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

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

When Older Kids are Bullied – a Mother’s Story – Part 1

older kids bullied

This is a picture of my youngest son, Bud.  We homeschooled Bud until the 7th grade.  He finished both 5th and 6th grades together so he could skip up and enter 7th grade at a public middle school with his friends.

Bud loved 7th grade.  He is an attractive and pleasant boy and made lots of new friends.  The problem was that some of the boys he knew from the neighborhood were jealous that Bud was getting so much positive attention when he was so new to the school.

One day, about two months in to the school year, Bud was walking his bike home from school so he could talk to a couple of his walking friends.  They had only got as far as the sidewalk in front of the athletic fields when Bud was knocked off his bike from behind.  An 8th grader, who had knocked him down, jumped on Bud and started punching him in the face and ribs.  Fortunately, Bud’s friends started screaming for help and a neighbor across the street from the school came out and scared the bullies away.

For some reason, Bud decided to finish walking home – about a mile away.  When he got home he told me what had happened.  I immediately took some pictures and called the police who sent an officer out for an “informational report.”  I have since found out that an “informational report” usually means the police are not taking you seriously.  The officer also told me I should contact the police officer assigned to the school.  I called but had to leave a message as it was after school hours.

The next day my husband and I drove Bud to school and asked for an immediate meeting with the principal.  We relayed the story of what had happened.  The principal questioned both my son and the older boy separately and fortunately the older boy confessed.  The principal notified us that the boy had been suspended for five days, but apparently if he had not confessed there was nothing the school could do.

Later in the school year Bud came home with the bruise you see in the picture above.  An older boy, again one whom Bud had considered a friend approached Bud and his friends at lunch demanding money.  When Bud refused, the boy punched Bud hard in the ribs and once in the face, then calmly walked away.  Bud refused to report the incident as he was unsure anyone would support his claim for fear of retribution.

When Older Kids Are Bullied – Part 2

When Older Kids Are Bullied – Part 3

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Childhood Bullies

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , | 2 Comments