Bullying in schools is a serious issue. How to tackle it is something people have debated for decades.
A parent who decided to take matters into their own hands turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback on their actions.
Redditor daniea910 asked:
“AITA for how I spoke to a kid bullying my son?”
The Original Poster (OP) added:
“She used a slur and I talked to her about the bad history of the word.”
The OP explained their situation.
“I found out from my 10 year old son that he was being bullied at school when he asked me what a slur meant. I’m not going to repeat the word here but it’s a racially charged word with a lot of bad history.”
“I also felt like it was likely this girl who said it might have learned it at home.”
“Anyway when I was picking up my son from after school activities the next day, I saw the 11-year-old girl who was being a bully and went to talk to her. I told her that I’d heard that she’d used a certain word for my son and people like him, people like me and my whole family too.”
“I asked her if she knew what I was talking about and after being mealy mouthed for a while she admitted she knew what I meant.”
“I said that I wanted to tell her a little more about what that word meant to me and why I felt hurt to hear someone in our community saying it.”
“She said ok.”
“I talked about why it was insulting and the history in which it originated. And that it was associated with people being mistreated or tortured even sometimes until a slow pained death.”
“And that there is a lot of associations with gruesome things, that that word says to me. And that I didn’t think she knew all that before, but now that she knows I’d appreciate if she didn’t use that language again, under any circumstances.”
“She was really quiet and would just say ‘ok’ and not much more.”
“I also talked to the teacher and said that I was concerned about some bullying in class, and that I’d appreciate if she kept an eye on the way the girl and a few others my son mentioned were speaking to people.”
“Anyway a few days went by and I didn’t hear anything more. Until I got a call from the school saying that another parent had told them I came to the school and ‘terrorized’ their daughter saying greusome things totally inappropriate for her age that had given her bad nightmares for days.”
“I went to the school and explained things to them and they were upset with me because I should have not talked to the girl myself and instead I should have just talked to the teachers.”
“After talking to the school principal and guidance counselor on my own the father of the girl came to speak with us as a group and he was honestly so furious he wasn’t able to have a normal conversation, he just started yelling spittle flying about how I shouldn’t be allowed on school grounds and cussing at me and stuff.”
“I stood up and said I’d be able to talk when he is able to control his temper but that day I was leaving.”
“We have not spoken again since, and I have another meeting with the school later this week.”
“AITA for how I spoke to a girl who was using a slur when bullying my son?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Now you see where that kid got her hate from.” ~ Master-Manipulation
“Also all OP did was tell the daughter facts about the history of that word. If the girl wants to throw around that slur then she can have the knowledge/history of what it means and stands for, ‘gruesome’ bits and all.”
“Obviously it will deter her use of it in the future.”
“That dude’s daughter terrorized OP’s son by saying that slur (the same slur with the same historic facts that OP said to the girl that ‘terrorized’ her nightmares) not to mention just general bullying along side the slur.”
“I bet the daughter said what OP had said to her dad, either before or after hearing it from him. She maybe wanted to ‘educate’ the father of what OP said, maybe trying to share what she learned because she learned the slur from him as he ‘may not have known’ the history behind it.”
“I bet the dad got pissy because someone else was educating his kid not to be bigoted like him.” ~ TheoryAddict
“100% correct. Dad is angry he got called out being a racist by his daughter.”
“OP is NTA and the school need to sort their sh*t out.” ~ PipsiePops
“I’ll take it a step further; I’ll bet you he’s more upset to have someone who looks like OP, talk to her about racist behavior, which the kid surely picked up from him.” ~ AlanGreenspansDingus
“What I’ve learned from witnessing my friends dealing with their children being bullied, schools do absolutely nothing.”
“I just can’t take their anti bully lies when they let it run so rampant and don’t actually make changes.” ~ Mean-Kiwi-5042
“NTA. In my experience teachers NEVER do sh*t when you tell them your child is being bullied.”
“You stood up for your kid and you didnt belittle the other kid, you just taught her what was wrong with the word. In my opinion as a former bullied child you are not in the wrong at all.” ~ 2339476Sjp
“The question for the school is whether they can show you documented actions they took in response to your report or if they only felt this was worth discussing beyond your talk with the teacher once the other parent complained.”
“They say you should have let them handle it? Let them show you how they handled it between your report and them deciding that they would focus on the other parent’s complaint.” ~ ZirbelL
“NTA. The girl’s parents are mad that you did the job they should have done themselves.”
“If the girl is old enough to use the slur, then she’s old enough to understand the meaning behind it.” ~ SomeoneYouDontKnow70
The OP provided a bit more context in her comments.
“Yeah, I honestly don’t feel like the school was equipped to talk about the impact of that language in the same way I was.”
“When I said history, in my post, I feel like I might have not totally communicated how close to home this hits for me.”
“The reason I never met my grandfather is that he lost his life in those historical events I mentioned. My mother watched her father brutalized and die slowly at 5 years old and could do nothing to help.”
“That plus other experiences in her life traumatized her and left lasting impacts on her mental health, that in turn led to myself and my siblings having a very tumultuous childhood. She was in and out of inpatient care for being suicidal throughout my childhood.”
“Coping with seeing her hurting was really difficult for my father who has struggled with addiction for most of my life.”
“The lasting ripple effects that has had on my family is so much more severe than anything that I think the school understands or is equipped to explain. And I would do anything to break that cycle and not have my little ones have the same fear and shame that the last generations of our family has…”
“[The school] might treat it like a naughty word in the same vein as a cuss, but to me it very much isn’t.”
While parents approaching other people’s children isn’t ideal, Reddit decided this OP didn’t do anything wrong.
It may have been the only way this child would learn the meaning and impact of her words.