Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bullies in the ASD

My son is in first grade in the Allentown School District and he is already being bullied. He came home with red marks on his neck and shoulders from some kid, let's call him "Danny" grabbing and pinching him. After hearing my son's repeated complaints about Danny, I spoke with the teacher and also sent her an e-mail. She told me that both kids are "on" each other a lot. My son says he never starts anything and that Danny tries to get him in trouble and says cruel things. I taught first grade, so I know what it is like. Kids like to tattle and bother each other. But I do want my son to feel safe at school. His father has taught him to defend himself, and to handle these kinds of problems on his own, but I usually tell him to stay away from certain kids because he could get in trouble for fighting. And I have seen how some older hooligans tease him and even threaten to punch him for no reason on the playground right in front of me. Of course, their parents are no where in sight.

Whenever I question whether the kids are properly supervised, the principal seems to always defend the teacher, and even gives the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt. It's always "both boys." Why can't he be on our side? My son may have his faults, but he is usually a good boy and behaves well at school. (He only got in trouble once, for talking about kissing a girl.) I did not imagine the red marks, they were real, but the teacher insists that she would never allow the kids to touch each other.

Considering the fact that first grade boys were raped by an older student in the bathroom at Central Elementary, and the school tried to cover this up, I think I have every right to be concerned about my child's safety. Well, Mr. Dottie demanded that the principal do something and take our side for a change. I guess my approach of being nice was not working. He's not that wishy washy. They finally moved Danny to a different table, and maybe now they will know that we mean business. Maybe they will pay more attention to the needs of my child, as well as those "special needs" kids.