The far-reaching impact of bullying


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I'm writing this letter with the hope that those who read it will better consider their future actions and the long-lasting consequences that they may cause. It has been more than 1 week since my 10 year old son was involved in a "situation" at a local ski area that left him injured. He was surrounded by three teenage boys on the slopes, poked at, pulled on, called "a girl," and pushed, causing him to fall and have one of the boys snow boards jam into his knee.

Although he was able to get up, get away and ride to the bottom of the hill, he was followed by the boys and then slapped across the face by one of them near the lift line.

These boys assumed he was going to tell on them, but he was actually going to first aid. He sustained a deep laceration on his knee. Because he had to explain how the injury occurred, ski patrol was led to look for the boys involved - and consequently confiscate their season passes after they admitted that their behavior caused the injury.

We spent nearly four hours at the ER that day, where the MD administered anesthesia directly into the wound, cut off the skin flap that hung from his knee, then applied 12 stitches.

We left the hospital not only with an insurance co-pay, a prescription co-pay, a list of necessary wound bandages and crutches, but also the note stating he won't finish out the snow board season, he can't play in his travel soccer tournament or practice for a minimum of two-three weeks, he won't snowboard this week during our family vacation to Vermont. He won't snow tube, ice skate or even swim while on vacation.

Ten days have now gone by and he is still hobbling around - definitely unable to enjoy all of the wonderful snow-sports that we came on vacation to experience. He no longer needs to use crutches, but unfortunately is still feeling the pain of the laceration as it's located directly on the flex point of his knee. He had a follow up visit with our primary care physician prior to our vacation who assured us that although he needs to be seen again two weeks after the injury occurred, she is certain that the wound will not yet be healed enough to remove the stitches.

My fifth grade son happens to attend the same school as the three eighth grade boys who were involved in this "incident." Almost needless to say, word of the "incident" travelled quickly.

With the help of social media, we were told that there were mentions of what happened that very evening in the form of complaints of losing a season pass. When my children attended school after that weekend, they were made aware that news had spread throughout the student body at the school.

Considering that the details of the "incident" had become so public in such a short time, it leaves our family baffled to think that the status of my son's injuries did not become known to the three boys involved or to their parents.

We have not received one inquiry from any of the parties involved as to how my son is doing or any form of an apology.

Perhaps if we all consider the far-reaching implications of bullying, we won't have the need for such apologies because we'll make our children understand that these behaviors are simply unacceptable.

Those who intimidate, torment, harass or bully should be taught that they have to assume responsibility for their actions - not be the ones left without consequences.

Middle School Mom
Warwick

Editor's note: The letter writer's name has been withheld so as not to identify the young people involved in this "incident."

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