Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"HOLY BOLDNESS BATMAN!" A Warning for School Bullies!


Today, I have a question for parents.  Do your children feel "safe" at school? 

I'm not talking about fear of a catastrophic events like tsunamis or crashing jets (although both concern Isaac). I am wondering if, as you are preparing them for just another school day, does your child feel truely safe.  Can they spend the day away from home without the fear of another student losing control?  Will they feel welcomed by all their fellow students?  Are they learning in an environment where adults are protecting our children from unnecessary threats?  Is your child being harassed by a bully? 

Mine are!  Barely into the first semester of the school year, we have already needed to deal with two incidents with school bullies.  So, while home dishing out the Peptobismal for the daily  "tummy aches" and complaints about not wanting to go to school, for the first time, I recognized fear in our daughter's eyes about her day at school.

Yes, fear!   Coming from rural USA, a small community with loving neighbors, I was unnerved to learn that my little girl was stabbed with a sharp pencil by another student.  The "incident" was calculated by the student who waited, and baited her back, literally, to his newly sharpened pencil.  Granted, her injury was minuscule, but it is the behavior of the student that is also bothersome.  Today it was a pencil; what would it be tomorrow or in five years?  I learned that this student has been heard making threats to others and repeatedly commenting to our daughter in a menacing way; "I hate you!"  Long after the mark on her back heals, a piece of her broken spirit remains as such words tear away at her heart...  and mine.

Why?  Who would he hate my adorable baby girl?  Seriously????  But, perhaps like your own child, mine is a good student, quiet, and well disciplined.  As a mom, I will never forget this evening as I listened to her recount the incident, the walk alone with the bully to the office, the shake in her voice, and the tears in her eyes.  She became the target of a bully. 
So, how can we as parents empower our children to handle bullies at school?  Any ideas?  So, please be a part of Holy Boldness and post your ideas or share your bully story here!  Send me your thoughts as I am developing a creative dramatics workshop for our community called "Holy Boldness". 

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth:
but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).
The word for bold in this verse means “secure, confident.” That’s just the kind of boldness the synagogue rulers saw in Peter and John as they ministered (see Acts 4:1–2).''  And just the kind of boldness our children need at school (since we can't send them wearing armor!) 

We will use role play/dramatics at Holy Boldness to "rehearse" incidents with bullies.  I am developing a program for First Church's GoFriends after school on Thursdays where I hope:
     *  to create an environment where kids are comfortable and SAFE,
     *  to come away with at least one "cope" tactic for them to use in an event with a bully,
     *  to support their friends that may have troubles with a bully, and finally,
     *  to teach kids to pray for the bully.

Who knows?  Maybe God can help us change the heart of the bully! 

Although we can't actually armor our kids or have them swinging punches at school, we can equip them with prayer, right? 

The bullies won't know what "hit" them. 
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