Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One More Reason

One Word: Bullying. I remember the year Ben was a kindergartner, as I considered the option of homeschooling, the thought occurring to me that while Ben's classmates loved him now, the time would come that Ben would be the object of teasing and even bullying.

I went to a Christian school for every year but one of my school years. Every day I saw bullying happening. You'd hope that kids coming from good, Christian families would be different, but that's not the case. Now, maybe they are better behaved than unsaved kids (hopefully!) and it's worse in public schools, but it was pretty bad even in a Christian school. I remember my 5th grade year two of my classmates noticed that I have long fingers and began teasing me calling me "string fingers." I hated that! It got to the point where I dreaded seeing these girls and didn't want to go to school. Looking back, it was so silly and it probably only lasted a few weeks, but to me, as a young girl at the time, it was huge and I hated it. It was also pretty minor. I saw much worse stuff going on on the playground, at lunch, and even in the high school hallways.

It's practically impossible to avoid all teasing/bullying unless you live on a mountaintop somewhere. I mean, siblings are probably the worst offenders! And when these things happen, it's a good opportunity to teach your child some real-life skills. At the same time, my goodness - life is hard enough, particularly when a child has some special needs already. Why put them in a situation where it's going to be compounded by the cruelty of others? That was my thinking where Ben was concerned.

And too, when was the last time a popular jock or cheerleader brought a gun to school or quietly hung him/herself in their bedroom? It's always the bullied kids that end up acting out in one of these ways - not all, certainly, but enough that it still makes headlines. That's terribly sad and totally preventable.

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