Screw PC!!

Over the summer I asked my daughter what she was looking forward to most about kindergarten and one of things she said was the bus ride. For my older boys the bus ride has represented a new found independence that has been exhilarating for them. My daughter could sense that as well. Her first taste of freedom. Ahh, so good!

For the most part the bus ride AND kindergarten have lived up to her expectations, but a few recent incidents have gotten my blood boiling.

One day a bunch of six grade boys got in trouble at school, which means they had to wait until all the kids boarded the bus, which also meant they ended up having to sit with the kindergartners in the front. That in itself was probably not the best idea, but for the majority of kids it would have been fine. However, apparently not for these six grade boys.

They started talking to my daughter and making jokes. She is pretty cute, but most kindergartners are. Anyway, one of the knuckleheads says, “So and so will give you a kiss if you give him a high five.” Now right there I’m alarmed. Luckily my daughter is pretty smart and tough, two brothers and all, and she says, “NO!”

Good for her. But bad for these boys. I call the principal the next day and have a meeting with him. Maybe this was all in fun, but I don’t care. I tell him in no uncertain terms that this should not be going on. He agrees. And he speaks to the boys and explains to them why that was not OK. He calls me and says he believes they just didn’t get it and now they understand. OK, I was a boy once and I know how clueless I was.(Hitting the girls I liked with snow balls in the head?!) So, I try to move on.

But NO! The very next day some boys in first and second grade starts teasing my daughter and yelling to the back of the boys that she kissed so and so. She’s saying in her little kindergarten voice, “It’s not true!” “It’s not true!”

Now I’m livid, but still trying to keep cool about it. This should not be happening! Generally I’m not one of these parents that makes a stink about every little incident. But when it comes to older boys and my five year old daughter, forget it!

I make another phone call to the same principal. He calls the other principal. (Two different schools ride this bus.) Another discussion ensues. Problem resolved. I hope.

But I’m still pissed off!! And I don’t trust completely that it’s over.

Let me fill in for one second. I believe that most problems are better resolved between kids, but this just feels different to me. As a parent we constantly have to critique every situation and ask ourselves, “Should we intervene?” In most cases the answer is no. Let the kids work things out for themselves. And in most cases, that’s what I do.

More back drop: I also have two boys who are a little older than my daughter and who ride the bus too. Now you’re probably wondering, what are her two older brothers doing while this is going on? Me too?!!

I pull my boys aside and ask them this very question. Although to be fair, they’re only in first grade and in third grade. And they’re just as clueless as the other boys.

They say, “Dad, we didn’t even know this was going on.”

They ride in the back of the bus having a grand time. They’re in their glory back there! But I say,”You need to look out for one other. That’s what brothers and sisters do.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve only gotten into one fight in my life and that was over in about five seconds. Stupid!  I don’t avoid conflict, I just avoid fights. I would never want to put my boys in harms way either. But a united front can go a long way in “solving” a problem. Most of the time, the threat is enough. So I pull my third grader aside and I say to him. “You have my permission to take care of the situation if negotiating doesn’t work.”

I know, I know. But dammit sometimes talking isn’t enough. I don’t want him to get in a fight. Absolutely not!  And do I want him to “use his words first?” Of course I do!! I expect it. And do I want him to seek adult help after he tries to resolve the problem. Absolutely!

But you know what, sometimes you just gotta say, “SCREW PC!”

The world of kids hasn’t changed that much in the last thirty years. It can be as cut throat  and nasty as the adult world, or worse. And sometimes a thinly veiled threat is what it might take for a little kindergarten girl to enjoy her first bus rides to school.


ps. At this time there have been no threats reported on bus number 13!

14 Comments on Screw PC!!

  1. You’re absolutely right. I was bullied as a kid, actually got the crap kicked out of me on several occasions. My parents tried going to the bus driver, the principal, the board of education, and finally the cops. It didn’t work, just got worse. Of course, I didn’t have the benefit of older brothers.

    If they can’t fix it, though? Karate. My parents finally sent me to karate (which I think you can start at age 6 now) and I learned confidence and backbone more than anything. I only got into one more fight after that, and once I wasn’t such an easy target, it was done.

    But beyond the physical, martial arts is great for just developing a sense of self that makes a kid carry herself differently and not let herself be picked on.

    There’s a reason I’m a lawyer with a focus in domestic violence now.

  2. You’re much calmer than I would have been. That’s sexual harassment (regardless of whether it was ‘in jest’ or spoken by children) and from my understanding there is supposed to be a zero tolerance attitude in most all schools.

