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Old 06-14-2009, 12:16 AM
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 6,327,981 times
Reputation: 998


I'm posting this question in a few forums because for several years I've struggled with wanting to leave my state and move elsewhere. During that time my children have gotten older and it's getting harder to leave, as they will be in high school within the next couple of years. They say they will hate us if we move and are determined to be miserable anywhere but here. I want to move because it's not so great here anymore, too crowded, too judgmental, too competitive, too worried about trends & money, too fast paced, too worried about outward appearance, schools aren't what they used to be, drugs, sex, crime, etc. I know it's everywhere but I also know there are better places than here. So I am posting this question in a few chosen (states) forums and am hoping for some good feedback.

Now for the weird/stupid question: How do the children and/or adolescents in your particular community, school system, town, county or state react to newcomers??

While this may sound incredibly ridiculous, keep in mind what we hear on the news about kids who often befriend the "newcomer", act like they want to pursue a friendship, invite the child somewhere and end up beating the kid to death or near death and leaving them there. I know it's not something that is a daily event in most places, but it's not unheard of. I recall a few years ago seeing a video on the news of a group of girls who did that to one new girl. Not only did they beat her to a pulp, they videotaped themselves doing it! Considering that my oldest is almost in high school, I see it as a valid question based on how children socialize, how they are judged, teased, ridiculed, teen suicide, depression, etc. You see it all over the country. I want to move to better the lives and futures of my children, not make their lives miserable or put them in jeopardy. And as we all know, children are harsh and brutally honest and simply downright cruel at times.

So, based on all that I have written, I am hoping that many of you, as parents, teachers, even students and teens, or simply someone who knows what goes on in their community, can tell me from your point of view or experience or what goes on in your local news, how accepted newcomers are to your area, is there gang violence, adolescent violence, is it a friendly, welcoming place to live, are people accepted freely or are they ridiculed until they prove themselves, etc? I have no particular area preference at this time, but if you don't mind listing where you're from, or close to where you're from if you'd like to remain private, along with your response, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you sincerely
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:45 AM
6,764 posts, read 22,067,241 times
Reputation: 4773
My son has Asperger Syndrome so no matter what school he goes to, he will 'always' have problems fitting in.

No one is overtly friendly here, nor are they mean. Vermonters like to keep to themselves (like many people). I have found it is hard to get to know people. They will be initially polite but that is where it stops.

I recently made friends with another lady who is from another country. She's been the only welcoming person I have met in 2 years here.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:32 AM
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 5,131,512 times
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Originally Posted by pixieshmoo View Post
Now for the weird/stupid question: How do the children and/or adolescents in your particular community, school system, town, county or state react to newcomers??
My husband and I live in Rutland City. I can't answer the part about how children/adolescents react to new children, since our children are cats.

We've found the community friendly and neighborly. Seems like most folks say hi on the street, wave from their cars, and help each other out. We've never noticed anyone treating us differently because we were "newcomers." We have friends and colleagues who are Vermont natives, some of several generations, and many who, like us, are "from away."

The children who live on our block play together all the time. I happen to know that they include a range of Vermonters, from multi-generational natives to newcomers who arrived as recently as last year.

For four years I volunteered as a reading mentor in the local middle school. My "mentee" is a Vermont native. She has friends who are natives and friends who are newcomers.

I have heard that bullying occurs here, but no worse than anywhere else. Of course, any bullying is sad and intolerable, but it's not extraordinary here. I've never even heard of local incidents like you described about kids luring and harming newcomers, but maybe I just haven't been paying attention.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:46 AM
Location: Brandon VT
190 posts, read 652,262 times
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I'm a native Vermonter, so I don't have any personal experiences with moving to Vermont and trying to make friends. I will tell you that, as GypsySoul22 said, Vermonters are reserved and don't usually go out of their way to make friends with newcomers. Vermonters can be a bit distrustful of new people, but if you're friendly, say hi to people as you walk down the street, and don't try to "change" our way of life then you will be accepted more readily. On the positive side, Vermonters are typically friendly and helpful- I've never heard of the sort of gang activity that you describe occurring anywhere near my area.

