The Post Nobody Wants to Write

I just got snagged by one of the moms from my son’s class. I was trying to avoid her, me with my wet hair (not a good idea since it’s freezing out) and no make-up. She had on heels and there was sparkly stuff on her eyes. But she caught me. And then filled my ears with things I don’t want to hear.

Is it Hamlet or Macbeth where they kill the king by pouring poison in his ear? (My brain has ceased to function, sorry.) When I read that as a teenager, I thought it was stupid. Surely you couldn’t really kill a man by putting something in his ear. But now, I’m dying inside so I’ll chalk that thought up to the innocence of youth. Won’t be the first time.

So Sparkly Mom told me a long complicated story, the gist of which is that Me First has become a target at school.

I knew there’d been incidents with Scratch Boy and the other kid who (sorry if this offends anyone)should be in a special class. Or counseling. Or juvie. At this point I no longer care which one.

My son apparently is being hit and kicked and punched and having his stuff torn up. He’s being tortured at school.

And all those grown-ups who are supposed to be helping him haven’t fucking noticed.

Starting with me.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Xana
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 12:58:39

    Oh no! I am so so very sorry. I am glad that at least Sparkly Mom was brave enough to tell you. It is absolutely horrible, but MF will no longer be bearing it alone, which is worse. It is NOT your fault. You didn’t know. Now you do know and you will be there for him. You will help and support him. You will make sure the school and the other adults in his life do, too. It is what we all fear, isn’t it? Sadly, you are not alone. Do you read Jojoebi? I know she and her son have been dealing with bullying recently, too. I don’t know what to say except my heart goes out to you and MF.

    Reply

  2. gaijinwife
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 13:12:02

    Bugger fu**. As glad as I am that sparkly mum told you it breaks my heart to think Me First is going through that. God, I just about get sick at the thought that it might one day happen to one of mine, although, admitedly, with only one other kid in this class and 30 in the entire school we will perhaps get through. Fingers crossed. I know kids are mean and if its not the gaijin thing its something else but it sounds like its getting out of control. Wishing you strength and sparkles to do what you need to do to address this before it gets even crazier than it is.
    xxxx
    and if that fails there are a lot of empty houses down here…

    Reply

  3. ds
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 16:34:30

    Time to play the “gaijin card”.

    Go to school, if possible after classes are over and the kids are gone. The teachers will still be in the staff room. Ask to speak with your son’s home room teacher and , if there is one, the “seito shido”, who is in charge of school discipline matters. If there isn’t one, then the vice principal will do.

    Sit down in a private place. Don’t do this standing, or in the staff room. Prepare a list of incidents you know about involving your son. Dates, times, witnesses, and what was done about it (or not done about it). If you have photos of any injuries to your child, bring them and show them to the staff. Be direct. DOn’t say, “I’m not sure, but…”. Simply list the incidents and injuries. In detail.If you still have some of your son’s work or belongings that were damaged, bring them too and put them on the table in front of the teachers. When you are done, provide written copies of your list for the school.

    Ask them what they will do about it. And what they will do to prevent ANY future violence.

    Also, record the conversation on your iphone or similar device. If they balk, tell them it is because of your poor Japanese ability, and that you want your husband to listen later.

    Set up an appointment for the following week, when you will hear what they have noticed and done about the situation.

    DOn’t accept “muzukashii desu ne” answers, or the sucking of teeth, or pro forma apologies. Demand, and get, action. Don’T accept “the school year will be over soon, so…” Don’t accept “we can move your child to another class, so…”. It is the bullies who should be moved, not the victim.

    This stuff really bugs me. It happened to my son in first grade of ES. I told his teacher that any repeat would result in my son kicking the shit out of anyone who bugged him. The teacher was aghast, but I said it was “the gaijin way to deal with bullies”. Well, one of the class idiots tripped my son in class a week later, just for fun. So, just for fun (with my permission and a bit of training), my son bloodied his nose and made him cry. The teacher was freaked out, but I had warned her.

    Irony is, the two boys later bacame quite close friends. Seems boys need to know their “place” in the pack, like wolves or dogs…

    APologies for the long response, but demand action NOW, before it gets worse and gets permanent.

    Reply

  4. chrysanthemummum
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 19:31:57

    Good advice from ds above. I hope you get things sorted quickly.

    Reply

  5. gaijinwife
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 20:06:55

    ds is good. will need to bookmark page for future reference if needed. good luck.

    Reply

  6. Kym
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 08:56:20

    :( You got some good advice – I think I would want to know from the teachers why you heard it from the other parent rather than them. And is Sparkling Mum’s kid a perpetrator? If so, what’s she said to her kid about it? I do admire Sparkly Mum though, must be a horrible thing to tell someone, as well as to hear.
    And I think you have been watching your boy very carefully, you seemed to have an inkling of this before. It was the teacher saying it was “normal” stuff. Now you’ve got another mum at the school to back you up – do you think she would put it in writing for you? Hope to hear about how you get on at the school. All the best!

    Reply

  7. Fichan
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 12:10:22

    I know you’re probably feeling terrible now but kids are very very good at hiding stuff and you can’t blame yourself. You’ve always been there for him and it was his decision not to tell you. There is a pack mentality issue and your sons pride, boys feel they have to deal with everything themselves.
    DS ‘s advice is great. Get prepared. Go in with information and record everything. They won’t sort it out on the spot so be sure to schedule another meeting. I grew up with three younger brothers and the eldest bore the brunt of the bullying. Most of it from teachers. My Mum never hesittated, she’d go straight down to the school to sort it. She’d have to drag him down at times to apologise and other times she was wavying the finger at teachers for overstepping their boundaries. The brother never knew the half of it but it’s the only way.The thing is to be heard and be in their faces. You’re more liekly to get action that way.
    My heart goes out to Me First and I’m sure it’s a big burden for him too. Maybe you could try and schedule some time alone with just the two of you. Go out for a meal or something. Try and get him talking. It might take time, he has a lot of pride to work through but he is probably subconsciuosly looking for someone to talk to.
    Kudos to Sparkly Mum, I’d probably hate her myself for it but it wasn’t an easy task to do.
    Go easy on yourself..

    Reply

  8. hamakkomommy
    Feb 24, 2013 @ 22:13:26

    Thanks for the kind words and advice, everyone. I guess I’ve had a gut feeling that things weren’t quite right at school, but I’ve let others convince me that I was worrying about nothing.

    HRH is concerned, but not enough to do anything himself. I’m not a very assertive person (you don’t say!) but I guess it’s time to start being one.

    Reply

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