May 11, 2010

Cyrus still getting bullied

In Native Children Bullied by Stereotypes I reported on the bullying of a Native student named Cyrus Greene. I sent the link to his grandmother Linda "Willow" Greene, who's fighting on his behalf. Here's a followup e-mail from her on the situation:Thank you for this article--very well written. Very good points about standards for bullying and appropriate cultural sensitivity training for the staff. One of the things that's made it so difficult for Cy is that the stereotypes were presented to the class from the teacher--a person in the position of knowledge and power in the other children's lives. Things here have improved only slightly. The boys are still harassing Cyrus. As yet, the school has yet to impose the threatened boot camp for the offenders, they are only receiving after-school detentions. I am having Cyrus report each and every time the boys call him a name, but now, in the reporting, he is being asked if there was any witness to the event. I suspect the other kids will simply alter their behavior enough so that there will no longer be witnesses and that it will just be Cy's word which can easily be overlooked as 'instigating' by the principal.Comment:  "Altering their behavior" is a typical example of what I wrote about in Minorities Suffer Microaggression. Racists know how calibrate their attacks to just the right pitch. Through trial and error, if nothing else, they can find attacks that are bad enough to hurt but not to get them in trouble.

As I suggested to Greene:

Have you thought about taking other steps besides contacting the school? I'm thinking of steps such as these:

  • Creating a blog and Facebook page and posting all your correspondence there. Call them something catchy like "Stop Bullying Native Kids!"

  • Contacting Native educators and educational organizations in your area and letting them know the situation. They may intervene on your behalf or suggest other avenues for you.
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    If none of those methods work. Just home school the boy. Or better yet, transfer him to another school. Otherwise, he'll just to have endure the harrassment. He's gotta at least make some friends. That's what I did in my elementary years in Phoenix. But our school was culturally diverse and there were 4 or 5 Native students in my class of 15 or so. Luckly our teacher was cautious not teach cultural stereotypes, given to the number of non-Whites in class.