My twelve-year-old has been the victim of bullying for quite a while. Most of it I didn't know about. What I did know about I addressed as best I could. But last week it got worse and it was time to go to the top of the school system for some results. Which we got, thankfully. It has been dealt with in the short term, including suspensions etc. Hopefully the measures taken and ongoing will result in it not recurring. We'll see.
But one of the amazing things to come out of it is how many people I know, virtually everyone, who spent a good portion of their elementary and/or middle school and/or high school years being bullied to the point of serious trauma, or at least deeply felt and scarring fear.
Something isn't right about our schooling obviously. I already knew about the pedagogical failures—third graders with hours of homework and backaches from so many book to carry home; an overload of methods for teaching the same thing (basic math for instance) in an attempt to include all possible approaches that might help an individual student but ends up overwhelming many; introducing subjects and methods too early in child development (my sixth-grader has already had some subjects I wasn't exposed to until 9th or 10th grade, e.g. learning the periodic table and the names of the elements and their atomic make up etc. or geometry or algebra etc.) in a way that is called "spiraling" which means an introduction to something for a week than an introduction to something else the next week etc. and then in the next year picking up from these bits and pieces by adding more bits and pieces etc., until they're either capable of taking it all in and mastering it or completely confused and at a loss (which seems to be the case more often with the boys, which may help explain the continuing rise in the drop out rate for boys of all ethnicities and why a higher percentage of females graduate college now etc.)...I could go on.
But the main point I meant to make was how debilitating this experience has been for everyone, emotionally and otherwise, including I'm sure for some of the parents of some of the those doing the bullying. Fortunately, it hasn't broken by boy's spirit, but why should he even have to have his spirit tested in this way in a supposedly safe environment?
Here's an article that popped up today in a kind of synchronicity.