Thursday, September 23, 2004


Pedro, one of our eighth grade boys - a very mild-mannered, sweet kid - got jumped on his way home from school yesterday. He was walking with four classmates. They stopped at the store, so they were a little behind the rest of the students from our school. A couple of students from another school have been bothering them off and on since last year, which we were only vaguely aware of because our students never mentioned it to us. So when they started harrassing Pedro and his friends yesterday, Pedro decided he'd had enough, and took off his glasses, backpack, and coat so he could fight back. The students from the other school, with backup from several of their friends (perhaps as many as 20!) attacked him and broke his nose. He had to go to the hospital, but he's okay now and will be back in school on Monday.

Needless to say, our students and their parents are upset and worried. Our kids aren't even safe walking in groups! And the situation may get worse this year, because the Region mandated that all schools open and close at the same hour, so our kids will be dismissed at the same time as everyone else, rather than on a staggered schedule as in the past.

The thing is, other kids know that students from our school are good students, a little nerdy, loved by parents and teachers, and not fighters. That makes our students easy targets. My principal says that on some level, the other children are jealous of our kids for being happy, well-adjusted, and likely to go on to better things (or at least a safer neighborhood). I doubt any of the children would admit that, but I certainly know what she means.

Our LIS (Local Instructional Superintendent) came to the school to discuss the problem with my principal and talk to the parents. Essentially, since it happened after school hours and off school grounds, the only thing that can be done is for the family to press charges. For that to happen, the parents would have to allow their children to go to the other school and identify the students involved--what a thing for a thirteen year old to have to do! If they don't take action, then the kids will get away with their bullying and will continue it, but if they publicly identify the students involved, they might face future retaliation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I hear echoes of this same debate on the radio in the morning when they talk about whether or not to try to negotiate with the terrorists who have taken hostages in the Middle East. So frustrating and disheartening.


Blogger Just Surfing said...

Nevada... 47th in the nation... Yikes! We homeschool and have since the 3rd grade (son doing high school now). More info can be found at: home school material

1:09 PM  

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