13 YEAR OLD BULLIED … AND … SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL

GUILTY

 

My 13-year-old son is the victim of bullying both by students of Owosso Public Schools (Middle School) and by the principals and teachers who stand by and allow the bullying to continue. He has developed extreme anxiety and frequently experiences mood swings due to the pressure, humiliation, and trauma he is forced to endure day after day. He is pushed, punched, kicked, tripped, cussed at, degraded, and screamed at by staff if he reacts in the least (and he does react, as most anyone adult or child would.) Again, this happens every single day he is at school.

 

    A few months ago, Cherokee, my son, was heading from one class to another when another child pushed him down a flight of stairs. I went to the school about this. I asked them to do something to stop the bullying. They said that they watched the video tapes but Cherokee was out of the line of sight so they couldn’t tell who had pushed him. Cherokee told them who pushed him down the stairs. I followed up 3 days later to see what they had decided. The Vice principal Mr. King said that he talked to the other boys who Cherokee had named as his attackers. The boys denied having assaulted Cherokee, so Mr. King dropped the issue. The boys were neither reprimanded or suspended for their attack.

 

    As time has gone forward, these types of attack happen habitually. Cherokee is often sick at school or calls to come home. Teachers such as Mrs. Anderson, his math teacher, allow Cherokee to be bullied even during class. When Cherokee asked for help, she scolded him and told him to get back to his seat.

 

    Today, 3/20/2013, Cherokee was shoved in the Gym class from behind. He turned around and grabbed a child behind him. As the ingrained response was triggered, he put his left hand on the child right shoulder and his right hand on his chest. He neither pushed nor harmed the child. Unfortunately, the child Cherokee reacted to was in front of the ones who actually shoved him. For this act of self-defense, a taught, ingrained protective response due to the year of bullying, Cherokee has been suspended from school. Mrs. Dwyer, who claims to have seen the incident, reported to the principals that Cherokee had “scooped” the other child. Cherokee denied the allegation and begged to be able to tell his side of the story. Mrs. Dwyer screamed at him to get out of the classroom that she did not want to hear him. The school called me to come get him.

 

    When I entered the office, I told them I wanted to speak to both principals and Cherokee. They said initially No I would talk to them first. I refused until Cherokee entered the room. So they sent for him. The first thing I asked Cherokee was if he was allowed to tell them what had happened. Of course, as is customary, he had not been allowed to. He was simply suspended without being able to voice his statement. With me there, he told what happened. He admitted that he reacted to the first person he saw. I told the Principals, Mr. King and Mr. Collins that he would most probably not have reacted the way he did had they stopped the bullying at any point during the school year.

 

    Mr. Collins said, “We get reports about problems with Cherokee weekly.” I said, ” I get reports of bullying DAILY.”

    How can a school and its staff, when bullying is against the law, continue to allow it based on their personal preference for one child over another? If a child is ADHD, Autistic, overweight, or in any other way, “different” at Owosso Public Schools, they are the targets both the students and the staff. The early teen years are difficult for all children but for those labeled different or troubled… It is hell on earth.

 

My name is Shelly Baxter. My son’s name is Cherokee Shrum. At 12 years old, he became the target of continual torment at the hands of students and staff of Owosso Public Schools. A year later, it continues.

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Dealing With Disappointment

Disappointment is tough. It can be one of the most difficult emotions to accept and move past. Many things bring about disappointment such as a failed relationship, a child who chooses a different direction than the parent would like, perhaps not being invited to a group or sport team you were hoping for, and one of the largest disappointments is the loss of income and/or livelihood. The latter is something that I am currently dealing with, so yes, I do have firsthand experience.

In the beginning when something doesn’t go our way and we feel disappointment, we may also feel fear, sadness, dejection, depression, loneliness and general hurt. When we focus on these emotions, they will grow. They will become a monster in and of themselves. We will find ourselves in a very dark place if we choose to focus on how bad we feel. When we focus on the disappointment we will bring about more disappointment, more hurt, more suffering.

    Now, you may be thinking, “But I’m angry! It is not fair. Why does this always happen to me?” Of course, you are angry and hurt. You didn’t get what you needed or wanted. However, do you want to stay angry, hurt or disappointed? Most people do not. It is not a good time and it is not fun. So, what do we do about it?

Overcoming and Moving Forward

 

 

The first thing you need to do is create a plan of action.

 

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Making a plan of action will begin to move you in the right direction. It will take you out of the depressed mindset. You will gain confidence and motivation to see the road ahead instead of being stuck in the moment. In this area, you are changing your mind by changing your actions.

 

 

 

The next thing you need to do is create a gratitude list.

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When disappointment happens, and it will happen, make a list of what you are really grateful for, what you appreciate and what you have that is good and valuable to you. This is a huge step in ending the poor me attitude that often accompanies disappointment. Remember, a poor me attitude, will create more of the same circumstances. Some people would argue that when we are handed unwelcome circumstances and disappointment that we need to go through the grieving process (denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance). Well, I am here to tell you that, NO, you do not have to go through all that negativity! In fact, focusing your attention on those negative emotions will certainly bring about more of them, not less. You cannot focus on anger or depression to get to acceptance. Acceptance is a choice, its not something you walk into randomly after feeding yourself negativity for any amount of time. Again, focusing on anger and depression will only tell the universe and yourself that you want anger and depression and the universe will always grant your wish. You can decide that you want to move to acceptance and move forward! YES! YOU CAN! Instead of trying to create some form of grieving process, look at your gratitude list! Let go of the negativity and look at the positive! 

 

 

Finally, take the first step.

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Put your plan into action. There is nothing more powerful to letting go of a loss than seeing progress toward a gain. You can do it! Believe in yourself; focus on the positive, let go of the negative. This is your choice! No one can make the choice for you. What do you want? See yourself achieving it, Go out there, and get it! 

 

 

 


Make it a great day!!

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

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