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DJ

I'm still working on answering all your emails.

You were all so thoughtful and nice and so sympathetic to a kid (most of) you don't even know, I thought I would give you a face to go with the name.

This is DJ: (click for bigger picture)

Some day, when he discovers this blog, he will thank you all for sharing your stories and advice. Right after he kills me for posting all that stuff about him on Raising Hell.

Comments

If it is any consolation to all of this, after kicking the shit out of my bully I went on to become a bright, thoughtful, successful human being with lots of loving people in my life and a GORGEOUS, brilliant, adoring, and successful husband. The rest of "them" ended up with less than stellar lives. I got to see MY bully in the mall about 10 years after..........and got to see what came around. Hmmm, my 20 year reunion is this year.......
They say the best revenge is a happy life:)
DJ will be fine and a better person. He will grow up with compassion and love in his life and will learn how NOT to be an asshole.

Oh he is soo cute!!

I hope this all works out...I know how stressing it can be, as I had a bully too.

I still hate the bitch. I was never able to let go. I hope it doesn't go there for DJ...

I'm sorry I never read the original post about the bully until now. Well, not sorry actually cause this kind of thing really brings up bad stuff for me. I go to private schools........I'm a sophmore, and I always have gone to very expensive private schools. You would think they would be better at handling this kind of stuff than public ones, but no they are not. I'm very small for my age, and I stutter, and don't hear well. Plus, my parents are not exactly as rich as the other kid's parents. You know, old money vs new money thing? It exists even in the schools. Well, I learned Karate, very well in fact, championship well. That's the way I had to handle my bullies, but then again, I also had to handle getting suspended every time I stood up for myself because I wound up hurting the bullies. Never mind that they destroyed my insulin pump and I got punished by my father for that $6k replacement. Never mind my having to pay for new uniforms out of MY allowance money after they were ripped in the bathroom brawl.

Well, I guess I don't have any nice things to say about bullies and how to handle them, except.......take him out of school and home school. My cousins to that, because their son was getting bullied because he is disabled. He does GREAT in schoolwork now.

Oh yeah one last thought. You know what MR. Bullie needs don't you? Come on parents you all know in your heart what MR Bullie really needs..............he needs daddy dearest to lay out what happens next time the principal calls or send something home or he hears about some kid getting bullied by him.. Some bullies need a little bullying themselves. I bet this kid NEVER got a spanking in his life. Contrary to what all the social workers out there with no kids of their own will say. Ask any social worker who has kids, ask any psychologist who has kids. Emphasis on HAS kids.

If your being beaten at home, you turn out very mild with others, like me, not a bully. Nuf said.

Michele - I've followed this along, but must confess have not read ALL the comments. So in case this idea has already been suggested - my apologies for the redundancy. Two words come to mind:
BILL O'REILLY. DJ's plight seems to be right up his alley for an expose.

And he IS going to seriously KILL you mom!!!! hehehehehe I went and read those posts in Raising Hell LOL Good stories though.

as usual, i wish i lived closer. i scare the hell out of men. especially pussy-ass bully men. i'd love to take on your pizzaria asshole. espe-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-ially today.

All I can say now is that the two of you are going to have even bigger problems once he hits high school ... girls.

Better brace ya'self :)

when you're on the opposite side of a counter from someone, say, at a place of business, you'd be amazed what quickly grabbing them by the hair and slamming their head into the counter does. for you and them. it's very gratifying.

not that i'm encouraging violence.

i'm sorry that he had to go through this but he will be stronger for it. once i gave mark permission to stand up for himself, he became a whole new person. hugs for you both

He's adorable, but you knew that.

This is also probably redundant, but just in case...

