So ... Ethan, Topher, and Douglas all share the same Guitar/Bass teacher. Turns out, the bass teacher's son M is the same age as Douglas. They were in the same class last year, but are in separate classes this year. While they haven't been best friends, they get along decently enough. Talking to M and his parents last night after Douglas' bass lesson, I learned something about my son.
It seems M has been having trouble at school lately. From what I understand from his parents, his grades have fallen and he has been unlucky in his choice of friends. Recently he managed to get in trouble over both things, and is trying his best to straighten it out.
One of the things he is trying to do is separate himself from the "friends" that got him in trouble. In doing so, he angered them and is now on their list to be picked on. Apparently there was a scuffle on the yard between him and one of the other boys that ended with the other boy going to get a friend to take it to the next level.
When the "friends" showed up to make M's life miserable, my son decided, unbidden, to step in and say "No". He explained (probably loudly ... after all, he is related to me) to these other boys that enough was enough and they weren't going to make this any worse than it already was. From what I understand, when they threatened to go get more friends, he said words to the effect of "Fine ... I'll just go get the duty teacher."
I heard this story for the first time last night. I am incredibly proud of my young man. I'm thrilled that he had the courage to stand up to bullies for someone that isn't even a close friend just because it was the right thing to do! I am encouraged that he's willing to seek help from authority rather than try and handle an escalating situation on his own. I hope he and M become closer friends over it, but even if that doesn't happen, this was an incredibly brave act and one to be celebrated.
Because I know grade-school bullies, I fear reprecussions. But, especially with the addition of M at his side, I'm pretty sure he can survive them.