These situations seem to be occurring more frequently, or the media is reporting on more of the occurrences. 67 more words
No One Deserves to Be BulliedOver the past couple days, we've received quite a bit of traffic on these anti-bullying posts. Most of the responses have been supportive, kind, and encouraging. And some of them have not been. I received one "Anonymous" comment (which I deleted, not because I want to silence or filter any one's opinions, as this is generally a safe space, but because one day Cassius or Emelie could read these words, and anything that could possibly hurt them needs to be moderated). The content of the comment was that C and Em were "freaks" and, as such, deserved to be bullied. Basically, that Jenn and I needed to get over it, that the bullying of our children was inevitable and unavoidable, and that -- in this persons' expert opinion -- autistic children could be just as guilty at bullying as neurotypical children. I hate to give a voice to this troll, but the troll represents two separate, yet intertwined, mindsets that desperately need to be addressed:
- 1. There are people that believe that some kids do deserve to be bullied. While this is generally the exception to the rule, they are out there.
- 2. There are a LOT of people that think that bullying is a part of the growth and develpment of middle schoolers. "It's just kids being kids," "I dealt with it when I was a kid, my kid will be okay," and "It teaches our kids how to deal with adversity," are some of the responses I have received in response to my original anti-bullying post.
What they don't realize is that middle school has CHANGED, ya'll. It was miserable 20 years ago when we passed through it, but now it's downright DANGEROUS. Public middle school is miserable: if you live in a large area and there are more than 1,000 kids in your public school, it's a hell-scape. The teachers have given up. Kids are having sex in the bathrooms, even though the office staff have them on video going into the bathroom with kids of the opposite sex -- nobody gets involved. Nobody speaks up. Nobody does anything. Nobody gives a damn.Until its YOUR KID that comes home with a broken collar bone. Or it's your son's phone that's shattered, because it was run over by a bus, when it fell out of the pocket of your child when they fell in front of the moving bus.... nearly losing their life, and being smashed right alongside their cell phone. Then what do you do? You start to fight the school. But the school system doesn't care. So you go to the school board. They don't care. You go to the statewide department of education -- there you are told that not only is bullying NOT AGAINST THE LAW, but that there is LITERALLY nothing you can do about it.
"Call your congressman" you are told.But, when your child starts to regress, and cannot get dressed in the morning because he's so scared ("The kids are going to make fun of me no matter WHAT I wear, so I'll go to school naked because that way they won't be able to make fun of me."), and you try to get your child an IEP to protect them, suddenly the school is not only not protecting your child -- they begin fighting YOU. The middle school we suffered through has taken a horrible, horrible turn for the worst. I don't know why, or how, or when, but I spent all of last school year observing that environment -- and it's the closest thing to hell you will ever find in this country. And my son went to the "BEST RATED "A" Public school" in Jacksonville. This needs to be addressed because this whole thing is COMPLETELY unnecessary. Our children should not be afraid to going to school. And the only way that's going to to happen is if we, as a community, pull together and get involved with anti-bullying education, STARTING it early in elementary school, and then CHANGING the middle-school-culture, one kiddo at a time. That is my mission.
Nobody deserves to be bullied. Period. It's NOT okay for this to be a normal, expected part of our childhood development: it's unnecessary. Life is hard enough already, ya'll.This needs to be changed. There is a two-fold solution to this problem: education (started anti-bullying campaigns early in elementary school) and legislation. Together we can fix this. Thanks, Jenn. <3 To read more about Emelie and her journey, click here. To learn more about Jennifer, click here.