Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jumping on the Soapbox...Bullies

I detest bullies.  I've been bullied.  By kids as a kid.  By adults as a kid.  By adults as an adult.  I've worked really hard to teach my assertive, opinionated kids to make sure they have balance by having empathy and consideration for others and consider all sides of an issue.  I've been careful to let my kids learn to manage conflict on their own - I know they will have to deal with mean kids and teachers they don't necessarily like the most.  Luckily, by far, our experiences have been positive.  However, this is now the second time I've had to intervene to ensure that adults in authority positions within the school system give my child fair treatment and apply the rules and policies equally among students.

I have found that the vast majority of teachers are excellent at understanding the dynamics between individual children and how their personalities play into the incidences that may occur in school.  However, I have also found a few individuals in authority positions on a power trip who are inflexible and unwilling to admit that they may have made a mistake in how they interpreted a situation.  And in those cases, it has taken a dedication on the part of my husband and myself to make sure that all information is brought to light.  And we have uncovered information that should have been communicated much earlier in the incidences to help us, as parents, and others involved to prevent the bigger problems that occurred when the children had reached their breaking point.  We've also encountered officials who are not fully aware of the child and parents rights within the system and try to block us from accessing information about our child.

Unfortunately, we've had to pursue these things to a higher level and make a bigger fuss than would have been necessary if the people involved were cooperative in finding the best outcome for all of the children involved.  Adult egos have no place when dealing with children - in school and out.  No child is perfect and I'm the first to crack down when mine is out of line.  But I do have a problem when my child is dished a harsher punishment than is proven justified.  And I don't want to raise a child who is complacent to poor treatment from others and wrong-doing.  When my child's story is the only one that hasn't changed and the adults seem to be embroiled in a battle of control of information, it leads me to question how many others may have been railroaded by people who simply don't want to admit that they may have been wrong.

Since I've been dealing with these things, I've had so many other parents come to me with encouragement to keep fighting for my child.  An involved parent knows their child and when you feel in your heart of hearts that your child is telling the truth, you have to keep fighting for them.  To give up would teach them that mistreatment is acceptable and that they are not worth the time and energy to keep pursuing the truth.  What will happen the next time? Will they think you didn't believe them enough the last time so its not worth telling you?  Will they think its acceptable because you found it acceptable?  That they deserve it?  That its just the way the world is so that makes it something they just have to deal with?  I don't accept that.  I can't.  Its my job as a mother to not find it acceptable and to do what I can while they are defenseless themselves to make it right.

More to come on this later I am sure...

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