Thoughts by Emily

Had Enough With Bullying: I Am Mama Lion, Hear Me Roar!

Enough With Bullying! I Am Mama Lion, Hear Me Roar!

I feel so charged with frustration, anger and sadness this afternoon. I have this blog and I figured I might as well use it to express my frustrations, but also to give other moms the courage to stand up for their kids. I have had enough with bullying at my kids school so now the mama bear in me must come out. “I Am Mama Lion, Hear Me Roar!” I feel this phrase is fitting since my last name is Lyon.

In the past couple of weeks, I have become increasingly more aware of how often my twins are picked on at school. For one this somewhat surprises me because there are two of them! Who wants to pick on someone who has a twin brother? Then again, my boys are small so a lot of kids think they can get away with it. This is where the mama lion in me is coming out, to teach my boys that they may be small in size, but they don’t have to be small in wits, confidence, smarts or gumption.

The thing that disturbs me most is that my kids don’t trust their teachers or yard duty to have their back. It wasn’t until I asked my kids about bullying that they started to tell me that kids tell them they are stupid, or tell them to shut up. They also started to tell me about kids kicking them, or tackling them. I started to have regular dialogue with my boys, to let them know that they can always tell me when these things happen, and that they should also tell their teachers. Get this – they tell me that their teachers aren’t doing anything about it! I realize that from a 7 year old perspective, this may not be true, but it is sad that this is what they believe to be going on. It doesn’t appear that the teachers are giving them the impression that they are handling the situation. How on earth are my kids supposed to feel that school is a safe place when this is happening?

The worst part? It wasn’t until a few days after one of the twins was punched in the arm, that I found out about it! And not by the school – my son told me! For the punching, he actually had to go into the principal’s office to give his side of the story. If my son is going to the principal’s office because someone hit him, why isn’t the school calling me to keep me informed?!?!?!? This makes me furious!

I have since learned that there are some 5th graders, as well as 2nd and 1st graders, picking on my 2nd grade twins. What makes these kids think they can get away with being so mean? I know my boys well, and know better than anyone else how annoying they can be at times, but they aren’t mean, and never deserve to be called stupid. I won’t stand for it! I asked my boys, to make sure, if they have ever told kids at school that they are stupid, and they assured me that they haven’t. I know there are always two sides to a story, but if a kid is going to tell my already anxious/nervous 2nd grade son that he is stupid, just because he lost his place in reading/practicing a script for a play, then that is crossing a line buddy! How is that going to help my son overcome his anxieties?

I talked to one of the boys’ teachers last week and she knelt down sweetly and told him to tell her if people are picking on him. She made sure to tell him not to tattle though. How is a 7 year old supposed to know the difference between tattling and telling when someone is truly being mean? I try to explain the difference, but it’s a tough one to grasp. Because teachers have made it clear they don’t like tattling, my boys are now too nervous to tell when kids are mean. At least I have them talking to me now.

I emailed the other boys’ teacher this afternoon and plan to follow up with her and/or the principal tomorrow. This has to come to an end!

My kids only have me for so many years, to stand up for them and have their back. There will come a time when they are on their own and they will have to fight their own battles, but for now – they need to know that I do in fact have their back! I will continue to teach them to problem solve, but I HAVE THEIR BACK!

To make things worse. this afternoon hubby calls and tells me of some injustices being done at his school. I’m not his mama, but I sure feel like marching into the president of his school’s office and giving him a piece of my mind!  GRRR

I have some good friends who are teachers, but I tell you what – I am sick and tired of the lazy teachers, professors and doctors that don’t care about the students and their success.

