Today's "Word Of The Day" - APATHY


ap·a·thy - [ap-uh-thee] 

noun, plural ap·a·thies.

1.absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
2.lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
3.Also, ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a [ap-uh-thee-uh] . Stoicism. freedom from emotion of any kind.
  Sorry I skipped a few days of writing, I had a 10 year old with the flu. Very messy business indeed. I was laying in bed with her today and saw a commercial on Cartoon Network about a movie they are going to be showing Sunday evening (April 28,2013 at 5:30/4:30c) it is a documentary called Bully , a story that follows the lives of five families touched by bullying either for themselves or their children. I am planning on watching it with Sammi and I really hope everyone tries to make time to watch it as well.
   Bullying is a really important issue for me. As a kid I wasn't bullied but that was because most kids were afraid of me. When I was 8 I tried to kill myself and my best friend confided it in a teacher, who reported it and I was removed in an ambulance right there at school and taken to a Mental Hospital for a month. That kind of stigma kind of follows you... people assumed I was "crazy" and so they didn't poke the bear with a stick as they say. It made life much easier when the rest of it was in chaos and turmoil so for that I am grateful.
  My daughter though was not so lucky. We moved to Phoenix right after her first grade year started. I thought this was going to be great. My outgoing, kind, loving child would surely make tons of friend, I mean who doesn't like a compassionate amazing friend? But the kids in her class didn't greet her so warmly not sure why they just felt she was different and so they clamped on. The worst was a boy who systematically tortured my child with graphic tales of how he was watching her even when not at school and the things he would do to her... it was horrible.
  My heart broke as I watched my happy, outgoing child slowly turn inward and become nothing like she had been even a few months before. I had to have her put on sleeping medication to help because she was having night terrors and was no longer sleeping much. I repeatedly had talks with her teacher and the school, even the boy's grandfather but they all took the "kids are cruel it gets better" thought process. I felt completely at a loss at what to do to protect my child. Nothing I said gave her much comfort, and the people who were responsible for protecting her at the school were completely dropping the proverbial ball. 
  It all came to a head  2 weeks before the school year ended, the day before field day the kids were walking to where they meet the parents after school and her bully informed her he was going to shoot her Dad. She was hysterical and really worried that something was going to happen to Ken. Now you need to remember, these are 6 year old kids, first graders... where would a kid that age learn about such violence? I immediately went to the school office and had a sit down meeting with the school's Assistant Principal. She assured me the boy would be called to the office, his guardians contacted and would be suspended the next morning. I left feeling hopeful that finally, this would be dealt with and the boy reprimanded.
  My heart sank though the very next day when my daughter slowly walked to meet me at my car and informed me that the boy was not only not suspended but he was allowed to participate the field day, a day that was fun and a reward for a good year. I had never felt more let down by a group of people in my life. I calmed my daughter, went home and immediately called the superintendent of the school district and had a long talk, filed a complaint against the school and then did the same thing at the State Board of Education. I firmly believe things like this should never happen in schools, our children should be safe.
  I think the moment I knew this was truly a serious problem that desperately needs to be remedied was when I spoke with the school's Principal. I explained I would be homeschooling my daughter for the remainder of the year and then be removing her and enrolling her in a new school. She actually asked me why and when I explained that my daughter was not safe under their care, her response was that because the boy did not physically assault her she was never in any real danger. I realized this is a misconception that is shared by a lot of people in this country. That just because it is words, it isn't hurting the kids seriously.  If anything, it is worse... if he had hit her, she could have defended herself, hit him back, something. But he left her feeling helpless and violated, it took a long time to get her to a place where she feels safe and secure again.
  Parents or not, if you see someone, anyone, being mistreated by someone I urge you to stop and say something. We have grown into a community that is apathetic to the needs of others, we choose to not get involved because it isn't our business or some other nonsense excuse.  You have to think, if this was you, would you want someone to stand up for you? It is not something we should ever be ok with. It is not kids being kids, kids picking on kids, people being mean spirited. It is a PROBLEM and turning a blind eye to it is just as bad as saying it is ok, and it leaves those who are being subjected to bullying feeling lost and alone and frankly, abandoned.
  My daughter is in a new school that has an honor code and a zero tolerance policy for bullying. She is excelling in school and is regularly awarded for being a good caring person, someone with stellar character and of this I am proud of her.  She also is a loyal friend and has on occasion told bullies to knock it off and stop picking on other kids. It is something I can not express how much I take pride in, it is something I hope she carries with her all her life. I wish more people were like her, it reminds me I did a good job and instilled good qualities in her tiny little self. I hope you take her story and learn something from it and it makes you take notice and a stand against the bullying of others.


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