‘Monkey Boy’


Bullying can be hurtful, as seen from recent alleged bullying incidents at Mary Putnam Henck Intermediate School (MPH) in Lake Arrowhead. It motivated parents to contact school officials demanding changes be made.


At MPH they’ve held a series of assemblies addressing the bullying problem. They brought in experts and role models to help the kids find their way. Apparently, some kids have forgotten how to interact with peers while the schools have been closed.


By implementing the Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies program (PBIS), which has been adopted by the state of California, it is supposed to greatly reduce bullying on campus. Using PBIS, they hope to train youngsters how to interact without bullying and help them learn other positive behaviors. Other meetings were held for parents.


“How about them bullies in the schoolyard, there was nowhere I could run, I knew I couldn’t lick ‘em’, couldn’t shoot them with a gun. You know they beat me silly, that’s the way it goes, now I’m seein’ bullies everywhere I go.” (“Monkey Boy” – John Stewart-1995)


Growing up in Pomona, Stewart experienced bullying as a child. He was a member of the folk music pioneer group The Kingston Trio and was critically acclaimed as a solo act and songwriter, but he didn’t become a big star, despite being lauded by music critics. His critically acclaimed album “California Bloodlines” was called “brilliant” by Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn, while Billboard Magazine rated it #37 on its top 100 albums of all-time list. He also penned the chart-topping hits “Daydream Believer” for the Monkees and “Runway Train” for Roseanne Cash, as well as songs for Nancy Griffith, Joan Baez and others.


It was said Stewart was difficult to get along with, so he didn’t get the big breaks. It’s possible he carried scars all his life from the bullying he received as a child.


“It’s hard times for the Monkey Boy, hard times for the boy, hard times when you’re looking in the mirror, hard times for the Monkey Boy.”


Apparently, Stewart’s father had negative nicknames for everyone, and John was the “Monkey Boy.” Who’s going to train the parents to not damage their children with negative nicknames, or intentionally embarrass their children in front of their friends, often scarring them for life? It’s likely those parents needing parenting classes most will never attend the PBIS classes offered by the school, nor anywhere else.


“My Daddy was a mean man, don’t ask me why. He liked fighting with my Mama, I believe just to see her cry.” Adults shouldn’t bully each other, nor children, and children shouldn’t bully each other. Previously, it seemed acceptable for older brothers to bully younger siblings. My older brother bullied me all the time. For instance, he thought it was funny to put termites in my Lincoln Logs. Another time he put water balloons in my bed, which Mom did not appreciate, but he still never got punished.


It’s like just as I thought…Mom always liked my brother best.


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott