Theresa's Mixed Nuts: I Can Save One

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Can Save One

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 Most of you know that my husband accompanied my daughter on her recent trip to Washington. This trip was the highlight of the 8th grade year. The students had been anxiously awaiting the trip all year. On the last day, all of the parents were pulled aside and asked if one of them would volunteer to stay behind on the bus, as there was a girl who was not going to be taking the last tour. The girl had told the teachers she was tired and her feet hurt from all of the walking. The teacher suspected there was more to the story, but the girl wasn’t opening up to her. She needed someone to try to talk with the girl to find out what was really going on. All of the parents hemmed and hawed over having to miss the tour. Not one of them stepped to the plate to help this child. Yes, my husband included. (Believe me, he got an earful for that!) The parents even decided that they would figure out who should stay behind with a coin toss. That didn’t end up happening, but frankly, I am disgusted that it even came down to that. It was decided my husband would stay behind because he was the youngest, and had the best chance of getting the girl to open up to him.


After a bit of talking to the girl, she did, indeed open up to him. My husband said it was like the flood gates had opened, and she just got everything off her chest. Like she never had anyone to just sit there and listen to her. From what he could gather, she didn’t want to finish the tour because the other girls in her group were making her feel bad for slowing them down. She is a heavy set girl and couldn’t move as fast as the others. My husband made the girl walk with him while they were talking. Up hills, over rough terrain, and she did not display any signs that the walk was difficult for her, so it boils down to the girls possibly making her feel bad about herself. So much so, she skipped out on what should have been a fun part of the trip for her as well. Not only that, she has been getting bullied at school by 2 boys. She says she has made a report, but the bullying continues. She actually transferred to our school because the bullying was so bad at the last school, she thought it wouldn’t happen here. Unfortunately, it followed her. Her home life doesn’t sound like the best of situations either. She is surrounded by drugs (I am not sure if it’s from the parents or just other family members- she wouldn’t say) and violence (her older brother was murdered by his wife last year.) Money may be an issue, because she told my husband how upset she was because she didn’t receive any Christmas gifts this year. My husband started choking up then and had to change the subject. Her grades are lacking and she suffers from self esteem issues.


I am beyond upset for this girl. I am angry. Why is it we all stand here and preach about anti bullying, but when we are faced with a situation where we can reach out and help, we turn our cheek and say “It’s Not My Problem?” I am pissed that not one parent came to that girls aid at her time of need. It angers me to think that if my daughter needed help on that trip, she would have been considered a burden by the other parents. I am pissed that the bullying continues after she has made reports. Why does it seem there is no adult standing in and advocating for this girl? My husband says that he feels she is a girl that could possibly do herself harm if this goes on too much longer. That is unacceptable to me.


I want to do something. I want to reach out to her, to let her know that someone does care. My husband says that she is one story in many. I can’t save them all. No, I probably can’t, but I can try to save this one. I will be her voice, and demand something on the school level be done to help her.


I am disheartened at how many people talk the talk, but won’t walk the walk. If you stand there and preach about anti bullying, but do nothing to reach out and help, you are just as guilty as the bully. What about you? Are you going to turn and say “Not My Problem!” or or you going to stand up and do something when faced with this kind of situation?

31 comments:

  1. Wow quite the post, and yeah parents acting like children when it comes to staying behind and helping out is kind of pathetic. As far as bullying goes teachers and such talk about it but they never do anything because they are afraid to ruffle any feathers it seems.

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  2. I am on a school board and bullying is a huge concern in our large school district. If I were you I would go to a school board meeting and sign up to speak. Just say you are concerned about the bullying issue in the country and would like a written response as to what your district is doing. They are obliged to answer you. There are alot of good programs out there but parents have to make it known that its important. Schools must put so much enphasis on test scores it often overlook that social interactions can be an asset or a stumbling block to educational success and also self esteem. Let me know how it goes.

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    1. Fabulous suggestion Anita! I agree, the social aspect of school is almost as important as the academic part too. If they aren't balanced, it is going to be a total failure!

