Unfortunately, last week brought about a first for the Dunigan Family. And not a happy first.
When Griffin got off the bus on Thursday, he began telling me that there were two twin boys (older) bullying him on the bus. They were teasing him for being a baby kindergarten student, and they were pulling on the hood of his jacket. Griffin and I talked about asking them to stop and finding a new seat on the bus. He didn't seem overly upset, and I thought all would be okay.
The next day, the two boys threw snowballs at Griffin when he exited the bus and started walking to our house. I witnessed the whole thing because I watch from our front door each day as Griffin gets off. Even when Griffin yelled at them to stop, the one shoved snow down Griffin's jacket, so I eventually had to step in and reprimand the boys. The boys froze and stopped. I talked with Griffin about how he could handle stuff like this in the future. I suggested making sure he didn't sit near the boys. I reminded him that when someone does something he doesn't like, he should say so. I also told him that if anything else happened he NEEDED to tell the bus driver.
Yesterday, Griffin exited the bus and was visibly nervous. He kept his head down and walked as quickly as possible to get to our house. It was then that I knew I needed to contact the school. In hindsight, I probably should have contacted them on Friday, but I have never dealt with this as a parent.
Fortunately, I am very pleased at how the school handled the situation. They got back to me quickly, talked with Griffin and the boys, and consequences were given. My goal was not to get these two boys in trouble. Instead, I wanted to make sure my son wasn't afraid to ride the bus. And when he walked to our house yesterday after getting off the bus, he was grinning from ear to ear and walked by the two boys without a care in the world. When I asked him why he was so happy, he replied, "Because I feel safe again on the bus."
It breaks my heart that he had to experience this at such a young age. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how early bullying starts. But, for now, all is okay.