  Cameron DeVeronica was just 14.  Friends set up a Facebook page now with over 10,000 followers in an effort to raise awareness for what they believe was a suicide caused by bullying. According to reports in both mainstream and social media, this young girl was being bullied by female classmates.  The Ogden Police Department and Spencerport schools held a news conference last week trying to debunk the bullying rumors despite the fact that students have said otherwise. This hasn’t been sitting well with their community.


Another child has died. Once again, it looks like another local school district wants to look the other way and say “not here” and pretend bullying isn’t a cause for concern.


I have to applaud the Spencerport community, though, as a protest involving approximately 300 students and parents was held outside the Spencerport School District to demand an end to bullying. Due to this increased pressure from students who are sick of bullying, it looks like the district and police department might be pulling their heads out of the sand to do something….one can hope, at least.


In our own situation, it has now been 2 months since the incident at our school. I’ve given two full months and have gone through the cycle of anger, disappointment, sadness, etc. 


My son is OK now. His concussion has healed. He smiles and laughs and plays like a normal 8 year old. He has friends and is a good boy.  The big egg on his head may be gone, but I can assure you that the scars of bullying remain. This has affected all of us–I think the grown ups have taken the situation even harder than our resilient son.


If you know me at all, you know I am a pretty calm and collected person.  Deep down, though, I am furious. I am pissed off at our school for allowing this to happen and DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. I am pissed off that their solution would be to have my son and the BULLY (it is what it is, folks, he’s a bully) go to the school counselor together to try to become friends. You know, if an adult was attacked, would the judge say that the victim of the assault should make nice with the criminal? No. So why should that be the solution here? I pulled Nick out of that joint counseling because he wasn’t comfortable and to be frank, I do not want my child to be friends with a bully. Would you?


The bottom line is that bullying occurs in nice suburbs and at top-ranked schools. Not just “other schools.” Our districts are failing our children.