I hate the thought of my children getting bullied. I hate the thought of them being bullies probably even more. I had a call from Beth’s teacher yesterday. She has been being mean to a boy in her class and it has accelerated and gotten out of control.
The boy in question I shall call Ben. Beth had come home one day last term and was talking about ‘the Jewish boy’ in her class. I asked who he was and she said he is her sworn enemy. Apparently he had been mean to her. I told her that perhaps he had been mean because she had called him ‘the Jewish boy’ and explained that it was racist to describe people like this. I spoke with her teacher who had told me thatÂ Ben was mean to most of the kids in the class and Beth had been nothing but respectful to him. End of story. Or so I thought.
When Miss H. called me yesterday I had that awful sinking feeling. She told me that Beth is almost obsessed with her dislike for Ben and was now being really mean to him. She kept writing “Ben loves Erin” on things like his poster that was hanging up or on his work. She had crossed his face out on a school photo of all the children. Basically she was being a bitch to him. After school Beth was to go into the reflection room in the office for five minutes while Miss H. and I discussed this. It was only for five minutes as Miss H. was aware that I had a half hour drive to pick up Bill and Bridie.
Beth looked very sheepish when she went into the reflection room. She hadn’t been happy when Miss H. had said she was going to call me, knowing that it would mean an ipad ban. She kept looking through the window at us talking. Miss H. had asked how many times Ben had been mean to Beth and she replied ‘once’. She was then asked how many times she had been mean toÂ Ben and she replied ‘five’. She was told that it wasn’t really fair and that she was being really mean.
Ben is a very loud boy, Beth seems to think he’s really popular simply because he’s loud. Miss H. told me that Beth used to sit by herself at a table that Ben sometimes sits at. Another girl who is very social sat at this table, then some of her friends joined her and they tried to muscle Beth out. Miss H. obviously put a stop to that, telling them that Beth had been there first. She said that sometimes they laugh at Beth at her expense, not with her. But she did say that she had seen Beth being more social this week than at any time during the last one and a half years. Which is of course a good thing. She had put a stop to the teasing. Beth apparently thinks that as the popular girls are on her table that this makes her really popular. In fact when she talks of Ben being popular she says things like how she can’t understand why he would be popular, after all she’s the most popular girl in the school! I do love her self confidence, even if it is grossly overexaggerated.
Apparently Beth also asked if somebody was going to pull their pants down and expose themselves to her. For that one I told her that she is now banned from watching any grown up shows such as Family Guy, Cleveland and the Office. I had given her a warning last year when she had sworn and said something inappropriate. They are very grown up and quite rude at times, however I thought that she is 14, other 14 year olds watch them, I wanted to see the older side of her. Clearly that’s not ok as she brings that side of it to school. I said we’d revisit this when she’s 15 but no promises. I don’t think she really wanted to see anything of the person she asked this too, I think she just thought it was funny.
I said to the Miss H. that I found it so difficult, I had thought that Beth going to a special school would mean she would find other kids who are more equal to her than mainstream neuro typical kids. I must admit I did have a little cry as I spoke, I find it so hard to talk about at times. I felt like she was still at the bottom of the pack. Miss H. told me that she’s not at all. Socially she does like to keep to herself and she’s not that interested in making friends but she’s not at the bottom by far. And intelligence wise she’s right up the top. I said that I’d rather have a dumb kid with friends than a really smart one with no friends. She doesn’t want to go to camp but apparently it’s open to the whole middle school so Miss H. said not to worry, she said it wouldn’t be a bonding experience like it would if it were just her class. There will be a sleepover of just their class and she said it would be good for Beth to do that one.
I am also going to organise going to the movies with some of the other mums and kids from school in the holidays which start at the end of next week. Beth seemed quite keen on that. Beth was banned from her ipad last night and this morning and wrote a card out to Ben with a chuppa chup to say sorry. And of course she is banned from all the tv shows. Miss H. showed me the work she did yesterday, she had hearts all over it. When she was asked why Beth said she was showing how nice she could be and how loving, that Miss H. didn’t need to call me after all! She also told me that she had done really good work on her animal assignment so that meant that it made up for her being bad earlier. She knew she had done wrong, I told her she had been a bully and that I was ashamed of her. Hopefully she’s learned her lesson.