16 April 2008

protecting our chldren part 2

On Monday afternoon I caught an episode of Montel where he was updating the viewers on previous guests. I watched in curious anticipation of what the show would entail and I quickly found out, and was immediately moved to tears as a result.

Montel was getting the current status on children who’d been assaulted on school grounds. I was shocked, appalled, and almost homicidal as the guests recounted the trauma that their children suffered at the hands of their peers. One boy and his friend (both aged 7) had been in the bathroom when four older boys (aged 12) came in and began threatening them. They kicked and punched the one boy, pushed him down, pulled his pants off and began raping him with a stick and then forced the stick into his penis. The four boys went on to force their penises in the boy’s mouth and in fear the remaining boy ran out to get help. He told the playground monitor what was happening and they disregarded his pleas; giving him no comfort at all. The abused boy lived in fear, pain, and intimidation for 31 days before he finally spoke up. Naturally, his mother contacted the school and sought retribution for her child only to be slapped in the face by the school not acknowledging the assault and rape. The offending boys were not suspended, expelled, or given any disciplinary punishment. The abused child under gone two surgical procedures to help correct the damage done to him and is facing a third; in spite of all the surgeries he will be scarred for life.

The real sad part of this story and the others I heard about is that the victim was treated like the bad guy. He was given no protection where needed and his abuse was compounded by school officials denying the severity of the problem and not ensuring the offenders were punished. To add insult to injury, the DA refused to prosecute citing they didn’t have enough proof or grounds. WTF? So, a 7 year old boy is violently attacked and raped, which was in part witnessed by his friend who reported it and you don’t have enough grounds? Friends, I had no words. None, zip, zero, nada! I was stunned and appalled that the school and the so-called judical system failed that child in gargantuan proportions.

This is one of many; if not hundreds of incidents that is occurring in our schools today. As parents, aunts, uncles, older brothers or sisters, we must play an active role in our children’s live in terms of their safety. We must get active in the school and find out what its policies are on bullying, assault, and other crimes that take place on school grounds. It’s important that we monitor our children’s grades, health, and behavior in order to know when something isn’t quite right. We must not remove our children from the schools when they are the victims because by doing that we’re allowing the problem to continue and leave other children in a violent environment. Instead we must remain diligent in our efforts to force the school and local authorities to take the appropriate action against the offenders. And where applicable, seek legal counsel from a lawyer who specializes in crimes against children because they are the most receptive to the issue.

Child on child violence is nothing to ignore as it can be equally brutal to adult on child violence. Furthermore, it forces dialog on how these offending children became so violent and dangerous in the first place. More often than not, the offending child was a victim of some form of abuse and/or exposed to sexual things prematurely. We cannot continue to sit idly by while our children are either becoming victims or the victimizer. Intervention and counseling is necessary for these children to understand that their actions are wrong and unacceptable. Appropriate action is mandatory to reducing this potential epidemic.

“I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way; show them all the beauty they possess inside…” *excerpt from “Greatest Love of All”*

If that is really true, then we have of work to do; starting right NOW!



Don said...

"give them a sense of pride. to make it easier. let the childrens laughter remind us how we used to be..."

love that song. til death.

that story is scary, sick. i agree @ the sexual abuse almost always repeats itself. whih is even scarier. these are one of those instances where no matter what is said or done, that little boy is scarred for life.

just a sad story.

i got your email coming today. sorry.

Don said...

i ended up reading the story again. that's even sadder how he was treated like the bad guy.

he was being outcasted.

Blu Jewel said...

Don - it's shocking and appalling that the child who is the VICTIM gets treated like the offender and this is why we must remain diligent in protecting our children and finding out what our legal recourses are. The lawyer who was speaking on the subject stated that we must not remove our children from the school as it doesn't reduce the problem, but in fact escalates it because the offending child is free to do it again.

I have 3 godchildren that the school will get to know once they enter the system cause I'll be damned if something happens to any of them and the school try to give me their bull-ish about who was right or wrong. Oh heck nah, I'm not the one. I've been through the drama of abuse; fortunately not on school grounds, but the effects were still the same. I protect my kids at all cost.


Don said...

yes i do take that from you blu, that you protect your daughter and children @ all cost. that's a great and the only way to be. i wish all parents had that fire.

i didn't understand why he said the child should remain in that school. i think that would be even more humiliating.

Xavier Pierre Jr. said...

Beyond fucked up. Folks, we need to take heed. This issue cuts across all cultures, races, and religions. We need to stop expecting "the man" or "the system" to fix our shit. How many of us belong to the PTA? Some of don't even know what those initials stand for. That's what pisses me off. WE CAN make a diference. Our children depend on us and we are letting them down.

Peace and Love,

Alizé (LoversA.blogspot.com)

Blu Jewel said...

Don - too many of us want to be parents, but without taking ALL the responsibility that comes with it. The school administration is effed, that's all I can say.

Zay - Your words are on point and your venom is necessary. It's a crying shame that so many of us don't participate in our children's schools or find out what life is like within the school. Not just as parent, but as people, we need to be advocates for children and ensure their positions in life are protected EVERYWHERE.