I Feel Like I’ve done Something Right

Note: I’m not using any names here because I’m talking about kids and I don’t want there to be even the slightest chance that a child would suffer repercussions because of this blog post.  Bullying is wrong and it’s cruel but these are kids and they can learn and grow and become better people.

My newly minted teenager has been dealing with bullying issues for a long time.  Yesterday, his birthday, a boy who has been bullying him for over a year managed to get to him again.

That’s the trick, you know.  To get to him.  My son can brush off dozens of taunts but eventually, he will reach a breaking point.  Yesterday, he reached a breaking point.

I know that doesn’t sound like something positive and it isn’t.  I’m livid.

I know it’s wrong but I just want to smack that bully around for picking on my child.  I want him to know what it’s like to be victimized so maybe he’ll cut it the fuck out.  I want to go over to his house and ask his parents what they are doing to make their child stop being such an asshole to my child.

But for all the anger I’m feeling, I’m so proud of my son right now. Let me tell you why.

My son has been playing with another boy at recess and apparently, they enjoy doing some roughhousing.  Yesterday, they were wrestling and my son had the other boy pinned underneath him.

When they returned to science class, the bully began taunting him by calling him “gay” and he was able to get other kids to join in.  He also hit my son at least once.  Eventually, my son lost control of his emotions and began screaming back at them.  Telling them to leave him alone.  Telling them to stop it.

But before he lost emotional control, he said this:

There’s nothing wrong with being gay, but I’m not.”

I can’t tell you how pleased I am that my thirteen year old boy, who was rapidly losing emotional control, was able to tell these kids that there is nothing wrong with being gay. He’s so right.

“Gay” should never be tolerated as an insult in school.  My son may not be gay but there is a good chance that another child in that middle school is gay. Maybe another child in that classroom.  When they hear my son being taunted, those taunts hurt them.

It is especially bad in middle school where children are just starting to wrestle with questions of sexuality.  A gay (or lesbian) child listening to the taunts against my child will feel more conflicted about their own sexual identity.  They will be more afraid to talk about it and it may make it more difficult for them to come out.

I would hope that if there is a child dealing with those issues in that classroom, they were given some sort of comfort in the fact that another kid was being taunted with the label of gay and he responded by saying that the label was not offensive to him.

He wanted the kids to stop taunting him.  He didn’t give a shit they were calling him gay.

I’m so angry right now because I hate seeing my son in pain.  I hate the fact these kids did it on his fucking birthday.  I hate the fact the bullies are in his science class since he loves science so much.  I hate the fact that they were using the word gay as an insult.

But I’m proud too.  I’m proud that my son knows that there is nothing wrong with being gay and he isn’t afraid to say it out loud.

I can only hope that the kids who were bullying him heard that and, at some point in the future, they recognize what an extraordinary statement that was.

And then I hope they break their arm skiing.  Because I’m not above a little vindictiveness where my kids are concerned.

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About Petsnakereggie

Geek, movie buff, dad, musician, comedian, atheist, liberal and writer. I also really like Taco flavored Doritos.

13 responses to “I Feel Like I’ve done Something Right”

  1. Melody Stotler says :

    Kudos to you and your son. You make an excellent point; one that applies not only to schools, but to any situation in which someone is pointedly marginalized. Whether it’s gaming, school, work, or the line in the post office.

    Nicely written, and thank you so much for sharing.

  2. tlf says :

    Great post. Now I want to grab these kids and scream in their faces too. You are obviously raising your child right unlike some of the other cretins ehra “parents” in your community.

    • Petsnakereggie says :

      Through the rage tainted haze, I will say this: I have no idea if that child’s parents are awful parents. They may be trying very hard to get him to stop this behavior. As angry as I am at him and, through him, at his parents, I try to remind myself that I don’t know them at all. They may be doing their best. Just like me.

      • tlf says :

        You are right of course, I just hate how some people feel entitled to fuck up someone else’s day.

      • Eric K. says :

        They might not be trying to stop his behavior, but it could just as likely be because they have no idea he’s doing it. Do you know if this pattern has been addressed to them directly by the school faculty?

  3. Jess says :

    I’m proud of any middle-schooler who can and does stand up to a bully, whether it’s aimed at him or someone else. Good job dude (your son, I mean)! And good job you, for raising a brave AND sensitive kid. That’s a tough combination. You should definitely be proud.

  4. terri jones (@_terri_jones) says :

    Actually, the school ought to have anti-bullying rules and enforcement. Around here, offenders are assigned work to improve their school – this has cut down bullying significantly probably because those kids see what they improved and take some pride in it. That may be something new to them, positive return for work, rather than boredom in detention where they can just think up more ways to misbehave.

    • Petsnakereggie says :

      The school does have anti bullying policies and the young man who did the bullying spend a long time with the principal yesterday. This child has been a problem before and it seemed like things had calmed down.

      New year, new problems. The school is working on it. Hopefully it will get resolved.

      • Eric K. says :

        Oh, I should have read all the comments. The parents certainly should know if the kid spent time with the principal.

  5. celkali says :

    Good on your kid. When I was in middle school, the fuckers were a little too smart. They knew not to say a damn thing unless there were no teachers around. So most of what I was hit with was in the hallways. If I told a teacher what was happening, they couldn’t do anything because there was no physical proof.
    But, and I hate to sound like a downer, I don’t think the anti-bullying enforcement works. If there’s actual hitting involved, bruises, cuts, and such, yes. But, the psychological aspect is fucked. Heh, the only response I ever got, from the principal, vice principal, and the school counselor, was to create a poster about how bullying is not ok, and sign my name on it. Thanks guys, make me an even bigger target.
    I don’t deal with bullying well anymore. I used to stand up for kids like your son, but it was like I was making it worse just by saying I was on their side. Might have changed since 2006, I don’t know.

  6. daoinelibra says :

    Good article, your kid’s a star. If I were you though, I’d definitely go to the bully’s parents. Perhaps I’m not in the best place to say (I don’t have kids of my own) and maybe the brat’s parents are trying their best, but they may not be even after that kid got sent to the principle. It would be better to make as big a deal of this yourself as possible and see that the situation is sorted out. No child should have to be bullied, and if the school took measures last year but this year is another story then I frankly don’t think the school is enough.

    Parents can try their best and fail. Doesn’t excuse anything. Sometimes their best isn’t good enough. Sometimes they need help understanding. It would be good if this child’s unpleasant attitude was stamped out before adulthood, when such traits may be harder to work out.

  7. Jade says :

    Hey Tim,
    I understand you being upset with those little shits but maybe they do it because its done to them or because they are little shits. its great that your child was not only able to stand up against his bully’s but that he was able to say and know That there is nothing wrong with being gay. I too am proud of him and of you and your wife because if he didn’t Have you as an influence he may never have known that there is in fact nothing wrong with being gay. So I agree that I think you’ve done something right.

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  1. Words can hurt, but actions hurt more « Grail Diary - October 1, 2012

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