My 14-year-old son recently struggled a few nights with insomnia. I soon learned from this bleary-eyed teenager that a school bully had called him out again.
"I had a big fight with him last year, Dad," he says. At six-foot-three, my kid's the tallest student at middle school. I affectionately call him Long-board but the height also draws the occasional bully. A yard monitor noticed the bully throw the first punch. The altercation stopped after my boy landed a few hits and absorbed a kick near the groin.
Long-board figures he can beat the bully this time, but he's scared it will hurt.
"It will hurt," I tell him, but promise not to tell his principal. He's afraid school peers will call him a wimp if I do. Instead, I ask his gym teacher to watch out for my son and trouble on the QT.
I fret about weapons. My kid assures me the jerk uses just his fists and feet, nothing else.