When Older Kids are Bullied – a Mother’s Story – Pt. 3 of a 3 part series

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.

older kids bullied

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.

older kids bullied

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…

When Older Kids are Bullied – Part One

When Older Kids are Bullied – Part Two

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Childhood Bullies

Next up: Cyberbullying – A Mother’s Story

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When Older Kids are Bullied – a Mother’s Story – Pt. 2 of a 3 part series

Eighth grade was a better year for Bud.  He breezed through the first semester with good grades, a girlfriend and no troubles.

Then, on a Saturday in January 2008, Bud and a group of friends (boys and girls) were hanging out, talking, on the soccer field at their middle school.  One of Bud’s former friends, approached the group with his “gang”.  The “gang” started harassing one of the girls in Bud’s group.  Bud stood up to the gang and told them to leave the girl alone.  The gang threatened Bud and started to chase him and his group, but they ran to a nearby house, which frightened the bullies away.

older kids bullied

The next week, this former friend challenged Bud to a fight off-grounds after school. Bud refused.  He is trained in taekwondo, but had always been taught to only use his skills in self-defense.  The bully told Bud that if he didn’t fight, the bully and his gang would “jump” Bud one day on his way home from school.  Bud didn’t tell us any of what had happened, but having been jumped the previous year (see Part 1 of this series) he finally agreed to the fight.

They met at an abandoned lot about a half mile from the school the following week.  Of course, the news had spread like wildfire amongst the middle school population, so there was a large crowd of teenagers there, many with cell phone cameras.  Bud allowed the bully to throw the first punch and immediately threw the other boy off balance and took him to the ground.  The bully didn’t even land one hit.

The next day I received a call at work from the principal’s office telling me that Bud and the other boy were both being suspended for 5 days for fighting.  I found out the details behind the story (they had Bud in the principal’s office when they called me) and then proceeded to ask how he was being suspended when a) he had felt he had no choice but to fight and b) the fight was not on school property.  I was told that the school considered that if the fight occured on the children’s “way home” from school then it was still a school fight and the school had a “zero-tolerance” policy on fighting.  The vice-principal suggested that if Bud had informed the school office of the threats against him, he would have been protected.  I told her there was no way they could have protected him off-grounds.

Fortunately, Bud’s teachers were extremely understanding of the circumstances, as he was a good student and well-liked and the other boy was a known troublemaker.  Bud was allowed to make up all his schoolwork and we were so proud to watch his 8th grade promotion and have the teachers praise him for his academics and pleasant attitude.

older kids are bullied

A Proud Bud with his 8th grade promotion certificate

We thought high school would only be better…

When Older Kids Are Bullied – Part 3

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Childhood Bullies

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