That would be SS and TT.
Early in the school year,
TT made a new friend, M. I'd never met M because she was new to the
school. Soon, TT started talking about M being bullied at school. Over
and over again, this topic would come up, and we would talk about how to
respond (walk away when possible, and stand up for your friends). TT
and SS assured me that they were not the target of the bullying, but it
was relentless against M, mostly because of her weight (and, yes, we did
talk to the teachers about this).
This week seemed
to be a breaking point, and TT and SS told me that they accompanied M
to visit the counselor because "she just couldn't take it anymore." The
girls reported that they were in the counselor's office for two class
That prompted me to call the counselor to get a
fuller picture. To find out how much bullying was really going on
(because it is such a buzzword these days) and that my girls weren't
being pulled into someone else's self-created drama. To confirm my
girls' reports that they were not being bullied (they are not).
counselor confirmed that there is some bullying, but that she also
talked to the girls about what is bullying and what is just rude
behavior. She has been involved with M, and it seems like the child just
has a tough life. She is being picked on for her weight and because
she lives in a trailer park. There are some tough family dynamics.
counselor also thinks my girls are a great influence on M. That they
show her how to be strong against the bullies and that they are
accepting of her no matter what. I mentioned that I had been intending
to invite M over, because I did not know her, and the counselor thought
that was a great idea, but warned that M was very self-conscious about
not being able to reciprocate. (And we intended to have her over this
weekend, and poor TT got sick.)
So we will do what we
can to help her out, and show her that she can have friends no matter
what. Her family situation seems a lot like mine was. I was so lucky
to have friends in junior high and high school where I spent a lot of
time to get away from my own miserable situation.
last week, the girls accompanied another bullied classmate to the
counselor's office for a rap session. To call this child irritating is
an understatement, and even my girls have limited patience for her, but I
have always insisted that they are kind to her, and they have been.
Apparently, she was this week's target of the bullying, and my girls
stepped in to help her out.
I've been trying to
think of something more proactive the girls can do. They truly are
right in the middle of the mean girls stage (we somehow managed to skip
this with PS--I have no idea how). I think my girls have a bit of power
because they are fairly popular, but so far they haven't managed to
shame the bullies into quitting their antics. Maybe it's just a matter
of surviving this year and moving on to middle school where the pond is