My Experience With Cyber Bullies
I am going to share a rather lengthy post about my experience a few years ago with bullying. I haven’t shared this with anyone before other than immediate family as it was a low point in my life. I felt I needed to share it with a =ll the sadness that has been going on lately with Bullies. Sorry for the length but it is a very important topic we as parents should be more involved in.
There is a very good reason why I homeschool. It is among many good reasons but one that I strongly think was the best decision I ever made. It has to do with bullies and the fact that in this day and age, with the technology they have at their finger tips extended to the Internet. But mine is a rare story, one that rocked me with heartache, but let me set up for you what happened to set it all off.
My son, who is a good kid, was homeschooled from second grade to fourth. He begged me to go to school like other kids, his friends, so for fifth grade I caved in. He went to a wonderful school and did really well, thanks to his teacher. Then he entered middle school and just about everything I feared started happening. I didn’t like his set of friends, he became somewhat a smart mouth little kid, except he was tall. I started debating weather I should take him out of school again or not when one night things changed.
I was told by another parent that his friend that he was hanging out with was arrested for violence after school for beating another child with a skateboard. I immediately forbade him from being around him which did not make him a popular kid, because “His momma wouldn’t let him come out and play”. He was being teased at school and I had had enough, but my last straw came later that evening when my son was on his computer which was right next to mine and he said some kid was harassing him over IM. I went over to see what was going on and this kid was telling him to watch his back after school tomorrow because he was going to be jumped by some other boys. This kid went on calling him nasty names and saying he was going to cut him up. (*Disclaimer, I pretended to be my son after my initial shock wore off and I asked the kid what he was going to do to “me” and he fell into my trap, I did prompt out of him the really nasty stuff) I then hit print and had the whole conversation on paper.
I took that paper to the school officer early the next morning, he pulled all the boys into a room with my son and I and flat out asked if I wanted to press charges. I had thought about that long and hard, and said “no” because I could tell they were scared and wanted to see if they could reform. The officer told me I had 30 days to file a report if I changed my mind, and those boys left my son alone. After a long conversation with my husband we decided that we would pull him back out of school but decided to let him finish out the year because he only had 7 weeks left. BIG MISTAKE!!!
The worst day of my life was about to happen, but let me back up to the night before. I walked past my son on the computer next to me quite a few times and noticed that every time I got up he would minimize the window. After the fifth time of him doing so I demanded to see what he was doing. I was worried the boys were after him again, boy was I in for a shock! He was on IM again, but this time he was threatening another boy, saying he was going to beat his ass after school and maybe even bring along a few of his friends. I about passed out! After what we just went through I was livid! But I knew what I had to do. I printed it off with my son asking me why I was printing and when I turned with tears in my eyes to tell him that I was taking him to the police at school the next morning he freaked out.
I spent that whole night in tears, sobbing because I had to turn my son in, knowing that the officer was going to ask the other kids parents if they wanted to press charges and my son would be arrested for the same damn thing he was afraid of before. I was severely disappointed in him and very, very sad. I don’t think he believed I would do it, but bright and early the next morning I took him to his school and turned him in. When I walked in the officer said, “Are those boys going after him again?” to which I said, “No, this time my son has threatened another child”, and handed him the papers. The officer was shocked and then recovered and told me that I knew the next steps to which I managed to squeak out a “yes”. I was sent home to await news on the situation and when I turned to walk away my son was crying, his face covered with his hands. That was so very painful, I can’t even describe that feeling.
I sobbed all the way home and pretty much either sat on the couch in a daze or paced the floor for what seemed like an eternity when the phone finally rang. My heart stopped and I couldn’t move. I snapped out of it and answered the phone. The officer was on the other end of the line, telling me that the other parents came to the conclusion that if I could turn my own son over to the police then I was a very involved parent and I cared about his future and about him and that they were not going to press charges…they were not going to press charges!!!!!! I dropped to my knees and started bawling like a baby, my daughter took the phone and hung up and put her arms around me, fearing the worst, but I told her they weren’t going to press charges and she was so happy.
I can’t tell you how much of a roller coaster that time was. I was so mad that those other boys wanted to hurt my son and then so pissed that he didn’t learn a lesson and did it to someone else. I felt that my only choice was to turn him over and let him see that way that I loved him enough to help him. I am so blessed that the other boys parents found it in there heart to not press charges and to see that I was a good mother. Heck the officer even commended me on doing what I did. I cared and wanted it all to stop.
See I have been on both sides of the fence and neither one is nice. I ask parents to become more involved with their children. And support the end of all types of bullying by reaching out to their children and being involved in their lives. All the boys involved in both situations learned a very valuable lesson and have all gone on to be good kids, except one, but I have done all I can do. Have you?