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Can Bullies Be Bullied?

I think it must be hard to be a teacher. You have 25 little people you are responsible for and since they’re not your children, you don’t necessarily love them all equally. There is always the pet or favorite kid who does what she’s told and never steps out of line. There is a quiet one who doesn’t cause too much trouble and you actually kind of forget he’s there. And then there’s the punk. The bully. The problem child. Whatever you want to call him. The one that causes every teacher to breathe a sigh of relief when she sees her class roster without his/her name on the list.

It must be hard when a teacher sees this little thug terrorize the members of her class. It must be hard when 24 little people come to her with tears in their eyes and say, “Reginald hit me.” or “Reginald stole my pencil.” or “Reginald called me ugly.” It must be hard not to haul off and swat Reginald across the bottom and say, “Stop being such a brat, Reginald.”

That’s why I got a little excited today when I saw the story about the Texas teacher who let all her students take a whack at the class bully.

It must have been like a dream come true to her class. (I know I’ve dreamed of doing this to some of the kids I know.)

I bet every teacher at some point or another has at least thought about doing this. They probably even had a fantasy or two where they got a crack at the kid too.

Of course the teacher got fired for doing this. It was a terrible lapse in judgment on her part and I don’t know how she thought this would turn out any differently than it did. Especially in this litigious society we live in now where so many parents of precious snowflakes are quick to sue anyone who even dares to make their snowflake sad, let alone allow anyone to lay hands on him. She must have cracked. She must have reached her breaking point with this kid and just said, “I’ve had enough. Make a line and everyone gets a turn.”

However, I don’t think she’s the only one to blame.

Doesn’t this boy’s parents have anything to do with this story and the way their son turned out? If you watch the piece, never once does the mother admit that her son might be a tough kid to get along with. Never once does she take any sort of blame for the way he behaves. Never once does she own up and say, “He’s not perfect and we’re working on it, but this was not the way it should have been handled” or something to that effect. Instead, she cries for justice for her son and demands that the teacher in question never holds a teaching job again, but not once does she apologize to her kid’s victims. What about the justice for them?

Maybe I sound a bit bitter, but that’s because I am. I have a kid who gets picked on at school. I have a kid who gets called names and is physically assaulted at times. When I complained to the teacher, I was always told that the boy who attacks my son is “lovely” and comes from a “wonderful home.” Well, obviously not. If he did, he’d keep his hands off my kid. I didn’t stop until he was separated from my son and I will continue to work to keep them apart. And it’s not just my kid who gets visits from this “lovely” boy. There are many others who try to stay out of his line of fire. My guess is, if you told them they could smack this boy upside his head, they’d line up gleefully rubbing their hands together in anticipation.

I was picked on as a kid. I was called names and treated badly by “lovely” boys and girls from “good homes.” I would have loved to have formed a line and beat the crap out of those lovely kids. That was never an option. I just would have been grateful to have a teacher who took a stand against a kid who tormented the weaker kids. I would have been grateful if all she did was intervene. She didn’t need to go to the extremes this teacher in Texas did. I never had a teacher who bothered to stick up for me or the other punching bags. I made it through, but with a few permanent scars. (Hell, why do you think I call my blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat?) I survived it, but was it necessary to go through that?

All I can do now is try and get my precious snowflakes through these next few years and try and shield them from kids who weren’t raised to be respectful or kind or accepting or responsible for their actions. In the meantime, I must keep reminding myself that my problem isn’t with these kids, my problem is with the parents. It’s not the kid’s fault his parents are jerks.

What do you think? Can a bully cry foul when he gets his due?

Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).

Follow People I Want to Punch in the Throat on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more of Jen at PIWTPITT — Are Helpful Men Creepy? and Why I Never Say Never and Am I a Bully? and I Hate My Friend’s Kid

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Photo: Morguefile.com

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