Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bullying In Our School

Thank you for all the comments on the last post. I laughed and laughed and I really needed that. It has been a tough year and this month is no different. Yesterday we learned that our oldest grand daughter is being bullied in school by a teacher. Her home room teacher is livid. This poor tyke is only seven years old and struggles in school because she takes after her grandma - me. This past month her mom and I have been filling out paperwork, meeting with councilors and school testing staff for disabilities to figure  the nature of malfunction in her brain in order to better help her. 

They have assessed that her IQ is far above her performance level. Uhhh yeah, howdy, this is the child who at three months old shocked us when she began saying Hi and Mum. I'm not talking just saying the words at an extremely early age but saying the words in context every single time. This is a very very bright child who doesn't think she is because she struggles with a major lack of short term memory and what else I don't know. But she has struggled to the point that she doesn't think she is smart. I've watched as her dear friends seek her out as she hangs back in activities and the surprise on her face that they would like her so much. I'm not surprised she is very precious.

Thankfully, this daughter does not have the extent of disabilities that I have. She hopefully won't have the extent of short term memory problems that I have either. If I have something in my hand I will forget it is there and drop it within  a few minutes. Therefore if I hold something, I have to continuously play with it to remind my brain it is there.

I have to repeat things over and over in my head to place them in long term memory which thankfully I have (my husband has no long term memory only short so we together make a whole) so I have a chance of remembering them. I don't have to say while walking down the hall to the bedroom, "I won't pee the bed. I won't pee the bed." like I taught our sweet three year old to do so she wouldn't have an accident while sleeping with Grandpa, which would have devastated her, but I'm close. I lack the ability to hold things in my brain. I'm particularly bad with numbers so adding them in my head, well, forget it. 

Some friends are coming over Friday and I had to repeat Friday at 6:30 over and over in my head and still I wrote down 6:00 on the calendar. I found out I was wrong when I double checked the time with them but at least I knew they were coming. That's a plus. Colored markers, calendars, and notes are my best friends if like in this instance I don't have my cheat sheet, I'm in trouble.

As our three year old says, " It worked Grandma" the power of repetition does make things happen. Just like her problems stem from emotions from being picked on, I'm sure some of our seven-year-old grand daughter's problems also stem from emotions. These poor grand daughters have not had an easy life. What is up with all this bullying?
They figure that this teacher that bullied our grand daughter did so because of her lack of short term memory. No wonder she always acts sick and doesn't want to go to school. No wonder she spends lots of time in the bathroom there. No wonder she has such a short attention span. She worries about her mother, her sisters, and her own life. This kids life isn't easy. School is tough, in fact it is brutal. I know, it was for me too since I have high functioning Autism and learning disabilities. High functioning Autism didn't exist in the professional world at that time. They just thought I was crazy. Just so you know, I am, and loving every minute of it. LOL

I didn't witness abuse but I saw my own oldest daughter struggle in school with disabilities and yet, she was smart enough to belong to the gifted and talented group which met separately, that is if only she could of read decent. I started home-schooling her in the evenings in third grade, then with such huge strides being made, we went full time with her teacher's blessings. Our other two children also have learning disabilities and some of the Autism spectrum issues. All three were home-schooled.

The middle child took a couple classes in high school and was bullied by students because of her disabilities. Her teachers were flustered and I was called in a few times to help teach. It was indeed a challenge to put things in a manner that she could learn. She too is very talented and yet has many disabilities. The Lord says there is opposition in all things. Well, if he chooses to send you disabled, he will also give you an equal amount of talents. Though not all may be revealed here on earth. I always felt it was my job to uncover as many of those talents as I could and find bridges over the disabilities so those talents could shine.  

But it doesn't stop with our three-year-old and our seven-year-old being bullied. Our six year old grand daughter is being bullied by classmates. Bullying amongst this class is a real problem the teacher has informed us and this problem is being addressed by the school counselor. This child is fairing pretty well with counseling. I'm thrilled since this is the child we spent months of intense work to try and help recover from major abuse suffered earlier in her little life. 

What is it with bullying? These are the most wonderful children. So well behaved when they are here. They pick up toys, take their plates to the sink, help me with chores, and we cuddle, laugh, and play. I can't keep Kirk working on his knives when they are here because he enjoys being with them so much. Last weekend they stayed with him and had pizza,  then popcorn, and a movie fest on the bed while watching something on Netflix while I was at my folks. Afterwards the two oldest snuggled in my bed, falling asleep and the three-year-old slept with Grandpa.
The weekend before they arrived before four in the evening and didn't have a single squabble until the next afternoon at three when the three-year-old grew tire and argued with her sister. Yet they are battered by adults and youth. No, not all but why at all? 

What has brought our society to such a place? If the shooting at the Sandy school shocked you, I ask why aren't there more. Not that I'm advocating it for my heart goes out to those families on both sides of the horrific tragedy. But I see so much abuse all around me and wonder why school killings haven't happened more.

Our daughter years ago witnessed the unmerciful bullying of more than one kid by teachers but one high school kid in particular committed suicide in part because of it. Why didn't he lash out using some object as a weapon and take out all the built up hatred on others, particularly the teacher?  He surely hated others but obviously he was tore down to the point he felt completely powerless, and he ended his life.

Maybe it is a testament to the goodness of people in general that physical violence at a school hasn't happened more. After all suicide is now the leading cause of death in youth. Youth in powerless positions abused by youth and adults. With the state of moral decay in this society, the violence we've seen more and more lately can not help but continue unless we turn this nation around.
When will this bullying quit being passed down from generation to generation? When will we quit teaching bullying to students in the schools? When as adults will we say ENOUGH? We choose who we ultimately will be, not our parents or those around us. So when I hear, "It's my parents fault." and in particular the person is sixty years old, I know they just want an sorry excuse to justify the fact that they haven't made more of themselves but instead harbored and nurtured the fault. 

There is a song our children learn at church. It ends with kindness begins with me. We can't control others but we can begin today to control ourselves. Remember, kindness begins with me. Person by person the tide can be turned back to a world where the Golden Rule is the standard of behavior.  

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