That’s the question I’m asking myself as I deal with the recent act of bullying against my son.
Apparently, quite a few of the boys in the class feel empowered on some level to use rudely sexual language and to tell a kid like my son that he should go kill himself.
The girls, on the other hand, seem fine… at least they have internalized the messages of respect and tolerance that they’ve received over the years.
Without doing actual observations of the classroom, I cannot say how real this gender division is… and I think that many of the second grade boys that have been with Z since K don’t engage in such behavior, but again… I’m going on brief impressions and a very small selection of parental anecdotes here.
It interests me from an anthropological/gender studies standpoint, academically. I’d be interested in trying to tease out the out-of-classroom cultural factors that may be influencing this. The more cliquish behavior of some boys in the class, versus the more tolerant and accepting behavior of the girls overall, if this is in fact the case.
But. what about the current impact this crap is having on my son?
Part of me wants to stay and fight and get to the bottom of it. Part of me wants to grab my son and flee for the hills.
What is clear to me, though, is there is some big undercurrent of ugly that is coming in from somewhere and undermining whatever positive values teachers and others are trying to instill.