Our nephew Jorreale, shown in the next photo, is a 7-year-old elementary student on Guimaras Island, our home province. He’s a typical boy, loves to make a lot of noise, get dirty and run around and play games with his buddies.
Jorreal and his younger sister, JalAmiel, shown in the picture above, recently got into some trouble when they threw sand into their Papa’s Sari Sari Store and into their home. They were awoke the next morning after the incident by their Tatay (Father) and disciplined. Papa Joery and his wife, Alida, are firm believers of the proverb, “spare the rod and spoil the child.”
But Jorreale has bigger problems now. A bully. Every school has them. I had to take out one while in the sixth grade. My oppressor, a year older and taller than me, also happened to be the principal’s son and the basketball coach.
I was taunted by my tormenter all winter long during basketball practice. The bully called me the “Galloping Goose” whenever I practiced layups with the team. I withstood the insults during the basketball season and never retaliated.
My Father had always taught my two younger brothers and me to never start a fight, but if someone started trouble, we were to finish it. But I never said a word to my nemesis.
Understand that I attended elementary school during the late 50’s and early 60’s. No one brought a gun to school to settle their differences. All disputes were settled by a fistfight.
During our first spring P.E. softball game the instigator insulted me again. That was it! I had reached my breaking point! I balled up my right fist and punched my tormentor right in the nose. He crumpled to the ground, nose bloodied, crying like Scott Farcus in “A Christmas Story.” Needless to say, I had no further trouble with the principal’s son.
My punishment from the principal, the bully’s father? Nothing. The principal called my Dad into his office where I was sitting waiting. The principal acknowledged his son had a “smart mouth” and there would be no repercussions.
My nephew’s bully, “Mikey” has been picking on Jorreale the past two years. Jorreale has never retaliated. The bully has poured water on him, thrown things at him, punched him and called my nephew names with no response from my nephew.
Jorreale stoking the fire with coconut husks
Recently the bully told my nephew to steal money out of a local trike driver’s money box. The tricycle driver was parked in front of the school and had stepped away from his bike for a minute.
My nephew went over to the trike, grabbed the money but was soon apprehended. The school principal sent a letter with him to his parents to set up an appointment to discuss the incident.
The letter remained hidden for a few weeks until one day our niece Michelle, who lives with my in-laws and helps teach at my sister-in-law’s preschool, discovered the summons when cleaning one morning.
Jorealle was promptly escorted to school the next day by his Nanay (Mother.) The principal advised Alida of the thievery her son had committed and also reprimanded the boy for yelling too much. Jorealle was released into the custody of his Mother who was advised not to “cane” the lad.
Jorealle was administered disciplinary action upon his return home. Papa advised his young charge to retaliate if the bully taunted him again. I agree with Papa. A little Old Testament “eye for any eye” justice wouldn’t hurt. I’m afraid this is one time when I would have to ignore Jesus’ advice to “turn the other cheek” and to “pray for your enemies.”
The bully’s punishment was a slap on the hand administered by his teacher. I say stop the bully of Guimaras the way I did over 50 years ago with a good old-fashioned fist fight. And hopefully my nephew gets in the first punch.