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It’s like the kid’s living my life

It’s too nice to be outside, but lunch is too short to stay out. It’s a classic worker’s delema, but not one I face often. Most of the time I’m not paying close enough attention, holed up in my little corner of invisible, government service. Today I’m a little burned out – thus the walk-about at lunch. Life’s been a little harder lately, intruding on my work, making it harder to focus on any one thing.

There’s a simple name for this condition: depression. It’s a recurring theme, one that bores even me.

More than anything else in my life (caveat: I’m living in the moment), kids are a source of peaks and valleys. Beth is a magnet for bullies. She has been since her first day in day care. She’s attracted another batch of little cretins this year (see, I’m not above being mean either… revenge is a dish easiest served unnoticed). Yesterday the culprit wasn’t just one, it was a team effort. A group of classmates trapped her in a school restroom, after a few kicks, shoves, and turning out the lights for good measure. The school is apparently addressing the situation, but not to my immediate liking. I can appretiate the bind schools find themselves in when bullying occurs with out reliable witnesses, but as a parent, nothing is ever soon enough. A part of me feels that a calm approach is best, that we shoud speak to the school with a certain amount of understanding for their position, while still holding calmly firm in our expectation that something will be done.

That’s a nice sentiment, but not terribly realistic when Beth is so worried about school she’s sick to her stomach. My first instinct was to make her go to school today, but my heart felt weak and tired, so she stayed home – safe for now. But what about tomorrow? The little twerps really know they got to her now… that they won. What kind of punishment can overcome that kind of empowerment?

The principal says if it happens again the kids will be suspended. In the adult world this kind of behavior approaches kidnapping. Is a warning enough? I don’t expect a day in the stocks, but a warning?

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