View Full Version : Am i overreacting??


clancyfish
03-23-13, 10:19 PM
My 16 yr old son (ADHD medicated) attends a private Christian School. He is a quiet, polite boy and of course, distracted and unfocused in class. Recently on a school excursion, he was paired off with another boy who is a known troublemaker and a rude boy. My son was not pulling his weight on paperwork to do with the excursion and he was told by the other boy, in front of the teacher and the rest of the students that he was 'a retard and will always be a loser in life'. My son came home embarrassed and upset and told me he hates that boy. He also often calls him a retard in class. I wasn't going to take this up with the Deputy Principal as I feel like I'm always battling for my son and nothing ever seems to happen. But I decided that this had to be dealt with. I rang the Deputy Principal, described the incident and her first reaction was 'are you sure your son isn't sending mixed messages? Maybe he thinks it's funny to be called a retard and he doesn't really mind? I argued for 10 minutes about how I found this unacceptable and that the student needs to be taken to task for it. She said the student was a nice boy, just a bit impulsive at times with what he said. She eventually said, after much pushing on my part, that she would tell the boy to stop calling my son a retard as he didn't like it.

Need I say that this boy is the son of a local church minister who are very involved with the school.

I've not had any feedback from the DP even though I asked for it. Do I still pursue this and ring her? She was of the impression that boys will be boys. :mad:

deadmau5
03-23-13, 10:34 PM
No you are not over reacting! If anything I would encourage your son to confront this issue himself, it would teach him valuable skills on how to deal with rude and insulting people he encounters throughout his life.

dvdnvwls
03-23-13, 11:35 PM
I don't know what to say or what to do, but certainly you are not overreacting. If she promised to call by a certain date and that date has passed, then call her. If she promised to call but didn't say when, then wait one more day to give her an extra opportunity, and then call her.

clancyfish
03-24-13, 02:55 AM
thanks for the advice. Yes, I'm going to ring her. I can't quite believe how she seems to be justifying the other boys actions. It's almost like because my son is not a high academic achiever, he is worth less than anyone else.

dvdnvwls
03-24-13, 03:32 AM
... or that the other boy is special because we all know who his father is...

I hope something good can come of this.

SquarePeg
03-24-13, 03:41 AM
WTF was the first thing I thought. No no no this is not acceptable in any way whatsover. Calling someone a retard, whether they like it or not (and Iīm sure he doesnīt) is just not acceptable.

I would ring or go to the school and make sure that this boy has been spoken do and what they plan to do if this behaviour persists.

To say boys will be boys is not dealing with it. I work with young children and, I do not tolerate any name calling or insulting. If a child has called another child something like, stupid, fat, skinny etc I make the child stand up in front of the class and apologise to the other child.

This always gets the full backing from all of the other kids. Teaching kids that bullying is not acceptable needs to start young and include name calling,

DocIsIn5c
03-24-13, 06:01 AM
The word "retard " is never acceptable or appropriate in any circumstances. It is essentially the "f-word" of bullying in terms of inflicting extreme embarrassment and shame on whoever is mocked with it. Even in the last 5-10 years many public schools have specifically taken a stand against this (e.g. The "spread the world to end the word," etc.) When I was still teaching K-12, my kids would take action before I could even speak to shut someone up for saying it.

I am sad to know that other kids are not standing up for your son - especially at such an age where they know better! By not acting on this, the school is ignoring a valid problem of bullying... A lot of new legislation has been passed on this lately and I'm not sure parochial schools are immune from having to address these problems.

Best wishes to you and your son as you try to work through this!

Ms. Mango
03-24-13, 08:57 AM
Is anyone else struck by the irony of a religious school condoning hate speech? When you get resistance again, ask them if these are the morals and values this school teaches. I'm sure the parents of the other kids would be interest to know as well.

The word you are referring to isn't really allowed to be used here in the US--even to describe people with cognitive problems. I have no idea how people feel about it where you are, though.

If it were me, I'd ask that it be addressed as a school-wide issue.

Lunacie
03-24-13, 09:00 AM
:goodpost:

SquarePeg
03-24-13, 09:03 AM
Is anyone else struck by the irony of a religious school condoning hate speech? When you get resistance again, ask them if these are the morals and values this school teaches. I'm sure the parents of the other kids would be interest to know as well.
.
Yes I was struck by this but didnīt bother addressing this issue as it has been my experience that church groups and schools can be demonstrate very unchristian like behaviour. Far more than non religious groups.

Twiggy
03-24-13, 09:57 AM
What a corrupt school! How can the DP say that your son might like being called "retard"?
WTF?

malaka
03-24-13, 10:03 AM
i don't think you're overreacting, i know your son is a teenager but that's still Bullying. Help him as much as you can.

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/thefw.com/files/2013/01/parental-shamming.jpg

Silvermoonstone
03-24-13, 11:22 PM
You're not overreacting at all! I'd say you did the right thing. That's not even just bullying; that'd be borderline discrimination.

I'm not well versed in law, but your son IS registered with a disability. I believe he'd be protected from verbal discrimination - and the school board should know that. Look up what rights your state has on the issue and find what you can to help in the situation.

