Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Middle School Warrior!

So my darling girl Mo has been in Middle School now for a few weeks and things seem to be going swimmingly. I worry about her. She's very small for her age and most people think she's the same age as her nine year old brother. I worried that because of her small stature she'd be a target for bullies right away.

Every day she hops into the car at after school pick up and regales me with what has happened that day. Usually it's "I didn't get lost today!", or "I had a good math day.", but more and more it is, "I didn't beat the crap out of anyone today."

Yes, she actually says that.

Why would a sweet 12 year old little girl say this as she is getting into the car at the end of the day? Because she actually means it. She has been approached by several kids, (both boys and girls), and they have tried their best to pick on her. Now, Mo is small, but like her skate name, she's a Dyna Mo! She uses several different ploys to ward off bullies. She uses the Loud Voice. That's where, when someone tries to annoy her, she will yell at the top of her lungs "Leave me alone, STOP bullying me!" and gets the attention of everyone around including the teachers who have a zero tolerance rule at this school. She also does the Evil Stare/Crazy Eyes thing too. She uses that one on her brother quite effectively and it seems to work with the school kids as well. Then, when all else fails, she does the "Do the right thing", and tells an adult in charge.

She used "Do The Right Thing" last Friday to her advantage. There is a boy named Steve who is in a great many of her classes. This is a big, slow, rude boy according to her. He has already tried to bully Mo by taking her food and rubbing it on his crotch (sexual harassment), or by calling her name out in class to bug her. She has been handling him very well and I have given her permission to kick him in the crotch if he pulls the food thing again, but Friday he apparently crossed the line. Friday Mo saw him grab a boy's collar from behind and start choking the boy. Like REALLY choking him. The boy was crying from not being able to breathe. My tiny warrior ran up and screamed at Steve as LOUD as she could and startled him into letting the poor crying boy go. Then she ran to the principal and instantly told her what happened. Steve got called up to the office and when Monday rolled around, Steve was suspended. Friday afternoon, as Mo was getting into the car, she asked me, "Mom, is it ok for me to hit someone when they are hurting one of my friends?" That was when she imparted the whole scenario to me and I had to think about it. Do I support violence or do I reinforce the schools objectives even though the schools seem almost powerless to stop bullying? So I compromised. I applauded her for her quick thinking and for helping her friend, but said violence to stop violence should always be a last ditch effort, otherwise she might be seen as the bully herself. We talked about it, and I think she understands.

My Dyna-Mo, she is a girl like none other and I love her to pieces!! Fight on, my precious!


Russ said...

Resorting to violence should always be a last resort, but sometimes you have to speak the same language as the bully. Kudos to Mo for doing the right thing!

Christina LMT said...

Good for her! You are raising your kids right.

I told Silver when she was in high school that I didn't care about the "zero tolerance policy" in one aspect: If someone attacked her, I WANTED her to defend herself to the best of her abilities. I didn't care if she'd be expelled or suspended. I didn't want my children to grow up as victims-in-waiting, as our schools seem determined to do these days. It's your mindset that is most important, I believe.

Silver used a loud "BACK OFF" several times quite effectively, and also almost brained a trio of bullies with her hard-sided clarinet case (GO, BAND!). She dented a locker...:D

Silver is also a tiny sprite of a girl, btw. She finally broke a hundred pounds her junior year in high school. Never grew past 5'2", though.

Megan said...

The loud voice ploy was always one of my favorites. Still is. Scares the crap out of people!

Good for Mo for sticking up for herself and her friends. And good for you mom, for teaching her right!