Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So now I want to kick a 10 Year Old's @$$!

How mature of me! The situation is this. Dear Son #1 is in the 5th grade. He attends a middle school, which in our area covers 4th through 6th grades. There's this one kid on the bus, Jason, who is determined to make my son's life hell.

Now, a little background on my son: he's 10, but is much smaller than most of his peers. In fact, he's a bit smaller than his 8 year old brother. DS#1 is also speech impaired and struggles with ADHD. He describes himself as 'weird' and seems proud of it (most of the time). I prefer the word "eccentric." There's a lot to like about him: he's creative, very smart, empathetic, imaginative, fair, kind.... but he also acts young for age. This, combined with the speech issues, small stature, and social awkwardness, makes him an easy "mark."

Jason and a couple of other kids have deemed DS#1 unworthy of sitting in the coveted 'back seat' of the bus. Jason has resorted to calling my son a 'retard.' Dad is ready to kick some 6th grade butt. I'm trying for a more diplomatic approach (although you can see the steam coming from my ears!). After all, this kid lives in our neighborhood and there's no telling whether Jason's parents are nut jobs too.

I've discussed with my son how conformity is prized above all else in school, but in the 'real world' conformity equals lack of individuality, creativity, originality, etc.

In the meantime, Dad is going to talk to the bus driver - primarily to let him know there's a problem and to cover our butts if it escalates. Hopefully, the sight of Dad talking to Mr. Kenneth, while glaring at the bully, will be enough to put the kibosh on any further antics.

My step, next week, will be to stalk the kid (maybe 'stalk' isn't the right word) to find out where he lives. If things don't improve, I'd like to have a civil talk with Jason's parents. (I'm giving them benefit of the doubt - after all, my kids aren't perfect, and I'm not aware of every little thing they do.)

If this doesn't work, then it's off to the principal's office. Our parish (the equivalent of a county) has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. It could get especially interesting since, because of my son's educational issues, he is in a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act - a card I'd normally never usually play, but hey, I'm smelling a civil rights issue here....

I'm sure it won't come to that, but be forewarned: Mama Bear has her claws sharpened. More later....

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