Seven-Year-Old, Boy Whipped by Thugs

Seven-Year-Old, Boy Whipped by Thugs

KNOCKOUT - TRACY CAMPBELL'S ARTWORK - JUNE 22, 2011

Copyright – Tracy Campbell – Knockout

Caught up in a game of tag, seven-year-old, Stevie and his classmate Rachel strayed from the zone. The safe zone—a crowded schoolyard patrolled by a lone teacher.

 

Three bullies circled the pair, cornering them like prey. Stevie froze. Rachel latched onto Stevie’s hand and squeezed.

 

The thugs taunted Stevie like they’d done for months. “Hey, sissy,” said one.

 

Rachel screamed, “Leave us alone!”

 

“Your girlfriends tougher than you are,” said the second thug, slamming Stevie against a jagged brick wall.

 

Stevie bit down on his tongue. There was no way he was going to cry. “Sh-she’s n-not m-my—”

 

The third thug whirled a metal object and delivered a blow to Stevie’s cheek.

 

Stevie fell to his knees. “N-no, s-stop.” He whimpered and crossed his arms over his head.

 

As the three thugs lambasted Stevie with belt buckles about the neck, head, and hands, Rachel ran off screeching.

 

Minutes later, teachers raced to the bloody scene. It took more than fifteen minutes to pry the leather weapons from the clutches of three, raging, eight-year-old, girls.

 

Yes, I said EIGHT-YEAR-OLD, GIRLS!

 

This horrific event occurred just before school let out this past June. Stevie, the victim, is not his real name, but he’s a close family friend.  

 

The girls weren’t charged because of their ages.

 

Their punishment?

 

They only received a week’s suspension from school even though they’d bullied in the past.

 

I didn’t intend to blog about bullying. I’d set out to write about my four-year-old, grandson’s first day of junior kindergarten since September is a month for new beginnings.

 

Then I thought about Stevie. Can you imagine the dread he must have felt, starting Grade Three? I also thought about my grandson, and other innocent children who might encounter bullies this year.

 

According to a quote cited in Reader’s Digest, “Bullying has been defined as the tendency for some children to frequently oppress, harass or intimidate other children, verbally, physically or both, in and out of school.”

 

Bullies will always be a threat to our children and grandchildren. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can eradicate bullying, but you can take steps to ensure your child will be protected.

 

For starters, ask the school principal and/or your child’s teacher these three questions:

 

Does the school have a zero tolerance policy in place?

Does the school have a discipline policy in place?

Does the school teach children how to treat others?

 

Now, I’ll end on a positive note with a photo of Nathaneal on his first day of school.

Nathaneal's first day of junior kindergarten - Sept. 3, 2013

Nathaneal off to J.K. – Sept. 3, 2013

Nathaneal is lugging an over-sized backpack, showing off his new running shoes, and giving the thumbs-up in anticipation of a new school year—a new beginning. 🙂

 

What steps have you taken to protect a child?

 

Related Links: Have You Been Bullied?

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18 Responses

  1. Tracy,
    Your grandson is adorable and he has such a positive attitude. I hope he’ll be able to keep it always. Keep putting the word out there about bully prevention. It’s a must! Your knockout illustration would make a great teaching tool on this topic. Maybe you should consider creating a packet to sell to the educational market. I know of two companies who publish teacher/counselor materials. If you want their names, email me offline.

    • I think he’s adorable too. So innocent. It would be a sad and horrible day if someone bullies him. Linda, I’ll email you for more info. Thanks so much for the encouragement. 🙂

  2. What a cutie and off to school with a super charged spirit. That is the way it really should be. So sad that bullying even exists especially in what we would hope is a protective environment. I think people of all ages need to learn how to diffuse the power of the bully. A shy child, I was often tormented, beaten up and worse. Unfortunately I gave those bullies power by letting it affect me for a very long time. No bullying is acceptable by child or adult of any kind. Take the friends advice above to heart…it sounds like she may be able to give your story wings to sail past hurt and into healing. So nice to see you back in Blog world but so sad that this subject even exists.
    Love you and your words
    Terrol

  3. Terrol, I am so sorry to hear you were bullied. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that to you as you are so giving and kind. And thank you, too…for your encouraging words. I plan on writing more on bullying, or I should say, Indy will too. Happy belated birthday, I feel terrible I missed the 10th. 🙂

  4. Unfortunately, Tracy, BOTH boys and girls can be bullies. It’s the new equality, and a sad statement about safety in schools, neighborhoods, communities…and our countries.