Perhaps contacting the other boy's parents first would get more done than going to the principal - they can then speak to their own son. If that doesn't work and no one does anything, then you could take it up to the school board. Your son has a right to go to school and not get teased with being called a 'retard'.

deadmau5
03-25-13, 12:35 AM
I'm all for parental support, its always nice to have parents that have your back in these situations, but if your son was to take the primary initiative in handling this situation it could teach him valuable and useful skills that are necessary in this world. I see 16 as a great age to learn how to properly deal with insults directed at him. I feel like Im alone on this one, I just see a great learning opportunity for your son in this situation that will build up self reliance and confidence

Lunacie
03-25-13, 08:21 AM
I'm all for parental support, its always nice to have parents that have your back in these situations, but if your son was to take the primary initiative in handling this situation it could teach him valuable and useful skills that are necessary in this world. I see 16 as a great age to learn how to properly deal with insults directed at him. I feel like Im alone on this one, I just see a great learning opportunity for your son in this situation that will build up self reliance and confidence

Have you read The 30% Rule? (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130)

A 16-year old with ADHD is developmentally delayed in some ways and has
the skills of an 11 or 12-year old. I'm not sure someone that age is ready
to take the initiative on his own, but with backup from the parents, yeah, it
could be good.

Zaashy
03-25-13, 09:35 AM
What about moving him to another school, before the bullying does permanent damage.

Silvermoonstone
03-25-13, 10:09 PM
What about moving him to another school, before the bullying does permanent damage.

I'd agree with that option, especially if the bullying was coming from more than one person. But moving him to a different school would separate him from his current friends too.

A lot of people are saying that he needs to learn to defend himself too, and I would agree with it. Being quiet and shy doesn't mean he should be an easy target for bullies. Teach him to fight back!

clancyfish
03-26-13, 02:15 AM
Thanks all for your responses. It makes me feel a lot better about following through on this. Needless to say the Deputy Principal never rang me back to tell me how this student had been dealt with. I will ring her tomorrow. that is a really good point about the 30% rule....yep, I would say my son is very much a 13 yr old at heart and not a 16 yr old.

Zaashy
03-26-13, 02:46 AM
I'd agree with that option, especially if the bullying was coming from more than one person. But moving him to a different school would separate him from his current friends too.

A lot of people are saying that he needs to learn to defend himself too, and I would agree with it. Being quiet and shy doesn't mean he should be an easy target for bullies. Teach him to fight back!

I been bullied in school and I can tell you fighting with the DP and winning will not make a difference. Children can be mean. Best idea is to ask the child what he wants. I moved to a new school lost my old friends and made new ones. 13 years later my new friends are still in my life. My old friends never stood up for me while my new friends had my back.

Silvermoonstone
03-26-13, 09:50 PM
I been bullied in school and I can tell you fighting with the DP and winning will not make a difference. Children can be mean. Best idea is to ask the child what he wants. I moved to a new school lost my old friends and made new ones. 13 years later my new friends are still in my life. My old friends never stood up for me while my new friends had my back.

I was bullied in high school too - I was the nerdy kid. What was different was I learned to stand up for myself, and it gave me the chance to see who were my real friends that stood beside me, and who were not friends at all.

Yeah, it might be best to ask the kid what HE wants, because he'll be facing it every day. But it would be difficult to transfer schools if he still has good and honest friends for him in the other school. And if it's only one kid, who could be picking on other students, then it's hard to say.

ToneTone
03-27-13, 12:53 PM
Definitely, as everyone has said, you are doing the right thing, and my suggestion is to not hide this from your son.

What you are doing is standing up for him in a way that he cannot stand up for himself. Now typically a person in his situation HATES when mom or dad intervenes on their behalf. They will throw fits and they fear being teased (by the same kid who called him "retard") when that kid learns that you intervened. And indeed that may well happen. That same kid is likely to come up to your son and say, "Why did you have to get your mom involved? Are you a baby?"

Here's the thing though: even if your son is embarrassed about your intervention, you are still setting a good example for the long run. In the long run, he will have it in his head that his mom stood up for him, wasn't afraid to assert herself on his behalf and that this must mean that he's worthy of being stood up for ... and thus worthy of standing up for himself.

So don't worry if he flips out or if the bully taunts him about you making calls. That's the short term awkwardness that young people have a hard time making sense of. Ten years in the future, he will view the situation totally differently.

Good luck.

Tone

qanda
04-24-13, 01:03 PM
In today's schools everyone is integrated. In my daughters school they have a social/emotional group of kids who are integrated and say VERY alarming things to the other students. Their consequences are mild to none at all. This behavior would most likely NOT be tolerated with a coworker, and if it was, I am an adult and would have trouble coming up with a solution. Hope the school takes care of this bully. Perhaps he should spend some time alone until he can better interact with those around him.

Hawutwut
04-24-13, 03:44 PM
Also throwing in my vote for NOT over reacting. Good for you for fighting.

This is unacceptable behavior (certainly un-Christian in my view of the faith) and it is maddening to hear the response of the principal. What other verbal abuse do they accept? What level of bullying isn't ok?

I was also bullied as the nerd and to slow with a comeback and weighed less than my own backpack, so just hunched over and took it. Did nothing to help me, that is for darned sure.

And frankly I've *felt* mentally retarded more than a few times in my life. Slow to mature, confused sometimes, slow to think on my feet, unable to do things I "should" be able to do. So if he has any of these kinds of feelings from ADHD, then being called retard is extra devastating, I would think, when one is an adolescent trying to find self-esteem and a decent self-image, too.