We have all heard of them. We have probably all been the victim of one.
Today the term took on a completely different meaning for me, and for my special big boy. Today Hayden was bullied beyond the definition of bullying. He was singled out, for gosh knows what reason, and all I can do to stop myself from crying is try and work out the best way to move forward.
Hayden is seven Seven. He is a bright kid, and tests at a reading level to that twice of his age. He is kind, gentle and can not even hit his siblings when riled let alone another kid. He is beautiful. He is bright. He is kind. When anyone that knows him describes him, the first few words are always kind, funny, smart. I know I am biased. I am his mother.
But today I feel as though he has been fundamentally failed, by not just me but his school.
Hayden with his little sister.
Today he was at swimming – an event they seem to do last few weeks of term four as a bit of chaff, a filler basically. All was going well. He returned to change back into his uniform when some child, a boy, had taken his and only his, uniform and undies, placed them into the urinal and urinated on them, and then dragged them through the urinal. Not only is this disgusting, it is disturbing. Just so you know, Hayden knows I am writing about this – his thoughts – “It’s ok mum, it might help other people, and it might mean that some bullies stop”. See what I mean. This kid, amazing.
After he found this, he went out to his teacher. He explained what had happened. She proceeded to hand him a plastic bag and tell him to get them out. He got them out, barehanded, without anything than water to wash his hand. A kind teacher gave him some ‘wash and borrow’ clothes so he could wear something home. At no point was I called. I don’t want to focus on the situation, but rather the flow on effects.
Hayden is left wondering why they singled him out. The kid shares everything, gives up his lunch if someone forgets theirs, and is kind to everyone. He might talk to much in class some days, but he is 7 and he is not ‘naughty’. Hayden is so upset. So much so that he does not want to go to school tomorrow as he is so embarrassed by what happened. We have been talking all afternoon about this. And I have told him so many times how special, wonderful and amazing he is. And how I am so sorry this happened. And how it is not right, and not fair. He is probably more ok about the situation than I am to be honest.
Why do people feel the need to behave like this? In workplaces, schools, families, there is always a bully.
What sticks with me is, bullying is out there. There are always ‘plans’ or methods to keep it at bay, or to try and deter it. But it always lingers, like a bad smell. He has been bullied a few times this year, and it is so confronting the levels of violence and also the words kids use. I doubt I am anywhere near effective enough as a parent trying to explain to Hayden why it happens. He gets that people do it, and he often just tells them to go away. He sticks up for his friends, and usually plays near a teacher if the bigger well known bullies are around. He figures it is part of school.