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Call to meet w/the school what?!

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sad12008 posted 12/4/2013 09:01 AM

Can I get a break, one maelstrom-less day? Not today!

First, I have two good kids...even if they weren't (but they are, naturally), they'd be hard-pressed to be bad given we live off in the woods and neither has a driver's license.

One of them (Sophomore) has PDD-NOS, manifesting much like Asperger's. Every day at school he gets teased, bullied, made fun of, excluded, etc. etc. Yesterday when I caught up with him after school, he told me that a classmate had thrown a pencil at him, hitting his clavicle. He struggles with staying on task and remembering to turn things in. He is, however, quite bright.

So a short while ago I get a call from the principal's secretary asking if I can come meet with the principal. When I looked at my calendar and suggested Friday, she said, "I think he wants to meet with you's about a situation..."

I try hard to be a good parent, to help keep the kids doing the right thing and in particular help my son stay strong and not be destroyed by the daily environment he must go into. I don't know what I'm going to hear at this meeting but I have a feeling I'm going to feel like crying (again).

BTW, I will say I like the principal and I do think the school in general tries to help; however, classes of 35 kids +/- with one teacher who is out in the hallway during class changes offer plenty of opportunities for even the dullest bully to fly under the radar and pick on others without administrative detection or consequences.

Thanks for reading this rambling sadness. I could use some mojo that it's nothing too bad.

tushnurse posted 12/4/2013 09:12 AM

Take a deep breath. Honestly unless he retaliated in some way, that he was provoked in you know he's a good kid that minds his own business.

A little bullying helps to build character honestly, he will be the one to be able to tolerate that crazy boss in life, and let it roll while everyone else is coming undone because no one was ever mean to them.

I get where you are coming from, my DS is very similar, and definitely on the Aspergers spectrum. He tends to be impulsive when others push too far. Usually that person is his sister, so we deal with that at home.

((((and strength)))

jo2love posted 12/4/2013 23:25 PM


I hope everything is ok.

Bobbi_sue posted 12/5/2013 08:15 AM

A little bullying helps to build character honestly, he will be the one to be able to tolerate that crazy boss in life,
I so disagree! It just happens that I am quite experienced with being bullied and so are most of my siblings. I do think most of us have good character, but that is because of what our mother (who died 20 years ago today) taught us, not because of being bullied in school.

Being bullied taught us to be shy and often afraid to stand up for ourselves because it would be one against many and you couldn't win. So it was best to pretend you didn't notice the things said (or even thrown at you) and telling teachers and adminstrators didn't usually help much and sometimes caused the bullying to increase. He'll be the one to tolerate that crazy boss? No he will be the one to let his crazy boss shit on him every day instead of standing up for himself. Believe my, I have watched all my brothers live their entire lives with their wives and other people treating them like crap beyond belief, and they just take it.

My son was bullied some in school, and hated school and had some of the issues you describe with your son. I know not everyone would have this option, but I took him out and homeschooled him for a year. Then he finished his senior year at a private school with only 11 kids in the graduating class.

tushnurse posted 12/5/2013 08:41 AM

Bobbi I said a LITTLE, not months, and years of it.

I too was bullied, and had some very horrible things happen to me as a teen, and the worst of it was the school made me out to be the bad guy, because a group of girls convinced them of it. It taught me that things in life aren't always right, and don't always go the way they should, but you will live through it and if it doesn't really hurt you mentally or physically at the end of the day you can choose to dismiss them.

I can honestly tell you from my personal experiences and those that others went through that we are the people that can diplomatically stand up to others, and speak our minds effectively. If that doesn't get through to the offending party we also know that there are easier paths in life, and can choose them if we want.

I am sorry for your personal experiences, and losses. I do agree that long term it can be detrimental, but I also know that if you can let it roll off, if it's just words, then you will be much happier. My son is able to that knowing that the kids that were assholes to him when he was a "spaz" in elementary school are now the kids on the fast track to becoming ditch diggers, while he is on the fast track to becoming a veterinarian.

sad12008 posted 12/5/2013 12:19 PM

Thanks for the support, everyone, I really appreciate it!

Tragically, the frequency of the bullying my DS has endured has been in the vein Bobbi_sue described, tushnurse; I actually did wind up pulling him out of school after 6th grade and homeschooled 7th and 8th.

Being bullied taught us to be shy and often afraid to stand up for ourselves because it would be one against many and you couldn't win. So it was best to pretend you didn't notice the things said (or even thrown at you)...

A steady diet of ridicule, isolation, mocking and harassment is hell and extremely detrimental to the child. My sense is the individual's own personal strength, resilience, and home environment are the mitigating factors in how the former victims of bullying make out in adult life.

The only 'silver lining' in a very modest amount of bullying might be if the child learns that bullying really hurts and can extrapolate that out to, "hey, I shouldn't bully others b/c it hurts". Unfortunately, it seems most of the kids who are bullied aren't served a small amount of it but rather a regular onslaught...particularly notable w/ASD kids because their social deficits make them easy targets.

BUT I digress~ (How unusual!)

