My son is 11 years old in the 5th grade. He has been given most of the usual acronyms associated with social difficulties; ADHD, OCD, NVLD-ONS, and AG. "Twice Exceptional" is the euphemistic term for academically-gifted kids with social learning disabilities. We have dealt with problem situations at school since kindergarten. I have been mostly distracted all of this week because my son was written up at school for finally defending himself against bullies who have been tormenting him all year. It had just been verbal up till now, calling him stupid, etc. but on Friday one of them pummeled him with a ball and he hit back. The mom of one of these kids is very involved at school, and her boy is in all the advanced programs. I am now experiencing what it is like to call out a person with power and clout on these issues. I can only imagine what the mother of Romney's victim felt when she heard of the abuse her son endured and the lack of response from the administration. In my case, because of this woman's ability to speak immediately and directly with teachers, the focus has turned from stopping the abuse to "preventing (The Bullies) from having to walk on eggshells" for the rest of the year out of fear of accusations by my son. Confronting and dealing with bullying is a complicated and delicate issue, and even more so when you give power to one of the parents over the other. Perhaps John Lauber's mom never heard about Romney's attack, because her boy had long ago learned it was hopeless to confront these people. I know if she did, her heart was broken for her inability to confront the perpetrators. I imagine like me, she was torn between accepting defeat and pulling her kid out of that school, or staying in and helping her kid stand up for his individuality and dignity. Romney's dismissal of his behavior is a slap in the face to all families that struggle with this issue every day. Those of us that hear over and over that, "Kids tend to exaggerate at this age." and "I can only do something if I see it." and "If they fight back, it is no longer a bully issue, it is a conflict issue." It is hard enough to deal with bullying at face value. It is truly no fun to have to accuse a child of bad behavior when you know your kid has to associate with them going forward, and you as a parent have to face their parents at some point. Try adding the son of an automobile executive-turned-governor into the mix. Romney's parents never had to fight to be heard, or accuse someone more powerful than they of an injustice to their children. Romney hasn't either. When I read all the personal stories of middle and high school bullying horrors, I am terrified for my boy and hope that I can continue to help him get past these years with his creativity and individuality intact. I wish the Republican nominee for president had used this unfortunate moment in his past as a teachable moment and acknowledged that in retrospect, it was a horrible thing to do. Instead, he contributed to the emotionally damaging and potentially deadly myth of "boys will be boys" and "I was just joking". I can forgive his teen-aged self for what he did. I cannot forgive him now for refusing this acknowledgement.
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Bob Love, mint julep, suzq, Samer, white blitz, DianeNYS, kerplunk, Loudoun County Dem, DvCM, Cassandra Waites, luckylizard, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, petral, ban48, Reetz, mama jo, tardis10, Pinto Pony, 2thanks, FloridaSNMOM, jan4insight, Abelia, Lily O Lady, Homer177, Mannie
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