If you’ve been following the comments on my blog, and it seems that loads of you do, given the number of emails I’ve received over the past 24 hours, then you’ll know that I’ve inadvertently caused a bit of a scandal in the neighborhood with my post about bullies.
I have this neighbor: she’s a really nice woman, one of those people that I always wished I’d had the chance to get to know better. We have boys the same age, but they move in different circles at school, and we move in different circles in this vast compound of ours. Plus which, we both have zillions of kids, so we’re both usually so busy chasing little ones at the playground that we don’t have time for more than superficial chit-chat.
Anyway, it seems this neighbor really did not like my post. Her feeling was that, in a relatively small community such as ours, the mere fact that I posted this story meant I was identifying the boys involved.
I disagree. I believe any of the other parents who complained – and there were several – would know which child was involved. But no one else would. He doesn’t even live in our neighborhood, so likely no one here knows him. And the injured boy also lives elsewhere.
I don’t think there was anything wrong with my post. I read it and re-read it today, and I really don’t think I identified anyone, or pointed any fingers at any kids. It’s true: I called this boy a bully. And I stand by that name. What he did was inexcusable.
But here’s the thing: I don’t want to upset my neighbors. I’m upset about the whole situation, and I’m worried about my son’s safety, but I don’t want to drag the rest of the neighborhood down.
As far as I’m aware, none of my neighbors read this blog. (if you do, de-lurk, please, and let me know you’re here.) Several of them know I fancy myself a writer. But if they’re on to my blog, they haven’t given me a hint, not in the three years I’ve lived here. I don’t think the entire neighborhood is gossiping about my blog – I’m pretty darn boring, when it gets down to it. But then, I’m usually oblivious to the latest neighborhood gossip, so maybe I’m wrong.
I don’t want the neighbors trying to guess which kids are involved. My point in posting was not to single out the kids. Rather, I wanted to express my disappointment in the school, for an inappropriate response to a dangerous situation.
I don’t want my words to destroy the relationships I’ve built over my time here in Beijing. And I certainly don’t want my words being used to cause injury to any other children.
So, to the one neighbor who has taken the time to de-lurk and let me know she was disappointed: Megan, I apologize. Thank you for letting me know you were upset. The post about bullies has been taken down, and I will continue my fight with the school in a less public venue.