Talk about school violence---and school cruelty. : LUSENET : Novenotes : One Thread

Talk about school violence---and school cruelty.--Al

-- Al Schroeder (, March 06, 2001


Whoo. After reading Patrick's entry yesterday, what else is there to say? I remember the pain of watching our 5 kids go through junior high--surely the worst time in anybody's life. All those kids with raging hormones thrown together just itching to do *something*. It was so bad with our oldest son that we ended up taking him out of school and letting him go to live with friends in Brasil for a year because we were afraid of his committing suicide as a result of all the teasing he was enduring--and his terrible temper.

Our second son was briefly in counseling at school, which he detested, because of his inability to cope with the teasing. He was in theatre and everyone thought he was gay and made his life miserable.

#3 son made it through all right--he's pretty adaptable, but #4 son took to sneaking booze from his friend's house and the two of them were kicked out one day for being drunk. Somehow the problems were better once all the kids got to high school, but children can be so incredibly cruel and adults just don't pay enough attention to someone who is suffering--or to the aggressors.

For gay kids it's particularly difficult. the greatest majority of suicides among children are of gay kids who have been harassed at school. I encourage people to read Bill's Story:

It's so important that we find a way to reduce the harassment and violence in schools...and keep those guns out of the hands of children!

-- Bev Sykes (, March 07, 2001.

The worst thing about public schools is that we have to pay for them, even if they ignore all the basic needs of our kids. Think about it -- look at Bev Sykes' post. Four kids, three of them endangered by their required school experience. What other institution could inflict that sort of damage on our children with impunity?

I'm in favor of gun control and parents taking responsibility for their kids, but there has to be more focus on the undisputable fact that the schools themselves are a contributing factor in this tragic string of killings. It's amazing how calmly we -- the culture of bike helmets and seat belt laws -- accept the idea that high school is a four-year hazing period that kids must face unprotected.

-- Tom Dean (, March 07, 2001.

I couldn't agree with you more, Tom, about the school's responsibility in all of this. One of our kids had such a serious problem that I went to the school counselor for help and he essentially said there was nothing he had to offer me--neither at the school, or professionally outside the school or anything. When #5 child was caught drinking I went to the counselor again and he practically threw me out of his office, saying he had no time to talk to me.

This doesn't mean I abdicate responsibility to the schools, but there should be some sort of guidance from the professionals when you are at your wits end in knowing how to deal with the treatment your child is receiving and when you feel helpless to do anything. Parents shouldn't be put in the position of forcing their child to go into a painful environment every day with no help from the people in charge.

Patrick is right when he says that if parents did to kids what kids did to kids, they would be branded a child abusers and the children would be taken by Child Protective Services.

-- Bev Sykes (, March 07, 2001.

I'm not sure what we need to do. I teach lower el. special ed. Most the regular ed. kids feel very motherly and loving to the special ed. kids, wanting to help them out. At what age does it change, where it's no longer ok to be different? Upper el? Junior high? Or is it a gradual thing that we aren't catching on to? I know many reg. ed. and spec. ed. kids go through living hell in high school, and I wonder what it is that will turn some of my sweet second graders into tormenters as they grow older. Any ideas?

-- AJ (, March 07, 2001.

Did you guys see on the news today (Thursday), though, that the shooter in CA went to court *alone*? According to ABC, his father (local to him) hadn't visited him in jail even once - the mother is 2,000 miles away but even so .... I usually have no particular sympathy for killers, even children who kill, but in this case, my heart just went out to that poor boy. I can't even fathom anything any of my children could do that would prompt me to completely abandon them. Catherine

-- Catherine (, March 08, 2001.

That's one of the saddest things I've read. This helps explain some of this boy's problems, doesn't it.

-- Bev Sykes (, March 08, 2001.

Studies have shown a significant percentage of childhood suicides are due to bullying. How many lives have been lost over the years because of this problem? (And how many kids went through hell but did not commit suicide?) Yet the problem has received little more than cursory treatment.

Until now. Commit suicide and nobody notices. Shoot up the school and people pay attention. If more kids would shoot up the school instead of silently committing suicide this problem would finally be effectively dealt with.

-- Dave Van (, March 13, 2001.

As a victom, I had repressed all memories of being bullied - until my son started having trouble last year in 6th grade. Some of my experiences are at:

Frank Peretti's, "The Wounded Spirit" as helped me greatly.


-- Ed (, August 18, 2001.

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