I spoke with my dad (a lawyer) about your issue and he said you should stop talking to the Principal and should wait to go to the School Board until you have:
1) Taken video of Big-Bully bullying (doesn't have to be your kid even, just has to demonstrate a pattern--DJ's say-so is good enough after that if you don't want to use him as bait). Just hang around the school one day during recess or something, you'll catch him doing something for sure.
2) Make copies of the tape and all the documentation of your conversations to date with the Principal (i.e., these posts as someone else suggested)
3) Get a lawyer, show him all of the above. Then send copies to a) The School Board b) The local Media c) Bill O'Reilly. He is a Long Island resident and likely to be VERY responsive to your issue (especially if he takes a look at the rest of your blog).

I know it sounds like a bit much, but my Dad thinks that schools need to be called on the carpet about this crap. Given that they all were so quick to blame parents and guns and video games after Columbine and ever other Columbine-like incident, and given that they made a big noise about implementing new anti-bullying measures, it's highly likely that the media would be all over this story if they knew.

Good luck! Even if you do nothing, DJ is in good hands with you as his mom.

LOL...I'm trying to picture that cute little boy saying, "Hey! Who do I have to sleep with to get some butter around here?"

Priceless...

Get a trained attack lawyer.

Go after the school. Threaten the education budget with a multimillion dollar suit.

Go after the principal. Threaten with holding him/her personally responsible. Raise the possibility of NBC, CBS doing a special on "How Principals can make a new Columbine", and how you'll pauper him.

Go after the bully's father. How much is a Pizza Parlour worth? Plus their house? Enough so it's worth suing them for every cent they've got.

If the authorities - school system, school principal or parents - end up solving the problem, great.

If not, a few hundred thousand might help BJ into a new school, and even pay college tuition.

Okay, I just HAVE to comment one more time, and then I shut up..............As one who knows how money talks...........it does talk big. And good based lawsuit talks even bigger. I think the above people are right. GET A FRIGGIN Lawyer. I mean I have had tons of experience now with lawyers, and those guys really know how to prove stuff. We non-lawyer people may not like them much, but they know their business.

Also, in Kansas City where I live, one school district two years ago did nothing about a buillying incident in the Highschool and the girl who was the victim wound up dead and sexually assaulted. The girl reported the bullying, her parents tried to get school people to do someting about it, everything.......take action. Hey I have been in courtrooms, I have been on both the side of good, and on the side being blamed for stuff. It's scary, on both sides.

Whatever, you do, seriously it really does me a lot of good in my mind to see you sticking up for DJ.

That beautiful face and your story of that inane moron of a principal make me want to come up there and do some ass whipping myself!
Tell DJ to punch BB one for me!

Your son has a right to go to school safely, period. It burns me up that kids who have to go through this, with NO support from the sorry-excuse-for-a-principal, stay home to avoid a situation that an effective principal would handle - no question. I mentioned earlier filing a police report. The cops were, in our case, quite sympathetic and helpful. In fact, after we took action, the very teachers who had looked the other way while this had been going on commented that things were better afterward. I was volunteering at the school book fair in the library when the bully tripped my son, stepped on his back and walked on him, and the teacher pretended it didn't happen. The librarian said, "It's such a shame - Ben's one of our finest kids", and the bully went back to class and told the teacher she's better not report the incident - and she didn't. I did. That principal simply wasn't up to the task, and you see that more and more often. We found out that stuff like this had been going on for the entire year and our son had just decided to tough it out. Political correctness is ruining the schools. In our case, it was the last year of middle school. Once in high school, there was a principal who made it clear from Day One that he wouldn't put up with any crap - and he didn't. An effective principal makes the school, and one like yours ruins it. You need to act quickly and focus on the effectiveness of the principal - get in his face. He's more afraid of losing his job than anything else. What a wimp.

precious :) with a mom like you, i don't see how he could possibly turn out bad!

Keep DJ home from school. Let the school know that he will stay there until his safety is assured by the authorities, no matter how they do it. That's what my mom did when my brother was bullied in middle school. They have to react to your son being at home, as they lose their precious ADA money every day he doesn't engage in "learning". The pocketbook is the best place to hit someone so that it hurts.

When I was bullied as a kid the school told me that there wasn't much they could do because they didn't want to disrupt the bully's education by moving him or telling him not to beat me up again.

