Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pride and Guilt and Bullies - News and a Vent

For anyone who actually reads this blog, you're aware that I have a son with Aspergers Syndrome. And that he dropped out of school this year when he hit 16. I'm happy to say that he passed his GED with flying colors. His score? Higher than 95% of graduating seniors. (The kid completed 9th grade. What does that say about our schools??!) So, he's officially graduated at 16. And he just completed (along with the GED) his first semester of college finals. While it was only 3 classes and we don't know the grades yet, up to the finals, it was A's & B's. Go my little man! (Okay, he's not so little

As for guilt, the big news in my hometown these days is a video tape of three boys beating up a special needs kid in the bathroom. Apparently, another spec ed kid hiding in a stall (because they'd beat him up the week before & he was scared) used his cell phone to record it & sent it to his mother. The bullies are suspended & the town is in an uproar. And I'm feeling guilty. Because this is not an isolated incident. My son suffered this kind of abuse starting in kindergarten. The school's Zero Tolerance policy? They give detentions for "tattling". My son got quite a few of them. He also dealt with a boy who knocked him down and stomped on his back kindergarten thru 2nd grade, a group of kids who stole from him, sat behind him on the bus & hit him repeatedly in the back of the head every day, and on one occasion knocked him down and stepped on him when they reached our stop. (The bus driver fought his way back and got my son to his feet.) All of these incidents were reported & nothing was done about them. The high school principal actually made him sit in his office and "get to know" the kid who bullied him so that he'd feel sympathetic toward him. Can you imagine that??!

Anyway, I'm feeling guilty. Because I have everything my son suffered documented. And I could have hired a lawyer and sued the district and won. But I chose to let it go. He's traumatized enough, as am I. But if I'd gone after them - if I'd made them pay for what happened to my son - would I have saved this kid in the news a beating? I don't know. (My head says no, but my heart hurts.)

So, last, bullies. I don't understand it. Why is bullying okay? Why are "kids just being kids" when they torture another kid? Why do we tolerate/encourage/ignore/accept this behavior? Why is it allowed? These kids were 11 years old. They'd been bullying this kid & others for 18 months and the school knew about it & did nothing. Just like they did nothing to protect mine. It's just wrong.

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