Posts Tagged ‘family home evening’

Bully on the Bus

May 25, 2010

Rachel

I wasn’t expecting Rachel to come running into the house this afternoon in  tears. Especially with Jeff right behind her fighting to hold his back as well.

Jeff

All four kids were agitated. Rachel was nearly hysterical. When I finally got her to speak coherently, she told me she was in a fight on the school bus. Turns out, it wasn’t really anything I could qualify as a fight, per se, but it was the first real conflict with one of two regular trouble-makers that involved physical contact.

Let’s see – how do we leave names out? Okay, there’s Girl A and Girl B. We’ll call Girl B the usual bully, but she wasn’t on the bus today. Her sidekick, Girl A, was.  Jeff was sitting with Rachel. Girl A challenged Jeff to his seat (temporary replacement bus while the regular one was in the shop – no seating arrangement, no on-board camera). Jeff told her she needed to say “please”. Girl A grabbed Jeff by the shirt and hauled him out of the seat. He lost his balance and about fell back onto Rachel, who immediately was up and in Girl A’s face about treating her brother like that. Girl A was right back in Rachel’s face, then turned around. Rachel swatted the girl’s shoulder, and Girl A gave a very weak backhand to Rachel’s face.

Of course, the bus driver saw none of this.  Amazing, n’est-ce pas?

There was more yelling, and Girl A got off the bus at her stop.

Okay, I don’t know about other mothers out there, but when someone messes with my kids, Mama Grizzly comes barreling out of her den ready to take on the world. Of course, I had to rein that tendency in.

What I was able to do was to call the bus barn and talk to the driver, making sure that he wasn’t going to just let this slide. Both Girls A and B have been problems throughout the school year. This was the final straw – for A, at least. Girl B was fortunately absent.

Long story short, Girl A admitted to what she did. I have to give her credit for that. She didn’t try  to hide from it. She volunteered to stay off the bus for the last few weeks, her dad driving her from now on.  We’ll just have to see how this all plays out at school and in the neighborhood.

Recognizing that not all kids are as lucky as some of us who go through our entire lives never having a single fight, Rich and I took the opportunity of Family Home Evening to teach a little self-defense. (Not your typical FHE, to say the least!) Ground rules were laid, e.g. You do NOT strike first, you do NOT go for the throat, etc. We even started off by referring to Chief Captain Moroni in Alma who did not delight in bloodshed, but was very protective of his people and their right to live, worship, etc as they chose. He never caused the first offense – not even the second. But when the safety of his people was threatened, he did whatever it took to protect them, offering his enemy the chance to withdraw in peace as often as he could. When they didn’t, he cleaned their clocks.

Rich has had more experience with this than I have. Okay, that’s not hard – I’ve never fought! He grew up with his brothers and he forming something of a small gang. When another “clan” threatened or beat on his family, they all stepped in. It wasn’t like they went looking for it, either. All the brothers are tall – 6′ 3″ (Ronnie) to 6′ 7″(Rich).  The others are all in between there. Growing up in Santee, CA, if there were any trouble-makers looking to prove themselves, they picked out the biggest guy in the room – that usually happened to be one of the Linehan boys. As long as it was one on one, no problem. But it rarely was. There were occasions when one brother would come home pretty ragged, having been cold-cocked by three or four rivals, and Ron – that SgtMaj Linehan, thank you! – ordered the other three to go find the culprits and take care of it. They did.

How is it that guys can pound the daylights out of each other, then share a six-pack afterward? I’ve never quite gotten that one.

We’re not going to do that whole “track them down and take care of it” thing with our kids. We don’t have that kind of problem here. Just the one or two who get a little to pushy and need to be put in their place. I expect this may be the end of the problem. If so, great. If not, I guess they’re going to learn really quickly to take care of themselves.  Could be a rough couple years while they figure that one out.

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