alternately titled: Why is the right thing the hardest thing to do?
Over the past few weeks, it has been brought to my attention that William has been subject to some serious teasing at school about a certain young lady.
The principal mentioned it first, letting me know that she was aware of the issue, and explained how she had taken care of it. Following up with: "Has William had mentioned it at home?"
No, no he had not.
A week later, the young lady's mother and I had a conversation where she shared with me that said young lady had came home from school crying on multiple occasions, and she had spoken to the teacher about the situation.
And then she asked: "has he said anything about it?" No, no he has not.
At our Parent/teacher conference last week, I brought the subject up with his teacher, and she confirmed what I had heard. She went on to tell me that William was a very nice young man, respectful to her and other teachers, and kind to his fellow students. When she witnessed the teasing, he always seemed to brush it off. "Does he talk about it at home?" No, no he does not.
After the conference, I talked to William. I wanted him to know that I was proud of him. Being respectful to his teachers is very important to Ryan and I. Being nice to others when they are not nice to you is really important as well. Probably one of the most important things in life. We chatted a bit about the situation, and he told me that "they" have been teasing him since the second grade. (He's in third grade now) And sometimes "they" shove him when they walk by. (there is a group of 3 that seem to be the ring leaders)
As he's telling me this, I am completely crushed. How horrible to go to a place every. single. day. and be subject to this brutality? (ok, "brutality" may be a little harsh, but he IS my baby boy.) That being said, I am half way through my thirties now, and I do recognize the fact that he may have over dramatized the situation. Still crushed. Ryan and I talked about it, and Ryan thought he should have a "man talk" with him.
After Ryan talked to him about "the issue", we both felt better, and thought "Wow, we handled that well."
mmhh. Until the second shoe dropped.
Monday he brought home a letter from the principal. The letter stated that William had been playing kick-ball at recess, and when he got a certain boy "out", that boy came over, (yes, one of the three) took William's hat and threw it over the fence. William walked over to the sidewalk, turned and went back to the boy and pushed him. They would be spending the next day's recess in the principals office.
After Ryan and I talked, and spoke to William, (he agreed with the letter, and did not have anything new to add) We grounded him from the wii this week. Trouble at school, trouble at home. Right?
Which leads me to this question: Is violence never the answer? At what point do you say "Enough is Enough" and let your kid stand up for himself even if that means physical action?
Have you read 19 minutes by Jodi Picoult? A great story about a boy who is teased throughout his life.. and decides he's had enough in high school. Great read.