I am really angry today. In fact, I’m livid.
When I went to pick the kids up this afternoon, I went to Charlyse’s classroom first. She seemed quite agitated. She told me that some older boys (Year 5) had hurt James today. When I asked her to elaborate, she said that one of the boys pushed James into a wall, tackled him to the ground, and stepped on his finger. I took Charlyse’s hand and walked quickly to James’s classroom, expecting the teacher to give me some details of the incident.
I arrived at his classroom and James came outside. I went in to see his teacher and asked James to come with me, which he did. When I asked her what had happened in the playground at lunchtime, she seemed rather blasé about it and couldn’t tell me much. I was informed that the vice principal was the person who had handled the matter, and that it had all “been dealt with”.
Now, I am not the type of mum who assumes her son is innocent in an incident. In fact, often that is not the case at all. James does have a bit of trouble controlling his temper, and he does tend to lash out at others who are in his way (thanks to a number of factors). It’s something we are always keeping an eye on when he’s around us. So, in this instant, I was concerned that James had been the instigator. The Vice Principal informed this was not the case.
It turns out that James and his friends were sitting in the Year 2 lunch area when a group of Year 5 boys came along. James, being Mr Know-It-All, informed the boys that they weren’t supposed to be in that area. And that’s why the older boys turned on him.
I wish I knew exactly what happened, but James doesn’t want to talk about it. He won’t give me any information on who the boys were or what they did to him. I think he is worried about the consequences, or perhaps he wants to fit in so desperately that he doesn’t want to cause waves. I do know that his finger was sore and bleeding from where one of the boys stepped on it. The only information I do have is via a third party – Charlyse. And the details are sketchy.
I wanted to go to the office and have it out with the VP. In fact, Julian was so mad that he wanted to wring someone’s neck. Preferably the Year 5 boys who did this to him. But we know that’s not possible, it’s just not allowed (unfortunately). James won’t talk about it, so we have nothing really to go on. And so, these boys will get away with it.
It makes me mad that we have to go through the school to get issues like this dealt with. Often the school’s hands are tied and they can’t do much. If I was allowed, I’d find the boy and I’d rip into him. I’d let him know how it feels to be bullied, and physically assaulted. Regardless of his size. There are some people out there who believe bullying is character-building. Character-building, my arse! No child should have to go to school and be scared of another child. School is supposed to be safe, secure, a place of learning and respect. But in reality, school can be absolutely terrifying.
In the case of James, he is already dealing with enough, without having to put up with bullying, or name calling, or kids sniggering at him because he’s in a special needs buggy. School should be a place where he can be with friends, and have some fun, and learn about the world. It’s a place where he should feel nurtured and safe. But I’m not sure it is.
I think most people don’t understand the seriousness of a potential injury to James. If he hurts his leg, if he breaks it, he may never walk again. Ever. And once he stops walking, the disease takes hold pretty fast. Which is why we basically wrap him in cotton wool and make him take so many drugs and supplements. I know most kids break a bone or two at some stage in their life. But the thought of James breaking a bone terrifies me. And this is why I worry so much about him being attacked by other kids. Because they don’t understand the seriousness of their actions. They pick on him because he’s different, because he’s in a buggy. But he’s just a little boy, and he’s just trying to live the life he’s been given. And get as far along in his life as he can, before he can’t go on anymore.
As a parent, we desperately want to protect our kids, many of us prefer to shelter them from the real world. I am one of those parents. James’s life will be short and severely compromised, so I’d rather he see the world as a beautiful place, full of kind and caring people who show respect and acceptance. And so if I see any child try to hurt him, try to take that away from him, then the Dragon Mum in me will awaken and will take them on.
And they won’t know what hit them.