“Mondays were total hell,” said the father of a six- year- old boy.
He sent his son to school, a happy, smart, social and well-adjusted child. Three weeks later his son was depressed, anti-social, and having anxiety headaches. He was a target of the Bully Gang.
“Do you know how much it hurts to put your six- year- old in therapy,” asked the father of that little boy. He went on to say, “It hurts right in your heart.”
He started to uncover things that weren’t right in the way his son was acting. He had always been close to his son; however he noticed when he would ask him how his day at school was, he got no response.
He spotted his son’s coat had a tear in it. When he asked about it, his son said, “Oh dad it has always been there.”
This little boy would come home with grass all over his jeans, and say he was playing football. His dad became suspicious something was very wrong. His son didn’t even like to play football. Soon his son’s routine changed; he would come home from school, curl up into a little ball on the couch, and go to sleep.
One day, his son made a statement that sent chills down his back. He said, “Daddy, I wish I could be with Rex and Roxie.”
Rex and Roxie were his dogs that had died. He feared his son was thinking about dying, and he prayed his son did not know about suicide. Everything about his son’s personality changed; he was no longer a happy little boy.
His dad decided to go to the school and observe what was going on. He watched as the other children played in groups, but his son sat alone; his shoulders drooped, and his head bent low. He noticed a few times his son tried to reach out and would say, “Hi,” to some of the kids walking past him. His effort only resulted in more hurt as the other children ignored him, laughed at him, or called him a name. He felt a sudden rage as he realized none of the teachers did anything to make sure this little six-year-old boy did not have to sit alone on the playground looking defeated.
This dad decided he had all he could handle and walked across the schoolyard to say hello to his boy. He wanted to engulf him in a great big bear hug, but knew that would only make things worse for his son.
It didn’t take long for him to figure out his son was a victim of bullying. He got his son to open up a little, and what he got was enough information to know he could not let this go on any longer.
He went to the school, a school that was believed to be one of Enid, Oklahoma’s best. He sat across the desk from the counselor, squared his shoulders; his jaw set, and he told her, “I believe my son is being bullied. What can we do about it?”
She looked him directly in the eye and said, “I don’t believe that goes on in our school.” She acted as if he had just insulted her. He sat rigid in his chair and continued, “My son has changed because of it. I expected him to come to school and be safe.”
“What makes you think school is causing his anxiety? It sounds to me as if your son has problems, you should seek professional help for him.”
To keep from losing his temper, he got up and left. His mind flashed back three-weeks ago, when his son couldn’t wait to talk to people, now he hid behind him, trying to avoid any interaction with others.
He took his son to a counselor; not the school counselor. She was able to get him to open up a little. He told her some things that happened to him at school. She also diagnosed this little boy with having anxiety headaches. She found out he was afraid to go to the bathroom because bad things happened in there. The pictures he drew were dark and disturbing.
One day this little boy told his dad, he didn’t want to go to school anymore. His dad simply and gently asked, “Why?”
“Because of the Bully Gang,” whispered his son. The dad wanted to interrupt and ask more questions, but he remained silent; he didn’t want to pressure his boy and cut off the communication. “Daddy, it’s the dark side,” said his son. Some of the mean boys told me they would kill my sisters, burn our house down, kill you and mom, and kill me. I don’t know what to do.”
“You are safe son. I will find out how to put a stop to this.”
The dad talked to some other parents and found out many disturbing things. One lady said, “My son was kicked so hard in the back by the Bully Gang; he suffered some minor injuries.”
The dad planned a father-son day, in hopes of learning more. While riding in the car and listening to a Chiefs game on the radio, the announcer mentioned about the ex-chief player who killed his pregnant wife, and then killed himself.
Out of the blue, his son said, “I know why he did that.”
A fleeting feeling of worry crossed his mind as he asked, “Why?’
“Because he just wanted him and his girlfriend to be with God,” replied his son.
The dad felt like he had been sucker punched. He knew what he had to do; he had to get his son out of that school that had become a dungeon of hell for his precious child.
Since he changed schools, his son is once again making friends, is involved in school plays, and laughs again.
The counseling has helped. He hopes people understand it is nothing to hide if your child needs counseling. It could just be the door that saves his or her life.
The problems of being bullied are hard to overcome, and there are still some lasting effects. He and his wife chose not to use Ritalin when suggested as a fix for their six- year- old son. When the parents explored the advantages and side effects of the drug, they concluded it was not the right medication for him. He was a six-year-old that was depressed. Ritalin is not known to be a good anti-depressant. They also found it should not be given to children under age six. Equally as important they discovered the long- term effects of Ritalin on the developing brain are unknown. They based their decision on these facts, and they did not want their son to become a zombie unless there was no other alternative. They believed kids need to be kids.
They censor the video games he plays, shows he watches on TV, and clips he watches on You-Tube. The dad said, “When a TV commercial comes on, and it is something about bullying, his son stops whatever he is doing, and intently listens to the commercial.” He continued on to say, when the commercial is over, his son will turn to him or wife and say, “I got bullied.”
He is thankful his son is happy to see his counselor because he knows it is going to take time to undo the effects of the bullying. He stated that Monday mornings still presented their difficulties, and he can’t drive by the old school, without seeing his son regress.
In his investigation, the dad found out the Bully Club was considered cool. They played and traded video games that focused on fighting and shooting. He can’t believe the parents, and the schools have turned a blind eye to the damage these violent games cause.
He is grateful that when his son comes home from school now, he does not head for the couch and fall asleep; he plays like a child should.
This father worries about all children, the academic pressure they are under, the physical and social media bullying, and the mindset of the school in Enid, in which he removed his son….”That doesn’t happen in our school.”
YES, IT DOES!
Many people have requested the school be named…it will not be mentioned because the little boy is still healing and his parents want his privacy protected. They were brave in telling their story and having it printed. They hope it turns up the heat and bullying will be addressed as it needs to be. The picture associated with this article is a stock picture, not the precious child that has endured being bullied.