About the author

Emily Buys

13 Comments

  • I saw your tweet on twitter & I just HAD to check this post out…. As I read this, my heart broke for your boys. It must be so frustrating as a mom to know that your children are having to deal with bullying from kids of all different ages. A few years ago, when my son was in Kindergarten grade he had 1st graders picking on him. His teacher actually pulled me aside and talked to me about it, I was so thankful she caught them picking on my son and told me about it because I know my son wouldn’t have told me about it 🙁 Anyways, the bullying continued even after the teachers & school principal had a talk with the boys. I think they picked on him because he is tiny for his age, but one day I think my son had enough of it & he stood up for himself- the older boys were pushing him around and he fell. He got up & he told them “STOP!” & he pushed the biggest one back. I don’t condone violence but I do believe in standing up for yourself and I’m so glad my son actually stood up to those boys. Ever since that day, they stopped picking on him. I’m glad the bullying for my son stopped, it was a very frustrating time for him & for me, as a mother.

    Your boys are lucky to have you. As a mother we want to protect out young & hopefully these children picking on them will have to face the consequences. They need to learn that bullying is not okay in any way, shape or form. I hope that you get this figured out. You’ll definitely have to keep us all updated. I’m glad your boys have confided in you about the situation and I hope that the school (teachers & principals) take this situation seriously and not lightly.

  • Thank you Cindi! Good for your son, standing up for himself to those bigger boys. My boys are some of the smallest in their grade, so it makes it tough. I think it is the really insecure boys that need to pick on smaller kids to feel better about themselves, that really have the bigger problems here, but it needs to stop!

  • Oh, this makes me so sad and angry. My daughter has Selective Mutism (doesnt talk to anyone but mom and dad, but a chatterbox at home). She is now in 3rd grade and in our 2nd year of homeschool. We moved to this district before K and were warned by everyone not to send our then 5 yo to the local school. The principal was bad. We didn’t listen, she was targeted by him, we didn’t find out until a month later! Then, the teacher and psych. who helped my child were harrassed and bullied. There is alot more of this in society than we want to admit. I trusted the school to act in parentis loco (sp?). I trusted them to care for my child. A school is a business (they told me this) 1st and foremost. My child couldn’t because of her anxiety tell us what happened. Who had her back? I fought the school board, principal, sup, all the way up the chain of command in my state. All I wanted was him not to be around children anymore. 2 years later, the Boe bought out the principal’s contract for $380,000. Now he can go to another district and bully away. I failed my child and any othr children he will ever have contact with! My daughter was not the only child he bullied, either. We had written proof of other cases. Sorry this is so long. My advice, if possible, is: write down dates, locations, students involved, actions your children or you took, responses from the school, etc… Then present it to the teacher and principal. If they don’t help go to the superintendant and/or BOE. Maybe these children will stop bullying your sons, but who else are they going to continue to pick on? MAKE IT STOP ALL AROUND, Once and Done, please!!! My humble opinion, from someone who’s been there! No offense, is meant by this. Best of luck!

  • My son was bigger then all the kids in his class but I had raised him to always be careful of others that were smaller then him, so he was an easy target because he would not defend himself. I was away on a business trip and I was called – he was being suspended for a day. I was home within the next few days and got the whole story. Some kids were teasing him and he got upset and went to hide behind a building to cry. The kids followed him and teased him more. Finally the yard duty saw him and had them stop. The next recess they were playing ball again and started messing with him again he started to get mad and threw the ball at one of the kids and hit him directly. That the yard duty saw and my son was in trouble. Once I got home and got the whole story I went to the teacher then the principal ( she was no help at all and was actually rude) at that point I went right to the school superintendent. Filed a complaint on the principal. Because my son was a bigger kid they assumed he was the instigater, but since he was always bigger then all the kids in his classes I had raised him to always be careful of everyone else. He is still a gentle giant at 15 and 6’1″. So my recommendation to you is to push the issue of bullying with your kids teacher, the principal and if you are not happy with what they say then go to the top. Second grade is too young to have to fend for themselves. Not to mention that bullying is rampent in schools now.

