bullies, bully quotes, real mom daily, Donald Trump

“Well, that’s what Trump says,” he retorted

It was 2:37 p.m. at Hamilton Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin. Parents were there to pick up their kids before a long weekend, and others there for parent-teacher conferences. A balmy 65-degree afternoon, November 10, 2016. Autumn was in full effect, and the green grass so lush, we all wanted to believe winter might never arrive.

My 11-year-old twin boys were joined by several friends as they launched into the long weekend. Boys, not quite young men, middle-school preteens. They laughed, ate pita chips, made up games as they waited for their parents or the bus to arrive to take them home or to their various after-school activities. A few parents were late, so I was able to enjoy watching my boys and their group play and laugh, rough-house the way boys do.

One boy in particular was quite loud and vocal as they played on the grass. The office assistant, Rita, walked by and the noise caught her attention. She motioned to the boy to keep his voice down. It took me by surprise, as in my experience there is a great deal of freedom for the kids to “blow off steam” at the school, especially after school.

I let her know that my boys had been very engaged in the election, and that they were still overwhelmed that “the bully” won.

She stopped to chat with me for a minute, and then we both heard it.

“Stop it, are you retarded?”

Rita walked over to the boy who’d spoken and told him to watch his language.

“Well, that’s what Trump says,” he retorted.

Rita and I looked at each other with an overwhelming sense of understanding and doom.

She paused, then told me that it had been like that and worse since Wednesday morning, the morning after the election.

Rita suggested an article she had read online about ways to handle the situation with kids. I thanked her.

As she walked away, I stayed a bit closer to the kids as they played. The boy who had made the comment had left, and just my boys and one friend remained. Three beautiful young boys, soon to be men.

Three 11-year-old American boys, whose parents are African American, Asian, and Caucasian, who know that calling someone “so gay” is an insult, who understand the need for gender-neutral bathrooms, and because of Donald Trump, understand the meaning of the words racist and sexist more than ever.

What am I going to say if I ever hear from them, “Well, that’s what Trump says”?

Beginning today my reply will be: “That does not mean it’s OK. That doesn’t make it OK for you, for me, or for anyone.”

Beginning today my reply will be: “That does not mean it’s OK. That doesn’t make it OK for you, for me, or for anyone.”

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