This is the seventh post in a series about my son’s recent experience with bullying at school.
One day last week Sam’s PE teacher, Coach Z, came up to me and said that there is a girl, Janette who is picking on Sam relentlessly, laughing at Sam and making nasty comments. She just won’t stop, he told me. I asked him to separate them, and he said he already had.
The next day, Sam came home and said that because Janette had been moved so far away from Sam that she could no longer say anything to him without being overheard, she started throwing balls at his head.
We emailed Coach Z. We emailed Sam’s teacher. We emailed the principal. We waited for nothing meaningful to be done.
And you know what? Coach Z sent us an email the next day saying he’d launched an anti-bullying program in PE.
He said that this isn’t just an issue between Sam and Janette. He said that bullying involves a bully-victim-bystander relationship, and sent us online links so we could learn more about this concept. And he said that he would conduct classroom sessions using the curriculum from BrainPOP to increase all students’ awareness of how to avoid bullying in PE. “If someone is ignoring bullying and not taking action,” Coach Z said, “they are no different from the bully.”
He also talked about how Sam can make better choices about engaging in a bullying situation, and suggested things we can talk to Sam about to facilitate his learning.
Coach Z doesn’t know we’re organizing parents and trying to get the school to implement a comprehensive anti-bullying program. He didn’t get the principal’s approval to launch a new program. He didn’t consult anyone. He just said: enough. I’m going to do something about this. And he did.
I love you, Coach Z.