Monday, March 17, 2014

In Your Face Bully!

 Bullies don’t always go away just because they’ve been busted and are punished repeatedly for their behavior.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I wrote the post  "The World is Full of A**holes", which tells the story of a bully that Blue has been dealing with this year in high school. I told you all then that Blue is not afraid of the bully.  For that matter, there are not many people in the world that Blue is actually afraid of.  He has this fearless personality going on, which is ironic since he can be a very anxious person.  

So on this particular day this bully decided once again to screw with Blue.  Blue is not one for ignoring an asshole.  He is one who will give you a great big reaction when you push his buttons.  This makes him a great target for someone who is looking for a payoff for their asshattery. 

The kid decided to follow Blue out towards the busses, name calling and pushing him along the way.  Blue turns around and doesn’t hit the kid, instead he hawked up a great big loogie and spit in the kids face! Ouch! 

Sure enough, Blue comes home that afternoon and begins acting out, fighting with his brother.  In the process, his feelings about what happened during the school day come up.  He told me exactly what had happened with the bully.  

“I spit on him.” 

*Really? You went there? You? Mr. Germaphobe, spit your DNA and all of your germs on another person? Wow kid!  You’ve got balls! (I didn’t say the balls part, but I sure did think it!) 

I knew instantly, that although Blue’s retaliation may pay off in the form of the kid finally leaving him alone, his choice would probably come back to bite him.  If administration got wind of what Blue had done, he would surely be punished for it.  When I encouraged him to talk to his Social Skills teacher the next day about what happened, he declined.  He knew he was wrong, and would probably be in trouble. 

So, I am in California, enjoying a leisurely morning before I go to visit my father, when my phone rings.  It’s the high school on the caller i.d. Duh duh duh duh! Yep.  The shit hit the fan.  There was yet another incident with the bully and after further investigation, Blue’s transgression was reported. 

“…I can understand Blue’s frustration, but we have to send a message that next time he should go towards a teacher, instead of handling matters himself,” says the Assistant Principal. 

“Really, because he has reported these incidents several times in the past to teachers and nothing has stopped the child’s behavior.  In the heat of the moment, what would make him think that would make a difference this time? Quite frankly, I understand his frustration as well. That's why when he told me about it, and he told me about the same day it happened, I chose not to punish him for it."  

So the bully got a few days of in-school suspension, (sitting alone in a room with a teacher all day) while Blue got 2 days of lunch d-hall sitting in the AP’s office for 25 minutes.  Not a major punishment really, since Blue doesn’t eat in the cafeteria anyway.  He usually eats in a teachers classroom with a few other kids.

 Did this send a message to Blue? Perhaps.  Did it send a message to the a**hole bully? Who knows? 
This past week there were no further incidents.  

I spoke to Blue about perhaps transferring to a charter school specifically for math and science, where there would be more serious students like him and less bullies.  He investigated the possibility by looking at the web-site and Code of Student Conduct with his friend J., who is also on the spectrum.  When he got back to me, his answer was an emphatic, "No Mom! I'm not doing that!" Number one, he wants to have the same science teacher that he has now for AP Chemistry next year.  They have a great relationship.  She gets him since her boyfriend has Aspergers as well. 

Number 2 he said, "I would rather fight with the kids who are jerks, than go to a school where you have to where a uniform and they have so many rules, you may as well be in  prison. "

So there’s that.  

The lesson here for Blue's Mom ...this kid can take care of himself. Stop worrying so much.

p.s. Blue did have a couple of therapy sessions regarding bullying and the appropriate reaction to help deescalate the situation and not give a big reaction.