My cousin and an overzealous coach...bullying

  1. Hello everyone

    My cousin went into high school this year, and he had been homeschooled all his life. He has been ridiculed, kicked, spit on, hit, pushed, etc.

    He hurt his leg a few days ago, resulting in a meeting of what he could/could not do in his body-building class. It was decided that he could do upper body stuff only.

    Forward to yesterday. The upper body equipment is not ready yet. THe coach said, "Oh, I know exactly what type of injury you have, and I'll help you through some exercises." He wanted him to do a squat with weights. My cousin said "no, I don't think I should do that, I am only supposed to do upper body stuff."

    This resulted in horrible comments and laughing from the coach and classmates who were watching. He is quite skinny, wears glasses, so he is a perfect target for mean kids. The coach then said, "Do this, or you fail the class." Reluctantly, he did it, and immediately, he felt immense pain. Pain so bad he couldn't walk. The taunting continued, and he had to CRAWL out of the gym and down to the office. NO ONE HELPED HIM.

    Today he is in the hospital, awaiting surgery on his lower leg. There are mulitple tendons and ligaments that are torn, along with a piece of bone attached to one of them. He is sedated in a chemically induced coma due to the pain. His leg is at least twice the size, and he's had it drained twice already.

    I can't believe this has happened. THe parents went to the school to talk to the principal, and the principal thinks nothing should happen to this coach/teacher. What is wrong with people that they are so heartless? This poor boy is struggling enough with a new school, no friends, bullying, and now he is facing multiple surgeries all because of a over-zealous coach.

    I just wanted to ask for thoughts and maybe some prayers (if you believe in that) for my cousin who is suffering in the hospital tonight, and will have to wait for surgery a few days I guess because of the severe edema.

    I was bullied nearly all the years of my school life, and I know how he feels. I can only imagine how worse it is today in schools, and makes me feel anxious about what my own kids are going to endure. My son was teased in PRESCHOOL. Nothing has happened in Kindergarten so far, but it's early yet.

    So, to anybody who read this far, what do you think should happen to this coach??? I would love to hear some opinions.

    Thanks for reading this long post.
    •  
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    when he hurt his leg, did he get it looked at by a doctor?
    and did he get a doctor's note to excuse him from certain activities?

    in the absence of an exam and note, i don't know if there would be any legal recourse.
    ethically, the coach's behavior was unconscionable.
    if it were me, i'd be conducting an investigation into the events leading to the injury.

    i'm so sorry, rehab.
    (sitting here, shaking my head)
    heartfelt thoughts for a full and peaceful recovery.

    leslie
  4. by   santhony44
    If I were the parents, I would not stop with the principal; I'd go on to the superintendent and the school board as well.

    If there was no note from a health care provider, leslie may be right, there may be no legal recourse, but I'd still complain.

    If there was a note specifying the no-lower-body, then I'd be making legal noises. Loudly. The school would be paying the bills.

    I'm not sure why it is, but some coaches are never willing to believe that a kid is injured or sick. Some school systems aren't exactly eaten up with common sense, either (I've had to give numerous notes to kids so that they will be allowed to carry their asthma inhalers because they have a "drug-free" policy).

    I'm really sorry about this kid and hope that something gets done. I'd also seriously consider either resuming homeschooling or a smaller private school for him.
  5. by   nrsang97
    First off I would like to wish your cousin the best. I think that the coach should be reprimanded and fired. I think his parents should go to the school board and file a formal complaiant and seek a lawyer. The coach/gym teacher is responsible for further worsening his injury. The school should now be responsible for all medical treatment. I can't believe how DUMB this coach is. Did your cousin have a note from his doctor stating may do upperbody exercise only until (insert date here)? The only person to have been directing him on how to exercise his leg are his doctor and a licensed physical therapist.

    Your cousin did the right thing by protesting but felt pressured to do as he was told.

    I was a freshman in high shcool and had bronchitis and the class was swimming at the time. My teacher didn't look kindly on my note not to swim. Right before Christimas break I felt pressured to swim with the class. I did and then almost ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. My mother went to the principal and the informed the teacher that ALL doctor notes will be followed weather she liked it or not.

