This morning I found myself sitting in the Principles office at the local Elementary school discussing bullying with the Principle. It wasn’t what I had envisioned I would be doing this Friday morning, but there I sat.
You see our 1st and 3rd graders still attend public school here in town and unfortunately our 3rd grade son has been subjected to a bully for the last three years. This year it has escalated to physical violence. The Principle had stopped me yesterday to inform me that the latest incident had been reported and he was taking swift action. We quickly set up a meeting for the next morning and I went home to collect my thoughts. Nothing would prepare me for what would take place the next morning…
As I stood waiting for the Principle to return to his office I watched the children bustling about the halls. I saw the Principle approach and then I heard him say, “Oh *FRED* perfect timing, please come in my office.” As we made our way into his office I sat down and looked across the room at this little person who had been terrorising our son. In that instant I was almost reduced to tears. This child was not in the least the child I had envisioned. Here stood a boy, nine years old, big blue eyes and adorable baby eye lashes. He struggled to make eye contact and I struggled on what my reaction should be. The principle started off by speaking to *FRED* and asking him if he had thought about his actions. Then he paused and said, “*FRED* I would like you to meet the mother of the little boy you have been bullying. Danielle, this is *FRED SMITH*.” I held out my hand and said, “Hello *FRED*, nice to meet you.” He hesitated and then shook my hand. I imagine he was a little baffled by my reaction and to be honest, so was I. The longer I sat their studying him, the more my heart ached for him. He was not a bully, he was simply a little boy who didn’t know his worth. How tragic is that?
*FRED* was dismissed to class and the Principle and I continued with a lengthy discussion about this situation and the proactiveness that will be enforced from this day forward. What I can tell you is this. I will not be forgetting that child anytime soon. I asked the Principle to keep me up to date with his progress and struggles. When the time comes, we will invite him into our home. From my experience a child become a bully for one of two reasons: 1) they have learned the behavior from the adults in their life or 2) they act out negatively because they have lack of self-worth or both. I’m not giving up on this child. I’m going to encourage our son to do the same. Every child is worth the effort. I look forward to the day that he walks through our door.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give our love, and to let it come in.” ~ Morrie Schwartz