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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Leader of the pack (they won’t miss you when I’m gone)


Laura emerged from the band bus, bummed last Friday. That’s “despondent” in old people language. 

I’ve learned it’s better to pry into these attitudes than let them pass, and eventually got the full earful.

“Trumpets!” she snarled. Translation: guys who play trumpets.

“Jerks!” she responded to another pick. Translation: guys who play trumpets, behaving badly.

“Loud and stupid!” Wouldn’t shut up.” Getting somewhere now.

“About gays!” Aha; she went to a GSA meeting after school. GayStraightAlliance. I thought they just tie-died shirts at the meeting. Guys all around her on the bus, being loud and stupid about gays. They probably do know she’s a member, and think a good target. In which case they picked the wrong person.

But, something’s not right here. I went to the principal and the band director the beginning of last year, when Laura had been assaulted and, frankly, was terrified of starting ninth grade a year ago. As a result of my  meeting with the principal, the boy who assaulted her and the boys who bullied her literally are not to be seen. No shared classes. No shared lunch periods. They don’t even cross in hall ways. The principal promised me that would happen. But, band?

“I thought boys and girls were on opposite sides of the bus.”  A snort in response.

“Chaperones?” Front of the bus and uninvolved. They are supposed to be interspersed with the students.

“What was said?” “They were screaming at me, ‘How do you have sex with a trans? Where do you stick it?’ Stuff like that!”

When the jerk trumpets refused to shut up, she shut up and waited out the bus ride back to school.

Today we talked solutions. I sent an email to the teacher who sponsors GSA, explaining she needed to open a discussion and show the youngsters ways to deal with jerk trumpets. 

Then I sent one to the band director, telling her she broke the rules I knew were in place at the beginning of 2016, a year ago. Boys on one side of the bus; girls on the other; chaperones evenly distributed. I have witnesses (more than one, I hope.)

“And don’t mention I’m the only S in the whole group. Let them worry about breaking a bunch more rules. They won’t miss you when I’m gone.”


Summer's almost gone; winter's coming on.



32 comments:

  1. You are a force to be reckoned with.
    And will assuredly be missed.

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  2. I wish you did not have to deal with all this.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, Penny, gives me something to do.

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  3. When is the world going to straighten out? Why can't people just leave each other alone to live their lives in peace? Thank God there are folks like yourself around who can keep the lines straight and ensure the jerks are forced to stay within them.

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  4. Still looks like summer there, but a cold front came here last night with a high of 64 today. With the wind blowing, it is really a little too cold for my liking (in the shade), otherwise, glorious.

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  5. The young can be so cruel (so can we all but somehow it is more hurtful coming from one's peer group). I have a trans grandchild and he/she suffered terribly through school years.

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    Replies
    1. Doesn't just come to them, Pat. They learn it at home.

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  6. What is wrong with people??? I have nothing else oming to mind.

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  7. Hari OM
    yup we seem to skipping autumn here and heading straight into it... hope that director understands the storm in the offing!!! YAM xx

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  8. If you don't point it out, nothing will change.

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  9. Teenage, the golden age of jerks!

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    1. Actually, Joe, there is a consequence to such contemptible behavior. Hopefully suspension as opposed to detention.

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  10. "They" may not miss you when Laura's gone, but "they" will be the poorer for not having you to uphold right and moral behavior.

    People! Pah!

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  11. Joanne, I have to give you credit for getting to the root of Laura's despondency. Most kids tend to bottle it up and let it fester - which is definitely dangerous.It's great that she will open up to you and that you're capable of translating her words.

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  12. Good for you. This was a teaching moment missed because the teachers all sat together in the front of the bus. Why? well it is the most comfortable spot of 50 some uncomfortable spots in a big yellow bus but it has been brought to their attention that someone cares so my guess is it won't happen again ... at least this semester.

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  13. I hope the school can get their stuff sorted so that all students and especially Laura, feel safe. I am glad you are taking charge, Joanne.

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  14. It seems there are bullies around every corner. Good thing there are those that stand up to them. Best of luck with it!

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  15. I often wonder why people think high school was the best year of their lives. Too many people dealt with issues like Laura has had to deal with. Such immaturity, etc. You are a good advocate for her.

    betty

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  16. So glad you and Laura can talk better to talk about it than to let it fester, not sure jerks can ever be controlled but a good idea to let the teacher know to bring up a discussion about what to do in those instances, only to be fly on the way at that discussion.

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  17. Sad there's been a relaxation o some very necessary rules. Even though time has passed, the problem won't have gone away and they need to remain vigilant. The teachers and chaperones, I'm talking about. Good that you let them all know what's going on, but I'm surprised the chaperones on the bus didn't hear the boys and step up to stop them.

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  18. just like trolls on the internet, they love it when you engage them. ignoring them was probably the best course of action. they may not miss you when Laura is gone but the kids will suffer.

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  19. You are very proactive but in a calm and reasoned way it seems.

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  20. When I was a parent-chaperon on field trips, I sat in the middle of the bus, or the back, or wherever, with the kids for whom I was responsible. I didn't take any crap from anyone. That's the way it has to be.

    Love,
    Janie

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  21. I wish such things were not necessary to confront, but since they are.......It's excellent that you are there to deal with them. Someone has to. It would be great if the minds and hearts of these trumpet guys could be changed, but if not, their behavior must be stopped.

    off topic, I see Elements is closing.How will this affect Laura?

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    Replies
    1. Actually, just moving back to Medina. No time like next summer to learn how to drive 20% grade hills.

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  22. brings back memories of my daughter being bullied on the secondary school bus..who was the worst culprit? two girls, daughters of a couple,both police....

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  23. Being in the band is a privilege that should be taken away to those who break rules.

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  24. Thank goodness you got the bottom of things with Laura...but what a lack of responsibility shown by those supposedly in charge.

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  25. It's made me remember just how ghastly school could be !
    Good for you ... bullying must always be confronted .

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  26. I just don't understand how adults can stand by and do nothing! Good for you Joanne!

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