Someday, years in the future, will I look back at this moment and think "why didn't you DO something!" I hope not. Tyler insists he tried to tell us things were going badly for him as far back as first grade. I just don't remember it that way. So I have been paying particularly close attention to what Max tells me.
He tells me some of the kids are making fun of him and picking on him. They sometimes make him cry. Thankfully, it's still OK to cry in first grade. He is a sensitive kid and gets his feelings hurt pretty easily. Should I worry? This could be where the bullying starts! *sweats*
Then there is that one kid who always seems to want to start something with Max. He pushes him, makes rude comments, threatens and hits him. Time to panic yet? I got a call from the school nurse to "alert" me to another problem today...apparently this kid threatened to stab my boy in the neck with a knife. As it was, he was in the nurse's office for an ice pack for his ribs.
Now? Do I freak out now? The kid was sent to the office for a "talking to" and his Mother was called in. She sent me a note telling me the boy was being punished. Ok.
See, I was tortured as a kid. For YEARS. Bullied and abused. My parents did NOTHING. Sure, my mom would call the school and complain now and then (particularly when I brought home physical evidence of abuse.) But we all know that you can talk until you're blue in the face and it doesn't change a darn thing.
So I have no frame of reference. What my parents "did" was ineffectual. I've never seen anything done that WORKS other than to take your kid out of school and move them somewhere else or home-school them. We did the school change for Tyler (for way more reasons than just that he was being bullied, obviously) and he is happy as a clam now.
Do we move Max? He has several good friends. He is doing well, academically. It's only first grade.
*paces and chews nails*
I want Max to know we are in his corner. We have his back. He can count on us to really try and help, if he needs it. Does he need it? [talk amongst yourselves while I ask him.]
Max approves of what we have done, so far. He said the only other thing he would wish for would be if that kid were suspended from school for a while, but he understands that we have no control over that decision. He also concurred that he CAN come to us for help and he knows we'll do our best to help fix things.
That's very encouraging. I guess I'll just stay on top of the situation and keep paying close attention and hope that things get better.