- KETSIREE TURY
Campaigning for Anti-Violence and Anti-Bullying in Schools
I am writing this out of concern for my sons, but also for your sons and daughters. I have just learned what has been going on in a public school setting that my son is in. It has shocked me and has shattered me to my core. My son is five years old and is attending kindergarten.
On December 9th, 2020 my son came home with bruises on his left leg. A boy in his class repeatedly kicked him in the cafeteria, my son reported it to his teacher and she did nothing at the time. My son's words were, "I can't believe she didn't do anything!" When I discovered the bruise, I felt it, kissed it, and my son yelled out in pain. There was a bump under that bruise. The boy was kicking my son with a full force with the intention to hurt him, in a school cafeteria, under adult's supervision. Again my son is five years old and attends kindergarten. The boy who kicked him is attending the same kindergarten class.
I just found out my son and the boy in class have had a series of disagreements and have taken turns hurting each other, AFTER I reported the incident to the school.
You would think the school would profusely apologize for allowing the incident to happen, at least that's what I thought. Boy, I was so wrong. Was I completely surprised? Not too much. Here's why.
The same boy who kicked my son has ripped out another boy's face shield and spitted in his face earlier in the semester. I was appalled, they are in kindergarten, 5 and 6 years old. How was such behavior even learned! I heard the boy went out of the classroom for some time for a day, and later came back. I brought the matter up to the teacher during the parent-teacher conference, and she simply said that it wasn't behavioral. I became even more concerned but it wasn't in my place to stir the pot.
Then my son came home with the bruises and mentioned the word "fear." When I got the response from the school, it made my blood boil. The school basically said, well.....your son was a part of the problem, just as guilty - if not more. To the school, the boys were simply playing "rough-housing" with one another.
How can a school be ok with 5 year old boys hurting one another? How can they tell me there is nothing they can do when my son came home hurt, under their care? How can they be ok letting the children be in close contact amid coronavirus? To put the matter worse, I reported the incident to the school's police unit. They repeated to me the same thing in a similar demeanor. No empathy. No compassion. Zero sensitivity.
"Well, you son did it too!" was the school's answer to my son's injury.
Violence is never the answer. One hit returns with one kick doesn't justify the behavior. Normalizing violence in school and turning a blind eye to hostile behaviors is intolerable. They are five now, but they will grow up thinking they can do more, and the physical and emotional damages will be more as they grow. I later learned from my son that there were other boys who have grabbed and thrown my son to the ground. I also learned that the boy, who kicked my son, has kneed him in the genitals area. I reported the additional incident. The school said, "Thank you for the added info."
The boy who kicked my son will remain in his classroom, only his parent(s) can request him to be moved to a different class - they said. So I have to move my son away from his friends, while the misbehaved boy can continue to stay in the class room like nothing ever happened? A student code of conduct was read to him, sure, but how many times must he hear it to change? For the school to make a change? For all of the students to get a better change?
This is the first time in my life where I felt I was about to spiral down into depression. If it's just me then I can manage, but when it comes to my children, I couldn't help but feel like I am going to breakdown. I feel so helpless. I can't sleep at night, loss of appetite, I tear up constantly wondering why my son has to experience this at such a young age. Shouldn't I just be telling him not to tell poop and butt jokes at school? My son came home hurt, and I can't change the situation or do anything about it?
No. I can and I will. And you can help me. I don't want to countdown to when my son, or another child, gets hurt again. I won't allow children to be hurting each other and for the school to respond, oh they are just playing roughhousing. I refuse to have the school police brush off the photo of my son's bruises and say "I have already seen it, no need to show me again ma'am"
Help me turn my sleepless nights into actions. Help me find the resources to battle violence and bullying in schools long term. If this is happening in my son's school in kindergarten, I am sure it's happening in other classes, other grades, and also elsewhere. Help our children be better children, and be in a safer school environment.
Check out my GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/funding-for-anti-violence-and-bullying-in-school
1) Financial aid for self-defense classes for my son and my son's classmate who were assaulted by the same student.
2) Development of SchoolHeroes.org and social media pages
3) Funding to cover expenses for:
- presentations/ pitches/ graphics
- partnerships recruitment
- donors/ investors acquirement
4) Finding illustrators/cartoonist/ animators to develop the background story.
1) Scholarships for self-defense classes for distressed parents whose kids have been assaulted or under the subject of bullying.
2) Funding to help coordinate and collaborate with schools, school boards, superintendents, or someone who cares and can help to execute and roll out antiviolent/ antibullying campaigns in schools.
3) Funding to help schools roll out antiviolent/ antibullying campaigns. Because you know what's more important than awards and honor rolls? "A safe, equitable and harassment-free school experience."
4) Create "School Heroes" program on campuses, where kids are educated on different cases of bullying and can look out for one another. They will be like a student council committee that will help the school and students watch out for undesirable behaviors - be the eyes and ears, and when necessary use their self-defense skills to stop an incident. Funding can also be used towards training "School Heroes."
5) If there can be dog or mutant heroes, then there can be student heroes on screen. Let's make kindness be cool, and make violence and bullies be a thing of the past. Help me bring these characters come to life and be one of our children's favorite shows. There will be merchandise to be another resource to fund these actions.
6) Aspire kids to look out for one another and want to become the school hero on their own campus. Eligibilities required, for example good grades, know some self-defense, again funding can be requested.
7) Work with universities and career programs to give the real life "school heroes" scholarships for higher education or trade schools.