6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



About a month ago I wrote a post about an Identity Crisis that I was having.  That post arose due to the many changes that were happening in our family.  I haven't blogged much since then because things promptly took a huge 180 swing and I've been busy riding the pendulum. 

To make a long story short; We are homeschooling all of our children again. 

The Charter School that our kiddos were attending turned out to be a bad place for our 10 year old son, Vinze.  Unbeknown to us, he had been bullied ferociously by some of his classmates since the first week. .

We thought everything was going very well because he had been voted Class President and had straight A's but the truth of the matter was that the girls loved him and the boys had it in for him.

The straw that broke the camels back was an incident where one boy shoved Vinze's head into the wall as he was using the urinal.  As he zipped his pants and turned around to tell the boy to stop, another boy came up, told him he was going to "beat his a** until he turned black" as he shoved Vinze into a large trash can.  The contents went everywhere and Vinze lay amid the mess.

It turns out that the boys had never accepted him. It may be because Vinze was the only Caucasian child in his class or it may be because... No, I believe that was the reason.  The language used toward our son was horrific and the phrases he repeated to us while trying to explain what he had been going through were nothing but filth.  There is no other way to describe what he went through but complete and utter terror and putrid ignorance.

The boys talked like doped up sailors.  Fifth grade boys were saying things like, "I'm gonna f*** your mama and throw my sugar in your face when I'm done."

Now, dear reader, I did not know what that meant. Our 10 year old son had to listen to this for 9 weeks.  He sheepishly repeated it to my husband and I as he tried to explain the ridiculousness that he went through at that school. His tears said it all.

How could we not have known that our 10 year old son was being so tormented at school?  Why didn't the teachers do something about that?  I'm 40 years old and have been around the block a few times in my day.  I had to ask my husband what some of those phrases meant!  How could these kids get away with such meanness for such a long time?

It was later discovered that an adult, lunch aid had witnessed Vinze being shoved to the ground during lunch that very same day.  She came over to ask him if he was okay. She told the other boy to go sit down.  It turns out that Vinze had told the kid that there was mustard on his belt but the boy didn't want the white kid talking to him.

All I know is that we made a horrific decision when we picked the school to allow our children to have their year "away" to learn and discover.  That was cemented in my mind when our 6 year old son, Kole, came to me a week or so after pulling them from school.  He told us of two boys who dragged him into the bathroom by his backpack.  They kept pushing him back into the bathroom when he tried to leave.  Only after a teacher walked in was he able to open the door and run out.  He tried to tell the teacher what was happening, but she just told him to stop horsing around!


I don't know why some people think these events are "part of growing up."   Torment should not be a part of growing up!  I know adults who have emotional scars that still haunt them from bullying and abuse at the hands of school peers.  How is that normal?  How is that a healthy part of growing up?

Shall we all plop our children in the path of a bully so they can become well rounded?  Is there a course in how to find a bully so that my child can have the full childhood experience, complete with wedgies, slurs and toilet bowl swirlies?  I think not.

At no other time in life do we HAVE to live with people who harm us.  If we are bullied at work, there is legal recourse.  If we are bullied in college, there is legal recourse.  If we are surrounded by people who demean us in our jobs, we can quit!  If we find ourselves in a college class full of snots, we can drop it and find another class.

Why do we MAKE our children live day after day, week after week, year after year with people who make them miserable?  How is that OKAY?!

As for my husband and I, we don't follow that "rule."  We wont.  Our children are people too. They don't have to "put up with" ridiculous snots.  They don't have live in chaos or fear. 

I'm glad we're back to the real world.  There's something comforting about running to co-ops and sitting with family to do worksheets.  Watching educational movies, running to bible studies and inviting kids over for play dates just seem to do the trick for our family.  The kids are happy and educated.  To me that's normal. To our family, that's relaxation and comfort.

I only hope that by bringing our children out of that madness they will be able to reflect on it and glean valuable information for their lives.  They didn't have to live in it, day after day for a year or two or thirteen.  I can only hope that by leaving it behind quickly, they will not be scarred but be stronger because of it.


Sunday said...

