Bullying is back in the news again--as if it ever really left--following the suicide last week of Jamey Rodemeyer, and everyone points fingers at everyone else. The schools need to be involved. The bullied need to speak up. Parents need to control their kids. Parents need to be more involved.
And one such parent, Tanya Sydney, did get involved, and now she's been banned from her son’s Minneapolis school and even her son’s bus stop for the rest of the year. yet she has no regrets for taking action.
Tanya's son, fifth-grader Sovante Griffin, told his mother and stepfather last week that he was being bullied on the school bus, and that some of the boys were hitting him. Tanya Sydney decided that, as a parent, she ought to get involved, so she went her son to the bus stop the next day to confront the bus driver.
According to Tanya Sydney, the bus driver said, “I am doing the best I can, I can’t be in 50 million places at once.”
So Tanya Sydney got on the bus and yelled at the two boys that Griffin said were the bullies, telling them, "you need to keep your hands to yourselves.”
Suddenly the diver could be in 'fifty million places at once' and he ordered Sydney and her son off the bus, and walked to Lake Nokomis Community School where they were met by the school’s police liaison officer, the principal and a transportation supervisor.
At first, there was some confusion because the supervisor thought Tanya Sydney was another woman who had caused a disturbance on a school bus the previous year, but the matter seemed to be settled when her son, Sovante, and the two bullies apologized to each other. Sovante is back riding the bus and there have been no further incidents.
Then Tanya Sydney got a letter from the principal saying she is banned from school grounds and the bus stop for the rest of the school year. She has filed an appeal to the year-long ban with the Minneapolis School Board, but said she does not regret her actions: “There are too many stories of children getting bullied. I don’t want it to get to the point were he is scared to get on this bus and he can’t be successful.”
And she did what a mother should do. Protect her son and put a stop to the bullying. Otherwise we might have had another story of a young child who would rather die that be tormented endlessly.