Aloha Friday: Bullying, Reactions and Friendship
I’ve been itching to write about this for awhile, but wanted to wait while we assessed our options. (Besides, B already wrote about this last week, so I figured it was high time I address it.) On Thursday, April 28th, NHL was punched in the stomach by another student in his 2nd grade class. NHL was sent to the nurse with bruises on his stomach/ribs.
One interesting wrinkle to this story was NHL’s reaction. While in the nurse’s office, he was crying, sad that he had upset the child and had hurt his feelings. NHL blamed himself for the bullying incident even though he had done nothing that warranted a punch in the ribs. He even, over that weekend, listed the child as his friend. Yes, the kid that punched him in the ribs was still a friend to NHL.
As you may recall, I was bullied a lot when I was growing up. One incident in particular happened in middle school At the risk of retelling a story I’ve blogged about before, I only had one person that I considered my friend at the time. That was RH.
The only problem with RH being my friend was that he would stab me in the back. Literally. With a pen. He would bully me for awhile and then would play the victim, claiming that he had heard from a third person that I had said something bad about him. Then we would be friends again until he decided to bully me again.
Why did I keep taking him back as a friend when he kept bullying me? Simple. I felt like I had no other friends. If I admitted to myself that RH wasn’t my friend, I was left friendless. At the time, a horrible friend seemed better than no friend at all. It scared me to see this scenario playing out again in NHL’s school.
Then, in a display of good timing, I saw a tweet from @sociallysmart (aka Corinne Gregory) about the covering up of bullying incidents. To summarize the article (which is a must read for all parents), school administrators across the country are turning a blind eye to bullying because it makes them look bad if they admit there is a problem. Of course, this is a case of short term gain-long term loss. What the school administrators gain in the short term (saving face and avoiding bad PR), the kids lose in the long term (higher incidence of bullying with little to no consequences).
The only solution is for parents to know their (and their children’s) rights and stand up for them. It might be tough to do at times, but it is essential for our children’s well being.
My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you or your child ever been bullied by someone you/they considered a friend? How did you/they react?
Also, don’t forget to enter my Aerobie Sprint Flying Ring giveaway. It’s ending in four days and has a very low amount of entries (as I write this).
Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.