When I was at school, I was not particularly bullied. I was not attached physically (except once), and didn’t even receive a huge amount of verbal abuse. I think a lot of this had to do with an exhaustive vocabulary that I used as a weapon. Few were willing to engage it.
Instead, I was on the receiving end of something I came to think of as passive bullying. It was simple exclusion from so many social constructs. Nothing obvious; nothing specific. nothing direct, and nothing reportable. But it was not entirely unwelcome: I like my own company. I appreciated the space to think my own thoughts, and pursue my own interests.
My children are not like me. They love people, they love company, and they care what people think. They are easily embarrassed. They are conscious of the parts of them that are not like other kids.
Moms have a super power (at least, the ones I know do). We imagine the worst possible outcome(s) of any given or hypothetical scenario. And when I imagine my children in a “typical” school situation, I imagine just how awful it could be for them. I picture them alone and afraid. I hear the teasing as their tics are mocked. I see the looks and fingers pointing. I feel the sniggers and laughter as if they were aimed at me. Only it’s worse, because it’s targeted at my babies.
I know I am paranoid. I know not everyone is mean, and not everyone gets teased. But when I hear talks like this, which are both educational and eye-opening, I am reminded why I home school. And one of the reasons is to give my daughters a safe space to learn and grow.