The meeting went okay: the principal, an assistant principal, a guidance counselor, and my DS all wound up attending. Evidently someone had made an anonymous report to the school tip line (I'm not sure what it's called) saying that (paraphrasing) "this kid's been saying hateful things about other students and then he has a picture of himself with a gun on FB". I think if the reporter really was concerned (& I'm trying to assume they were), s/he did the right thing to report it.

I am FB friends with my DS and monitor his FB closely; I've had him yank questionable content in the past (F-bombs, that kind of thing) and talk with him to try and help him learn what is and is not appropriate and why. With ASD kids it's never a one-time discussion or lesson! Honestly, I never saw this picture...which was him posing with one of airsoft rifles. I don't know how it got past me...I haven't had time to analyze the photo yet (question if maybe he'd posted it the night before, b/c of the shirt he was wearing?). We live in a fairly rural place in the South and let's just say it's a gun culture even in the high school. There's a shooting team, just about every other male student seems to hunt (or that's the impression you get), and so forth. So the rifle posing isn't quite as "Yikes!"-ish as it would be were we in a less gun-crazy place. When the principal asked the "why?", he in a rather embarrassed way said, "I dunno...I kinda thought it looked cool?"

The "hateful things" are directly related to the bullying. I've had that conversation with him, too, about the post-Columbine world and how saying things like, "I wish (tormentor's name) would just die!" could be misconstrued and so forth. I certainly can't blame him for hating the living tar out of the individuals who make his life so miserable...I just try to help him express it in ways that don't make him sound like a loose cannon. Lord knows I know the strength of emotion I felt post DD, and I know I said/wrote some pretty violent-sounding things relative to some of the key players, but I never once had any intent for personal action...more like, "if this were to happen, I wouldn't shed any tears". (Okay, maybe it was more like, "if this were to happen, I'd throw a friggin' party!")

The principal was clear and fair with him; they asked him about what's been going on most recently (he told them) and told him (in what I felt was a genuine way) to come tell them in addition to the classroom teacher as these things occur so they could get involved. The counselor helped him get around the school firewall to remove the picture, and I think my DS had the bejesus scared out of him, and I'm guessing it was an educable moment. I need to double-check that his FB permissions are still set to "just friends" on who gets to see his stuff...he has only a very few local FB friends and so how the picture wound up reported is a little mystifying.

Anyway, very long post but I wanted to let you all know how it played out and say thank you! Now I can await the next crisis (after I check the DS's FB privacy setttings).

[This message edited by sad12008 at 12:20 PM, December 5th (Thursday)]

ajsmom posted 12/5/2013 12:38 PM

I don't know how it got past me

You can filter each post to block out certain people. That's probably what he did knowing you're watching.

You may want to scroll down his wall WITH him.


MovingUpward posted 12/5/2013 12:38 PM

FWIW, you need to have his FB login and password to appropriately monitor. FB makes it very easy to hide posts from a friend or a subset of friends which is why you might have missed it.

musiclovingmom posted 12/5/2013 14:52 PM

Just a heads up, checking his privacy settings won't necessarily fix the problem. Each time you post, you can choose the privacy for that specific post. It is possible that he posted that picture 'public except for . . .' And had you listed as an exception.

tushnurse posted 12/5/2013 15:19 PM

One other lasts trick with facebook is setting up multiple FB accounts withthe same name. I had my boy do this.....Oh and Yah what you said here...." With ASD kids it's never a one-time discussion or lesson! "....Is so very very true. My H gets frustrated over telling our son not to do the same things over and over and over. We just had a blow up about something he did twice this summer that ended badly, and he did it again today. He turns on the oven without checking if things are in there, he has ruined more than one bucket of honey this way. We put honey in there at 100 degrees to decrystialize and it can stay in there for days. So now my house smells like scorched honey, and I'm not sure I will ever get my oven clean again.....But I digress.....LOL Apple doesn't fall far....

Glad it wasn't anything too horrible, and it was a productive meeting.

sad12008 posted 12/5/2013 19:27 PM

Thanks AGAIN, you all! Honestly, I was so ignorant about FB I didn't realize how ignorant I was! I'm still not sure if any of the sneaky-type stuff was involved (occupied with DD all afternoon)...but WOW.

Seriously, it appears I have a formidable learning curve...that I didn't know I was facing. Sheesh, how come I didn't know how to do all this cool stuff...I've edited myself a few times so as not to trod heavily upon the toes of friends or family.

@Moo: I do have the log-in stuff, fortunately, but hadn't felt it was needed up 'til you guys sprung all these revelations on me. I mainly had it because I think it's a good policy for all accounts minor children have, and also for the possible occasion where he might have posted something that needed a revision and he was at school and unable to change it.

@tushnurse: my H gets frustrated with DS from time to time, too; rather ironic given his own quirks on occasion. I on the other hand often harken back to my DS's first preschool teacher who said (to paraphrase), "with these kids, you may have to tell them something 1,000 times...but on the thousand-and-first time, it sticks". I take comfort in that, and keep on.

Again, thank you!

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