As long as there has been a social hierarchy, there has been bullying. If we are honest with ourselves, at some point in our youth we have all probably been both victim and perpetrator. But we are moving in a direction as a society that is coming to see bullying as a serious issue, not just a schoolyard rite of passage.
One North Carolina mother has had enough of the direct assault on her son by a classmate, and the incompetent manner in which school officials have handled it. You should hear what she is doing to protect her child.
Recently, Jennifer Strickland-Stacy received a phone call from her step son’s school asking her to pick him up. They told her he had fallen and wanted him to go home for the day. She grabbed her keys and headed to the boy’s school.
When she arrived she found him in the administrative office covered in blood, scratches and bruises. Clearly this was no simple accident. Suddenly she realized that the version of the incident she was told by the school did not jibe with the reality of her son, Skyler’s injuries.
She says, “It was just gory. His face was bloody. I found out my son didn’t fall, my son was shoved by the boy who had been bullying him. The boy shoved him face first into the pavement.”
And this was not the first run-in with the same boy. This is the fifth time Skylar has been harassed by the same bully, yet the school has done little or nothing to protect him.
“The first incident was when he poured water on my son. The second incident, he took my son’s cell phone. The third incident, he spit in his face and shoved him. The fourth incident is when he repeatedly smacked my son in his face.”
So far, the only punishment the boy has received was a three day ban from riding on the same bus as Skyler.
After this most recent assault, Jennifer took her 13-year-old stepson to get checked by a doctor and found out that when Skyler hit the ground, he was left with not only bruises and scrapes, but a fractured eyebrow bone.
She has tired of the school seeming to brush her concerns aside with a pat “we’ll handle it.” She has contacted the local police about the situation, taken to driving Skyler to school everyday to avoid bus rides with the bully, and is even considering pulling him out of the public system to homeschool her child.
It does seem like there is a problem when bullying moves from simple taunting to assaults that result in the need for professional medical attention. So why is the school not doing more to prevent this? There are those who still hold on to the idea that bullying is just a natural part of growing up, and that “boys will be boys.” While that may have seemed like a fine attitude 50 years ago, thankfully most of us have matured enough to understand that it can have devastating consequences.