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Posted by: Mormon Observer ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:04PM

My son is small for his age and his favorite activity is legos. He is straight though that has nothing to do with it, but he is being teased alot. What can he do?

It's so hard to be 7th grade and bear up under constant teashing.

What comfort and words can I give him to use to deflect their barbs?

I know it's hard if you are gay and even if you're not teasing is difficult.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:06PM

Talk to the school. This should not be tolerated.of course teachers can not be everywhere or stop all of it,but it helps if they know what is going on.

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Posted by: burritotown654 ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:07PM

MY FRIEND IS BEING BULLIED AND CALLED GAY BEHIND HIS BACK.HE IS ALSO IN 7TH GRADE. HE IS POPULAR, NUT THAT DOESN'T STOP PEOPLE. HE HAS LOTS OF FRIENDS THAT ARE GIRLS, BUT THEY TOO BULLY HIM BEHIND HIS BACK.HE HAS LITTLE TO NO FRIENDS THAT ARE GUYS.ITS SERIOUS, BUT I THINK YOU SHOULDN'T TELL A TEACHER.HONESTLY, TAKE IT FROM A 7TH GRADER: THAT WOULD MAKE THE BULLYING 1000 TIMES WORSE. GUYS ARE NOT NICE TO GAY PEOPLE ALTHOUGH HE IS STRAIGHT, AND AS SOON AS THE TEACHER STICKS UP FOR YOUR KID, ALL THE OTHERS WILL BULLY HIM WORSE. TELLING A TEACHER WOULD BE A TERRIBLE SOLUTION.

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Posted by: pathos ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:09PM

Oh my. Thank you for your insight.

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Posted by: imaworkinonit ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:22PM

(if things don't improve soon).

I think the only possibilities he has to turn things around are 1) to stand up to them 2) fight back 3) or deflect with humor/sarcasm/rudeness. I have daughters, so take my advice with a grain of salt, because guys might actually beat up on him.

But one thing my daughter just said was that bullies just want to feel strong or powerful. They aren't looking for confrontation, just someone to pick on. So if he can make them uncomfortable, or embarrass them, maybe they'll move on.

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Posted by: sg ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:30PM

I was bullied ruthlessly all through junior high school and it did not end until midway through high school (when I made the football team, it ended very quickly).

You need to tell the school and if they do nothing, go to the school board. This absolutely cannot be tolerated. It does not just suddenly go away. I wish I would have opened up to my parents, but held it all in. Feel lucky that you know what is happening so that you can do something.

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Posted by: sg ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:34PM

And how to comfort your child? Remind him constantly that he is valued and wonderful. Also, let him know that bullies generally have a lot of insecurities or problems at home that cause them to take things out on other kids.

I sincerely hope that helps. My heart definitely goes out to your son. It is tough to go through that.

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Posted by: fidget ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:37PM

Bullying often goes beyond name calling. I was called four eyes, carrot top, ginger, etc.

It escalated to the point that when would walk home I would have giant rocks thrown at me all the way home.

This was elementary. I was horribly bruised.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:46PM

I feel for your son. I was in a similar situation when I was his age. I wish I had some advice I could give.

This is one of the situations I would consider home schooling to be an appropriate alternative. That said, you might not have the ability to do so.

Does your son have special needs? Is he behind the other kids in development? Often kids who are bullied are, I know I was behind everyone else. One thing that made the problem worse, is they pulled me out of regular classes for special ed, which is a special mixture of one part kids who get bullied a lot, mixed with another part, kids who do a lot of bullying. If he is in a special education program, make sure that the special education program isn't intensifying the situation.

On the other hand, I was in some special education classes later on that were a little better segregated based on needs, and those were safe refuges from bullying. Either way, if he or anyone else's child gets special education, they need to be aware of what kind of kids are in the program with them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2013 09:48PM by forbiddencokedrinker.

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Posted by: Mr. Neutron ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:21PM

forbiddencokedrinker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is one of the situations I would consider
> home schooling to be an appropriate alternative.
> That said, you might not have the ability to do
> so.


There's also unschooling. He is old enough to leave on his own if he is in junior high. Leave him alone with the computer and he can educate himself. There's the University of Phoenix online. There's getting his high school equivalency. There's private tutoring and self-tutoring. Investigate. The Internet has freed up your son's options like I never had.

