Friday, November 10, 2006

It never ends, does it?

I haven't posted about my nut-job neighbors before, but now I have to. They are a couple with 2 kids. The children belong to the mother, they are one year apart and have 2 different fathers. Not judging, just stating. The guy is the stepfather -- I think. I don't even know if they're actually married.

Anyway, they rent the house next door. We were actually happy when they moved in because the kids are close to Jaben's age -- the boy is 11 and the girl, I think, is 10. They're both in Jabe's grade at school. Unfortunately, they've been nothing but trouble since the day they moved in. They have broken my swing set, the boy has taken one of KYAN'S toys (remember he's 11) and took it into his house. When I went to get it, the mother verbally attacked me. I mean really - an 11 yr old taking a baby's toys is OKAY with her? Explains a lot. Every time Jaben walks out the door they scream "fag" at him... nice kids, huh? The boy sits in the tree in his backyard when Jaben is outside and yells obscenities at him. All this is absolutely bad enough, but recently it has become physically violent.

Last week, the boy shoved Jaben into the bushes and hit him enough to leave bruises up his side. Not a lot I could do about it... no witnesses and like I said, the mom is nuts. And the step dad? Like, 6'4" and scary with a temper. NOT the kind of parents you approach. They probably taught him to act like this. The girl has verbally attacked Jaben at school, but no teachers saw it so she got away with it.

It all ends today.

Today, they jumped Jaben on the way home from school. The two of them together pushed him down, and while the girl kicked him, the boy walloped him with his backpack. Jaben got up and ran away, but they chased him and did it again. Normally there wouldn't be a whole lot I could do because it'd be their word against his. Except today someone saw them! THANK GOD! Justin's (Jabe's friend) grandmother was watching out the window for the boys to come home and saw the whole thing!!! She called me to tell me what she'd seen, and said she was absolutely willing to talk to the principal as well as the police!! Finally - an adult witness!!!

So, rather than go to my parent/teacher conference, we went to see the principal. Seems like they take a pretty tough line on this -- zero tolerance policy in the schools (we'll see HOW zero), and he encouraged me to go see the police. I told him that was our next stop. He wanted the name of the officer we talked to when we were finished because, he said, the police and the school work together on these things. Good to know.

Next stop -- the police station.

Now, let me be the first to say, I really didn't want it to come to this, and if there was any other way to protect my child and just make it stop, I'd have done it. But there wasn't, and there isn't. And now I have a witness to prove what they've been doing to him. So, we talked to an officer. I gave him the grandmother's name and phone number and told him she said she would tell them what she saw, so while Jaben was writing out his statement, he went and called her and she and Justin came right down. She told the officer what she saw and gave him a written statement as well.

He said they'd go talk to the neighbors and get their side (which I expected) and then come Monday, they'd talk to the school and everything would be submitted to the prosecutors office thru juvenile court. Fortunately it shouldn't be too rough since we've got a credible adult witness and it wouldn't be just the kids' words against each other. I don't know what happens to the kids, what the punishment is, but I really wish it was that they had to move out of the neighborhood, because I'm afraid at this point that's all that would work.

So, while Jaben's okay, things are ugly and I'm afraid that once the neighbors find out that we've pressed charges against their little darlings, it's going to get uglier. I have no shame for telling the officer that I'm afraid of the step father. For that matter, the mother could take me, easy. I'm not a fighter and I haven't raised my kids to be either. That's just not the way we do things. I hope they just accept what their kids have done and deal with it, but there's always a chance, knowing how they are, that they'll somehow blame US.

NOT the way to start the weekend.


palmtreefanatic said...

I hope your evening got better...Im praying for you!

Anonymous said...

sounds like you're handling a horrible situation correctly -- i'm sorry it's so rough!

for Jaben to know that you support him and love him and will go to the mats for him -- that's incredibly valuable...