Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting All Scrappy!

This story starts with my arriving at my eldest son's school yesterday at the end of the school day.  Per my normal, I'm juggling one child tugging away on one arm and my blackberry in the other trying to work and scanning the herd of kids pouring from the school's exit.  I secure E, and we start to head to the parking lot when we are approached by one of E's friends and he starts to ask how E's doing and if he's OK or scared.  Immediately, my mind freezes.  I hear the words "will he really kill you?".  WHAT???

Everything comes to a screeching halt.  All I can get out of the story is that there was a much older boy threatening to kill my son at the lunch hour recess.  That my son's friends were rallying around him to keep this kid away.  I quickly gather up the whole gang and herd them to the office.  Clearly, this is a matter that cannot wait.  My son is being bullied!  Something needs to be done right now!

We pour into the VP's office and give what little details we knew.  We don't even know the name of the older kid.  We don't know what grade or home room either.  But what we have is a death threat and the fact that the perpetrator has "crazy" hair as the only working description.  The VP promises to take the oldest of this group to each room in the morning to find the bully.  The situation is a priority and she will update me immediately upon arriving at a conclusion.

I thank E's friends, stagger off to my car with my kids and head home feeling as if I've been kicked hard.  It hadn't occurred to me that there could be a true threat of serious violence until just before I drifted off to sleep, the thought that older kids can sometimes bring weapons to schools.  There have been scatterings of stories in the news over the last couple of years.  Could that kind of thing happen in my own back yard?  The panic set in...I was wide awake!

This morning we arrived at the school.  I had a quick conference with my son's teacher.  The school was on alert and we were assured that before the first recess the boy would be in the office.  My husband K. and I sat in the office entertaining our youngest while E attended his regular class with the watchful eye of his teacher.  We sat there.   K and I were the united front.  We said we'd wait even if it took all day.  Three hours later we were escorted into the VP's office.  Armed for confrontation we bristle.

The VP recounted this story:  E had been playing over on the other side of the yard per his usual.  The more rambunctious kids from E's class were tearing around the yard and ran by some older boys sitting on the school's steps talking about a video game.  The suspect turned to his buddy and said something about killing the boss in his game when the kids ran by and heard "I'm going to kill...."  next thing you know they are asking the boy "why are you going to kill E.?"  "You can't do that!"   The older boy blows them off and goes back to his teenage angst.

With their wild imaginations they tear back to where E is playing blissfully unaware of anything else and they recount this boy's threat.  They pull E over to where the girls are gathered.  They hide him under a coat with a stuffed animal for protection and the girls stand guard while the boys gather together a somewhat large grade two army to wage war on this older boy.  After chasing the suspect around the school yard for a bit they tackle him and commence pummelling him until the guard comes over to break it up and apparently bemused by the tale she tells them to go to opposite ends of the yard and quit it.

Each time I recount the story in my mind I hear the Benny Hill theme.  I chuckle though it's funny, it's not funny.  This whole situation revisited a huge fear of ours.  Today was an amusing story.  Next time, we may not be so lucky to walk away unscathed.  I also feel bad for the boy who was pounced upon in front of his friends by a bunch of 6 year-olds.  That might be hard to live down.

All of the kids involved learned lessons today.  Unfortunately, I have the feeling that I'll be chatting with this particular VP quite a bit for the next 9 years.

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