    My brother had broke his leg when he was 10 over summer break. Still in thigh to toe cast at beginning of school year and was on crutches and his teacher had a fit that he used the handicapped door. She also wouldn't let him elevate his leg on a chair and he complained that his toes were tingling and she still refused to let him put his leg up and REFUSED to LET him call my grandma to come and pick him up. At the end of the day my mother had him pulled from the class.

    His parents need to advocate for him and get him out of that class. Skip gym until next year. The school should now be responsible for all medical treatment and followup treatment. Again I wish your cousin the best.
  6. by   zenman
    In addition to the above comments, follow up with the school counselor.
  7. by   rehab nurse
    Quote from earle58
    when he hurt his leg, did he get it looked at by a doctor?
    and did he get a doctor's note to excuse him from certain activities?

    in the absence of an exam and note, i don't know if there would be any legal recourse.
    ethically, the coach's behavior was unconscionable.
    if it were me, i'd be conducting an investigation into the events leading to the injury.

    i'm so sorry, rehab.
    (sitting here, shaking my head)
    heartfelt thoughts for a full and peaceful recovery.

    leslie
    Yes, Leslie, when he originally hurt his kneecap (something about it having to be popped back in...not sure exactly, but it involved his kneecap) and that is when his doctor restricted his movement for PE class. Then my cousin, his parents (also my cousins) and the principal and coach all sat down together and discussed the restrictions and the coach absolutely said he could just do upper body.

    It was the following day, that the coach did this horrible behavior.

    Today, this same doctor and his surgeon both agreed that it was the squat that did this injury and they would write a note testifying to that fact. The principal didn't say anything other than he didn't think what he (the coach) did.


    thank you for the thoughts, leslie. I sure appreciate it.
  8. by   rehab nurse
    as posted in the reply to leslie, yes they did have a lengthy note from his physician as to his limitations. and they WERE very aware of it, the prinicipal, the coach, and the parents and my cousin were all in attendance and it was agreed upper body only according to the note.

    the day in class however, the coach made a mockery of him, and the upper body equipment was not ready. my cousin was on cruches, and i don't know if they have free weights or not, but if there was no appropriate equipment , i don't know why he couldn't just sit aside and study or something.

    and to pull it off, when he fell to the ground in pain and started crying, of course the macho boys and coach just mocked him more and said some nice slurs to make him feel worse. ugh. what is with kids being so mean to each other???

    the parents do have a lawyer on retainer, and they will be following up on this, believe me. the reason that my cousin went to public school for his high school years was for multiple reasons. first, he wanted to get some more social exposure. second, his mother had accepted a job (her first ever) and needed it for income, as their primary business they ran together is doing poorly (our economy is horrible). third, they needed health insurance, and she can provide this now.

    thanks to everyone for the well-wishes. i just feel so bad he's had such a bad start to the school year. i know how it feels to be bullied and picked on, but i never had it as bad as he did. I mean, to CRAWL out of the gym and to the office, and not a SINGLE person help him??? what the he**???
  9. by   woody62
    I'm sorry about what happen. If your cousin and his parent's have a doctors note, with limitations, it is time for them to take the problem to the School District Office and speak with the Assistant Superintendent that covers his school. They need to take a written explanation with them, providing copies to the School District Office. They also need to tell them what they expect to be done to correct the problem. And last, they need to make it very clear that if their son is harassed, in any manner, by the teacher or students, they will take legal steps, including filing a suit. I doubt seriously they will have to resort to the last thing. Most School Districts handle such problems properly. And if they do not, notifying the press and TV stations always gets their attention.

    I was once in a Perkins, having breakfast when a group of teachers, from my oldest granddaughter's middle school began discussing students, by name, as well as their parents name. I was appalled. I copied down several names, left and went to the District office. I spoke to an Assistant Superintendent. Gave him the names of the students and the name of the middle school. He knew who it was. And while I was in his office, he called the principal, instructed him to tell the teachers to report immediately to his office. The principal wanted to know why and was told. He was very angry, at his teachers.

