Let me tell you a little bit about my son. He is 11 years old and he is one of the gentlest little men I know. He is caring and he is smart. He isn’t aggressive but he is one to stand up for his friends and what is right. He doesn’t do this in a bad way, instead he does it in a verbal way by simply asking why? (Why did you push him? Why would you say that? Why are you being mean?)
My son has ADHD, he is the class clown. His teachers find him to be a delight in their classrooms and find that he is always smiling and making others feel good.
Last week this all changed. Last week I got a call from the school saying that he had been in a fight. I was told at first that he and the other boy were both at fault, that they were both suspended because they both contributed to punches. Now being as my son has never been in trouble at school and the fact that he is timid and non-aggressive, I had to question this. I asked him what happened and he wasn’t sure, he said he couldn’t remember how it started (at first). I spoke with the assistant principle and she has said she spoke with a few witnesses who said my son had thrown the first punch. (Again this is not my son)
Later we went home, went to football practice and then came home, when we got home there were kids from the neighborhood who came to check up on my son, they were concerned, and they had a different story. Its goes something like this, its recess and the kids were playing football. One kid played then left and then came back to play again. At this point the kids who continued playing the game said that he could not join at that moment because they were in the middle of the game and the teams were set and scores made. The boy got angry and went to get a few of his other friends. One kid pushed another kid and then, they explained that my son simply asked a kid why he had pushed another kid that then turned into words being exchanged and then my son walking back to the door to go to lunch. As my son was walking back to the door, a kid chased my son and pushed him to the ground, he proceeded to kick him and the got on top of him and punched him several times in the face until a teacher pulled him off of my son.
Does this sound like my son was throwing punches? Does this sound like my son was the aggressor? No it sounds to me that my son walked away.
I have come to find out that the other child is the same child who bullied my son in 2nd grade, the same child who tried to make my son lick a toilet in the school bathrooms. The same child my sons 2nd grade teacher had called me about to let me know that it was happening and that they were keeping an eye on the situation.
Well, the day after my son was suspended I spoke with the assistant principle again. I brought it to her attention that there are several other witnesses who claim a completely different story, Finding out by those same kids that the AP actually only spoke with the friends of the aggressor and not the kids who were there part of it from the beginning. I gave her the names of the kids and the story line that was given to me by several of the students. At that time my son’s teacher chimed in and said remarkable things about my son and that she herself couldn’t imaging my son being part of this situation.
I must say that I felt good knowing that others see what I see in my son. A good, boy with a heart of gold. A friend till the end and someone who doesn’t think violence is the answer.
My son’s suspension was removed!
Moving forward to this week, my son is hurt, he is down, things are being said at school by other kids about him getting “OWNED” “WEAK” “Can’t fight”. These are the friends of the other kid and I know kids can be mean to begin with. The problem I am having is that my son is afraid to tell a teacher or the AP. He doesn’t want to get the kids in trouble because it will fall back on him and it will get worse.
My son came home from school yesterday and lifted weights for an hour, then ran on the treadmill for an hour and a half. He feels now that if he gets a little bigger they won’t pick on him, that maybe next time he can stand up for himself and not be stuck on the ground.
I don’t want my child to feel this way. I don’t want my child to be afraid. I don’t want my child to think this is how life is. I don’t teach my children to fight. While I have taught them that words don’t hurt, in all actuality they do. I am an adult, I can brush words off and go on but a child who wants friends, a child who wants everyone to like them doesn’t feel the same.
While his bruises will fade and go away, his self-esteem is shattered and all I can do is be there to protect him and stand up for him when he is afraid to.
Note: Today I call the school about the words being said to my child and ask that something be done.