Last week, I sat down and talked with the mom, “Araceli,” and her fifth-grade son, “E.J.”
“Kids should not feel threatened at school,” Araceli said. “You take your kids to school thinking they are going to be safe. My son started being bullied in third grade; he is now in fifth grade..”
“Kids mostly teased me and called me names at first,” E.J. said. “One boy threatened to stab me in the eye. I ran away from him. I was faster than he was.”
The incidents started with kids mostly teasing him about his size and calling him names. The bullying continued and increased to physical contact and threats of bodily harm.
Araceli was first alerted to the problem when her son started missing school, saying he was feeling ill. She had heard from other kids at school about some of what was happening during recess.
Araceli said she had several meetings with teachers and the school principal, but the problems still continued, sometimes with a whole new group of kids.
This past week, E.J. started his homeschool studies, and according to him, “it’s awesome.”
Tracy Unified School District is actively trying to combat bullying within the local schools. School district officials will host several events, including an annual red carpet award assembly on Nov. 14 at Kimball High School, in an effort to focus on the problems children are facing today.
The message to get across is that Tracy is a no-bully zone and you’re not alone. Today’s column is dedicated to every E.J. out there and the struggles they have endured.
You have a voice, and we are listening.
•Anne Marie Fuller, a Tracy arts commissioner, Mrs. California Beauties of the Nation and National Mrs. BOTN, is also the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.