During the years of Bob bullying me, there were many moments where the adults let me down. Looking back, I would chalk most of that up to either a lack of understanding of the issues of bullying or just the “kids being kids” mentality that I think a lot of adults hold about issues of bullying and fighting.
One of the most crushing blows I can remember that made me realize how alone I truly was in my battle with bullies occurred after a rather brutal confrontation when I ended up with a bloody nose after Bob bashed me in the face. It’s hard for me to believe the teachers outside the school did not see that happen, but I have to admit that many of these fights probably only lasted a minute or two. Since I was not fighting back at the time, it was pretty much one punch and out.
After this particular session, I believe the school was finally catching on that I was getting bullied. Option #1 for the school was to have me meet with the principal, a person I’m not sure I had ever met before. I vividly remember nervously sitting outside her office. There were children’s books there and I recall picking up a “Curious George” book about him ending up at the hospital. While in the hospital, Curious George finds a canister of Ether. He ends up sucking up the Ether and goes into a dreamlike state. At that time that seemed pretty appealing to me. Maybe that’s why the memory sticks with me. Interestingly enough, years later my son had that book. As I was reading it to him I noticed that the whole Ether section was removed from the book (I’m sure the powers that be decided that it wasn’t good for the kids to see Curious George high from Ether). But I digress. Back to the real story.
So, I was reading this book and then the Principal’s door opened. Out she came. I recall her to be a cherubic woman who seemed to tower over me. She called me into her office. I sat down with my nose stuffed with a tissue still wet from perspiration and tears. I recall the Principal asking me many questions about what happened. About who it was that did this and about why I think this was happening. I don’t ever recall her asking about how I felt and she didn’t even involve my mother, which may have been good or bad.
After several minutes of questioning, she was done. She claimed she would take care of it and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Then she sent me off. I was more petrified than ever. Should I have told her Bob’s name? What is she going to do? What should I do?
The next day it started. Now Bob and his cronies were really mad at me. Now I was just a RAT! No adults were watching closely. For the next several weeks I just played very close to the teachers outside, so they couldn’t come after me. The Principal never called me in again. Now, I was referred to the school psychologist, who I had to start meeting with several times a week.
Nothing was solved by my meeting with the Principal. No follow-up was done on her part. In fact, I got the impression she avoided me like the plague after that meeting. More about the psychologist and those mistakes to come in future stories.
Did anyone else have negative experiences with school administration? Please share via comments here if you would like. I look forward to hearing your side of the story.