Bullying at Birch Lane (X-posted from my G+)

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I am angry.
Bullying: Quiet, lovely, uni-town situated Birch Lane Elementary has it. I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s pervasive, kids say stupid crap to other kids to hurt them, make themselves feel pumped up for a second… human nature and all that…
But.
What happened: a boy from my son’s (Z-boy, age 7) class (Montessori, by the way) and his friend were standing in line to use the water fountain. The first boy saw that Z-boy was standing behind them, and told him to *”run away from home and kill yourself”*, and the friend sneered and said “yeah!”.

So much for instilling respect for others in the school environment. My son doesn’t even deserve to live, in the eyes of these kids.

Z-boy’s reaction, to his credit, was just to give them a weird look, and go about his business, but he did feel really bad about it. Of course. He’s a pretty confident and happy guy, but having had someone tell him that he isn’t even worthy of existence in their opinion? That sucks beyond the reckoning of it.

It’s been affecting his ability to do work in the classroom as well, so his teacher is worried about his performance, and ability to advance to the next level… so he feels even worse about himself…

Meanwhile, kids in his class hate him so much they want him to die. At age 7-8. These kids, Z-boy says, have singled him out particularly. No one else, apparently, has to endure their hatred.

When Z-boy told us, we were careful to tell him, repeatedly, that it was not his fault, that he had done nothing to deserve such treatment. No one does. Z-boy, in his infinite generosity of spirit, said that he thought the kid had maybe stayed up too late playing video games and he was too tired and grumpy to know what he was saying. I said that that may have been true, but we’re all responsible for our behavior towards others, and no one should ever tell anyone else to hurt themselves for any reason. Ever.

I am so angry. Where does an 8 year old kid even get the idea to tell someone to kill themselves?

Granted, this incident pales in comparison to what some kids have endured in school, but that does not make it acceptable.

We’ll be having some serious talks with the teacher and the principal in the near future, and their handling of this event will tell us a great deal about their priorities.

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