WWYD....bullying

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2008
WWYD....bullying
4
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 9:28am

Hi Everyone!!  I just have a WWYD question.

My oldest son M was adopted by DH and myself a little over a year ago from fostercare.  Prior to the adoption he had been living with us for 2 years and came to our home directly from his bio's home.  He is a very kind child who hold things in.  He wants to be friends with everyone.  He is 8 and currently in the third grade.  It is not a secret that he is adopted and most of his classmates know that he is adopted as he had a different last name his first two years in school and had his name changes before entering second grade.  M is very proud to be adopted.  The school has a new (young) principal this year whom I would guess does not know M's background.  We have been having issues on the bus with a few kids that are just a little bit older than M verbally picking on him.  We have been working at home as well as with the school to try to get the issue resolved.  Last night things escalated and one of the boys ripped on his coat so hard that it broke the zipper.  I e-mailed the principal and the teacher my concern about the bullying escalating (they have taken all of my concerns seriously in the past) and am not sure what I should do.

I know that one of the boys is in a similar situation as M and is currently residing in a kinship placement but has had a rough start to life as his mother has been very neglectful.  He has two younger sibling that are placed in a formal foster placement that he does not have contact with and he has not had any contact with his mother in over a year.  I'm sure that this is going to be looked at as a reason for his acting out.  M has also come from an abusive and neglectful beginning but instead of acting out he has gone the opposite direction and is eager to please others and internalizes everything.

I will protect my son but I'm not sure if I should go as far as to bring up his adoption and past history with the principal.  I don't want to use his adoption as a way of explaining his behavior but it also is a part of who is he is and why he is such an easy target.  I'm not sure where this information falls on the need to know scale.

Thanks,

Erin

 

 

 

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 9:57am
Hi, Erin. If the principal is new, I would fill her in on DS's story. I'm assuming that the school is aware since the adopted because of the name change, so it might be in his file that the new principal has probably never looked at. I think a child's background is important for the school to know, so I would fill her in.

I'm really sorry to hear that DS is being bullied on the bus. Is the bully older than DS? Since they have been responsive in the past, I would give the school a chance to act on the escalated bullying. I wonder if they could make the bully sit in the front of the bus near the driver.

Please let us know how they respond. Is DS afraid to ride the bus now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2008
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 1:28pm
The kids he is having troublw with are only a year or so older. M is already in the front of the bus. He got in trouble for standing up while the bus was moving the first week of school. The kids he is having trouble with are also in the front of the bus due to being in trouble. He is unable to get away from them. He had his seat moved once a few weeks back before I informed the school of the trouble. After the second contact (wednesday) with the principal he personally moved the kids around on the bus but then yesterday there was a sub on the bus who did not inforce the assigned seats from the principal the day before and now the bullying has escalated. I'm not against kids learning how to work though their differences but I have a problem with the other child now touching my child on the bus. There really isn't anyway that he can get away from the other kids without asking the bus driver to remove his punishment for misbehaving in the first place. It would be a lot easier if M did not get in trouble the first week of school.

He is not asking to not ride the bus and really there isn't any good options as DH is a teacher at a district 45 minuets away from our house and leaves for work at 5:45 and I have to be at work at 7 and school starts a little after 8. I'm not comfortable with him being home alone and walking back and forth to school yet at 8. Maybe in a few years that could be an option but just not right now.

I will let you know how we make out with the school. They have been good with dealing with things so far so I am guessing they are working on it right now.
Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 2:02pm
Ugh. How long will he be punished for the incident the first week of school?

DS is 8, and his school provides an early drop off for parents who have to be at work. They will eat breakfast and have time to finish up any homework from the night before. I think they allow the kids to be dropped off an hour before school starts. I don't know if this is something your school offers, but it might be something to ask about. I didn't know about the program until DS told me that one of his friends gets to school early.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Mon, 10-15-2012 - 3:51pm
Hi Erin -
I'm so sorry your son is facing this. It hurts my heart to know our kids face issues like this - I hate that people can be so cruel.

IMO, his adoption has nothing to do with it. I suppose it may make him an easier target but adoption or not the behavior is unacceptable. You may have already done this, but read everything you can about your district's transportation and general policies, particularly as it relates to bullying. Many district have specific bullying clauses now that detail what is and is not bullying and some even have more harsh punishments for bullies. Either way, you'll probably need this as you will get many different stories from teachers, the bus drivers, etc., than from what is actually in the policies.

In our district, bullying of that nature would force the other child to lose bus priviledges for the year. That would keep your child separate. Of course, there could be other consequences (then bullying might start at school) but at least you could stop it on the bus. I know in my sister's district her son had a knife put to his back by another child (and this is in a relatively peaceful, small town district) and the school just suspended him for a few weeks. The first day he came back he was left alone with my nephew who threatened his life again. That bought him a year at another school, but only because my sister went to the district superintendant and threatened to go to the media - otherwise they were claiming they couldn't do anything about it. School districts have the responsibility to provide education to all students and when they suspend or expel a student for behavioral issues it may cost them more and could cause them more work, so, they sometimes fight it. That's not ok. You need to know what your rights are and what is in the realm of possibility for your son and the other child(ren) so that it can be taken care of permanently.

Best wishes.
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