I was bullied. I will never totally live it down. It can scar a child permanently. Don't wait around for school bureaucrats to do anything about it. And there are too many ways for bullying to take place where they can't.

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Posted by: Darkfem ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 11:58PM

True! I have an undergraduate student who was unschooled and I'm really amazed at how perceptive, resourceful and creative she is.

Unschooling is a legitimate option.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 12:11AM

While it may be right for some people, unschooling seems to me like it could come with many of its own problems. A big part of education is to make oneself employable, and a big part of being employable is having the piece of paper that says you have an education.

I'm an autodidact. Education rise, I probably have a larger base of information that I learned myself through my own studies, then many of my friends have gotten after completing a bachelors degree. That said, none of that knowledge really helps me get a job, because there is no real way I can show a potential employer how well versed I am in a plethora of fields. The same can be said of nearly any adult who spends considerable time consuming information on the internet, from diverse sources. You got to have that degree or diploma, and that only comes from jumping through other peoples hoops.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 09:46PM

Maybe you have a really BIG GUY that can accompany him to school one day and have a "word" with the bullies!!Uncle Cop, or Uncle Harley-Motorcycle Rider might go to school to have a "talk" with the teacher and then the parents! :-)

All it takes is someone putting them in there place and letting them know it's not OK to bug someone!

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Posted by: JerseyGirl ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:01PM

Observer...ask your son if they are bullying other kids. If they are, contact those parents and then go to the school and meet with the principal as a *group*.

This is a tough situation because if he's the only one being singled out and you report it to the school, the bullies might retaliate by cornering him.

On-going bullying can result in depression. One need only to read today's headlines to know this is true. If you believe that nothing is being done or can be done to resolve it, strongly consider home schooling your son until high school.

As others said, let your son know that he is valued and give him insights to what motivates bullies.

Please let us know how this goes for you!

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Posted by: Johnny Canuck ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:06PM

This has been a recurring theme at various points through out my life My parents' take on it was ignore and put yourself above it....I listened but today I disagree. At 54 I do not take bull crap off anyone except my parents...the offenders get it back and then some.

I would involve the school and if that does not work fight back administratively, legally and as a last resort with fists. Bullies hate people that stand up to them and make them look foolish.

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Posted by: left4good ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:12PM

When kids are being suspended for shaping their hands into gun shapes and saying "Bang bang," one would expect administrators to be all over this. I would make an appointment with his teacher and with his principal and insist that it stop, and let them know if it doesn't, you will be forced to take other action. (And I would leave it vague on purpose.)

I would also spend time with your son, as you mentioned, "arming him." I think he needs to hear that some people just say ugly things, and that is THEIR problem, not his. Assure him he's wonderful as himself, and that you are doing what you can to help him deal with it.

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Posted by: Mamamia ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:20PM

This is happening to my son as well. In my son's case, it wasn't his appearance, it was an incident at school. He was wrestling with his friend "Hugh", and the other kids remarked it looked like they were having sex. It became one big joke, and both my son and his friend "Hugh" would endure comments by kids about how they "were in love with each other." Kids would tease my son for writing "I am gay" in his notebook, when he wasn't. I have spoken with school officials, and they have a policy in place and have addressed it with the fifth grade class. My son does tell me if kids tease him...another issue that is likely making the situation worse is that both "Hugh" and my son wear their emotions on their sleeves. I tend to think that the bullying continues because the kids get a rise out of making them upset. This is unfortunate. I do worry that it could get worse in middle school. My son is also in special education, but he really is a smart kid and does well for the most part. His social skills need work, and I think with the more "mature" kids in his class, this also makes him a target. I know he has friends, because kids will see me and tell me they are friends with him. It is hard, because I do fear that this could potentially follow him through middle school. However, I have told my son that he is wonderful and a great kid. I have also told him that he's going to run into bullies who will tease him, and he just needs to remember that he does have friends and to ignore the bullies. He's going to run into jerks later on in life, so the best thing I think you could do as a parent is 1) alert school officials and utilize teachers as your son's advocates, and 2) teach him how to cope with bullies. Getting emotional may be a sign of weakness to bullies, so teaching your son to keep a good poker face may be the trick to stopping some of the bullying.

