By Vickie Martin
My son was in the 6th grade. His first year at that hormonal hell they call Middle School. He started having trouble with a kid that he had previously been friends with…until we caught the little jerk stealing my son’s Hot Wheels cars which were all one of a kind. I went to his parents, they recognized the description of the car and made him apologize and return it. After that it was game on. Their seating in classes were alphabetical so they sat next to each other. The kid would threaten my son, call him filthy names, say things to him where the teacher couldn’t hear.
My son told me about all of this. So I told him to go to his teacher after class and ask to be moved and explain why. He did. She refused. The bullying kept up. Pencils in my sons back…I saw the point marks on his shirts…short kidney punches…name calling. So I told my son to go to the school counselor. He did. Nothing changed. So I myself went up to school and was told that they had spoken to the student who denied it. They hadn’t seen or heard anything so there was nothing they could do.
So fast forward a few weeks later. My sons grades were starting to drop. He didn’t want to go to school. He was frustrated and angry all the time. So…one morning while driving him to school he told me he felt like he was losing his mind, that he couldn’t take much more. I asked him if it was right that if he laid a hand on another kid…even in self defense…he would be suspended for 3 days. He said that was correct, and I told him “Well then make it count. Don’t hit him in the mouth because of his braces. But beat the holy hell out of that little asshole and show everyone you aren’t taking this crap anymore. You have my blessing.”
He did. My son was a tall and big kid for his age…he just didn’t want to fight. School called me to come and get him and were APPALLED that I had told him that. He took his 3 days and after that the kid wouldn’t even look in his direction.
Maybe not the best recourse, but bullies only understand when they get back what they give. And I was proud of him.
Originally shared on Quora.