My 19-year-old son was a victim of constant bullying from 3rd grade until his senior year. He is highly gifted and has a gentle, sensitive spirit. He was king of the classroom until the 3rd grade when running fast and throwing a ball accurately suddenly became more important than being smart.
As a single, working mother, it was nearly impossible for me to wade through the ignorance of the teachers, administrators and even counselors who were supposedly experts to get my child protected. But, wade through and suffer concussions from brick walls, I did. Their answer was usually blaming the victim. That ignorance coupled with the impossible task of getting his intellectual needs met, and finally the deep corruption that I experienced as an employee of the public school system is why I have chosen to homeschool his brother.
In Frank's sophomore year, when he was 6'2" tall, had begun Jeet Kune Do instruction, and harbored considerable rage because of constant torment by classmates, we were advised by the school principal that he should fight back. The principal was sure because of my son's size that he could "beat up" the bullies and win any fights.
To make matters worse, I, in a moment of temporary insanity, agreed with the principal. Perhaps the years of hearing that same mantra from the supposed "experts" had dulled my senses. We discovered from the sheriff that the advice could win my son a permanent record and probation and get me sued. I still shudder when I consider the consequences that might have occurred had my son followed such foolish advice.
I am also guilty of advising him to try to fit in and not be quite so different. How asinine of me! I cherish and celebrate my son's courage and individuality, it is what sets him apart and ABOVE. I am thankful God gave me such a sensible child.
Frank was attacked from behind one day, pushed down then before he could get up his attacker kicked him in the face. His nose was broken. We pressed charges and the boy got sent to an alternative school and was on probation for 18 months. But the best part...he had to get a job and pay back every penny we spent in medical expenses. I gave the money to Frank, of course. That was SO sweet!
The years of torment have certainly caused deep psychological wounds; however, Frank is now 6'3" tall, graduated valedictorian and is the youngest person ever to hold a black belt in Jeet Kune Do--nobody messes with him. He continues to be a gentle, sensitive, charitable spirit with considerable self-control and character. He is a nuclear engineer major at a university.
The tables have turned--no matter how fast you can run you had better be plenty smart. Frank takes delight in knowing that someday his tormentors will likely pump his gas or mow his lawn.
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