Hope this helps. I know what you are going through.

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Posted by: Mamamia ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:31PM

P.S. My son's friend "Hugh" was at my son's birthday party, and his mother remarked how tough a time "Hugh" had in making friends. She has invited kids over to "Hugh's" birthday parties, but they never showed up. I think "Hugh" is ostracized because he is mentally and academically behind. At least my son is not alone in the teasing, which doesn't really make it easier to take, but at least he has a buddy going through the same thing. I tend to think my son is being teased because he is being conditioned by his peers to act more manly. Perhaps they really do like my son, but have already pegged "Hugh" an outcast, and are trying to turn my son against him. I for one, will not let him do that. Believe it or not, your kid takes his cues from you, and if you teach him how to cope, he will internalize that and use it. Until your child hits high school, which I've heard is better because there are all sorts of activities that will play to your son's strengths and socially positive for him, the middle school years are sort of like the "black hole" of teaching (as I've heard a psychologist as describing it).

I do want to ring these kid's necks, but I can't help feeling that part of this is something my son needs to figure out himself. I can only make sure he is not getting beat up or harrassed so much that his grades are suffering. I am keeping a close eye on that. Also, do you really want your child to "be like everyone else?" I didn't run with the popular crowd, or the pseudo-popular crowd. However, I look back on high school and decided that was actually a fun time. I remember late elementary school/early middle school being a little more tough for me.

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Posted by: BOUNCED! ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:47PM

I am a high school principal and there are clear policies and legislation that require administrators to deal with bullying. In Oregon this even includes cyberbullying, 24/7 if there is an impact on the student's ability access their education. I strongly recommend you meet with your school administrator.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that not all administrators are skilled in dealing with bullies. Student's worst fear is that adult (parent, teacher, principal)involvement will intensify or escalate the bullying. In some cases this fear is proven accurate. So, my best advice is to make an appointment with your child's principal, describe what is going on (without naming the bully) and have the principal explain how they deal with the type of bullying you child is experiencing. Then if you have confidence that your administrator is capable, you tell them the name of the bully and ask for a follow up call when they have completed their responsibility to provide your child with a safe and positive learning environment. However, if you are not confident that the principal will remedy the situation, take it to the district office or school board.

Do not let it go unresolved. Children have a keen sense of justice and if the adults in their life fail to at least advocate for their justice, they lose trust. Sure, teach your child the social graces necessary to navigate interpersonal challenges. Absolutely, try and help them to develop understanding and empathy towards other, even the bully in their life. But, it is essential that you advocate, support, problem-solve, and if needs be protect them.

Bullying is not okay. Your son deserves an opportunity to enjoy going to school without anxiety and fear.

Good luck to you in your role as parent. I hope you find your principal a capable and willing partner.

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Posted by: eldorado ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 10:59PM

I am so sorry your son is going through this, we ended up homeschooling my oldest due to the bullying he was going through. I will keep you both in my thoughts and warm wishes, its so hard on kids and its hard on the parents who watch their kids go through this.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 11:19PM

My bright middle school son came home repeatedly with food in his hair because the kids were allowed to bully him by throwing food at him in the cafeteria.

It will not stop on its own and can escalate unbelievably.

Bullying has to become socially unacceptable in the eyes of the children. And for that to happen there has to be a tipping point.

Here in California this is happening. My daughter is a school counselor and she and her principal have worked hard to make thier school a Bully-Free Zone.

Perhaps your PTA could get on board and help create a program at your child's school.


Anagrammy

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Posted by: southern should login ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 11:43PM

Please keep an open mind to the homeschooling, online k -12 options the previous posters talked about. I was bullied by the same set of children from elementary cool until my high school graduation. In middle school a real psychopath of a kid moved to town and took it upon himself to lead the charge. If it wasnt for my high sense of sold worth, i would still be here. As it was i lived every day in misery, these kids even went to my church. There was no escape.

My mom asked if i want to withdraw from school and I said no. Everyone made dun of homeschooling kids and I didnt need to give them more ammo. My mom SHOULD have pulled me out of school herself burn she could accept that her daughter was unpopular. Homeschooling would have been a god send for me and would have saved me from a lot of tears and blood shed.