  • This has been a source of frustration for me and my now 11yo son this school year and also his 4th grade year. The problem he has is that the teachers target him as the problem because when they tease him he yells at them to stop, then he gets in trouble for yelling so now he’s the troublemaker, not the bullies. I have spoken to the teacher, told told her he’s being bullied and she expects him to tell her. Well, he’s in 6th grade and by the time you’re in middle school the teachers expect you to solve these things on your own, not run and tell them every time someone says something mean to you so my son doesn’t trust her to do anything but punish him for causing trouble. He is by far THE smallest boy in the school, I don’t understand how the teachers could not see that maybe he would be bullied and try to keep an eye out. My son is not afraid to stand up for himself (he is my 4th youngest child so he knows how to speak up) and I’m worried that one day he’s going to get in a fight. I honestly feel that part of the problem is the bias that teachers’ hold toward boys. Not all teachers, but enough that with four boys we can spot the difference. It’s like they feel there’s nothing they can do to stop the behavior so they turn a blind eye. I had lunch with my son one day in 4th grade and he was telling me about a problem that day and his teacher was sugary sweet with worry and once she walked away the girls at the table rolled their eyes and said “That was a show just for you, if you weren’t here, she would’ve told him to suck it up” and my son agreed with them.

    I did see something on pinterest that may help with teaching your children the difference between tattling and reporting, tattling is trying to get someone in trouble;something happened on accident; unimportant; something you can solve by yourself. Reporting is: purpose is to keep someone safe; a behavior is dangerous, harmful, threatening; when you need help from an adult; important.

  • Thanks for the tips! Still somewhat different for a 7 year old to understand some of the differences, but it’s a start. Sorry about your son being picked on too! 🙁

  • Kudos to you for standing up for your son. I don’t have children myself but I have experience with bullying. I went through it myself when I was in high school…which was over ten years ago now but I still remember it clearly. It was my junior year and someone who I thought was a friend spread a nasty rumor about me and before long three girls I had a class with took it and ran with it and they teased and bullied me every single day in that classroom and if they saw me in the hallway they would do it then to. At the time bullying was not a big issue and nobody spoke out about it so I didn’t…I kept quiet not even telling my parents. I tried to just deal with it and ignore it but I couldn’t and before long I was failing every single class I had except for one because I couldn’t concentrate on anything. The person that started the rumor finally spoke out and told everyone it had been a lie but the damage was already done. I passed all my classes but one and had to go to summer school in order to move on to my senior year in high school. This isn’t something that I just choose to share with anyone and it I have put it behind me but due to the fact that bullying is such a big issue these days I wanted to share my story. When I read about all these kids being teased and bullied so badly I feel for them and my heart breaks for them because I do understand what their going through.

  • I hear ya, Emily! It has only been this year really that my kids are speaking up for themselves, but I still talk to the teachers, the principal and the other kid if I have a chance. I realize the other kid’s parent may not appreciate this, but I’m more concerned with the bully knowing that I do in fact have my kids back and when they take my kids on, they take me on! Some of these kids are just ‘popular bullies’ and I am telling my kids more than ever not to take their crud. I hear the same story about the yard duty not doing anything, but so far the teachers and principal have made a difference. You’re so right that we only have them for a few years and this Momma Bear is not to be messed with!

  • You go girl! I’m impressed by the previous comments of others. You’re right – it’s your responsibility to protect your kids as long as you can, and settle for nothing less than the professional’s (school) involvement and promise to resolve the situation. Parents need to take a stand that rudeness and unkindness is unacceptable – at any level. Follow through – don’t let it go. And yes, good advise to document all you say and do.

  • Thank you for sharing your story with me! I’m sorry you had such horrible things spread about you. Nobody deserves that. It is amazing the damage that others can do.

  • I definitely think that if our kids can’t feel safe in school then it’s time for a change. I will be homeschooling my children because there in no way I could handle worrying about them all day. Teachers need to learn they aren’t just at school to make money but to really help the students learn.

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