    Woody
  10. by   leslie :-D
    i'm glad he had a doctor's note.
    i hope they hang the coach (and the school) out to dry.
    in the meantime, may i suggest your cousin obtain some counselling?
    if i'm having difficulty in understanding this cruelty, i can't even begin to imagine what this poor, young man must be experiencing...
    please rehab, make sure he gets the help he so desperately needs.

    wishing you peace and closure,

    leslie
  11. by   dianah
    I can't add to the excellent advice and thoughts given here, except to say your cousin and his family are in my prayers.
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    what is it with coaches
    there was thing on one of the news casts this am about a 10 y/o that wasn't running up the hill as instructed by the coach, so the the coach stripped him of the uniform and the child had to walk home in his underwear, coach also stood by and watched hm be taunted about his weight by teammates
  13. by   rehab nurse
    *****UPDATE*******

    My cousin had his surgery finally. Bless his heart, he was so scared going into surgery, as he has never been under general anesthesia. They actually found MORE damage when they went in than previously thought...and his doctor has so many other docs reading these MRI's of his leg. Evidently he there were TWO pieces of bone that were snapped off, with extensive tendon and ligament damage as well. His doc couldn't believe how much damage there was, but He came through like a champ, but he is still having a lot of pain and some muscle spasms. Very reluctant to get up. Taking a ton of pain meds, but no stool softener or anything. He was prescribed it in the hospital, but at home he doesn't have anything (mom is the type to take her son to the herbalist first, not a regular ped/doc). He was c/o his belly hurting, and of course I had to ask him when his last BM was. BEFORE surgery. So, about 6-7 days. Got all that fixed, he was mortified...(he's only 13).

    He is making up his work at home for now, but he DOES NOT want to go back to that school. I don't blame him. I too was the "dork" in high school. Very few friends, harassed by the popular kids, horrible bullying and some very bad memories. I hated school. He doesn't want to go back, and I don't blame him, but I don't know how he could switch schools??? I don't think you could do that mid-semester??? I wonder if he could just keep making up the work at home as he was registered to the other school in district. His pleas to his parents are falling on deaf ears, and I really feel for my cousin. He was so sheltered as a boy, has very few friends, just his neighbor, and a few kids from church his age. His mother homeschooled him until now. He needed to go to public school to get a scholorship for college, as his parents lost most of their savings in the economy slump that's happening all over my state, esp my area. It's really bad here, and he works in drywall, so there's not mucy business here for that, since more than 2 out of 3 people are facing foreclosure right now. For the first time in his life, his mother is working more than full time to pick up the slack in what her husband isn't making. It's all just a mess, but I have NO IDEA how he could avoid going back to that particular school, other than continuing his work at home as he has been, and then transferring to the other high school so that he could start there in January. But I don't even know if *THAT* would work.

    Poor kid. I thank god I am not 13 again. I wouldn't go through those years for 10 million dollars cash. NO WAY. Just wanted to update anyone if they were wondering what happened.

    I am not sure what, if anything, happened to the coach, but he did apologize to my cousin's parents. I don't think I could speak civilly to a man who did this to my son. The principal said he would be disciplined, but who knows what that means????
  14. by   rehab nurse
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    what is it with coaches
    there was thing on one of the news casts this am about a 10 y/o that wasn't running up the hill as instructed by the coach, so the the coach stripped him of the uniform and the child had to walk home in his underwear, coach also stood by and watched hm be taunted about his weight by teammates

    :angryfire

    That is HORRIBLE. What is this world coming to??? I am petrified of when my children get to those ages. I mean, even in kindergarten you get picked on. And I know it just gets worse from there. This school my kids are at seems to have decent plans in place to prevent bullying, but of course, you know it still happens. Bullies are good at hiding what they do. Poor kid. I hope there is a special place in hell for these kinds of teachers/coaches who go WAY over the line in "teaching".

close