Friday, November 1, 2013

Where's the Compassion?

There's a situation that happened at my kid's high school yesterday that has me feeling rather ranty. It makes me wonder what happened to compassion and empathy. It makes me pissed, to be quite blunt.

Yesterday was Halloween. The local high school students were allowed to wear costumes to school.  One particular kid wore a shirt covered in fake blood and carried a baseball bat with fake blood on it. That was his costume.

Another kid in school had a problem with that costume. I'm going to call him Jay. Jay's older brother is in jail for at least 25 years. When Jay's brother was about 14 and still in middle school, (with my daughter)  he got into a fight with another boy. They decided to meet up in the woods later that day. Jay's brother brought a baseball bat. He hit the other boy with the bat. The boy died. Jay's brother is serving time in prison for murder.

When Jay went to school yesterday morning and saw this kid's costume, he immediately thought of his brother. Of course, it made him very emotional; upset, hurt, and angry. What his brother did is not his fault; but he has to live with the aftermath too. In turmoil, he went to his teacher and asked him if he would tell the student that he couldn't wear that costume; Jay just couldn't bear it, it was tearing him apart. The teacher said no, I won't tell him that. Jay broke down and told the teacher the story of his brother, and asked him 'Can you at least tell him to stop carrying the bat around?'   'No' said the teacher. 

No. The teacher would not ask the other student to stop carrying around school a baseball bat with fake blood all over it that was emotionally tormenting another student. Apparently the kid's right to dress in whatever Halloween costume he wanted to was more important than Jay's emotional well being, his feeling of safety and comfort at school.

Now, something that you should know about this school:  they confiscated a sweatshirt from an 11th grade girl that said 'Twerk Team Captain' because they said it was inappropriate.

Inappropriate. Twerking is inappropriate. Even mentioning it is inappropriate. But wearing a costume of a person covered in blood with a bloody baseball bat is not inappropriate?? For school?!  How can that be? Especially when it is DIRECTLY hurting another child!

After class Jay went to the principal. Asked him the same thing, 'Can you make that kid stop wearing that costume?'   'No' said the principal.  So again, Jay had to spill his guts, his family secrets, his pain.
'I see', said the principal.  And he made the other student TAKE OFF THE COSTUME.

Thank you, Mr. Prinicpal. Thank you for having an ounce of compassion that was not demonstrated by the teacher.

We are a small community here, and we need to take care of each other. And when a kid works up the courage (or is upset enough) to talk to a teacher about a fellow student upsetting him to the point he can't focus in class, we need to act.

Screw the Halloween costume. Seriously, is it more important than another child's mental health?? Really?  I don't think so.

I know I deviated from the funny guys, but I couldn't help it. This has been eating at me. Thanks for letting me rant <3  Comments, thoughts and opinions are welcome.


  1. That teacher missed an opportunity to address the violence topic in class. At least the principal had decency and common sense.

    On a positive note: what costume did your kid wear, and did they end up having a good time?

    1. The teacher could've done many positive things in this situation but unfortunately didn't do anything.
      My kids didn't dress up, but they did score some candy lol!

  2. What an awful situation to deal with. The teacher should have at least checked out the boys story to make sure it was fact and then spoken not only to the other child who was wearing the clothes that caused offence but also to both their parents so everyone would be aware of what was going on.

    I say this because, the offended child obviously still has underlying issues that may need long term help, and maybe the other parent (or all parents) need to look at what they are dressing their children as.

    Although I'm glad that the principal intervened, maybe he should think about having guidelines for events like this in the future, and a list of what inappropriate clothing means for the school, especially when he confiscated someone's sweatshirt due to the words 'twerk team captain'.

    1. I agree with you, RPD. More should've been done. This boy was hurting and had his feelings dismissed as if they didn't matter. My heart hurts for him.

  3. First, but just a side comment, never feel that your blog has to only be funny. If you lead with your heart instead of your funny sometimes it just endears you to us that more. I wrote a very serious post myself about bullying when a certain "church" carried hateful signs aimed at gay students in front of my sons' school.

    Second: I can tell you so many stories where schools around here have missed pivotal moments too. It really does make you realize how diligent you, as a parent, have to be in making sure that your kids understand your personal stance on any situation, whether the school has "dealt" with it or not.

    Third: A teacher saw a child in emotional distress. No matter what the situation is, the teacher failed at not finding something, ANYTHING to help this child. Could she maybe have taken aside the student in the costume and had a private conversation?

    I'm glad the principal did something. Too bad it was so long after the damage was already done, and took a second emotional explanation by an already devastated child.

    1. Thank you for your support <3 You are so right, we as parents have to remain vigilant on what are kids are learning outside of academics in school; unfortunately we can't trust that they're learning right from wrong. Sad.

  4. I am so confused as to why a kid was allowed to walk around with a bat period! Most schools have the rule that costumes are not to include props especially any that can be used as a weapon. In my opinion the teacher completely mishandled the situation. School should be a child's safe zone. At no time should a child be under emotional, physical or mental distress because of the actions of another student especially a Halloween costume for heavens sake. I'm glad the principal did the right think but I'm sad that it took as long as it did and that the damage was already done. I can completely see why this bothered you so much.

    1. I agree with you, why was that costume even allowed in the first place? The word 'twerk' is inappropriate but a bloodied bat is not??

  5. First, I'm glad this boy was able to talk to someone about this - how many kids would just hold it in? Second, I can't help but feel the teacher was nothing but lazy to not help, or try to intervene.

    Third, my girls will never go to school depicting something so violent for Halloween.

    1. I hadn't even thought of that; what did that kid's parents think of his costume? No way in HELL my kids would go dressed like that.
      And yeah, I'm glad Jay spoke up and when it didn't work at first, tried a second time. Holding it in would've been bad down the road....
      Thanks for reading.