A Not-So-Thrilling “First”

Ariel experienced another childhood “first” today: her first encounter with a schoolbus bully.

Apparently, a girl behind her unzipped Ariel’s backpack and pulled out the tag that lists Ariel’s personal information. Ariel took it back and told her, “it’s not your business,” to which the bully responded by spitting in Ariel’s eye. She seemed unhappy and a little bewildered as she got off the bus and related the story, but not too terribly shaken up or frightened. And yes, she told the bus driver, who commanded them both to face forward and leave each other alone. Hopefully this incident won’t repeat itself…

Big jump down!

During the semester that I spent at that same elementary school, I was teased incessantly, and bus rides in particular were horrible. Putting Ariel in this school has been a strange experience, with certain emotions washing over me as I walk down the halls, emotions that I have to push out of my mind and remind myself that Ariel is a completely different person than I was, with much better social skills, self-esteem, and fortitude. I was a sixth-grader who had never been in a public school before, and she is a kindergartener who just finished an excellent year at her state-run preschool. But this incident is bringing some of those feelings of anxiety back to the surface for me, feelings that I am trying not to show to my daughter.

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