    If anything the boys in question should have been banned from the bus for at least two weeks and at the most they should have been suspended from school for up to three days and required to go to counseling.

    And this I say not just as a parent…but I’m a former teacher. It’s one of those things that’s drilled into our heads. Too bad the bus driver wasn’t on the ball to stop it…

  3. thats right little lady “Just Say NO”..

  4. You’re right, not much has changed in the past 30 years EXCEPT schools can now be made legally accountable (just as places of employment) for their handling of any sexual harassment incidents. Yup, that’s what this is. That’s why this just doesn’t smell right. This is why god gave us Gloria Allred.

  5. Hola Guys,

    Ugh, what is going on on the bus these days? I think you’re spot on on this one, screw being PC! A united front is right most times you just need to appear strong and your boys should remember there’s power in numbers.

    Clearly some parents need to also sit down with their children and remind them what’s appropriate behavior.

  6. When my daughter was in kindergarten, one of the boys at her daycare (only a year or two older than her), told her, “I wanna sex with you.” She was horrified. I told her to tell him that maybe, in another twenty years, when he’d figured out that “sex” was not a verb…

    But seriously, you are absolutely right – most of the time, things are best worked out between the kids. Assuming they’re about the same age and size, and that they’re…being kids. This crosses a line, and isn’t good for those boys, either. I wish I believed that calling their dads for a good dad to dad chat would work, but it would probably end in a fistfight, these days.

  7. My daughter was older and used to get bullied by a boy who lived on our block almost every day on the bus. I used to talk to his mother about it and once she sent him over to apologize. Kids can be so miserable to each other. It’s good that your sons are on the same bus, and yes, they should definitely look out for their sister. She must be really cute to be getting this much attention.:) But she does have a good head on her shoulders.LOL Sounds like the whole thing has been nipped in the bud.

  8. This got me thinking. Maybe I should start teaching my 6yr old daughter kung fu or something (not that I know martial arts). Hmm… maybe I should just buy her a nunchuck and some ninja stars.

    Seriously, a kid’s life is more brutal than an adult’s. It’s at this stage when the territorial instincts of a person develops and where the natural fight or flight response is imprinted on the psyche. I agree that you should screw PC, in terms of intervention, but it’s better to teach your daughter to take care of herself physically and mentally. =)

  9. I agree that my daughter needs to be able to take care of herself. Self confidence, good self-esteem and maybe even a little self-defense. And my boys too!

    This parenting gig is not so easy that’s for sure!!!

    Thanks for all of your thoughts.

  10. The fact that you knew about all these incidents meant that your daughter was feeding back to you what was happening? And I think that is good. If she didn’t speak up, it could have been much worse. Much as I agree with you that as adults we should not intervene with problems between kids. I believe there is a need to in this case to certain extent. We need to let the principles of the school involved be aware of the case and at the same time we need to let our little ones know that such things are not right and how they should react or behave. I thought you are pretty calm and patient already in handling it.

  11. You’re a better man than me for not going ballistic over those boys and your daughter’s incident. You did the right thing- all the way. Your intervention, PC or not, was important and RIGHT. One of the reasons I don’t have kids of my own is the lack of freedom that I’m accustomed to, lack of patience, anger issues and the worry that if I had a kid, I would be so over protective with my child, it would be detrimental to one and all.

  12. One of my mom’s favorite stories used to be how when I was in kindergarten or the first grade, we lived in the country & I had to ride the bus. My “best friend” Jessica, who these days we’d call my frienemy, always used the bus as a time to bully me. The way the story goes, I took it and took it until one day I just hauled off & punched her. According to my mom, the whole bus, including the bus driver, cheered.

    I don’t remember any of it honestly. The only thing I remember about the bus is the one day it broke down. However, it made me wonder, if the whole bus was glad I finally punched her, why didn’t they intervene before it came to that point? Couldn’t the bus driver or someone said something to Jessica before then?

    It sounds like from your story the bus hasn’t changed it all. It makes me glad my nephew goes to the city schools, where there aren’t any buses. Not that the lack of buses stops bullying. Kids can always bully on the playground before the bell rings.

  13. This is definitely wrong for 6th grade boys to act this way. I have a 6th grade son, and he would never do this. He does some goofy stuff, but would never think of bothering a Kindergartner. Actually, girls of any age are off limits for our boys to bother.

    Glad that she stood up for herself, that ability will serve her well through her whole life.

  14. Wow that would be a hard situation. The 6th grade boys may be clueless but still once they were told that should have been the end of it. Hope everything worked out ok!

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