This was reported a couple of days ago, and I would have posted it then, except that stories like this make me see red, and what with the surgery and all, I have to go lie down for a while after I read them. What makes me maddest here aren't the bullies; they exist, and they beat up kids for no reason. We all know that. Even the Researchers know that. What makes me mad here are the school officials, who punish the victim for fighting back, and let the bullies get away with a pat on the back.
This makes me hopping mad to read about, but it doesn't surprise me. Grownups* never really mean it when they say they want to Do Something about bullying. They'd much rather sit back and pretend it doesn't happen. I guess it's no fun trying to gather enough evidence to prosecute so many popular kids for assault, only to have them either win the case or get a teeny tiny juvenile sentence. Whatever. The school district doesn't have the time or the energy to stop the bullying. Sure. But what I don't get is why they punish the victim for fighting back.
Ms. Wolfe remembers the family dentist sewing up the inside of Billy’s cheek, and a school official refusing to call the police, saying it looked like Billy got what he deserved.
Not long after, a boy on the school bus pummeled Billy, but somehow Billy was the one suspended, despite his pleas that the bus’s security camera would prove his innocence. Days later, Ms. Wolfe recalls, the principal summoned her, presented a box of tissues, and played the bus video that clearly showed Billy was telling the truth.
Isn't that what grownups think kids ought to do? Isn't that why some people send their bullied kids to tae kwon do or karate classes, so that they can defend themselves against the bullies when the school district won't? Why does Billy get suspended or blown off by the school officials when he defends himself? Why do his parents have to file a lawsuit against the bullies themselves?
Do grownups really like bullies after all? Do they really want the bullied kids to be hurt? How does someone like that get to be a school official anyway?
*Yes, I'm thirty-one and a half years old, but in this matter, I refuse to call myself a grownup. I refuse to ally myself with those despicable adults in charge of school districts.