Don’t Just Stand There

We all know bullying is a hot topic right now. Everyone has mixed feelings on the subject and how it should be handled. I have always maintained my stance on bullying: it needs to be stopped. In our house we have always taught our kids to be kind to others and that bullying is wrong.  Now-we have also taught our kids you don’t stand by and watch others be bullied. Well…I get a call from Rayden’s school yesterday morning. The dean tells me he has Rayden next to him and then he proceeds to tell me why:

“I was watching the whole incident from beginning to end. There was an incident in the hall this morning involving a Rayden, friend of his and another child (we’ll call him X). X was repeatedly slapping Rayden’s friend in the back of the head because of a haircut. After several times of it happening, Rayden shoved his body into X with such force he knocked him to the ground. After asking Rayden why he did this his response was, ‘this kid is a jerk all of the time to everyone.’ I then told him that there was a process to handle this situation that didn’t involve pummeling the other child.”

Now….I take issue with a few things in this situation. First of all-why was this dean watching this whole situation without stepping in? If he’s watching this happen why was it allowed to go on long enough to where Rayden felt the need to step in? Second-I know the “process” he’s talking about and quite frankly it’s a joke. These bullies could care less about being reported or having a sit down to talk things out. Clearly this kid bothers others and he is quite literally physically assaulting Rayden’s friend. I’m thinking something a little more serious than a warning is in order…apparently Rayden was thinking the same. That same “process” involves this dean that stood by watching this happen…

Now let me say this- Rayden is not a violent child, he’s quite the opposite in fact. I tell people these stories and they are shocked I’m talking about him. This is the second time Rayden has felt the need to protect the underdog. There was an incident with him in 3rd grade (3 yrs ago) involving a child that is very small in stature being relentlessly harassed by a GROUP of kids. Rayden didn’t know him but one day he got tired of it and long story short he confronted the group, TOLD them to stop, they didn’t and started pushing Rayden. He then took on said group (there were 4 boys) and Rayden was the last one standing. He didn’t hurt them as much as made sure they realized pushing him wasn’t the best choice. I have to finish that story with those kids never bothered the smaller boy again and Rayden is really good friends with this kid to this day.

I know we all sit around talking about stepping up to the plate and stepping in when we see something wrong happening. But truthfully, most of us are much quicker to turn away and say, “someone else will do something. I better not get involved.” What are we teaching our children about not only standing up for themselves but to also stand up for others? I in NO way advocate for violence, or vigilante justice…but I will say if a situation calls for a level of self defense or preventing a situation that can get out of control (let’s say a massive shooting at a school because a child gets tired of being bullied and feeling like no one has their back) I think you do enough to resolve the situation. I know there are the nonviolent ways of telling a grown up…but I have also seen how that can either create a bigger problem if handled wrong or the grown ups involved ultimatley telling the child to sort it out on their own leading the child being bullied to not say anything. Effective? Nope.

Now put yourself in Rayden’s shoes, no matter what age. If a situation like this was happening and you were standing there…would you intervene?

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