It is my opinion that the true bully never stops. He or she is also careful to bully in such a way that they can never be definitely "caught" bullying. There are no tricks to stop them. The only way to help yourself survive the torment is to destroy your emotional self that they can not hurt what makes you you. Being trapped in school with bullies is what I imagine being a POW is like. If the bullying doesnt stop, get your kid out of school. They want stop. He should have to learn to survive an abusive containment like school. You left the church, its ok to leave the school too.

Hope this post makes sense, its late and Im clumsy thumbs on this phone

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Posted by: southern ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 11:50PM

oh good grief, my phone butchered that so badly but now that I'm on the pc I can't correct it!

I am so sorry about all the weird/nonsensical words in there, I really hate auto correct T_T

Until you figure out what to do, the best thing your son can do when they call him gay is to say something like, "You seem awfully interested in who's gay around here.. Something you want to tell us?" and just let it hang. People who use gay as an insult like that are homophobes, that bully wont like it at all if your son implies that there might be a reason he's got "gay" on the brain. It's not that I would encourage him to bully back but if his tormentor isn't a grade a sociopath, maybe a little witty turnabout will help for a while.

I'm sorry you and your boy have to deal with this, it really sucks.

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 12:11AM

I'd go to the principal and make it clear it must end immediately - now! I'd be clear the school, teachers and administration is responsible to immediately solve the problem. Don't let up. Don't express gratitude when they take the first step. Keep the heat on and expectations high.

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Posted by: kriss ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 06:11AM

I was horribly bullied from 6th grade. I can only say that this bullying has impacted my life in very bad way. I am 23 years old and I still have moral scars and I am very insecure still.
I wish my parents would cared more....

Please change the school for your kid. I think the only way your child could start a new, better phase in his life is in totally new environment with new friends.
You could talk with principal and teacher it could stop bullying, but the bad memories and the other kids, who bullied would still be there...

You should hug your child and tell him that you know how he feels and that you will be there for him and will not let anyone to hurt him anymore at all.

Good luck. Sorry for my English. It is not my native language.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 09:06AM

I was bullied. Especially in junior high. I was unathletic and bright. Several times I finally slugged the bullies. Each time I was told I should not hit, but the bullies were punished. Actually, the bullying continued into high school. Each bully ceased after they got hit. I was even bullied at church camp (non-LDS). My mother told me the bullies were jealous of me because we lived in a better section and were smarter. My DW was bullied as a child because she had to wear braces due to polio as a small child.

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Posted by: snuckafoodberry ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 10:05AM

My oldest kid (now 23 and beautiful) was bullied a bit for awhile in school mostly for red hair and who knows why else. I decided to start volunteering at school and made myself a known presence among all the kids so I knew them. This helped tremendously. I'm not sure the psychology of how it helped but I remember gaining the confidence of one kid and telling him how much I loved my son and that if he wouldn't mind looking out for him. I knew the kid I spoke to was one of the main teasers. My son quit being teased immediately. I'm glad for me the solution was an easy one. If teasing was really bad I know I would have removed my child from school.

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Posted by: MOOI ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 10:36AM

I was bullied in Jr. High. By the time I graduated high school CARRIE came out. I secretly cheered her on during the prom scene.

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Posted by: michael ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 10:56AM

I was bullied from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a result, I have enough problems that I could say my life isn't what it would have been had I not been bullied.

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Posted by: druid ( )
Date: May 28, 2013 01:00PM

Sometimes self defense lessons can help. It did help one of our children gain self confidence. In real life though the bully issue may not end as neatly as the Karate Kid moive did.

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Posted by: vh65 ( )
Date: May 30, 2013 01:27PM