    Your grandson’s school is missing an opportunity to turn the tide on bullying by having no clear, immediate policy in place. And that policy should include what’s worked for other school districts: immediate suspension and required family counseling. Kids who bully won’t stop doing it until their parents take it seriously and set the examples and rules at home.

    My grandchildren’s elementary school in Kansas has a wonderful Dads-in-the-school program. Fathers of the students each sign up for 5 drop-in days during the school year, though many dads sign up for more. When they’re in the building they wear special T-shirts that identify them as Watch Dogs, and they eat lunch in the cafeteria with the kids or interact on the playground during recess so there are multiple adults present, or they’re in the halls during assemblies or after school. The dads are there as a physical presence, to quietly step in before things escalate, to talk to kids, to just Be There. Very few dads say they just can’t find the time because each visit can be as brief as only 30 min. to make a difference.

    Having dads involved has made a big difference in the schools and now also in the community. (Dads, granddads, uncles, etc.–our son-in-law is a policeman and every volunteer is checked out through regular channels; oh, and our son-in-law and another policeman father at the school also take their 5+ drop-in day turns as well, out of uniform, wearing the Watch Dog T-shirts.) It lets them be knows as dads as well as police officers.

    Moms are usually the only family members who get involved in schools, and while that is much appreciated, the dads need to invest in the safety and the future of their children, too.
    Marylin Warner recently posted..THE WORD IS “CREATE”My Profile

    • Marylin, thank you for emailing me to let me know my blog wasn’t allowing you to comment. Second, thank you so much for taking the time to share how dad’s can get involved in their child’s school. What a brilliant idea…wearing Watch Dog T-shirts. I loved that the dad’s were there to intercede before a situation could occur. And I’m sure the kids of those dad’s were beaming. What a great way to let their kids know how much they are loved. Thank you, again. 🙂

    • It is scary, Sherry. It saddens me to think your daughter was bullied by what!–six-year-old girls. Words actually cut deeper than a wound. Wounds heal, but words kill. Yes, I truly believe bullies are a reflection of what goes on in the home. There has to be a way to help these bullies as well, as I’m sure they are tormented inside.

    • Susanna, it is a horrible story, sad, but true. I believe “Stevie’s” parents are doing all they can to see this doesn’t happen again. And “Stevie” is such an adorable, loving child. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the learning part. LOL. Nathaneal can already read, and he loves to snuggle with me as I read to him. 🙂

  5. It’s utterly unbelievable to me. I’m so sorry this happens to children. As a five year old, I was tormented by some 10 year old school mate/neighbors who threw rocks at me every day on the way home from school. Once, they trapped me in the playhouse in my backyard and molested me. That was a lot of years ago. It seems things like this don’t change, unfortunately. This past year, we took our 12 year old daughter out of junior high – one reason was the bullying she was enduring from 3 other girls. They even started a fight with her in math class! She’s a sweet, naive, friend to everyone girl; not the type to fight. Home schooling her has been the best choice. She’s doing very well – becoming more confident and able to be her sweet self. She has good friends now at church and through a home school science class. Fortunately, our 10 year old son is in a great school and class so his experience has been good.

    Thanks for sharing this, Tracy. It’s so important! Good to see you posting 🙂
    Laura Bennet recently posted..What I’m Learning From My IllnessMy Profile

    • Oh Laura, I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience. And the sad thing is bullying is getting worse. It seems that the quiet and nice kids get picked on the most. It must be some form of jealousy and of course what isn’t taught at home. Glad to hear you’re able to home school your daughter and that your son is in a great school. I am pleased to see you pop up. 🙂

    • Iza, it was awful, but the story does spread awareness that girls also bully which is so sad. Yup, I think he’s adorable too! Have fun at the festival. And all the best with your book reading.

  6. Heartbreaking story Tracy. Unfortunately it’s very much part of reality, as you’ve said. I remember my own experiences of being bullied too well, one particular boy who used to wait for me after school as I walked home and throw stones at me, my homework into the canal – little horror. I’m thankful my kids haven’t had any nasty experiences yet, but I try to teach them to stand up for themselves and their friends if ever it does happen. Not an easy thing to do. Great post 🙂
    Gemma Hawdon recently posted..The Writing TranceMy Profile

    • Gemma, it does seem part of reality, but if we take a stand as you’re doing and teaching your children, then we can make a difference. Loved your post today. 🙂