I too have seen my bully since I left school - I hope he enjoys his dead-end job and wishes he'd concentrated a bit more in school rather than concentrating on making my life hell.

I hope DJ will be OK.

I'm guessing he gets his good looks from Justin?

That's a very nice-looking sofa. What is that, a tasteful brownish-orange?

Reading these horror stories about schools/principals/teachers unwilling to do anything make me very gratefull for the school system where I live. I worked at one of the elementary schools for a year (educational interpreter) and the principal, teachers, counselors were all wonderful. None of the kids got away with anything.

One of the kids I worked with had some major emotional problems and he wasn't allowed to disrupt/bully/fight without consequences. And that's a kid that had a legitimate emotional disability. Kids that were just mean were punished very swiftly.

Give DJ some hugs and kisses from all of us out here too!

From all that I have read, he's a great kid with a great mom! He will get through this.

I LOVE HIM - HE IS SUCH A CUTIE! however, MOM, he needs a haircut... yesterday.

That picture was from the summer. He got a haircut last week. Nice of you to notice.

Who you kidding? his hair always looks funky...

D.J.'s look is 'bedhead', even with a haircut. got his hair trends from this side of the family! Cant wait to go home and hug him!!

Michele:

Sounds like you're on the right track, just by showing DJ that you are walking the walk in sticking up for him.

I haven't read all the comments, could anyone ;) , but here is something that maybe hasn't been brought up yet. Weird serendipity, but my dad left his Reader's Digest with us this weekend. On page 141 of the January 2003 issue is an article entitled "The School that Stopped Bullies" by Rob Waters (not online at their website.

The article is on elementary school programs that empower the 90% of kids who don't want to bully, rather than letting the other 10% set the tone. I usually pass up this mag in favor of the Nat Enq at the supermarket checkout, but this is serious quality.

If your principal was a Great Educator, you would have had nothing to post because DJ's school would be there. If he was a Good Educational Bureaucrat, he would have taken this opportunity to start something like this. Since alas, he's a stereotype out of the Norwegian Blogger's table, the idea won't be welcome…initially.

This is the kind of positive peer culture that is worth talking about, and it's highlighted in the Reader's Digest, not the Dialectic Granola Journal! Should be a great concept to get the School Board worried--the NOT-IMPLEMENTED program that would have PREVENTED this episode.

Here is a link to a US DOJ Olweus Bullying Prevention program pdf fact sheet.

Anyone have any experience with this idea? Am I blowing smoke?…

What a handsome kid!

I was once bullied. I also had an older brother who could (from time to time) help. But in junior high I was persecuted. The school administrators were time-servers, they did nothing. Upon reflection, I think the only reason I was never suspended for fighting was that my dad was a teacher in the same district and knew many of my teachers (he bowled with them, for God's sake - you can see from that I was not even going to try anything cute or funny!). My only recourse from the bullying was two-fold. The first was every so often I would catch a bully without support, and in front of an audience hammer the tar out of him. I did this and it was good for some weeks of peace. (When people spread the story of how I held another up against a locker, looked at him, and saying that he wasn't worth the effort, dropped him on his ass on the floor, well that was a good story. No I was not superman, but I wasn't small and he was a scrawny bully/toady. It was worth it and I still get a glow from it over twenty years later. I digress).

The other is to develop friends, lots of friends. This helps because the friend network will provide justice, even on Saturday. A friend's older brother, a bigger friend will 'discuss' the situation with big bully, usually to big bully's regret (or at least his nose's regret).

The older sibling tactic, the friend tactic, and sibling of a friend, etc., helped out quite a bit. The usual opening line the bully heard was 'Hey! Why can't you leave these little kids alone?'..... ending in 'THWACK'.

I rambled (again). I hope DJ can work out one (or both) of these tactics because the officials will be as useful as teats on a bull.

To make a paraphrase: Defend your son and he is defended for a day. Teach him to defend himself and he is defended for life.