My daughter wasn't openly bullied, but she was deeply unhappy in 7/8 grade (she still won't tell me why). I wish now that I had listened and really tried to help much earlier. She tells me that she seriously considered suicide. Finally, halfway through her first year of HS I started looking for alternatives. It's easier than you think to switch schools. You can ask the district to switch to another school (research and try to find a school where you think he'll fit better), ask for an interdistrict transfer to another town, homeschool (though the online programs we tried were just torture and very poorly run because they were growing so fast they couldn't keep up with the basics like teachers and textbooks, so I'd look very carefully at the program and talk to other families), and find special schools/programs. My girls each spent some time in a "school" they attended weekly for an hour to meet with a teacher, doing the rest at home on their own. It worked reasonably well, and the school (part of our district) was helping to set it up so my older daughter could take just 1-2 AP classes at the high school and also some community college courses. In the end, both girls eventually transferred to a neighboring town where the student body was a better fit (40% Asian, 40% white - they are mixed race) and that helped a lot. I found the school district pupil services people were very willing to help and give me advice when my younger daughter requested a change over "teasing" (more what she was afraid of than what she experienced). Work with your current principal first and maybe this will die down. If it doesn't, examine your options. No reason for the kid to be miserable for years, even if you have to move. Middle school is not very fun for most people. Hopefully he'll hit a growth spurt this summer and that will help. BTW, if it turns out your son is gay, I have noticed that the boys who are out and open about it generally end up being popular, at least with the girls. That confidence deters teasing.

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Posted by: tig ( )
Date: May 30, 2013 01:32PM

Two words for your son:

Baseball bat

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Posted by: Mormon Observer ( )
Date: May 30, 2013 03:31PM

My son smiled when I quoted ""You seem awfully interested in who's gay around here"

Then he said it is a whole bunch of random kids, not just one in particular.

Since the Jr. High(in Oregon) has 1200 students it would be hard to nail down.

I helped him finish up some assignments that were really eating at him. Told him to do the one that was likely to take the biggest bite out of his rear first, then go on from there.

He is very glad I read out loud to him a lot. He's noticed it helped his own reading. He tore through the series; The Hunger Games, Rangers Apprentice, and is on Merlin now. He also read The Hobbit on his own.

He was glad to know I'm on his side and think he's a terrific kid I'm proud of.

It's been hard for him to socialize. When we moved here when he was four, he'd just lost his father whom he was thick as thieves with. He was so non communicative the educators and I thought he was deaf.
He got put in a special kindergarten but wasn't ready to go streight into first grade. So he spent the next few years in special needs classrooms with kids who had some tough issues.
The school told me they'd be Mainstreaming him, but they delayed it until March. It was too late in the year (and 4th grade) so he ended up not being mainstreamed fully until 6th grade.

This year his biggest gob smack seemed to be homework. Also immature PE teachers who have no clue about small kids who aren't that active who have a side ache or a sprained ankle. He was abused by the system.

Thank you. His next oldest brother is graduating from HS (the asperger one) so we'll have more time to sort things through. We do have good communication skills so I'm sure he'll toughen up and not even notice the kids teasing and they'll find someone else.

But I will keep a close watch on it!!!!

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Posted by: tig ( )
Date: May 30, 2013 03:42PM

My first remark about the baseball bat was flip. Please let him know that he has a lot of fans and friends pulling for him here, and if he needs anything to just give us a shout.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:11PM

My ex is gay. My son was called gay constantly in middle school and nobody at the time knew his dad is gay. He never told me. It effected him A LOT.

It seems to be the word of choice for all the jocks and popular kids to use these days. I wish I knew what you could do, but I don't. I hope someone else gave you some good advice.

I feel for your son. I was bullied in middle school, too. It was hell going to school every day.

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Posted by: kolobian ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:19PM

Have him walk up to the bully, in front of everyone, and punch him right in the nose as hard as he can.

He might get jumped by the bully's friends, might even get beat up. But nobody will call him names again.

You're probably not willing to do that since violence is frowned upon, but I'm only presenting a yang solution to your particular problem...

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Posted by: ftw ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:35PM

I realize this thread is old and recently revived, but personally I think the witty comebacks works really well.

My two best friends in high school were kids that I teased or picked on that had good come backs. Realized they were pretty funny and that we had lots in common. I don't think I was a bully, (certainly hope not), but I know the value of a good comeback :-)

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Posted by: right2bleft ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:44PM

If the good comeback doesn't work, or if you can't think of anything....I agree with Kolobian. A solid, straight punch right on the tip of the nose will shut them up. Take a class or learn from someone who knows how and don't back down.

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Posted by: INFO ( )
Date: December 06, 2013 03:49PM

I know that this thread is about bullying, but I was thinking that maybe you can get your son busy with some Lego projects at home (like stop motion Lego movies), to keep his mind off of the bullying. Then he can post stuff to YouTube, & be like, "Hey, I worked hard, & made this, & no one can take that away from me."

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