While there’s nothing inherently wrong with indulging in a little wishful thinking, there’s a fine line between being optimistic and being delusional, and people often fail to realize when they’ve crossed that line. Point in case: When this little boy was being bullied, his parents transferred him to another school where they apparently thought kids would be magically nicer for some reason.
For years, 10-year-old Jake Haney was considered a “nerd” at his local public elementary school and was frequently teased and even beat up for his small size, awkward personality, and obsession with fantasy books and games like Magic: The Gathering. Seeing their son struggle to fit in, Jake’s mom and dad recently made the tough decision to transfer him to a different school for the upcoming year under the assumption that the kids there will by some miracle have totally different social conditioning than any of the children Jake has encountered up to this point and will be uniquely accepting of those who elsewhere would be obviously pegged as losers.
Jake’s parents seem to believe that a change of scenery is the only thing holding their son back from achieving popularity, and they elected to transfer him to a different school with confidence that his new classmates will pull out all the stops to welcome a kid none of them have met who uses the word “furthermore” in casual conversation and carries around an encyclopedia of mythical creatures everywhere he goes. Despite the fact that their son ticks all the universally recognized boxes for being a hopeless dork, the Haneys are confident that he will thrive once he’s removed from what they seem to think is the only school in the world where kids are mean to each other.
Sounds like this is going to work out great!
Though Jake’s old public school was just blocks from his house, his parents have chosen to enroll him in a prohibitively expensive private school across town, perhaps reasoning that the tight-knit group of very wealthy, socially groomed boys there will be less likely to make fun of their poorly dressed son who drags around a roller suitcase instead of a backpack and has taken to speaking in Old English since attending day camp at a local renaissance fair. Understandably, Jake has expressed some nervousness about the big change, but his parents have curiously encouraged him to just be himself, assuring him that his personality—which, mind you, is an objectively weird one—will shine in such a way as to naturally attract new friends, because if there’s anything prepubescent boys who have yet to develop social empathy are drawn to, it’s kids in capes who sit alone at lunch making chainmail out of soda tabs. Indeed, with his fifth-grade year approaching, the Haneys are confident that Jake’s new classmates will share none of the opinions, characteristics, or cultural ideals that led all of his previous classmates to ruthlessly ostracize him.
Alright, Jake’s parents, whatever works! You know your kid better than we do. Honestly, we’re not so sure if this will solve the bullying problem, but it’s definitely a step in some kind of direction. For Jake’s sake, let’s all hope that the kids at his new school are for whatever reason totally different than every other kid who has ever existed!