Bullying is real. Very real. It has touched us. It has touched my son. In a very real way. We had thought that my square peg would finally ‘fit in’ in a classroom with others like him. We had thought that he would finally be part of the crowd. We had thought that his differences wouldn’t be so apparent in a classroom with others similar to him. What we hadn’t known was that this special classroom was home to many with behavioural and emotional issues. Know that those who bully are not ‘bad’ kids. They are just kids - kids with an unmet need. An unmet emotional, physical, academic or psychological need.
We do not take the decision to homeschool lightly. We did not arrive at this decision lightly. We arrived at this decision after exhausting all our options. Most importantly, we arrived at this decision when all other doors had been closed on us. When it was unsafe to send my child to school unaccompanied. Let that sink in - a school, a place of learning, a place of growth, a place of safety and friendship - should not be an unsafe space. It should not be a space that hurts. Yet, it is a space that hurts many. It is a space that becomes unsafe for many.
No, it’s not just a statistic on the news. It’s not just something that you hear about and move on. Bullying is real, my friends. Very real.
My son was only in this environment for a couple of months. My son has now already been home for a couple of months. But the impact that bullying left on my seven year old - can be felt today. Can be seen today. He could not fall asleep tonight. He could not fall asleep tonight as he remembered the faces of those who bullied him. I do not use the word ‘bullying’ lightly. It’s important to differentiate between targeted bullying and teasing. I’m not talking about teasing. I’m talking about targeted emotional and physical bullying - where no one stands up for you.
All of this to say - please know what’s happening with your kids at school. If bullying is a concern, talk to your kids. Talk to the school. No, bullying does not make you stronger. Bullying does not teach you how to socialize. No one learns how to socialize in a hostile environment - in an unsafe space. Period.