I cannot predict the experience your children will have- my guess is that it will be rather difficult for them initially but that they will make friends. As Sherylcatmom said, bullying does unfortunately happen in all states, and although it is relatively rare in Vermont it is completely unacceptable.

With Vermont, you don't have the gangs, the heavy financial competition, the traffic, etc. that you have in other states. But do keep in mind that Vermont comes with it's own set of problems- poor economy, lack of services and entertainment venues, "cold" winters (I find the winters quite nice, but it's often cited as the most frustrating aspect of Vermont by newcomers :P). I do wish you luck in your decision.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:11 PM
Location: Vermont
1,475 posts, read 4,141,564 times
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Originally Posted by Vermonr View Post
On the positive side, Vermonters are typically friendly and helpful- I've never heard of the sort of gang activity that you describe occurring anywhere near my area.
Me either, but it wouldn't surprise me. It can happen anywhere and all you need is the wrong family in your neighborhood. The most bizarre youth behavior I can recall in Vermont was the case of the kid who dug up a corpse, stole the skull (and bowtie?), and made a marijuana bong out of the skull. Bizarre behavior in a different sort of way from violent actions, but it just goes to show there are crazies everywhere. I'm tempted to say that teen life isn't much different here than in most places, but the above mention of a lack of financial competition eases the teen burden here a bit. What you wear or drive just isn't a big deal here. Most of us are in the same boat.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:26 PM
Location: Vermont
11,758 posts, read 14,646,068 times
Reputation: 18523
Default Late to the party

Sorry, I just saw your post.

I've lived in Montpelier since 1983 and raised two kids here, so they never had to go through being new to the school system (they graduated with the kids in their kindergarten class). Still, I know that kids moved into and out of town and seemed to fit in. I don't know what it's like in the smaller towns, but in the larger towns and cities there should be enough people for them to find good connections. Most of the high schools are either in larger towns or are regional schools, so few of the high schools are really tiny.

I will say that I've never heard of any newcomers getting beaten nearly to death, and videotaped in the process!

I don't know what you do for work, but you might be better off in the less rural areas.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:07 AM
102 posts, read 313,206 times
Reputation: 59
I, too, am a native Vermonter. I agree that Vermonters are reserved, but do make friends with newcomers if, as the above poster says, we are not pressured to change. Admire my miniature roses, but don't condemn that I have them growing in an old tractor tire by the side of the road !! We have good friends from Boston who have a week-end house here. They are very, very social and invite us often for spur of the moment meals. I find Vermonters thow a home-cooked meal together for family all the time. But to actually throw together a meal for company ... well, we don't do that, but it is common elsewhere. Thus, social invitations are slow to come and may be more of a neighborhood cook-out once a year rather than a sit-down dinner. And cocktail parties??? Not so much.

As far as kids go, I'd suggest you find communities with an abundance of folks from other areas. Manchester comes to mind. Good schools and most of the residents came from other states to begin with. Many people are either newcomers themselves, or have been in recent years, so your kids would fit right in. I really doubt they'd be physically hurt in any school, but they might not make friends quickly in the more rural schools. The kids are reserved in their own way and often have grown up together. In my daughter's rural kindergarten, 12 of the 20 kids were related in some way !
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:57 AM
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,792 posts, read 4,660,884 times
Reputation: 945
A move will be tough on any child. My kids have been in school in Vermont their whole lives, but went through a move to another town. It was very hard on them. They had to start over in a way and at this point things are going OK, but not every child is like this. My daughter had a classmate that moved here from Texas and things did not turn out well. He never felt like he fit in and the adjustment was so hard on the family they moved back to Texas after the school year. Kids here are no different than kids in other states. They bully, pick on, can be friendly, they can be kind and god help us trying to keeping the cell phone from their ear. The same things happen here just on a smaller scale.
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