Is an Angry Child a Tormented Child?

I’m having a hard time with that one.  There is a child in our school (difficult to call him a child, although he is in 2nd grade).  He is an angry, vengeful kid who needs to dominate, domineer, and always be the center of attention.  His natural expression r437160_2103070when speaking to a teacher is a rude glower, and a readiness to fight. Home is a strange environment.  The school’s perspective (with good reason) is that this child is on a pedestal, he can do no wrong, and anything he says or does is gold.  Personally I see this boy as pathological, or certainly on his way.  He lacks conscience. He lacks empathy. He lies. He hits. He hurts. On Friday he called his teacher an asshole (not unusual). And we had a little encounter that threw him for a loop. That was unexpected, for me and him.

As usual, Z (the start of his name), was bullying a child and this was a repeat performance.  This little dude, R, is a landed immigrant, very little English, small and so far, quite isolated even though his peers genuinely like him. He came to me on the yard crying that Z had been hitting him and calling him a bad boy again. This was the 3078818748_108e522cd1_zsecond incident on the yard of this kind. The first time I approached little R when I saw him wandering around crying helplessly. This time he approached me because he recognizes me as an ally. When Z bullies R he never denies it, as he usually does because he is a liar. He is scared when he is called out. He is a coward. A bully. I went inside the classroom (they are, unfortunately, both in the same room), and called the principal on the phone.  Z had already gone to the classroom teacher and ordered her to get the class out of the room and into the gym, since they were to have gym after recess. That was when I knew he was scared.

I contacted the administrator, mentioned those two names and he said “I will be right down.” Man he wasn’t kidding. He came on the fly. As Z crossed the hall to return to the classroom he glowered at me. “What does this have to do with you?” he challenged me for being present during his shaming. “I’m the one who called the principal.”  He had nothing to say to that. The admin called him out, and the little boy R. I turned and began to walk away but not before I winked at Z and said “have fun.” He couldn’t do a thing but glare at me. Precious moments.

This kid is angry, rude, hateful, and has no respect for authority. His teachers can all kiss his butt so far as he is concerned. His family (no father, a grandmother and a mother), always back him up.  Their precious baby. They believe we exaggerate (lie) ladyjusticeabout their precious Z. He is so good at home. Except for the arson in the lower part of their house that happened 3 months ago, of course.  They never admitted it, but I would bet a month’s pay cheque that Z was responsible for that. It’s a fact that angry children, developing psychopaths, play with fire, torture animals, and bully helpless children. Sometimes I really don’t like this kid.  I don’t know how many children Z will torment by the time he is expelled from this school system (if he ever is). I do know he won’t graduate high school. Rebellious, angry children never do. But I worry about all the damage he does along the way. I don’t believe Z is a tormented child in the sense of his treatment at home or at school. He rules too much, he has too much power especially for someone that young. But perhaps anger (at God only knows what) is its own torment. The only sense of satisfaction I get is knowing that one day Z’s family will reach their karma when Z is serving time in juvenile prison, and then adult prison straight afterward. They will still be protecting Z, except this time they will be blaming the legal system for picking on their precious boy. They just don’t get it. For the rest of us, Z will be right where he belongs. It’s not a nice thought, and certainly unprofessional,  but sometimes revenge really does taste sweet in one’s mouth.

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