Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Who's the Bully?


"Virgil hit me."

"Virgil's bullying me."

It was two against one. The two had been out of their seats, loudly complaining, and just generally not letting me get class started.

The one, Virgil, had been in his seat, quiet, and not bothering anybody.

Hmmm... Who's the bully?

Mateo wouldn't sit still. He needed to blow his nose several times. Then he needed hand sanitizer. Journalism students brought school newspapers, and Mateo said it was his job to pass them out. (School papers are left in a pile for students to pick up if they want one.)

I caught Myles angling his Chromebook (computer) Virgil's way. When I went to see what was on his screen, it had suddenly become the study guide that he was supposed to be working on. ("No, there was nothing else on my screen.")

Um, who's the bully?

In my defense, I was busy with the rest of the class as well as trying to contain Mateo and Myles. But I was not defending Virgil as I should. When Virgil asked to go to the office, I knew he wanted to inform the assistant principal. I wrote him the pass.

And when the assistant principal called, I let him know that Virgil's story was likely accurate.

It was after class that a girl approached me to let me know what I hadn't seen. Mateo had been pointing at Virgil and calling his name. Both boys had been taunting Virgil. Virgil swatted the finger (as I totally would have done in the same situation). That's what the boys termed "hitting". (Accurate, but completely mischaracterizing the interaction.)

So, yeah, Mateo and Myles were the bullies. And of course they accused their target of the acts they were guilty of.

Eighth graders...

21 comments:

  1. I'm sure the names Mateo and Myles made it on your note you left for the teacher.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  2. When it's two against one, usually the one is the innocent

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't tell you how many times a kiddo comes up to me and tells me to "watch out for that one". That one is usually some kiddos minding their own business, quietly sitting there. They look at me, some with horror. I know in that moment the person to pay attention to is the one who "warned" me.

      Delete
  3. Ooof. That's tough. I've found I have to be a lot more objective since having two kids. Yes, my daughter is often more well-behaved, but she knows how to push her brother's buttons and is often quick on the "Mama!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that's what I worry about. Is the well-behaved one actually the good one? Or are they just Eddie Haskell-ing me?

      Delete
  4. Wait. You actually took the side of the kid being bullied? I didn't know teachers actually did that. What a radical new idea.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I could almost think you're describing national current events.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Being with 6,7,8 and or 9th graders. You ought to get time in half.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  7. It takes an amazing person to put up with all that....haha

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Liz - oh how you have to deal with so many things ... the school is lucky to have you around ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  9. It must be very difficult for teachers to deal effectively with bullying. I don't envy you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This on top of the other stuff that goes on in a day. Invariably, some things fall through the cracks.

      Delete
  10. Birgit here...poor Virgil, I feel for him. The sad thing is these 2 brats will be bullies when they are in their 20s, 30s and beyond. Most do not grow out of their tactics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I ran into Mateo several times later in the week, and he acted like we were buddies. I have no idea what gave him that idea.

      Delete
    2. Odd way for Mateo to behave. Hmmm... ~shakes head~ Kids.

      Delete
    3. It's not the first time a kiddo has acted like that. It's like they think it's a game or something.

      Delete

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.