Thank goodness you got him out of there! So many parents think they have no choice about education, or how their children are treated in the educational system. I pulled my oldest out of a private school (1stgrade) and home schooled her because of a child’s violent behavior in the class room, even though it was not directed to her. There were people who believe I had over reacted (after months of chair throwing and hitting the teacher), but as a mother I believed it was my duty to protect my child from being exposed to violence in any form IN FIRST GRADE!


Stacy said... are right. There are so many parents who feel that they do not have another choice in education. I wish that those parents really knew/understood that homeschooling is a valid and real option. And have the gift of writing. I'm so glad you reach alot of people with your share this personal story so that it can help others who are experiencing this. It is so sad how many children are being affected by bullying today. (Although it should be called something different now a days.)

Ginger said...

My finace didn't want our son to be homeschooled. (Said it was not the way he was raised and didn't believe in it) So I sent him to a public school. We too encountered the bullying, the boys were kicking each other in the groin, swearing, etc. The teacher too dismissed it. Thank goodness my son told me everyday how his day was and brought these issues up.(My son is in Kindergarden) Least to say I pulled him out and we now homeschool, even Dad was behind me on this! :) Over protective I think not, parents do not realize what is actually occuring with their child in school! CONGRATS TO YOU & ME! :)))

The Mom with Brownies said...

Thank you, guys, for the positive responses. We are all happier since the move back home. I don't think I'll give schools another chance. Home is where they belong until they are ready and willing to fly the coop. :o)

Ruth said...

I am so sorry your son had to go through this traumatic experience. I could barely read your post and just flew over some sections. I hope he is doing better now. How did you find out he was being bullied? Also, why did it take so long to find out that he was being bullied? Please don't interpret them as critizing questions, I just don't want my own boys to go through this experience without me knowing it. Thank you for your response.

The Mom with Brownies said...

Hi Ruth,

I understand your reaction. That is exactly how I responded. How did we miss this?

Hindsight is 20/20. He did tell me that "some of the boys use bad language" and "the boys joke with him a lot."

I didn't take those to be a signal for bullying. I did follow up with "what kind of language" and "are they trying to be funny" "what do they do?"

But his answers did not trigger the bullying response to me.

I now know that he was too embarrassed to tell me the words they used and he may have even felt guilty because he laughed or smiled when they said some stuff so he could try to fit in.

He HAD to be with them every single day, minute by minute for the rest of the year so he just plain and simply was trying to fit in so he would be safe.

The teacher didn't recognize what was happening either and she was Right There. (She started crying during our conference.)

Sadly, kids will often go into "Stockholm syndrome" mode and go along with the things that are happening in "their" world so they don't "get killed."

I know that to US that sounds preposterous but we didn't go to school in a day and age where small town kids in pretty small town school killed each other either. Know what I mean?

I "think" that our kids are just trying to be accepted so they can feel safe. They see the television reports and online videos about school shootings, stabbings and stuff. They have to really try to fit in or they could "in their minds subconsciously" get hurt badly or die.

We as the parents unwittingly become the enemy in a way. We are making them go and sometimes respond with a smirk or indignant words when they tell us they are not happy at school. We say stupid things like, "this is part of growing up" "you can handle a little teasing" "every kid goes through this" "you'll get through this and be happier in a day or two."

All of those things "tell" our children that we can't help or worse, won't help them escape that situation, so they stop talking to us.

They give up and have to fit in or "die." We become the oppressor and they live their lives day after day, minute by minute in a world that they don't get to choose because "it's part of life."

They often feel that they are weak if they don't fit in so they become the people they hated in the beginning.

I'm just thankful that we are able to choose in our country. When and if we see the signs of sadness and/or stress, we can bring them home and allow them to learn without stress.

There is no reason to expose them to peer pressure day after day, minute after minute. We can choose to allow them to have a normal experience in small spurts through the week doing other activities with kids their age without the pressure of "living" with them day after day. That alone takes the "pressure" part off of "peer pressure."

Ruth said...

Hi Mom with Brownies,

Thank you very much for your detailed response. I'll be raising my children in a country where homeschooling is illegal but if I need to pull them out of school I will. However, in the mean time I am keeping a close eye on them and making sure they are not being mistreated. Thank you again for your honest and detailed response. Much grace to you and your family. Your boys are lucky to have such a caring mother.