Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Son’s Bully Carries a Weapon

This week my son was walking around the neighborhood when he saw a group of kids from school on the opposite side of the street. He was immediately on guard since this group of kids have recently outcasted him and have been provoking him by calling him names and threatening him. Just last week I caught one of the boys, our next door neighbor, yelling at him, “I’m going to get my older brother to kick your ass!”

As my son was passing the group they began to make mean remarks and gestures so my son responded by cussing at them. Then our neighbor boy escalated the situation by chasing our son down with an Airsoft gun.
If you haven’t heard of Airsoft guns, they’re a lot like BB guns. Shooting plastic hard pellets, they’re considered to be a projectile weapon capable of inflicting harm. 

Taken from an online source: Extreme care should be used at all times with Airsoft guns, and it’s best to treat Airsoft guns as a real firearm while handling and transporting them, reckless handling of these guns can lead to various ranges of criminal consequences, and worse, physical injury or death. In other words, this is no nerf gun!

As the neighbor boy reached my son, he yelled “I might as well do a head shot!” as he pointed the gun less than 2 feet from my son’s face. Terrified, my son walked backwards with his hands up while the boy followed him until he got close to home.

Once home my son fell apart as his anxiety took over, afraid that our neighbor was going to hurt the whole family with his gun. To say that I was upset was an understatement. But I knew that this was a situation that was best left to my sensible husband since these neighbors have proven themselves in the past to be difficult to talk to and frankly, I don’t know if I could’ve kept my Mama Bear claws in.

I wish that I could report that we reached a positive resolution over this situation, but as predicted, the boy lied to his parents about the whole event until his sister validated our story and he finally confessed. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem fazed by their son’s lying or the fact that he had a weapon pointed at my son’s head. Instead my husband was greeted with the negative attitude of the boy’s mother and harsh words towards our family while the boy’s father stood uncomfortably at the door. In the end, both parties agreed to keep the kids separated and my husband left a warning that the next time their child threatened our son with a weapon, we’ll have the police deal with it.

As much as this situation upsets me, it made me more wary of the future. Middle school is next year and I know that my son is already being viewed as an outcast by his classmates. What’s worse is that the neighbor boy has a lot of influence with my son’s peers. Will my son become a victim of abuse or will he be provoked by these kids until he fights back? Either way, it worries me and validates what we already know, that our son may need alternative schooling. We aren’t going to let these bullies destroy him.

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  1. Oh Mama Bear! I'm sorry to hear about this. Definitely sounds like a situation for police involvement if anything close to it happens again. (I think I might have called the police for that situation alone--but I understand not wanting to escalate neighborhood tensions)

    Email me if you want info on homeschooling. You can also look into therapeutic day schools.

    1. Great, I’ll keep that in mind. My concern about homeschooling is that we have battles over homework, wouldn't me schooling him be even worse? What is your experience with this?

    2. Much less than you imagine now.

      Because after a day at school, your son is in saturation mode, so not available for homework. He has to deal with peers and has to learn. It is a lot for a typical child, but for someone like your son, it is such a demanding task that he is not available for homework at home.

      At least, when you homeschool him, as he will be less stressed, he will learn much more than he learns at school.

      He will learn better and with many less battles in homeschool than when you have to help at homework after school.

      Don't worry too much about it.
      And remember, his health and sanity comes first and foremost. It does not make sense to prioritize academic and social learning over his health : without his health, he won't do anything.
      It takes more time to reach his life milestones ? And then ? He will reach his life milestones at his own pace.
      When you have health and sanity, you have everything. Besides health and sanity, the rest is bonus.

  2. Check out options with your school district. Our district has an independent learning academy that combines one on one with a teacher once a week and then completing all work at home. I have no doubt you will find what's the right fit for your guy and your family. In my family's experience, the middle school years are the rockiest in the best of situations. They all seem to be knuckleheads bumping into each other trying to figure things out.

    1. Boy RedBird, I hear you loud and clear, everyone tells me that middle school is the hardest period. I’ll have to see what our district offers.

  3. What an awful experience! I feel so bad for your son. The bully sounds violent and aggressive-how great that his parents thought to buy him a "toy" gun. Ugh. And I'm with you on the middle school worries. We have one more year of elementary school, but I'm dreading that whole transition.