A Worrying Day

A boy at Nick’s school was knocked unconscious today after being punched in the head by another boy. He fell backwards and landed on a concrete step. He was still unconscious after the paramedics arrived and wasn’t moving when they carried him out to the ambulance. I called the school this afternoon to see how he was, but the school wasn’t giving anything away.

I know that at times High School can be a violent and unforgiving place, but no one expects their child to possibly sustain a massive brain injury after a day at school.

I am unsettled. Nick has already been punched in the head by another boy for absolutely nothing. The misgivings I had about the school have in many ways proven to be correct.  I am surprised at the level of violence which seems to go beyond the scuffling and jostling for position one would expect from teenagers.

I am overreacting to things a lot at the moment. Right now I want to take my boy out of that school and move out of Sydney for good. The news of Natasha Richardson dying as the result of a blow to the head makes me worry for the boy who was knocked unconscious today. I feel so badly for his mother. She must be in a state.

I really hate living in such a violent world.

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25 thoughts on “A Worrying Day

  1. Oh this is horrible. Poor boy… I feel for his family. I will keep them in my thoughts…

    I understand why you feel the way you do… he’s your baby. Hang in there.. and please keep us posted..

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  2. That is very worrying. All head injury should be taken seriously. Maybe you should speak to the head of the school or attend the next PTA meeting and bring it up. You might not leave the violence behind if you remove him form the school. There might be a way for you to be part of the solution.

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  3. I don’t think you are over-reacting at all Sel. Is there no other better choices for schools in the area? What the hell is going on when things like this happen in what should be a safe environment for kids. I hope you find the right solution for your son. It must be worrisome for him too. 😦

    Hugs to both of you, G

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  4. It can happen anywhere. I got jumped in Jr. High when I was 7th grade back in the 70’s. I had no idea who the bully was – I’d never seen her before. She made some accusations about I was telling everyone she was a whore, then she busted my lip. In the same hour she a male classmate of mine a black eye.

    Nonetheless, violence in the schools is one of the many reasons we chose to homeschool our children.

    I hope the boy recovers without and lingering difficulties!

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  5. CAS:
    The school is issuing a statement about the injured boy later today. I’ll fill you in when I know. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are outraged by this. The P&C (Aussie version of the PTA) are a little lacklustre so I’ve rallied a group of people to join and shake things up. I hope we can change things.

    LAURI:
    I have decided that I will be a part of the solution. Seems like they need a former badass teacher like me to shake things up. I worked in a school in the 80s where the kids brought knives to school and we managed to clean that up. But it was very stressful and very tiring. Why does this always happen to me? I just want a quiet life!

    ROSHAN:
    I feel for the boy’s mother so much. She must be overwrought. Poor thing.

    GERALDINE:
    The part of Sydney I live in is gentrified in parts but other parts really are like the ghetto. It’s a horrible thing to say but you feel the IQ drop when you cross one of the major roads – it’s that noticeable. I believe most things can be solved by education. It’s a hard road but in the end it does pay off. I’m going to give it a try.

    GROOVY:
    I am sorry to hear that happened to you. You poor thing. Homeschooling is not really an option for me because of where I live. I don’t think the Department of Education would give their approval. However, at times it does sound attractive. Looks like I’m going to have to make a nuisance of myself instead!

    PWADJ:
    I think there is an increasing level of violence in schools in many Westernised countries. A friend of mine teaches in Japan and she says the level of bullying there is over the top. It’s doesn’t involve physical violence as much, more cyberbullying; but that can be just as damaging. I often think to myself – What are we doing this to one another for? It’s crazy!

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  6. Selma, there is NO WAY you are overreacting. Whenever I hear of something major happening at Thing’s school, it makes me want to run up there and lock all those molly-coddled bullies together in one room and let them at each other.

    I’m so sick and tired of everything being blamed on poor self-esteem, a quashed inner child, or whatever the latest gobbledy-guk the “experts” are touting these days. I blame them (the experts) and a serious lack of caring on the parents’ part.

    Um, yeah, I get a bit ranty in these situations, and also, that bit about the IQ dropping in some areas… It’s the same here, and? AND? THEY’RE CUTTING FUNDING FOR EDUCATION!!! Yeah, because we’re already so over-funded… sheeeesh…

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  7. That’s awful! I hope he pulls through. Head injuries scare me… it just seems so random and awful.

    (Having been to Tremblant I’m find it hard to figure out what happened to Natasha Richardson. Random freak thing I guess. Terribly sad.)

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  8. Good to be part of the solution. It’s the only way I know to make changes….(one of the reasons I remain working for the government….I figure I have a better chance at making real changes if I’m working from the inside)…..

    Its shocking, the level of violence. My daughter was in a Math class last year and a huge fight broke out right in front of her….big fist fight. She got out of the way…desks and chairs flying everywhere!! She had to give a statement on what had happened which kind of freaked her out because these guys were known for their violence and drug related behaviour and she wanted nothing to do with them.

    There are so many screwed up kids out there….and unleashed anger.

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  9. You will be one bad mutha on the P&C. I’d want you there representing me.
    I hope the boy is ok, and I hope the kid who threw the punch is dealt with appropriately. There seems to be very few consequences for bad behaviour and a lot of excuses instead.

