I recently read a thread on here labeled "kindergarden brat." And I want to share my story with you-well, not my story-but my son's story. I can't stress enough, the importance of acting- of not waiting around for the school to step up like I did (and I am so sorry for that). Parents don't want to admit their child is a "spawn of satan", and alot of times- the school doesn't want to admit it either.
My son is in third grade. When he was in Kindergarden he was assaulted by a child on the bus. He had bruises and broken glasses to prove it. My son is legally blind-so his glasses are extra important. He also had his hair pulled. The school/bus garage promised they would take care of it by putting cameras on the bus. It happened several more times-each time they made promises. When I was at wits end, they finally assured me the cameras were installed. Just in time for the end of the school year. The following year- the assults continued. Each time I questioned- they told me their hands were tied because the camera didn't catch anything. By the time second grade came around I was livid. The assaults continued. No one would help. They put my son and his assulter in assigned seats, but didn't enforce it- and he would leave his seat- and assult my son again. They swore they had camera's-which "didn't catch the assult because it didn't happen in the isle. I talked over and over again to the bus driver. I talked with the bus garage. I talked with principals. I talked with the superintendent. And I talked to the bully's mom on several occasions- who informed me here son was an angel and would do no such thing. It all fell on deaf ears (other than one time they did take away two recesses from the kid). Then one day in March of my sons second grade year, the bully got a freind and ganged up on my son. The "friend" pulled my son from his seat and threw him into the isle, slamming his head into a seat. Then they got him into another seat and the bully began punching my son in the ribs. For some strange reason- I decided to pick my son up early from a different drop point-just minutes after the assult happened. All I know to call it is mothers intuition. My son was in pain and crying. I questioned the driver- she said "well he kicked them back!" and acted appauled that I was upset. Everything was supposed to be okay-because my son faught back to try to get them off him. I went straight to the bus garage and demanded to see the tape-I was denied. They later informed me the camera was conveniently "not working" that day. I talked to the superintendent, who told me "sometimes kids are annoying to other kids- and it causes them to react in a violent manner." I reminded him of some of the bully's reasons before- like "he told a joke and it made him mad" and I told him there was NO excuse for violence-unless its 100% necessary for self defense. He then told me they would see to it the kid was punished appropriatly- the kid and my son would both get assigned seats, and that they would have the princopal talk to the kid and tell him not to do it again. I explained they already tried that route- and it was NOT successful. I took my son up to the police department and filed a report. The police talked with the super.-so the super. knew I meant business. The police also talked to the parents of both boys. I still did not feel it was safe though, and drove my son back and forth to school each day (which is a 8-10 mile drive each way). Finally, because of serious health problems, and the fact that I was due to go in for a c-section soon- I had to resort back to bussing. HOWEVER, I was still fighting it every tooth and nail, and had been talking to student rights advocates and a lawyer-a very good lawyer. And at the advice of that lawyer, I appeared at a school board meeting. In the meeting I explained the situation and what had "been done" by the school to correct it. They tried to say it had been taken care of- because they hadn't had any more reports of him assulting my son. I reminded them it was because I had been driving my son. The board was led to believe this was an incident between two second graders. Imagine their lose of words when I pointed out this was NOT between two second graders. The bully was in junior high. Yes, you read right. They allowed a junior high student to assult my son....over and over. Then I told them -although I didn't want to- I would have to have my son ride the bus again. And that I knew they would look out for my son- because if he was assulted again, I would file suit against the school, the bus garage, and the driver for failure to protect. Then I would file charges and suit against the child and his parents for assult. My son is in third grade now. And there hasn't been anymore assults. I did have to call and remind them about where I stood with them right after school started this year. My other son started Kindergarden this year, and I let the bus driver know the first day of school that the bully and his friend needed to be kept away from BOTH my children. On the second day, She sat my third grader in the front seat with the bully's friend, and my kindergardener in the other front seat with the bully. I reminded the super of where I was ready to take the issue, and it hasn't happened since.
I'm not happy with myself for not taking things into my own hands sooner. But I just kept hoping the school would do their job. I was wrong.
I think all to often parents and schools turn a blind eye to violence. The parent hopes the school will take care of it, and the school just doesn't care. And the parents with the assaulter pictures their child as an angel. Its tragic-it really is. I am just so sorry that it took me so long to stand up and say enough is enough.
P.S. The bully's reason for the last assult- was because my son was a nose picker.
Please, if your child is being victimized, or you know of a child being victimized, take a stand.