It’s an ugly world that we’re raising kids in these days. But what do you do when your daughter gets bullied in the 5th grade? Not a little picking, we’re talking full-blown threats to her livelihood. Our experience with bullies in today’s middle school.
I always thought…not my Bug. Who would bully her? I mean, she’s a bad ass so everyone should be scared of her, right? Totally wrong because she’s not a bully…just a bad ass (I say that with love). There’s a difference.
Bad Ass vs Bully: There’s a Difference
A bad ass kid, like my Bug, just does her own thing. She’s not overly nice to others most times, does and says what she wants, and she doesn’t always fit in. She doesn’t usually care. The kid talks back often, refuses to listen (even if it’s for her own good), but she hurts no one really, at least not in a threatening way.
A bully, on the other hand, is a whole different (disgusting) breed. They thrive on drama, chaos, and instilling fear in others. We all know, as adults, that a bully is just a weak person who enjoys intimidating others, but let’s get back to bullying in the 5th grade. A 5th grader (or 6th, 7th, 8th…oh, really through adulthood) bully cares only about himself. The adrenaline rush they get (I suppose) from preying on the fears and vulnerability of others is what fuels their disgraceful fire and they’ll stop at nothing short of a scared fellow human, a brawl, or unfortunately in our case, a small-scale riot. Bullies are assholes.
Bad ass kids are confused and hormonal. Again, there’s a difference! Neither is OK if you’re a parent, but one is understandable; the other is NOT.
Let’s Talk about Bug’s Bully…
Well, let’s back up first. The bully thing all started when she entered the 5th grade, middle school in our parts. I mean, there were issues in elementary school, of course, but nothing that brought blood-curdling fear into my body and mind. That started here, this year, in the 5th grade. I may be saying in the 5th grade a lot, because that’s important. We all hear of crime every day and as sad as it is, that’s the world we live in. But that crime comes out of poverty, ignorance, adulthood…right? WRONG! Apparently it happens in 5th grade now, and I’ve had enough!
Where it all began…
There was a girl in gym class who didn’t like my Bug. I mean, I get it, we don’t all have to like everyone. Dodgeball was a target session against my daughter. Basketball games were a game of dodgeball for my daughter. It just didn’t stop. We went to the office and reported it. It stopped. Not sure if that girl got in trouble or not, don’t care, but it stopped. Whew!
Fast forward two weeks…Bug had an issue with a kid in gym class. He’d been unkind to her all through elementary school (which I knew) and it escalated one day at gym class (notice a theme yet?). He picked, he prodded, she SLAPPED him. OMG…my kid was the bully. But no, she fought back, the school recognized it, she got ISS. She did the crime, she did the time. I supported their decision. The end, or so I thought.
Fast forward yet another week…Bug was now labeled as a “fighter”. It spiraled. The girl that had SPENT THE NIGHT at my house that Saturday, the one that had been friends with Bug since the 2nd grade…yea, that one…got mad at Bug in the hallway over a hug. A HUG by both of their admission. In gym class that day (come on now…you see where the issue is here, right?), this girl…bully…approached Bug. She threw up a hand, a fist, and swung. Bug ducked. The bully provoked her with “hit me, just hit me first so I can hit you and get this over with”. Bug refused (good Bug!) and the kids, the bully’s thugs, started chanting to provoke a fight! The gym teacher gave both girls in-class ISS, the vice principal talked to them. That was it. So we thought.
The next morning, Bug sat far away from the girl she formerly called friend. Didn’t work. Her big sister (yes, 7th graders can seem very intimidating and a lot bigger to 5th graders) approached her and said,
Leave my fucking sister alone. Just wait until I catch you in the bathroom alone because I’m gonna FUCK YOU UP!
Let that sink in.
She said it low, but it was in a room full of students and administrators. She wasn’t scared of getting in trouble. She was bullying my daughter. In the adult world, that’s a terroristic threat punishable by law. In the world of the middle school bullies, it’s nothin’ but a thang.
I seriously need for you to let that sink in!
I got a text from my daughter within five seconds of the incident. My bad ass kid was scared, as was I. Have you seen the Lifetime movies where one high school girl (they haven’t made one about middle school YET) gets mad at another so she gets a group of friends together and they take the other girl in the bathroom and start to beat her just to scare her, but things go too far and that girl hits her head on the sink and dies then everyone’s sorry? Yea, I’ve seen them too and that’s all I saw in my head that very second I got the message from my daughter.
Might sound a little dramatic, but is it really? Not in my head. Not on the news!
What to Do When Your Daughter Gets Bullied?
My reaction was to immediately call the school and insist (NO I DO NOT CARE THAT THEY ARE IN A MORNING MEETING) that I speak with someone immediately. I got the counselor. Very kind, very understanding, very empathetic, but her daughter hadn’t just been threatened. She would do something RIGHT AWAY and call me right back. Seconds turned into minutes, turned into hours, turned into a return call. She’d “handled” it. The bully and her bully sister have a rough life (I know this!) and they’re sorry. Of course they’re sorry they got caught! You know, getting caught for telling someone you’ll FUCK THEM UP is a big deal.
The girls can never speak to Bug again. Did I want to push ISS? No, what good does that do? Oh nothing you say…yea, me too, but my daughter “served her time”. Whatever. Stop the bullying!
That wasn’t the last instance. New girl, different day. The thing is, bullying, threatening (KILLING, we’ve seen it!) in schools, even middle schools, these days is a thing. How did we get to this place? How did we let this world break like this? When, where did it happen and how in the hell do we just make it stop?
My daughter doesn’t deserve to be bullied, neither does anyone else’s daughter or son. What are we going to do? What do you do when your daughter or son gets bullied? Bug’s a very different person than what she was before all of this happened. It’s heartbreaking and I need to do more; we all need to do more!