September 7, 2009

Warning to the Bully Posse

I do not know you, any of the five of you, and the victim wasn't my kid, so I didn't say anything to you. But don't think I didn't notice. As for that plausible deniability coda at the end, it wasn't very convincing either.

Maybe you think the world of children exists unnoticed, below the radar of adults. Uh-uh. Just because I had on a hat and sunglasses doesn't mean I wasn't paying attention.

Before you reply with the earnestness of Eddie Haskell, I will tell you my perception of the incident:

You approached the deck chairs where my son and his buddy were sitting. Maybe the smaller kid's singing or over-loud voice attracted you. Whatever excuse you have, I saw you come over to us. Did you tease him later when you were out of my earshot? Did you pretend you were being friendly? Did you wait for him to say something you found foolish? I saw him throw the ball at you and had that been my kid, I would have reprimanded him, but when you pounded it back, I knew that it was your intention all along to goad him into an altercation.

You walked by me three more times, smiling and joking about that little provocation. I saw you slap each other five right in front of me. As I say, just because I am out of junior high doesn't mean I don't recognize bullying. I saw you wander around the pool a few more times, looking for more action with him.

You weren't picking on my son, I know. Five junior high kids taking on a 16-year-old a head taller would have been foolhardy. So you needn't have apologized to him, as being mad at "that other kid." That other kid is nowhere near your age and it was five-to-one. That's cowardly.

Consider yourself lucky. I saw you circling like a pack of wolves, trying to separate the weakest one from the pack and I did not like it. So now you know: I am watching you.

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