A Declaration of War

Apparently, if you’re a “big kid”, then in any altercation, YOU are the bully.
I knew that. I grew up with that archaic and stupid bias. After all, we’ve all seen the movies, the cartoons, the sitcoms that showed us that bullying was one kid stealing another SMALLER kid’s lunch money. That’s what bullying is right?

WRONG.

At Ambrosini Elementary School, they have a “no tolerance” policy. You hit another kid, you’re going home. Period. Guess what THAT’S done. Now, the kids who would maybe make other smaller kids nervous are the target of vicious and ugly torment. Why? Because the school authorities have robbed the bigger or older kid of any power. Even raising his fists in a threatening manner is trounced on.
But call another kid fat? Or stupid? Or Retard? Or faggot? Well, that’s just teasing, right? Walk away from it. Easy. Right?

Right?

WRONG AGAIN!

Please. Though I’m sure the cliche of a big kid pounding a little kid for his lunch money still occurs, the kind of bullying I’ve witnessed AND experienced isn’t like that at all.
It’s like you’re meat and they’re piranhas. It’s a kid that smaller and meaner who tries to get the other kid to explode, lose it and get him in trouble. That’s what I’ve seen.

But the research isn’t there. Has ANYONE who has all those letters after their name ever experienced bullying? Or listened to the kids who have been bullied?
You know what ALL the victims of bullying have in common? All of them, big or small, black or white, male or female? I’ll tell you. They’re “different”. They don’t “fit”. They’re smarter, or bigger, or weirder, or quieter. You can’t pigeon hole them, stuff them into a cookie cutter box. They are uniquely themselves.

And bullies are people who hate “different”. They’re bigots, though not obvious ones. They don’t think anyone who is uniquely themselves should feel good about themselves. Conform!!!!! That’s what they want. Comform. Submit. Go along with the crowd. They’re the Stepford Children demanding perfection from their classmates.

They’re the fucking Borg.

So, I’m declaring war. Ambrosini, Toddy and the other schools will be hearing from me. I will be a non-conformist voice crying in the wilderness. I will fight, bitch, call, make copies and write emails.

I will not let them assimilate my children. The Children of the Corn won’t survive too long around here. Be prepared, School Board. Here I come.

Oh, here’s a link to one of the most heinous sites of biased information. I especially like their depiction of a bully as “hot tempered” and “doesn’t follow the rules”. (Do I hear “Zeig Heils”?)

What’s your take? Do you buy the Eyes On Bullying definitions? What do you think?

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13 Comments

Filed under Humboldt County, Life Stuff

13 responses to “A Declaration of War

  1. I really don’t buy their definition. I’m with you on the bigot part. The one think I remember about my bullies is that they had the same thing in common: white, male and with verbally or physically abusive fathers.

    • Jen

      It looks like Tom Armiano is trying to get a bill passed t0 protect kids who are gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgender. Thank God.

  2. Good lord! is your boy still having trouble with those stupid, ignorant STOOPID people at school? I keep trying to find the right word here. I am a writer. I have superb command of the English language. But I just can’t seem to come up with the right word to fully convey my disdain, rage and disgust for these screwed up standards. Give ’em hell, Jenn!

  3. My two oldest have always been big, gentle giants. Bullying comes in many forms, I agree. I’ve just been amazed at the crap all three of my guys have been subjected to.
    As a note on just one train of incidents…
    Oldest spent the last year and a half of high school in military prep school. He was constantly getting “nut-tapped” in the halls—which was a form of bullying and hazing—often by smaller, but higher-ranked students. He actually called us and asked us to send us his “cup”, because his genitals were swollen and painful all of the time.
    Why didn’t he report it? Although the school supposedly had an “anti-hazing and anti-bullying” policy, they also had a strict, ingrained culture and “implied” policy of not ratting out your fellow cadets, especially those of higher ranks. Being ostrasized for being a rat was pretty severe.
    So I told my kid, “the next time one of those little farts smacks you in the nuts, you just pound his freaking face in”.
    Then I called the president of the school and told him that if he dared to punish my son for kicking the ass of the next kid who manhandled his privates, I’d sue the shit out of them for sexual abuse.

    Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    xo

    • Jen

      Oh. My. God. *shakes head* What a story.
      I still can’t believe that things haven’t g0tten better in the last twenty years, but they’ve gotten WORSE!

  4. Sandi

    Mattea came home from the “training” at Toddy Thomas school. She was completely confused as to their definition(s) of a bully. I told her to trust her gut and that this sort of training probably wasn’t going to help her out in “real” life. She’s a smart kid and she’s also “different.” I worry for her because of this, but she’s seemed to have inherited my sense of sarcasm and unwillingness to take shit from other little twerps. Ambrosini and Toddy Thomas is full of children who are from Stepford type clique families. I do not participate in the PTO, go to School Board meetings, or do anything but offer the occasional financial support because I can’t handle this sort of behavior. I guess I don’t play well with others ;-). Good luck to you lady. I know you can make change happen.