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  3. Wow, this was quite a powerful post. It's true that we all talk way too much and do way too little. Sounds like your hubs learned a valuable lesson here too. I hope in some way opening up to your hubs was cathartic for that girl and helps her to keep on keepin' on.

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  4. Unfortunately, this sounds like a true middle school problem. I work at a middle school that has a strict anti-bullying policy and teachers who are serious about stopping bullying when it happens. In fact, this is one of the best principals I've worked for and she does not put up with kids bullying; yet, it still sometimes gets past us. It's almost as if this age group is wired to do this, and you have to be a fly on the wall to catch it. I don't know the answer to this one.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, Joyce, I agree. The student/teacher ratio makes it hard to monitor every child at every second of the day. I applaud those teachers who do stand up and make a difference. I just don't understand why this one is being brushed aside after she has complained?

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  5. Middle school is the worst when it comes to bullying.

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  6. Wow, what an awful situation. I hope someone can help her somehow. :(

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  7. Awesome post. That is great your hubby stepped in to help. It sounds like the girl really needed a friend right then! And AMEN to the whole walking the walk. It's great to talk it but if there is no action...

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  8. I've always liked you, now I like you even more. You go, girl! Rosey

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  9. Everything happens for a reason & even though it's sad that no one wanted to step up and help the girl and you hubby got sort of strong armed into it - it was great that she was comfortable enough with him to open up and tell the truth. I hate what kids do to other kids, but hopefully something will really be done about it this time and the poor girl will not be the subject of anyone bullying anymore.

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  10. So sad Theresa that this happens. I wonder if we can ever stop bullying. I did a post about animals doing....

    Glad your Hubs could help her get her feelings out. Our schools say Do Not Bully, but really... what are they doing to help the kids that are bullied?

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    1. My youngest got stabbed by a pen cap last year on the bus and I flew off the handle when I called the school. This year they sat her with the same girl who stabbed her the previous year and the girl punched her. When I called the school they were like- "Well, why aren't you talking to the bus driver about this?" Because it just happened, I'm pissed now, I am not waiting until morning. Do something NOW! lol. It was almost like the school wanted to shove it off on transportation and I wasn't letting that slide. It happened on school property, I expect the school to handle it. (They did.) So, yeah, I can see what you are saying. What are the schools doing?

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  11. heartbreaking---i feel and felt the same way when my two oldest boys were in school---there was this one boy, that i knew was being bullied---i told my son, not only was he not going to do this, but that he was going to befriend him--this kid ended up being very popular---it just take one kid to make a difference sometimes--great post!

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  12. I'm so glad that your hubby wound up being the one to sit with her and could be someone she could open up to. It's sad that so many of the parents were annoyed by the idea of staying behind with her, but thankfully it was your husband put in that position, because it sounds like he was a great ear for her to talk to, and she needed to get that out. You already know how upset it makes me when it comes to bullying and what we went through with that poor girl at my son's school. You can't help all, but like you said, you can try and be a voice for a little girl who has opened up to your husband and put trust in him. I would speak to the school about it, and go to a meeting maybe. It's SO incredibly sad that her home life isn't much better. It sounds like she has no one to turn to :( I can't believe the bullying that happens all around us, and it really makes me sick to think that so many people are willing to turn their heads away from it and not reach out to those who need help the most. Great post Theresa!

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  13. Oh poor thing! I remember being that heavy girl that was teased over and over.

    I'm so glad your husband talked with her, even just to get it off her chest I'm sure helped her out so much.

    I say one at a time is more then most do! Bless you for being a voice!

    Stopping by from Comment Linky.

    Alexis from Running Away? I'll Help You Pack!

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  14. HAPPY Friday.
    Visit from Blog Hop.
    would be nice if you can link up at my blog.
    Have a nice day.
    Nan
    http://www.blogshe.net

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  15. What a powerful post Theresa! I'm so happy that you are going to stand up for that poor girl...it's just so sad knowing bullying is going on everywhere. I can't believe the school has just let this go on!

