I meet Jack's teacher and aide every day at pick-up from school. We exchange any information on his day and discuss if necessary. It's actually a great relationship.
You can imagine the horror I felt when Jack's teacher came over to me and said this:
"We had our first bullying incident today in the bathroom"
My heart sank. Was Jack the bully or the victim? What a vulnerable place. We're potty trained and all, but Jack still has modesty issues. And besides, a bully? He's 6!
"Oh?" is what I managed to answer, way to think on my feet.
So this is the story.
This was on Monday. On the previous Friday, there had been an incident in the bathroom where somehow Jack believed, or was led to believe, that there was a spider on the loose. Jack is terrified of spiders right now... Loves Zombies, but hates spiders, I digress. So, Jack believed for some reason that there was a spider on his junk. He ran to the door where his aide hangs out when he's in the john and announced it loudly, realistically, and hysterically (not funny, but rather in hysterics)... and with his pants around his ankles. This was all dealt with and he worried about it for a good deal of the rest of the day, but it had been forgotten by the time I picked him up.
So back to Monday. There were two boys in the bathroom with him and one of the 2nd graders (yes, they were older) happened to witness the spider on the junk incident on Monday. So he said something to his buddy along the lines of "watch this kid freak out if I tell him there's a spider in here. He'll get all worked up and cry. I'm gonna' put a spider on his head. Watch. He'll start crying"
It didn't work the way the bully wanted it to (unless this second grader believed the realpolitik of the ends justifying the means). But it did get Jack all worked up and asking questions like "where did you get a spider? Why do you have a spider? Why do you want to put a spider on my head? Can I see it first? and since the kid couldn't really answer it, it got Jack more and more frustrated and... he started crying. He ran out of the bathroom to his aide who was waiting outside.
It breaks my heart that there is a kid out there that wants to make a little kid cry for humor's sake. It breaks my heart that there is a kid out there that wants to make fun of a disabled child's disabilities for humor's sake. It breaks my heart that there is a kid out there that wants to entertain his friends at my son's expense.
I fear this will happen again. There's a tough road in front of Jack. Kids can be cruel (hell, adults can be bullies too, just read some of the comments left on my more controversial blogs!). I want to say "this will never happen again". I want to take it all away.
But in the end, I can't. Besides, Jack didn't seem to take it too personally anyway. Little point in bullying a kid that doesn't give a shit, right?
What was the school going to do? How was this kid going to learn his lesson? And why the hell are you writing this story with such an easy, relaxed, entertaining voice, Jaye (that's me). You should be pissed as hell!?!?
If you were paying attention to the story, you might have remembered that the aide was outside the bathroom. Jack's version of the story would not be very reliable (sorry, it just wouldn't). So how did his teacher tell me what happened with such great detail.
The other kid ratted out his buddy.
He said things like "stop it", "this isn't funny", "stop picking on him" and, most importantly, "I'm gonna' tell"
The bully (who apparently has a bit of a history at the school) was sent to the principal's office and dealt with accordingly. The second boy was given a reward (ice cream, I think), since our school has a "Bully-free" zone and the children get rewarded for stopping bullying.
Here is the moral of the story. Here's what I want you, Jack, to read in a year or so (and yes, you can send Daddy to his room for using bad language):
There are a lot of shitty people in the world. Some of them may try to take advantage of you.
But there are a lot of great people in the world as well. Some of them will stand up for you.
And get ice cream for it.