Let's start with my oldest granddaughter, Cheyenne. She's 15, a freshman in HS, living in Prince George's County, Maryland. And she's being bullied about her spirituality. She's Pagan, like her mother, like me, like her aunt and most of her other extended family and friends. She's quiet about her belief, not in your face until you push her. She's been called every name in the book, had people run from her, and tease her mercilessly.
This week at school, during one of her morning classes, not one but two of her classmates decided it was the thing to do and began calling her names, calling her a Witch in the middle of class. I'm guessing it was a loud and obnoxious name calling session. And that the teacher didn't do anything about it until it became out of control. Because, Cheyenne is the one who was sent to the office. However, she kept her mouth shut, didn't respond to the taunts and kept her anger and hurt bottled up inside. The way she normally handles the bullying and tormenting she receives at the hands of her peers.
Then in the afternoon, she's sent BACK to the office once again, as a victim, but treated and talked to by school staff like the she's the one causing the problems. She is even threatened with a lengthy suspension IF she's seen in the office again. This is a place she is *supposed* to feel safe, second only to her own home. But she gets up every morning and goes to a place where she knows she's not safe and feels very vulnerable.
I am more than outraged by this. Bullying in any form is NOT acceptable!
My daughter, Cheyenne's mother contacted the principal of the school, let her know she will not tolerate this kind of treatment and will happily take the matter to law enforcement if something doesn't change. I've also found out the Prince George's County Schools have a ZERO tolerance policy when it come to this type of harassment. Evidently, when school is back in session after the holiday break, Cheyenne is to meet with the HEAD of the school security and fill out a report. It also seems as if the two girls doing the bullying have quite the reputation and repetitive pattern for this type of behavior.
If things aren't settled in an amicable fashion, I'm thinking there will be alot more exposure, say by police reports and possibly the media?? We'll see what happens in January.
Now onto the second thing that's bothering me. This one is a little bit closer to home. By that I mean, it's happening right here in North Carolina, over in Asheville to be precise.
On Monday a 5th grader was given a bible while at school:
After reading the article, chatting with the mother, and reading ALL the comments on this article (which BTW, have been reset from the original posting of the article. There were well over 100 comments made last night), I am upset, angry, sick, sad, (insert verbiage here...) about the audacity, stupidity, close mindedness, and down right rudeness of some of the people who claim to be Christian who commented on this article.
Most were outraged because a Pagan mother had the nerve to question and complain about the *availability* of a bible for the children to *pick up if they wanted*. They wanted to know if she was Pagan why she was celebrating Jesus' birthday by having a CHRISTmas tree and having CHRISTmas lights on her house. Not one of them would take the time to read some of the responses about it being a Yule tree and that she was celebrating Winter Solstice. They were more than judgmental, they were condescending, and arrogant.
I guess my point for this part of what is bothering me is this: We are in the MIDDLE of one of the biggest CHRISTIAN holidays of the year. And from what I remember from my time in a Christian home and church, this time of the year is supposed to be about love and celebration and peace. I saw none of these things coming from the Christians who commented on the article.
Not one of them took the time to actually understand why Ginger was and still is upset... As far as I know, there has been no resolution to this incident. I don't know what is going to happen, but I WILL be watching to see how this plays out.
I feel like I should be doing something, ANYTHING to help in BOTH of these issues, but I have no idea where to begin.