3: A Friend

This is the third in a series about my son’s recent experience with bullying at school.

I emailed a close friend at Sam’s school, telling her of my despair at the futility of having one more meeting with the principal that sounds great and goes nowhere. I said that this has been a battle we have fought alone, and that we are losing energy for the fight.

But my friend said that I was wrong. She said that other parents are concerned about bullying, too. Particularly concerned since recently, a boy at a local high school committed suicide after facing social challenges. She said:

If someone brought in an expert to do a parent presentation on bullying, there’d be a huge turnout…I think we’re a group of people who understand what it’s like to be bullied and we want to protect our kids from both sides of this—no one wants their kids to be bullied, but no one wants their kid to be a bully either.

My friend helped me realize that we are not alone. That other parents may have an investment in doing this work alongside us. Because they don’t want to see Sam bullied. Because they don’t want to see their own children bullied. Because they don’t want their own kids to be bullies—or to be the kind of people who stand by when they see another person being hurt.

This was a whole new perspective. If the school sees that many parents care about bullying, if we are not the lone squeaky wheel, then maybe we can make a difference.

I’m still brokenhearted about what Sam is going through. But along with brokenhearted, now I’m inspired.




  1. tedra says

    Good for her and you both. I’ve been trying to get the head teacher at my son’s school to let me do an anti-bullying presentation *all year long*–we’ve had several meetings, I’ve shown him materials, I’ve said I want to present to the teachers alone first (and then parents, and then kids) so that at each step the audience can have input onto what’s appropriate (or not) for the next audience. Our school is one that actively relies on–in fact, requires–parent participation in the classroom and PDL.

    And yet he’s put off “scheduling” that initial presentation since September. I’ve finally just dropped it since my son has decided to transfer to a different school next year any way (and because I’m passively-aggressively trying to see if the head teacher will *ever* mention it to me again. So far, he hasn’t). You’re making me think that maybe I oughta corral my mama friends who I know have been hoping he’d let me do this thing into one last meeting with him….

  2. Jill says

    You really should look at the book I suggested
    “have you filled a bucket” it also has a guide I believe called he bucket book. I would suggest presenting them to the principal and teacher. They may not know about the book.

    • Joy says

      WE LOVE THAT BOOK! We shared it with our first grade teacher, and she based the entire next year’s curriculum around the book!

  3. says

    Wow. That’s pretty cool. In BC (Canada) our PTAs are called PACs and this is where this type of thing would be presented first. Which is good as we have a principal that is simply not interested in parents any more than she can manage them or, if there is a problem, shoo them to another school. (!). But I love your friend’s advice. I think it is quite sage.

  4. Joy says

    I totally agree! Each family’s specific reasons for being concerned about bullying vary. However, I think almost all of us ARE concerned about bullying in one form or another. If we build the field, they WILL come! I do believe this! Let’s stay inspired! Let’s do it together!

  5. says

    A reader wrote:

    Yay! Inspiration from talking with a friend is fabulous! Brokenhearted also describes how I feel about Sam’s many challenges as he matures. Good luck getting the administration to take a stand against bullying. Having other parents join you to help is terrific!

  6. says

    A reader wrote in:

    Sometimes I think that bullying is kind of like the fighting that goes on between siblings. No matter how much you try to control it or turn it into a teachable moment,siblings seem to have the need to be mean to each other and fight over the imaginary line in the back seat of every family car.(that was before we had seat belts and carseats) I have been watching the three puppies at my son’s farm. There is a lots of biting and yelping going on. When I get puzzled about things human, I like to remember that we are all animals, only we have this power of words that give us confidence that we are a little wiser. Sometimes, I am not so sure.

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