Bullying and the Schools who Look the Other Way

So this happened:
Bullied boy dies when life support was pulled

I cannot be the only one whose heart breaks when something like this happens. This has become an epidemic. Actually, this has been an epidemic for some time. I can remember a fool on the bus throwing gum in my hair on the day of the science fair. I had no idea what happened until a good friend pulled me aside. She spent the next 40 minutes carefully pulling all the junk out of my hair, in the hopes that we’d be done before the judges got to our aisle.

Kids have always been mean. Odds are, they will always be mean. However, that does not mean that grown-ups (supposed grown-ups) should turn their backs on these kids and expect the problems to solve themselves. They won’t.

My older was being bullied. The school’s solution? Mediation sessions with the kids doing the bullying. Because they expected that to help. A few weeks later, I was called to the school to pick up my kid. He had told his friends that he wanted to kill himself. He’d even thought out ways to do it. How could this have happened? How did I miss it? I don’t know what I could have done to fix it–I’d sent countless emails to the school. I filled out dozens of “bullying/harassment” forms. Nothing. The kid doing most of the bullying? He’d been tormenting other kids all year.

And then my boy just couldn’t take it anymore. Fortunately for us, he reached out to friends who he thought “wouldn’t care” to let someone know. So we spent 8 hours in an emergency room, waiting for the doctors to release him. They originally wanted to admit him to the psych ward at the hospital–a psych ward with both adults and teenagers living in the same spaces. How is that an acceptable option? It’s not. You know what else in unacceptable? Our insurance was not accepted by any of the programs the doctors recommended that we use. Other, local professionals did not have openings for WEEKS. How is this acceptable? Finally, through the magic of coincidence, an acquaintance of ours just happened to know someone who just happened to have had a cancellation that night and could squeeze him in. Thank goodness for the occasional happy coincidence–even if they only sort of accept our insurance.

Now, my boy can get the medical help he needs. How long before the stigma of mental health and support goes away?

My heart goes out to all families who are going through the pain of trying to save a bullied child.

Love for Lucas

Dear Blog Followers,

Sorry it’s been so long. NaNoWriMo and the mortgage companies (Bogman, Inc and M&T Bank) have made this a busy, busy month. (NaNo = good; Mortgage companies = BAD!)

I come to you with a request. Please help my friends, Beth and Luis. A better couple of folks would be hard to find. Their three year old son, Lucas, needs help. He has a serious immune deficiency, and he has been fighting it since birth. Now, they all need to spend six months in North Carolina for Lucas to receive a bone marrow transplant. They live in Jacksonville, FL. This means they will both need to take extended leaves of absence from work, for which they will not get paid. They also have to pay high deductibles and higher insurance premiums.

If it strikes you, please donate for their boy. He needs your help. Even $5 will help. Heck, even $1 would help. Anything.

Love for Lucas

Thank you for your time.

Much love,
Cheryl

Halloween

I ❀ Halloween. I love Samhain. Mostly, I just love fall–especially when the snow does not come super-early like it did this year. Now, I have a zombie-fied jack-o-lantern hanging out on my front stoop. Icky. And I accidentally scared a toddler with it. Drat. All I wanted to do was give the little kids candy. (And the big kids, too. As long they had actually put together a costume. No, 17-year-old; your high school football uniform does not count. The ninja pjs might, though.)

This year, for Halloween, since we're rather low on funding, costumes were generally a build-your-own affair. My younger son went as a 1930s ganster. Or Frank Sinatra. It depended on when you asked him. My older boy decided he was going as a zombie, so he designed his own make-up and costume. Brilliant. πŸ™‚ He looked great. (I'll add pictures when I'm not so tired.)

Even scarier than the zombie pumpkin that's slowly trying to creep in the front door. …Now where's my chainsaw?

Chicken Go Cluck-Cluck

Cow go Moo…

I made the judgmental error of letting the boys watch “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist”. Now, my older son walks around the house, randomly spewing bizarre lines from the movie. Hence, the title of this post.

The first time I watched “Kung Pow,” I was not impressed. I couldn’t figure out why my beloved, slightly odd husband found it so incredibly funny. I watched it again, and now I understand. It gains something in the re-watching, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s that I’m expecting the bizarre (a cow that fights with its udders? What?) or that I’ve somewhat immunized myself against the insanity. No idea. But, wow, was it funny the second and third time I watched it.

It was written and directed by Steve Oedekerk. (He of “Barnyard”. Yes, apparently he thinks cow udders are so hilarious that he also put them on BULLS. That almost made my brain bleed a little. Oedekerk also stars in the movie…by CGing himself over the original star. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but this remix/mash-up/whatever actually makes way more sense than the movie it “edited”. That movie was “Tiger & Crane Fist” also known as “The Save Killers.” I don’t know if it was the version I watched or what, but I couldn’t follow “Tiger” at all. 😦 So sad. I love martial arts movies.

“Kung Pow” drives me crazy every time I watch it–and that one girl who just makes crazy noises the whole time, I just want to smack her–but I love watching this movie when I just want to watch something kind of dumb and totally goofy. And I laugh and laugh and laugh.

And now, I have poisoned my children with it. Darn me, anyway. πŸ˜‰

Footstep Following

It’s gratifying to notice that my older son is similar to me in at least one way: He’s becoming a Teacher’s Pet in English class. πŸ˜‰

Seriously, he’s becoming a teenager, and sometimes it’s hard to know how we’re even related. It’s crazy. My momma told me that there would be many days when I would be near to tearing my hair out because of the personality changes the kids would go through. And some days, that’s exactly how I feel. Some days, I want to take my pan of brownies and run away to Samoa. (I’ve never been to Samoa, but it seems like it be far enough away.) I’m not sure I could swim that far though, so that puts a damper on that idea.

At least I don’t have girls. I’m pretty sure I broke my mom when I was going through adolescence. How she avoided a straight jacket, I’ll never know…

Back to the story at hand. My older boy has been working on a ‘personal narrative’ for English. And it is really good. It’s an actual story with real characters, a plot, well-developed setting, and a sub-plot. It has a beginning, middle, and end. Considering he’s 12, I’m impressed. I’m also impressed that his teacher gives her students latitude in their writing, not the 5-paragraph structure all the time.

Anyway. High-five, Oldest Son! πŸ™‚