Bullying

So one of my least favorite aspects of middle school and high school is rearing its ugly head again.  This time, of course, I’m not the one being bullied (although sometimes it can feel like that at work, but I’m sure my District Manager and his superiors would call it “performance management”).  My son, Jakob, almost 12 years old and with thoughts sometimes several years older than that, is the victim this time.

I would expect him to be called “geek” or “nerd” or the like, since he’s quite bright and makes straight A’s and isn’t very athletic.  In those respects he’s a lot like I was at his age (if I do say so myself), and those are the names I got called.  I’ve long since come to terms with being picked on throughout my teenage years; to be honest it didn’t really bother me that much at the time, much less now.  I get the feeling, though, that Jakob isn’t going to let things slide so easily.

It doesn’t help that there’s physical harassment going on to supplement the name-calling.  I can’t recall very many times when I was physically assaulted (there was the occasional shove, or knocking books out of hands, etc, but no actual punching or kicking).  Jakob’s already been shoved several times and knocked to the ground and kicked in the stomach once.  It’s starting to add up to becoming a huge part of his life, and it doesn’t help that he isn’t willing to talk to us about it as much as he should.

There are so many kids these days committing suicide as a result of constant bullying, and that’s my biggest fear.  Jakob has always thought dark thoughts at times, has always said self-disparaging things.  We’re working with him now to try to get him to see that we are doing what we can to stop the bullying, and also to see that it won’t last forever.   So we’ve gone to the school, we’ve filled out a report, and I’m awaiting a phone call from the 6th grade principal to see what she has to say about everything.

Yesterday I wrote a “Tips to Stop Bullying” article for HubPages.  It’s a mixture of a learning experience for myself, as well as things I think are necessary when facing this situation.  I’ve been told it’s a good article, so maybe you’d like to check it out.  If it really is a good article, I just hope I can live up to my own words.

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