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.
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 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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