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  16. Dealing with bullies can be very difficult, even as an adult. It always seemed to silly to me when other people spoke about not talking out against bullying or harassment. Then I was sexually assaulted by a former boss and a friend of his (it's not like I was raped or anything, but it still wasn't something I wanted!). I couldn't bring myself to talk about it to anyone for about a week, at least. It's hard to speak out!

    <a href="http:www.natashalh.com>Natashalh</a>

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    1. It is hard to speak out, especially about those who hold a higher position than us. It's sad when one who holds a position of power thinks they can get away with harassment! I am glad you were able to find someone to talk to!

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  17. This is a great post, Theresa. I think a lot of us have trouble making waves, especially when it's not for our own child.

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  18. How wonderful and important of a post. We need to continue to bring awareness to this issue. So wonderful that your husband was able to help like that.

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  19. Gee wiz no one should have to put up with bulling! My oldest had it happen last year at a camp at a local park. He was one of the youngest kids. The leaders were something else. They didn't care. Luckily at school he hasn't had problems. He's one of the cool kids. We had a kid over that no one plays with. My son enjoyed having him come over. He's a nice kid, but really shy.

    I know my nephew, who is 8 gets picked on a lot at school. I don't even know why he does. My only guesses are that he's a red head and he has a brother that is disabled. Otherwise I can't think of a reason.

    There shouldn't be a reason to pick on someone though! Many kids have enough on their plate, to have to worry about being picked on.

    I was always the "weird artist" in school, so I was picked on for that.

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  20. Oh Theresa! What a powerful post. Good. Bullying is awful. I have been on both sides before. Sometimes when I was the bully I did it just as a peer-pressure-ignorance thing (in grade school and NEVER since). I had a mean girl named (I'll just say M for now) that took it upon herself to make my life rotten in Jr High and High School. I held my own with my nice friends but she had it in for me for some 'stupid' reason. We started as friends but when I didn't approve of some of her decisions/actions, then I was bullied by her mercilessly.

    Last year I worked as an aide at a Kindergarten level and I couldn't believe the jealousy and the class divisions that were so apparent at that early age. The teachers were constantly saying, "We don't bully. We have respect for others and their things." OVER AND OVER. Taking care of one person is awesome, Theresa! I commend you dearly, but it is just the tip of the iceberg that you will be affecting. There needs to be a Law or a Congressional Act or something huge because it isn't stopping. It is getting worse. God bless you dear! Thank you for your sweet friendship here in Blog-ville, Thank you!!!

    oh and Ps. so glad you are curious about the 3 other pairs of shoes. hahahaha

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  21. Hi! Followed you over from Dysfunction Junction blog hop. This is so sad. It breaks my heart. That poor girl has a bad family life and school life, and that is just so sad that she has to grow up that way. This was very eye-opening. Thanks for sharing the story! Now following you via GFC.

    Jackie @ The Non-Martha Momma

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  22. Heartbreaking just to hear her story from you.. good work to your hubs for staying back and getting her to open up (even if he didn't want to at first). Some other parents might have just left her to sit alone while they played with their phones!

    I do hope something can be done for this child too. Yes, I'm pretty sure you can save at least one. Keep us updated :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  23. Wonderful post! Thank you for caring about someone else's child! This is why there is still hope for humanity.

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  24. This is actually one of my biggest concerns for the boys. I don't want them to be a bully and I don't want them to be bullied either. I am really worried and if I see this kind of things happen before my eyes I will definitely stand up!

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  25. Oh, poor little thing, the abuse she must be suffering on a daily basis...Children can be so mean at times, bullying others without even realizing the major impact they have on those kid's mental health.

    Great post, Theresa! I can only praise you for bringing up and raising awareness on this painful subject.

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  26. Spot on Theresa! It is really terrible when a child is being bullied. It affects his/her self esteem, school work etc. and is just plain awful. Congratulations on taking the right stand. If many parents were like you it would stop.

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

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