Assault Not Bullying If Only Once? 6

Pretend FightingThose of us with boys know they love to play violent video games, but when did beating a child up for real become a spectator sport?  I hope the answer is never, but apparently to some children in California it was just that recently.

Three days ago I came across a story about a young man in California who was lured to a site where others were waiting to harm him.  This is bad enough, but the story gets worse.  You can read more about it at sacramento.cbslocal.com.  I cannot understand why this mom is not getting more help from the sheriff’s department.  I decided to investigate what California laws might apply to this incident.  First, I want you to click on criminal.findlaw.com to read a definition of assault.  Next I want you to read an explanation of California’s law at stopbully.gov.

You also need to know a new law went into effect in California in January regarding cyberbullying.  You can read about it at bullypolice.blogspot.com.  Now I am not sure if the incident happened before January or not.  However, another important fact is that everyone who opens a Facebook account agrees to their terms of agreement.  See numbers one, five, and fourteen at facebook.com/legal/terms.  Lastly, the victim has the option of suing those who posted this on Facebook.  You can read about this at blogs.findlaw.com.

I would love to know what you think.  Is the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department dropping the ball here?  What would you do if this happened to your child?

Today I am Grateful 8

It is time for my 2011 weekly Project Gratitude post.  Information about Project Gratitude can be found at:

Riding the Roller Coaster: Project Gratitude.

I am grateful there are still parents who instill kindness in their children.  I hope and pray there will be even more who do this soon.  I am especially grateful for the bystanders who stand up to bullies and tell them that yes, he or she is my friend.  The more bystanders stand up to bullies, the less power bullies have.  I am glad some people are getting this message.  I am grateful to all of the people including parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and children who are working to make this the standard instead of the exception.  I am posting links to some of the ones I found today.       

Kind Campaign highlights problem of female bullying.

Goddard School asks Could We All Be Bullies?

The following post is an example of a total failure on the part of a school, the children who go there, and the parents of these children, but I am grateful that the girl is speaking out instead of taking her own life.

Payton Spinney: Friend of Phoebe Prince, Who Was Bullied to Suicide, Is Being Taunted for Asperger’s Syndrome – ABC News.

I wrote a blog about accountability back in October and finally some people are being held accountable for their actions just as I have said they should be.

Accountability for Protecting Our Children | dswalkerauthor.

One more good and bad together.  This one is about adult bullies, and I am grateful this story is being reported, and the man who posted threats was arrested.  

Opinion | The trolls and bullies must not stifle community engagement | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Let me know what you think about the recent developments.

Bravery in the Family 16

There are three people I love dearly who have all shown unbelievable bravery in their lives. The first one is my dad who fought in WWII and Korea, but that is not what made him brave to me. The other two are my own children.

The first time I personally witnessed bravery was when I was a little girl. I awoke to a loud banging noise that would not stop, and then I heard my parents’ voices. My mom was begging my dad not to go outside. I got out of bed to see what was going on. Mom was crying and Dad was saying, “Lock the door behind me and call the police,” as he stepped out the door closing it firmly behind him.

Mom locked the door and opened her arms wide as I ran to her. I hugged my mom as she dialed the phone and I heard Dad yell through the door to Mom, “Tell them someone has been badly beaten and is bleeding.” Next I heard my dad telling someone on the other side of the door, “I can’t let you into my house because I have young children, but my wife is calling the police to get help, and I will stay here with you until they come. Whoever did this seems to have left. I saw a car speed away when I opened the door.”

Later I asked my dad why he risked his own life by opening the door. He replied, “Sue, if I were injured wouldn’t you want someone to help me? A long time ago a friend helped me and the only repayment he would accept was a promise that I would help someone else.”

Over the years I observed my dad helping others including repairing their cars when they came off our exit on the freeway only to learn that the nearest station was another eight miles away. He never accepted payment for doing this even when he had to drive somewhere to get auto parts. He always told them the same thing, “Just help someone else one day.” My dad did this his whole life and what better way to teach your children kindness than by being kind yourself. How I wish everyone in this world were like this!

I do not know if I have set as good of an example for my children, but I am trying and I think for the most part I am doing a good job of raising them. I will tell you a little about them and you can decide.

My daughter gave me permission to write Delightfully Different to help others as long I made it a work of fiction. I think this is very brave because I know how hard it was for her.

My son who observed everything that happened to his sister refused to be mean to another boy at school when a group of boys he has known since kindergarten started being mean to this boy. The boy told them my son is his friend and when the “bullies” asked my son if this is true, he replied, “Yes.” Some of these boys have picked on him as a result, but my son has kept his integrity which I think is way more important than remaining friends with mean kids.

Let me know what you think. Do you teach kindness to your children despite what other parents do?

Addendum: Much has changed since I originally posted this. My daughter left the school of her dreams due to their failures, but not before she made the brave decision to tell the high school dean her decision herself. She had the dean in tears, but this did not change the outcome.

That dean has since left the school and the former headmaster has too. We tried to get an apology for my daughter that we want placed in her permanent record to explain that the failures were not hers. The new headmaster refused.

In fact, after agreeing to meet with me, he tried to throw me out of his office ten minutes into our conversation because I showed him a happy smiling self-portrait my daughter drew when she first entered kindergarten before the bullying almost destroyed her. I still managed to converse with him for fifty minutes, but I did not see any indication that he was empathetic.

He did not even offer me a tissue when my eyes were clearly tearing and I had to dig into my purse to find one. He did promise to read everything I left with him including a school newspaper where the bullies called my daughter a reject. (No they did not mention her name, but the whole grade knew who was interviewed and she was the only one who had been excluded from that group. The paper went to every child from kindergarten through twelfth grade and it was on-line until I pointed it out to school the year we finally left them.

My daughter blogged her heart out and became #15 on Babble.com’s top autism blogs. She has since stopped blogging and worked hard to overcome the long-term effects of bullying.