Continued from: With Drawn: Part 18 — Physical Graffiti
Joanne Walsh sat in Principal Cooper’s office. Principal Cooper sat behind his desk. Joanne said to the principal, “I have to tell you, Principal Cooper, I’m getting pretty tired of having to come here.”
Principal Cooper said to Joanne, “I don’t know what to tell you, Ms. Walsh, the police have been contacted, but you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to press charges.”
Joanne told the principal, “The Rogers family are friends of my husband, so, no, we don’t want to involve the police over this matter. But the fact remains, you seem completely unable to keep my son safe from bullying here in your school.”
“I can assure you, Ms. Walsh, we take bullying very seriously here. The boys in question have been disciplined harshly.”
“That discipline being?”
“I can’t discuss other students’ records in such a manner, but I can assure you, they have been dealt with harshly.”
“I bet they have,” Joanne said. She was being sarcastic, of course.
By the way, even though Principal Cooper can’t tell Joanne Walsh what punishment Tommy, Danny, and Frankie received for their assault on Jacob, I can tell you. The punishment was that the three boys received two-day suspensions from school. The three boys would spend those two days playing video games together online.
Principal Cooper said to Joanne, “Look, I’m as concerned about the treatment of Jacob by these three boys as you are. But the fact remains, Jacob does have a hand in these bullying incidents. By continuing to draw these pictures that he draws, he is bringing a lot of negative attention upon himself.”
Joanne said, “You sound like those men that blame rape victims for inviting rape.”
Principal Cooper furrowed his brow. What Joanne said, some may call a low blow. This is when someone says something so harsh that for the person on the receiving end of the insult, it feels like he has been kicked in the testicles. Getting kicked in the testicles really hurts.
Joanne continued, “I know Jacob is viewed differently. He is different. And I know his drawings can be disturbing at times, but that is due to his exceptional artistic ability. If they were stick-figure drawings, they wouldn’t cause this much commotion. And if he was more like the other children, these drawings wouldn’t matter.”
“Ms. Walsh, I don’t think that…”
Joanne ignored the principal’s attempt to speak, and she said, “And it is due to Jacob being different and exceptional that he is being targeted. And it is because of his autism that he is different and exceptional. So, as per the law, you are supposed to provide FAPE, Free Appropriate Public Education, to my son. So you need to figure out how to protect him from this bullying. Because if you don’t, then who will?”
Continued in: With Drawn: Part 20 — A New Approach