    • Jen

      I love Mattea and I hope she never has to deal with these jerks. The general consensus seems to be that the “bully” has more perceived “power” over the victim.
      But as a Kink Queen, I can say that the “power” imbalance is way more complicated than they make it seem.
      On the playground, it isn’t always the big, strong guy who has the upper hand. I keep thinking of Shakespeare’s Iago. Behind the scenes psychopath who manipulated others to suit his sick purpose. And he HATED Othello for being black, for being successful and for having Desdomona.

  5. Dulcey

    My parent were hippies. They had the requisite (poorly-painted) school-bus. Every six months or so we moved to a new place, a new school. At one point (because, obviously, every hippie family did so) we lived on a goat farm. Five goats. Just sayin’.

    I was ALWAYS the new kid in school. Every six months. I was constantly bullied.

    I was a gingham and braids, granola-munching, bliss-and-peace product of the 70s. In the Deep South (where if you’re not a gods-fearing, prayer-in-school, States’ Rights type-of-person), you will be assimilated….

    I KNOW BULLY-ING when I see it.

    I took it and took it and took it and was suspended and expelled at various points. Especially when my Big Man Father confronted the much smaller Principal in the hallways, hoisted him up by his tie and stated….very clearly…that “We’re non-violent, muther*****, but if anyone touches my daughter again, I’ll hold you responsible and dig your grave for you.”

    YAY DAD!! It didn’t really help.

    So. One day. A HUGE, older male student whom I did not, and do not know, caught me in the hallways and told me he was gonna “hurt me” and I think he didn’t just mean fists…I thought he meant with his dick. I was convinced I was gonna be sexually assaulted. I was the only girl there with boobs. I was horrified and terrified and threw up and cried and was inconsolable.

    You know what I did??

    I took my brand new purse and loaded it with ROCKS. Yup, rocks. Big rocks.

    The next morning, I stormed the school, located the bastard, and knocked his head clean off his vertebral column. Bullying stopped at that school. Of course, I was expelled. But for five glorious, shining moments, I was FREE.

    And mom bought me ice cream (a rare treat for vegetarians) on the way home from the Principal’s office.

    Jen- you have good kids. Stand up for them. I’m rooting for you all the way.

    HUGS

  6. Daisy

    Wait, are you saying you don’t agree that any child who lays hands on another child should be sent home? Words are just that, words. Yes, you can walk away.

    • Jen

      Are they just words? How about if a kid walks away and the other kids follow? What about texting? What about “harrassment”? Words may just be words, but I’m afraid I don’t buy the “sticks and stones” crap I was taught.

      I still have scars from those “harmless” words thrown at me.

      I’m not saying it should be a free-for-all. I’m saying that if we’re going to demand NO TOLERANCE for hitting/fighting, then there should be NO TOLERANCE for taunting, harrassing, ugly words, mean, spiteful stuff that can really destroy a kid, change him/her.

      Yes, you can walk away, but why does the child who is viciously destroying the soul of another allowed to continue to do so?

      In the old days, kids fought, fists flew and then, it was over.
      Now? It’s NEVER over.

  7. Daisy

    I agree, it should be NO tolerance for all forms of bullying. However, to think it okay to “whoop some ass” because of someone else calling names and not expect there to be a consequence? I do not agree with such sentiment.

    • Jen

      I completely agree. And certainly no one that’s commented here (from what I know) advocates violence.
      However, justice seems to be a little lopsided, favoring that mob mentality, the group bullying, the less obvious “bully”, and ignores the needs of others.
      Again, I’m not saying there should be “whoop ass” and no consequences.
      But the person who ALWAYS pays the consequences is NOT always the only one who needs disciplining.
      As long as parents and schools continue to teach the lie that “words don’t hurt” and punish victims of torment who snap, then kids will come to expect injustice from all authority.
      The question is, when do we draw the line? When do we say “You can’t say that to someone without consequences”? Why are words considered less harmful to kids than violence?
      We are SO correct about our language, the way we talk to each other as adults. We’ve even created laws against “hate speech”. How is calling another kid “Retard” or “Faggot” any different than that?
      And why do we allow it, telling kids to “walk away” and shaking our heads when they go ballistic?
      My plan is to simply even the playing field. That means that group verbal torment will be considered bullying as much as pushing, shoving and hitting. It means that, just because you’re small and gain your power over others by hurting their feelings over and over and over, you pay the price.
      My plan is to change the label of “bullying” not to only mean physical violence.
      And most of all, to deal with the constant “words don’t hurt” attitude that has left many of our children twisting in the wind.
      I can’t do it anymore. I can’t lie to my son and tell him that “they’re just words”. Not when I’m living proof that words carry power, they carry damage and they carry healing.
      I don’t plan to change the “No Tolerance” for physical violence. Absolutely not. I am, however, going to ask them to create an anti-bullying policy that deals with ALL forms of violence, verbal, written, and physical.
      There’s only two things bullies seem to respond to: Physical violence, which is unacceptable or an Authority above them. Until there’s an acknowledgment of the problem, what I perceive as injustice will continue.
      By the way, Daisy, thank you for speaking up. You are right. Violence in ANY form only perpetuates the problem.

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