This week has been a busy one. Lemme just tell you an itsy bitsy bitty bit of it.
On Thursday, two boys came to tell me they saw a couple kids bullying a girl in our class.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...
and AGAIN. Bullying
Nothing makes me more upset, especially when our most defenseless students are the targets. (But isn't that always how it goes?)
The target of the bullying is just that: a sweet, special young lady who is totally unable to defend herself against a bully. She's an easy target.
So we started interviewing students, and each interview revealed more students involved in bullying her,
and more students,
and more students,
and MORE students...
Bottom line, this sweet, shy little girl has been terrorized on the playground and IN OUR CLASSROOMS by over 30 of our students...
with the most horrible, painful words and actions I've ever encountered of in all my years teaching.
And we, her three teachers, knew nothing about it. (I am a HORRIBLE teacher.)
The degree to which individual students were involved ranged from gathering around her to point and laugh while others bullied her to such egregious threats against her that I can't even bring myself to type them here.
And she never told us, or any adults, because she didn't want to be a tattle tale.
(Insert dagger into already broken heart.)
Well, needless to say, consequences are being rained down on these students. RAINED DOWN!! In addition to that, all the time they will NOT be allowed to feel the blacktop under their feet or the sun on their skin will be filled with anti-bullying and empathy training.
And we teachers are developing ways to make sure this NEVER happens again.
But there IS a silver lining in all this.
(I know! I'm shocked too!)
When my teaching partner addressed the students who were not involved in the bullying, he asked that they let the teachers know if they ever witness bullying again so we can intervene because we all need to protect each other.
A few moments later, the most popular boy in our class came up to him with big tears in his eyes. He knew about the bullying and said nothing and felt HORRIBLE that he had not protected her.
Then he said that when students were lining up each day after recess and bullies were telling everyone not to line up behind the little girl because she "smells," HE would purposely get in line right behind her even though the kids would tease him.
After two days of finding out just how despicable people can be to someone, our heavy hearts were lightened just a bit by the simple kindness of one little boy.
Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Saturday, April 16, 2011