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  10. Violence is part of human nature, my friend. I believe we have always been so. I think that’s horrible and I also believe that it’s a sick rite of passage for boys just as girls bully and gang up on each other with words. Keep bringing your peace into the world, my friend.

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  11. I don’t think moving will solve anything … I should think there could also be violence at Backabeyond Creek

    But, this could be the ‘wake-up call’ the school authorities need … backed by the demands of outraged parents.

    We had a similar case when I went to school. For ages, the area was controlled by ‘vigilante groups’ of parents. Not that I’m advocating this, but it didn’t half ‘clean up the town’ for quite a while … especially since the headmaster (a bombastic twit) and most of teachers sat around with their thumbs in their bums and did nothing.

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  12. Oh dear it does sound very worrying.

    One of the nicest things about being here has been having my eldest son back in primary school again. He is still a primary school boy. He didn’t have any serious problems at the UK high school (had a few things nicked) but nonetheless I hate all that having to pretend to be cool stuff. Here he can just be himself again for a bit and he is loving it.

    I hope you can effect some change. It would feel good to do that. I think it is hard to find a school without some raw edges these days – unless you are prepared to pay a lot of money.

    I hope the lad is OK.

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  13. I don’t think you are overreacting Selma. He is your son. I would suggest you consul him on choosing his friends wisely. Having good friends is a great help in the event of an altercation. Many times just being in a circle and having a strong bond with others can be the best deterent to a violent situation. I hope the other young lad recovers fully. I pray everyday…I will pray for him, as well as for your son.

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  14. I’d have reacted the very same way.

    There is such goodness in everything you write my friend… I can always feel your genuine humanity and compassion.

    You are a blessing to this world,

    M

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  15. Oh my gosh, this must just be horrifying for you. I would have to agree w/others that it has been a rite of passage for eons. …but that doesn’t make it right. Punatik made a good call with your son bonding w/a circle of friends. It would definitely help him, I think.

    My thoughts are with you both, and that poor little injured boy.

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  16. KAREN:
    I agree with you. Sometimes the school programs seem to be more geared towards the bully than the victim. I do have a problem with low self esteem being one of the rationales behind violent behaviour. I know many people who had low self esteem as teenagers who didn’t go around bashing people. It’s just not on. Does make me seethe.

    NAT:
    I worry about head injuries too. It’s so sad about Natasha Richardson. I would never have expected that to happen while skiing. The photos of Liam Neeson at her gravesite made me weep. It’s just awful.

    DANA:
    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. How terrifying for her. You are so right – there is a lot of unleashed anger out there. I saw someone going off at the supermarket the other day because the person in front of them at the checkout needed a price check on an item. It took ages to get the price but it’s hardly the poor shopper’s fault. Some people really do conduct themselves in an atrocious manner. *sheesh*

    KATE:
    I’ll be the biggest, baddest mofo on the block. You know me, the shrinking violet type. We still haven’t heard how the boy is. All we know is that he is still in hospital. I am praying he is OK.

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  17. L’URAGANO:
    I know it is. It’s such a shame that it is. The angriest people I know are angry because they hate themselves and think it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s hard to change that line of thinking. I will try to change this if I can. Not easy, though.

    TRAVELRAT:
    That’s the problem, isn’t it? All those ‘feelgood’ programs the teachers implement don’t really get to the root of the problem. They don’t seem to get the point that these kids feel good by making others feel bad.
    The vigilante parent scenario does work, but it’s exhausting. Shame there isn’t another way. Thanks for the constant good advice you give!

    RELUCTANT:
    The trying to be cool thing really is a problem. Why is it cool to beat someone to a pulp? I don’t get it.

    I’m not so sure about the posh schools either. A friend of mine sends her son to one and one of his classmates has just been expelled for dealing drugs in the toilets. There are problems everywhere. It can be frustrating.

    PUNATIK:
    You are kind to pray for this boy. I know his family will appreciate it. I am fortunate that Nick has made a lot of new friends at school. One of the tough boys has even switched allegiances and is now hanging out with Nick because they are both Playstation 3 freaks. It has caused some problems because those groups can be very cliquey. But it has also opened the eyes of some of the other tough kids who now see Nick as being less of a nerd. The kids who can think outside the square are the ones who make a difference. More power to them.

    MAITHRI:
    Thanks, hon. What else can I do but try and fix things? You would do exactly the same thing. 😀

    BRITT:
    We’re still waiting to hear of his condition. We just know he’s still in hospital. It concerns me a lot. What a world, eh?

    STEPHANIE:
    The circle of friends really helps. Couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I know it will make a difference!

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  18. Let’s call it what it is – absolute and total bullshit. The school authorities have a responsibility to prevent this prison-like behavior and they’re obviously failing. I lived in a state of total terror back then and it’s left scars on me that I’ll carry for the rest of my life. I hated school for a multitude of reasons but the violent assholes were one of the the worst.

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  19. RICHARD:
    I know how hard it was for you, hon. I am so sorry you went through that. I had moments that were awful too. The problem with this type of bullying is the long-term psychological effect it can have. That and it makes it almost impossible to learn anything.

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  20. DAOINE:
    High School has its moments, let me tell you.
    I envy you on your journey. Time passes so quickly. All my love to you and dearest Tigger. XXX0000XXX

    STEPH:
    How cool. Steph it is. 😀

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