Tag Archives: high school
After the night-time incident (see Cyberbullying – A Mother’s Story, Part 1,) Bud became understandably paranoid. He would no longer leave the house unless we drove him to his destination, even if it was just around the corner. He and his friends used to walk all over town and now he was getting so little sunshine that he was eventually diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency.
During the week that followed, one of Bud’s friends texted him and told him to check out G’s Facebook wall. G had a public and completely open Facebook page; anyone could see it whether or not they were his friend. Bud called me over to see what G had posted. Right there on G’s wall, was an invitation – ” bud morris, come over to my house… I have a bottle of bud and a freshly dug grave in my backyard for you…” “I want to grow my hair long so I can strangle bud with it.” My husband, Art, and I told Bud he needed to get a restraining order against G. We went to the courthouse and got the paperwork, but Bud was terrified there would be retribution from G’s brother and friends if he followed through. So we put it on hold.
Then, on July 1st, Bud saw this message on G’s Facebook wall, “anyone down to get torches and pitch forks and begin an angry mob and go over to bud’s house and drag him outside by the throat and beat him til he’s dead in the street?” Bud went to his room and refused to come out. When I tried to talk to him he was actually shaking, he was so angry and scared.
I called a friend of ours who I knew Bud would listen to because he works closely with the police department. C told Bud the only way he would get through this was if he trusted us as his parents to protect him and the only way we could do that was by filing another police report and getting a restraining order. Bud finally agreed.
We printed all the pages from G’s Facebook wall from the past week and called the police. This time, partially due to the printed evidence and partly because G was a known troublemaker in the neighborhood, Bud was taken seriously. The police went to G’s house that night and arrested him for felony stalking as well as multiple counts of theft from other people which he had also confessed to on his Facebook wall. He spent a month in juvenile hall and received a year probation with a no-contact order on Bud. We also received a 3 year civil restraining order against G.
It has been almost six months since the arrest, and Bud is finally starting to feel some peace. He looked over his shoulder for a long time afterwards and still wanted to be driven everywhere. For awhile G’s brother and his friends would drive by our house and yell curses and insults at us. But I think Bud finally sees that they took him seriously and understand that retribution would just land them in the same trouble as G. At least I hope that’s what they’re thinking.
Bud loved cyberschool. During his sophomore and junior years his grades got better, his attitude improved, he started hanging out with friends again. Towards the end of his junior year, Bud decided he wanted to go back to public school for his senior year. We were all very excited about his progress.
Some of Bud’s friends from junior high had taken a wrong turn in high school and started taking methamphetamines. Bud had no use for that and stopped hanging out with them, although they all parted on good terms. The problem was that G, the younger brother of one of these boys, had looked up to Bud as a protector and was very resentful when Bud stopped hanging out with G’s brother and friends.
G is a troubled child – he struggles with mental health and weight issues and his brother’s friends would tease him and make him the butt of their jokes. Bud had always stuck up for G, and G looked at Bud’s absence as a betrayal. G developed an obsession with Bud. He started texting Bud, demanding that they meet to fight. Bud refused and ignored the texts, until one night in April, G texted Bud and told him to meet to fight that night or G would show up at our house and cause trouble. Bud was understandably scared as G is considerably larger than him, and because of G’s emotional instability. My husband, Art, agreed to sit up all night in case G tried to break in, and Bud was finally able to get some sleep. G never showed.
We convinced Bud that G was making idle threats and he calmed down for about a month. Then, one night, two of Bud’s friends were approaching our house to visit Bud (my husband and I were out for the night.) The friends were met in our driveway by G and his brother, who asked if Bud was home. Bud’s friends lied and said Bud was gone to the convenience store. G and his brother went to the convenience store and found out the friends were lying. After that, G started threatening to fight all of Bud’s friends.
Another month passed. By now it was summer. One morning Bud and his 3 closest friends got a text from G, with lots of cursing and name-calling, demanding that they all come fight him at once. We all laughed it off. That night, Art & I went out with friends and Bud had his 3 friends over to play video games. About 10 p.m., G and 7 other boys showed up at our house, all dressed in black, and started pounding on the exterior walls and windows of our house screaming for Bud to come out and fight. Fortunately, Bud had the presence of mind to call the police and yell outside that he had done so. G and his friends ran away before the police got there. The police took another “informational report.” (see When Older Kids are Bullied – Part 1 )
We now had a new threat against Bud and we had no idea how to deal with it. But we would soon learn…
Look for Cyberbullying – a Mother’s Story on November 4th, 2011
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
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.
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.
We thought high school would only be better…
Look for Part 3 of the series on Friday, October 28
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.