What’s a Dad to Do?
There’s a story on all the cable channels today about the father of a handicapped child who got so upset and enraged over his child being bullied that he got on the school bus, asked his child to point out her tormentors, and verbally blasted the kids hazing his daughter.
Teams of ‘experts’ are analyzing the situation. The dad was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He said he had complained to the school and nothing was done. He will now stand trial. We don’t know what will happen with the daughter or the boys who were throwing stuff on her and pinning her ears back. The daughter has cerebral palsy and it has been reported that she is on suicide watch.
First off, let’s look at all the sides. The father is frustrated. He reports his concern to the school and the horrible behavior towards his daughter continues. Most of it apparently is happening on the bus. He is so upset over his inability to protect his child that he loses it and cusses out and threatens the kids who are perpetrating the problem.
The school has heard the complaint. We don’t known their side but let’s examine what might have happened. The boys causing the problem might have been called in and read the riot act. However, who is going to make sure that this behavior stops? Who rides the bus home to see that it doesn’t happen? Can you throw the kids off the bus on the say so of 1 parent? Do schools who are already understaffed have the manpower or the skills to do a full investigation?
Probably the person who is going to get the blame will be the bus driver. Now we all have heard bus driver stories. Some drivers are excellent and make friends with kids for life. Others are …[bad word], miserable human beings. The fact remains that they have to drive a bus and maintain order and discipline in a vehicle that is like a moving trailer. In other words, the job is herculian and underpaid. How many of us can drive and control even 2 kids?
I fault the bus driver for not slamming those doors shut and not allowing the father on the bus. That was all within her control. Her only other recourse was to report the kids and recommend bus suspendion or call the police and hold every one on the bus when the first bullying incident started.
This is a complex issue. Its not easy to second guess when you don’t know all the facts and when split second decisions must be made. Schools have an obligation to see that all students get due process.
I side with the Dad. His first duty is to protect his child. The fact that his child is handicapped really shouldn’t even be an issue. No one’s child should be bullied. The child being handicapped just ups the ante.
Meanwhile, 2 those who bullied the girl in Massachusetts will stand trial. Perhaps if more kids understand that the American people are not going to tolerate bullying, then some of it might stop. It is a serious problem and many a child is being scarred for life because of our inability to put a stop to this outrageous behavior. The consequences for bullying must be stern and extreme if necessary. There are too many ways for bullying to occur. What used to be playground related and too and from school in nature now can go on 24/7, thanks to social networking and electronics.
We need to treat bullying as a crime and attach criminal penalties.