Thought everybody would be anxious to hear the update from my friend whose son experienced the horrible bullying/sexual assault incident at his school. Thanks to everybody who wrote and gave such thoughtful advice.
Here is the follow-up, and please let your readers know how much I appreciate their input and support. This isn’t quite behind us yet, but at least some progress is being made.
I went into the meeting, heart rate high enough to make a Zumba instructor proud. I brought highlighted copies for everyone of the school policy, the JROTC conduct book (this perp kid, we’ll call him “Oscar”) is a JROTC cadet, an “exemplary” cadet), and the definitions of Bilbo Baggins and Shia Labeouf from Urbandictionary printed out.
The meeting consisted of the assistant principal, the guidance counselor (who has known my son since he was in 3rd grade — he’s a sophmore now), the teacher, and the “resource” officer, which is a police officer. And a douchebag. Don’t get me wrong. I have respect for police officers. My brother is a police officer. This guy? Was a dick. A disrespectful, cock-swinging, intimidating, bullying, I’m-a-cop-so-you-better-respect-my-authori-TIE, one step up from a mall security guard asshat. He didn’t even look at the definitions. He started off the meeting by stating that he felt that there was “some” criminal activity here…probably harrassment, and maybe even assault. I say no, it’s sexual assault. Oscar put his naked butt on my son’s neck without permission. Unwanted physical touching is sexual assault. He says, “well, maybe…that will be up to the prosecutor.” Whatever. Then there was a lot of going back and forth. I maintained my cool. I didn’t cry. The resource officer (let’s call him Hammy) told me that he’s never had a problem with this kid. This kid is a “funny” kid that likes to screw around. I state that no, he’s a criminal.
I explain that I’m sick of him, and the teacher, trying to tell me what a great kid Oscar is, minus this one instance. I state that he could be the brother of Jesus Christ himself, he’s a criminal that tortured and bullied and humiliated my son for sport to the point that my son contemplated ending his own life. I go on to reiterate that it might not be important to anyone else in that room if my son commits suicide, but it is of utmost importance to my husband and myself. Hammy gets ticked with that. He says he is insulted that I said he didn’t care if my son commits suicide. No, Hammy, that’s not what I said.
I also state my concern that if Oscar would do what he did to my son in broad daylight, in the middle of class, with about twenty kids around, what would he do if he was alone with someone? What would he do in a dorm, or hotel, or after he had some alcohol. Hammy gets ticked at me again for trying to tarnish Oscar’s character. He tells us that he is pretty sure Oscar has no record and hasn’t been in trouble. At this point, the asst. principal and guidance counselor both say, oh, wait, I wouldn’t go that far. You might want to actually look into that, there have been things. Hammy says, nothing criminal? Guidance counselor and asst. principal say, yes, not here, but before. OH REALLY???
Finally Hammy has to leave. I wouldn’t even look at him. He said after my son types up or writes up his statement he will file it with the prosecutor. He shakes my son’s hand and leaves. Good riddance. You can bet I’m going to follow up to make sure he actually files it. Because I don’t trust that man.
The teacher apologized. Profusely. He said he no longer trusts his class to be left alone and doesn’t have trust in them for anything else. I said that that was a two way street, and that my son didn’t trust him to protect him, and that we as parents didn’t trust him to protect him and that we wouldn’t ever get that back.
They are going to make sure Oscar never has that class with my son again, or any class, and he’s going to be under orders not to speak to him. Anyone speaking about any of this in a negative manner (for instance stating that they miss Oscar and why did my son have to make him get in trouble) to my son will also be in trouble. We don’t know how long Oscar will be suspended for. The teacher, the asst. prinicipal and the guidance counselor all agreed that we should press charges criminally and said they’d do it if it happened to their kids. So we are, which we were going to anyway. It’s not about ruining Oscar’s life or anything. It’s about making him accountable for his actions. The teacher had tried to say before the meeting that Oscar “wasn’t thinking.” I explained that he was, in fact, thinking. He thought every day how he would humiliate my son. And now he could think about what a bad idea that was.
I was VERY proud of my son and my husband. They spoke very well, and were very specific about how they felt. So we’ll see what happens next. I will keep you posted.