Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Booted from the bus

So, Unruly got kicked off the bus. Again. For fighting.

But the other kid got kicked off too, so it's not ALL her fault. Apparently my little sadomasochist was inciting this 3rd grade boy to punch her over and over. She says her winter coat "felt like armor" and she wanted to see how hard he had to hit her before it hurt.

Well, he finally hit hard enough to hurt and kept hitting. So she retaliated by kicking him in his boy-parts. And he retaliated by punching her in the face and bloody-ing her lip. Nice, eh?

Explain to me how kicking her off the bus for two days is any kind of punishment for her? She HATES riding the bus, so it's a welcome reprieve from having to ride the stink-mobile. Her banishment from the bus is, however, punishment for me because I have to take her to school and pick her up. What kind of pain in the ass is that? Twenty minutes in the opposite direction I have to go for work. Which makes my commute to work about an hour-and-a-half instead of an hour. That half hour makes a BIG difference in my level of tolerance for being in the truck and on the road.

I got kicked off the bus a few times when I was in school. I never got kicked off when I was in kindergarten or first grade though! Maybe that's because I walked to school. But, I digress. I was booted from the big yellow weinie for fighting. I guess the fruit doesn't fall too far from the tree, eh?

Wild has shared with us, a few times now, that there are a couple of boys on the bus who keep grabbing her butt and boobs. As many times as we've offered to step in and report the touching, she gets upset and says that will just make it worse for her and she'll handle it herself. So far it doesn't seem like she's handling it so well. It's sexual harassment, pure and simple, and no one should have to put up with that, ever. Period.

One of the times I got kicked off the bus was for retaliating to sexual harassment that just. wouldn't. stop. No matter how many times I complained. No matter where I sat or how much I threatened him with bodily violence, this big, jerky, mean, ugly DORK grabbed my girly parts every day on the bus. He thought it was funny and was probably getting his jollies off my discomfort and anger.

It finally got to the point where I could take it no more. He crossed the line and bruised my boob with his big, grabbing, pinching hands.

I clobbered him upside the head with my clarinet case. And clobbered him and clobbered him. I couldn't stop. I'm pretty sure he was bleeding and well-beaten by the time I got done.

I got kicked off the bus for defending myself.

I don't want it to get to that point with Wild. So, despite her assurances that she "can handle it," I'm going to step in and start filing reports with the school district. If they do nothing, I'll take it a step further and file reports with the police department. Because no matter where it takes place, it's still sexual harassment and it's against the law.


nell said...

Poor Wild, that sucks! Ultimately it'll be better if it gets dealt with, but man, to have to deal with that day in and day out really, really sucks. No girl should have to put up with that. Makes me wanna come out there and ride that bus, just give me one day...

MP said...

I can totally see that little kid thought process..my step son was having me kick him as hard as I can in his shin guard..I can totally see that not going well if I did it another 23 times or if it was the same conversation w/ him and another 8 year old.. Sucks it ends up being your punishment.

As for Wild..yeah I remember back in the days of "titty twisters" and snapping bra straps...it was funny once...and actually a sign the stupid guy might like you..weird I know..but what is going on with Wild just seems like harrassment plain and simple. Hopefully they will actually do something...and not just tell his parents..then they yell at him..then it's worse for her.
Praying for you that the system actually works!

Krista said...

I still remember when I was in 6th grade and a high school boy "crowded" me on the bus. I sat mid way back, with all the other kids my age, but he would come and trap me against the window and make me extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully his was one of the first stops so I didn't have to deal with him long. And thankfully we moved soon... and I walked or drove myself the rest of my school career.
This kid needs to be taught the lesson now that this is not okay. It might be hard on Wild for awhile, but you can't let it pass.

Linlee said...

It amazes me how early this stuff starts. I'm glad she kicked him where it counts!!!

goat roper said...

It is like you are living my life! Strange how parallel it is! When my dear daughter went through the same thing with a boy on the bus, I let her handle it and I have always regretted that I didn't step in. Let her know that she does not have to tolerate the touches and you will stand up for her. The boy needs to learn right now that NO means no when it comes to touching.

Sona said...

Call the school, call the school board, talk to the driver and to the boys parents.

Then talk to Wild. It's a conversation that needs to be had. Women shouldn't have to defend themselves. Period. There should be nothing to defend. There is no 'handling it' herself. Once is too much and twice should be cause for more punishment than just being kicked off the bus for the boy.

Make it clear to the school, school board, driver and the boys parents that the next step will be a police report.

And do it.

Wild needs your support in this and she needs to see that taking such measures is not only appropriate but necessary. She needs to understand the seriousness of this and understand that there are serious consequences to his actions that she (with your backing) can call upon.

And remind her that if he does it to her he's likely doing it to other girls too. She can help stop him from hurting others.

And good on you for whacking that boy with your clarinet case!

Wendy said...

what a bunch of tough scrappers your whole family is! Remind me to stay on your good side!

Maybe practice some goat roping skills on those boys.

amy said...

Hey, I got kicked off the bus that day, too, for joining in. I think it was the first day we were actually a united front instead of bickering sisters.

And, because I know this will be brought up a lot in Wild's situation, DO NOT let people say she was asking for it because of her clothes. If she wants her butt crack to show and her breasts bulging in a tight shirt, she has a right to do that without being grabbed at. Teased verbally a little, yes, but not touched and not teased in a sexual manner. Boys have no right to use their bigger physical size to intimidate girls. It's pathetic and cowardly, especially when our society pretty much says "boys will be boys" and girls "should dress appropriately." Bullshit!
And for sure don't let her go it alone. Girls have been trying to handle it alone for too long, and look where it's gotten us--still afraid to walk home alone at night.