The Rise And Fall of A Tyrant
It hasn't. The bully has simply taken a new tack. He is sneakier, subtler, and more cautious. There have been three incidents since Diminutive One has been back at school. He may be obtuse, but he's not stupid, so the things he is saying are seemingly innocent. And really from any other kid, they would be. But not this kid.
The difference is, the school is now falling all over themselves to protect my son. On each occassion, the bully has been immediately and unceremoniously hauled into the Principal's office. I am not allowed to know how they punished him, because it's a "confidentiality issue", but I'm wondering how effective these consequences could be given the fact that he's still up to his old tricks.
The lawyer has advised us to let the school handle it...for now. We got everything we asked for, and now we have to demonstrate some willingness to work with them.
There are ten days of school left, and there are lots of special activities planned for the graduating 5th graders. I know how devastated my own kid would be to miss those things. And even though I kinda hate that kid, I don't want to be the one responsible for him missing them. I don't want to take that from him just for spite.
We are only willing to put up with it to a point, however. We've discussed with the attorney just where the line in the sand is drawn and we're agreed about that. Once it is crossed, we will move forward with legal proceedings, regardless of how many school days are left.
The boys will be at the same school together next year, and although it's been noted on both student's records that they are not be in any classes together, there are bathrooms, hallways, lunch rooms (no monitors in Middle School) and common areas where my son could be victimized.
So if the kid can't get it through his thick skull that he is not to so much as glance at my son, he will have to pay the price.
But an interesting thing is happening. Word has gotten around. Parents are calling me, emailing me, approaching me in public to find out if what they've heard is true.
But most importantly, they are talking to their children about it.
As a result, these kids are getting wise to the fact that they don't have to just lie down and expose their bellies to the slavering beast.
Yesterday afternoon Diminutive One came crashing through the front door, flushed and nearly bursting with the story he had to tell me.
"Guess what happened today Mom!"
The words tumbled out of him with scarcely a pause in between.
"At recess, we were playing kickball and when it was my turn Bully said get out of here because you're not even on this team and then the team captain said yes he is cause I chose him and then Bully said he wouldn't be on a team with anybody who sucks so much so the team captain said fine you're off the team and then he tried to go on the other team and they said they didn't want him and then he tried to play anyway but nobody would let him get the ball or take his turn kicking and then got mad and said why are you all taking his side I didn't do anything to him and then the whole class was like WHAAAAAT? you are such a liar we all know what you did and then he stomped off and sat by the door by himself for the rest of recess."
His eyes were bright with excitement and gratification. Somebody had stuck up for him. An entire class of somebodies.
And it's spreading. Kids on Bully's ball team, in his Target class, at ASP...they are all, suddenly, standing up to him.
One Mom with whom I spoke, who is a teacher at the school and whose daughter has had the misfortune of being seated next to him at lunch now that they are assigned seats to keep him away from my son, said to me...
"I told Girlie Lou that if that kid says ONE THING to her or touches a single hair on her head, she better let him have it. I told her to knee him where it hurts if that's what it takes. And then tell the teacher immediately and then tell me. None of us are happy that he's still in the classroom. He is a terror and a delinquent and we don't want OUR kids exposed to him either."
Truthfully...and you will think I'm crazy here...I feel bad for him. There is something wrong with this child and he isn't getting the help he needs. And now he is suddenly, after reigning supreme in his little elementary kingdom, finding himself shunned, reviled, and....accountable for his behavior.
I don't think he understands that he has brought this on himself and I don't think there is anybody to help him understand that.
He is going to be a lonely child if he doesn't mend his ways, and likely a lonely adult as well.
But I can't worry about every other kid in the world. I can hardly stand the stress of worrying about my own.
I just hope somebody starts worryiing about him soon.