Something in the news

TW: Bullying, victim-blaming, complete indifference on the part of the people supposed to protect the victim

So, this happened. And it doesn’t sound familiar at alll. */sarcasm*

Short version: Kid gets bullied in class by classmates while teachers are in the room, sometimes while teachers are watching. Teachers ignore it, turn away, pretend they didn’t see. Kid has autism and ADHD, and therefore it’s his fault his classmates videotaped themselves hitting and teasing him.

And people say as much in so many words.

And the school seems to be backing up the perpetrators, because they say that videotaping yourself hitting and teasing someone, and videotaping their stimming for the purpose of ridicule isn’t bullying and therefore isn’t covered by their antibullying rules.

This hits very close for me. Because I allegedly brought bullying onto myself, too. And when kids slammed my head in my locker and beat the crap out of me, that wasn’t bullying. It was me not trying hard enough to avoid them. And when kids jumped me on my way home after school, it wasn’t bullying. It was me not trying hard enough to fit in. When kids stripped me at a birthday party, it wasn’t bullying, it was me provoking them by yelling at them for asking me if I was a “real girl”. And it takes two to tango, and if you fight back, it’s your fault because you hit, too, but if you don’t fight back, it’s your fault for sitting there and taking it and if you run away, well, that’s just being a coward and you deserve a few slaps to teach you bravery, amirite? Everything. Is. Always. The. Victim’s. Fault.

That’s how these things work. It’s your fault. Even if you had no way of predicting it. It’s your fault, even if you tried to avoid them. It’s your fault, it’s your fault, it’s your fault.

Very familiar. And not surprising. And I’m sad for Levi and angry at his school and his classmates and his teachers. And I’m angry that only one of the news stories I’ve seen on the issue thought to interview the kid in question, because, y’know, he’s just the kid living through that shit, who wants to hear from him, amirite? It’s not like autistics can speak for themselves or anything. He needs his mother to speak for him. Ew. 

But mostly, I’m sad for Levi and angry on his behalf. I’ve been there. And, as a member of the class of fuck off we made it, I hope he makes it, too. 

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