Bud started high school in August 2008. He was excited to turn a new leaf, since his father, older brother and I had all told him how much more fun high school was then middle school. Unfortunately, along with a new school came some of the old problems. The boy Bud had fought in middle school was also at his new high school and had gathered a bigger group of followers. He immediately started threatening Bud and demanding a rematch. Bud refused and the boy again threatened to jump Bud on his way home from school. This time Bud told me what was going on and I agreed to pick him up every day after school so he didn’t have to be constantly looking over his shoulder every day. After a few months Bud got tired of dodging the other boy and agreed to fight. Again he took the other boy down. Soon after the boy was expelled and moved out of town to live with his grandmother.
But it wasn’t over. Now Bud had a reputation as being the boy who took down ____. Soon another boy wanted to fight Bud. Bud had never even met this child before and couldn’t understand why the boy wanted to fight. Again he agreed to meet and again he took the other boy down. The next day at school both boys were called into the principal’s office but the other boy denied the fight, saying he had tripped and hurt himself. Later, Bud asked him why he had challenged Bud to fight when they didn’t even know each other. The other boy responded, “I heard you were a good kid to fight.”
Bud came home visibly distraught. He grew more and more resistant to getting up in the mornings. Somehow, he made it through that school year, and over the summer calmed down considerably. We had convinced him to go back in the fall, but only 2 weeks into his sophomore year he as again threatened. He was tired of “proving” himself. Fighting wasn’t getting him any peace.
For many reasons, including Bud’s safety, my husband and I finally agreed to let him come home and enroll in cyberschool. It’s not my recommendation for everyone, but it worked for us. Bud could still see his friends, but he had distance from the kids who caused trouble. Or so we thought…
Next up: Cyberbullying – A Mother’s Story