The bullying just gets worse as the kids get older, doesn’t it? As they get bigger and learn more words, they get meaner and more intimidating. They figure out what works and what doesn’t and they use it.
That’s not even what’s upsetting me the most right now (bear with me, I’m upset in stages) because I know how to deal with a boy that’s bullying my eldest daughter. I know how to teach her to deal with him and anyone else that tries to trample on her feelings or threaten her. I know how to advocate for my children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pissed right the fuck off that “Stuart” (whose name has been changed to protect the little twerp) has been bullying my daughter in school. I’m pissed the fuck off that he’s made her fearful for her safety when in all other previous bullying situations, she never feared for her physical safety before. I’m pissed the fuck off that now that this little twerp is being called to the carpet for his rude, threatening, verbally violent and intimidating behavior he’s demanding that my daughter lie to the vice principal in order to cover for him. He wants her to “put it all behind them and he swears he’ll stop treating her badly” if only she’ll forget everything and lie for him.” She flat out refused and he didn’t challenge her today. This time. But I veer off track.
I’m pissed off that “Stuart” is only 11 years old and already knows how to behave like a little deviant. And that this is behavior that’s escalated and gotten worse over the years as he bullies other children and my daughter is apparently one of the only ones who has ever stood up to him. She has even defended other children against him.
I’m so proud of her I can barely contain myself. I’m only disappointed that she tolerated this for so long before telling me the extent of the bullying so that we could put an end to it. I’m surprised that even though she’s been defending herself against this boy for what’s been years now of escalating problems (simple boy/girl annoyance to bullying) the fact that she’s been strong in defending herself hasn’t backed him off. Very often if you stand up to a bully, they back off and try to find another target.
I’m angry beyond belief that “Stuart” has a little partner in crime in this whole thing. A girl who is in the same grade as my daughter and “Stuart” who I’ll call “Jan’Iah” (name also changed). She has bullied my daughter verbally and emotionally along with “Stuart” and these two have greatly and negatively affected my daughter’s self-esteem. It’s been a difficult school year to begin with for several reasons, but this one has been huge and something I suspected but one she didn’t confirm until the past few days. More is coming out now that it’s all coming to a head.
“Jan’Iah” is “Stuart’s” little cheerleader and trying to get my daughter to lie and tell the school that she made things up or that the situation is not as bad as they think it is. Or that it didn’t happen at all. When my daughter told them both straight out that she had no intention of lying or backing down or stopping in defending herself, “Jan’Iah” retorted with,
“Oh just get over it. Stuart has a crush on you. He likes you. Deal with it.”
I’m still stunned that an 11 year old girl would say such a thing. Everything that that statement intimates disgusts me and saddens me. Where do I even start? Do I even need to explain how wrong and on how many levels this is just wrong for girls this age to say something like to each other?
First off, it could be a lie.
Secondly, it completely minimizes the bullying and attempts to make it somehow defensible because he likes her.
“I like you and therefore I can’t help but treat you badly.”
If that’s how this girl really believes the dynamics work between boys and girls, I’m appalled. And I feel sorry for the adult she’s going to become.
Thirdly, it shows a level of manipulation that disgusts me.
Fourth, Jan’Iah had to have learned these values from an older female. My own daughters don’t believe these things and luckily, my daughter didn’t believe any of the manipulation tactics nor did she cower in fear at their threats. She’s standing her ground. She knows that healthy relationships don’t interact this way.
I was following another line of thought but I’m too angry to get it out coherently. I know that bullies usually have bullying issues of their own at home or in their own neighborhoods. I’m aware that there are often emotional and home problems. I know that there’s always a reason that has little to do with the victim. At this point my concern is for my daughter and getting this to stop. I can’t say as I care too much whether he’s having problems of his own or not. Get it to stop and then let me know, and maybe I’ll garner up some empathy. But right now? Quit messing with my kid.
EDIT: Please be assured that I’m talking with the vice principal right now about this situation and making sure that he has the details about what’s going on and he’s taking it very seriously. If I’m not satisfied with the results I’ll continue making noise.