Bullying in Elementary School: My Son Doesn’t Want to Live Anymore

bullying-in-elementary-school-breaking-point

Many parents think that bullying in elementary school isn’t nearly as bad as in, say, middle and high school. Statistically speaking, the higher grades do face the lion’s share of the bullying epidemic, but bullying in elementary school is a VERY real problem. In fact, it’s a real problem that I’m facing right now with my son.

Without getting into incredibly long details (we’re talking three year’s worth here), let’s just say we’ve been dealing with bullying in elementary school for a while. Sadly, we haven’t really gotten anywhere. Teachers turn a blind eye, saying it’s just boys being boys. One teacher flat out said my son was exaggerating or lying. The school administration couldn’t be bothered. They’re too busy find new ways to torture our children with Common Core nonsense. I kid you not, my son is already having panic attacks at age nine, but that’s a whole different post!

When Bullying in Elementary School Reaches a Breaking Point

The breaking point came this year. About a month ago, I got a call from the school principal. Jake was in his office. He tried to strangle himself in the middle of class. He wrapped his little 9-year-old hands around his throat and squeezed until he almost passed out. Why? Because his friend told him that her friends said he was stupid and ugly.

I raced to the school, crying the whole way. My 9-year-old son was telling the principal that he doesn’t want to live anymore! What do you do with that? As a parent, where do you even start to process such a statement? I was in shock. My bright, beautiful, funny little boy, saying he doesn’t want to live. How could that be?  My son isn’t depressed. He laughs all the time. He’s goofy. He’s a prankster. He makes faces like this when I ask him to smile nice to show off his new hair cut:

bullying-in-elementary-school-breaking-point

We hear of teenagers and even middle school kids committing suicide because of the torment they face at the hands of bullies. But I never in a million years would think that bullying in elementary school would get to that level. I took my son home that afternoon and spent a long time talking to him about how loved he is, how he is one of the most wanted kids on the planet. I’m also taking him to counseling.

As far as the school goes, I’m happy to say that they seem to be taking the issue a bit more seriously finally. We have a new principal this year. He’s incredible with children and really cares about them. Our last principal, well, let’s just say he would have been better suited working in, say, marketing. He was a “school board man,” not someone that really looked out for students or connected with parents.

After years of being told that my son is making it up, that there’s no real issue of bullying in elementary school where he’s concerned, I feel like someone is finally listening. The school still has a long way to go. I still don’t feel like his teachers or the rest of the staff are really on board with preventing bullying in elementary school. It’s a start, though. At this point, I’ll take what I can get.

Have you dealt with bullying in elementary school? Has it reached a breaking point for you? How do you handle it? I’d appreciate any advice you can offer!

29 thoughts on “Bullying in Elementary School: My Son Doesn’t Want to Live Anymore”

  1. Unfortunately this isn’t uncommon. There’s a very effective and non-violent resource that empowers children to deal with bullying in a non-violent and intelligent way.

    It’s called Bullyproof by The Gracie Academy. Check it out at https://www.graciekids.com if you want to put a stop to bullying. Some schools have recognized and have embraced it in their own schools in their attempts to thwart bullying.

    My nephews use it (one has Alopecia as a ten year old) and the younger ones absolutely love it. Both parent learn with their children, it’s fun, and best of all, it works.

  2. I have a 0 tolerance policy for bullying. Th worst thing about high school for me! Thankfully most people grow out of it. Thanks for bringing light to this subject.

  3. I’m glad you’re getting him into a counselor. That is so helpful when they feel bullied, especially at a young age. He’s a lucky kid to have you for a parent.

  4. This is a scary situation. I would highly suggest getting your son professional help. I’d also insist that the school step in and deal with the problem kids. I’m sorry you are going through this.

  5. This sounds like a terrible situation for your son. I am so happy you have a better principle now that will take this issue more seriously. Bullying has become terrible in all grades now.

  6. What a great app – kids need something safe to leave their concerns with. Thank you for sharing! This breaks my heart.

  7. I’m heartbroken for you with the phone call. I’m glad there is a new principal who is really helping! Sending you so many good thoughts and well wishes. I know once the bullying starts it can get contagious and last for a really long time. I went through it with my daughter and it was no fun at all.

  8. I’ve never been in that position with my kids. However, I’m appalled that children treat each other this way and that your son felt so lost as to try to strangle himself.

  9. My heart breaks for you. As a mother of a toddler. I fear putting him into schools. With the bullying, school shootings, teachers with students. Have me thinking what has this world come too? Bullying is a real issue and is growing in an alarming rate. It’s sad to know that the little ones are at too. I am so sorry you had to endure that and hope your baby is okay. God bless you mommy.

  10. As a future elementary school teacher this story really breaks my heart. I have seen the effects of bullying on young kids and on my sister as she grew up. It really does take a toll on children. I know personally that I don’t stand for it. If I see a child being mean to another child there is always a consequence. First they apologize to the student and then we have a discussion. Depending on how bad the child’s behavior was a call home may be made. I don’t allow bullying in my classroom and I am sad to hear that other teachers aren’t taking it seriously.

  11. Oh man.. 🙁 How heartbreaking, my heart goes out to him. He is absolutely precious and so beautiful. I hope everything works out for him, I know he has a bright future in front of him.

  12. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    I’m so sorry to read about your sons experience with bullying. What a horrible thing to hear as a parent too, I can’t even imagine 🙁 I worry so much about these things my own son may come up against when he’s older (he’s only 21 months old now). It’s so heartbreaking when school is a place your child should feel safe and happy learning with friends. I hope he’s happier now and those bullies are ashamed.

  13. I am so sorry you have to go through this. No parent should ever have to get the call that their child tried to strangle themselves.

    Bullying has become such a problem. It wasn’t that big of a problem (but still a problem) when I was in school. I got bullied and teased, but nowadays it has grown in this massive issue that schools and places of education don’t seem to be doing anything about.

    I’ll be saying an extra prayer for your family!

  14. What a sad story! I really do worry about my kids being bullied in school. If anything they would be the ones to be bullied and not the ones bullying other kids.

  15. I am so sorry to hear this. My nine year old boy is also being picked on by another student. The teacher and administration are keeping an eye on the situation which I am glad for. It pains me to see this happening to our children. I was bullied as a kid and teen for various reasons. My son is so sensitive so it makes me worry.

    I hope things start to turn around for your son and that he never feels the way he did that day when he said he didn’t want to live anymore.

  16. This is horrible Nicole. I hope that you assured your son that the kids were just being mean and ugly to him. I hope that your son changes his mind because he is special. My sister had an issue with this in school, I don’t remember the details, but she was having issues with this girl picking on her. The issue was presented to the teacher and principal and nothing was done about it. It took my sister hitting her one day to stop it. My sister ended up getting in trouble but my dad wasn’t mad at her. After that the girl left my sister alone. I think the staff at schools should be trained to handle these situations.

    I am sorry that your son is having to go through a case of bullying. I told my kids to tell me if it ever happens to them and if I hear of them bullying someone else, I will not be a happy camper.

  17. What a heartbreaking story. I’m sorry your son (and your family) is going through this. What I don’t understand…all the school says there is a no bullying policy. Yet, it seems it still goes on in all the schools. I hope it continues to get better for him.

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