So a small bullying problem has come up in my kid's middle school classes. I need to know what you think of the school's reaction to how the kids handled some situations.
One scenario: Boy 1 is eating lunch when boy 2 comes and dumps his pudding on boy 1 and steals his lunch. Boy 1 gets mad and punches boy 2 empty lunch box. Boy 2 gets called to principals office, gets in trouble and gets detention. Eventually he gets to tell what happened and then boy 2 gets detention as well.
Another scenario: Boy 1 at his locker, boy 2 comes up saying mean things and doing who knows what (no one knows). Boy 1 kicks boy 2 in the balls. Boy 2 (the bully) gets detention, boy 1 get suspended for a day.
What do you think of this? Does it look like the school is punishing the victims more than the bullies?
If using your words isn't working how are you supposed to defend yourself?
How many times do you think the same bullies should be reprimanded before expulsion is on the table? It is not a regular zoned public school.
My DD sees these interactions between the kids and wants to have a plan should it turn her way. The boy's attitudes are they don't want to be a "snitch" so they don't tell the teachers.
I'd like to hear any opinions.
It seems like the school is looking at who responded physically. They don't have any proof as to what was actually said but they know when someone throws a punch. Not saying that makes sense but that's my take. If the bully kid is the common denominator, then yes, the principal needs to put 2 and 2 together and take the punishment higher.
The school is clearly only responding to the physical aspect. They are punishing the victim which is wrong in so many ways. It also makes the bully feel good, that even though he's being bad, the victim will also suffer (ie., suspention or other form of punishment). That totally sets the wrong example. In the real world as an adult in that situation, yes, you should fight back when getting harrassed.
So many schools policies are so wrong. Bring back the old ways of doing things. Punish the bully and only the bully! The school needs to look at the reality of the situation. Unfortunately in the world we live in now, many school policies are flawed.
Kids should be able to stand up for themselves and schools should support them by examining the whole situation (also taking into account common behaviours of problem children). I'm sure many of the bullies teachers can attest to his bad behaviour giving the victim a backup in these situations.
What a tough situation. But you are also pointing out the reality of the school system now, that they can not protect our children, I do not have an educated opinion as what schools should do or don't do.
I believe it my responsibility as parent to know how my kid will react on situations like this, under emotional pressure. I know my child will encountered bullying some time, so I am preparing him now to be confident and learn about his feeling and how to deal with them. I encourage him almost everyday to talk to me about his feelings, I am sure as he gets older the conversations will fade but I hope that all the effort that I am putting in right now counts as a foundation to know himself and if he is on the receiving end of bullying he is strong enough to shake it off.
But I am also teaching him how to calm himself when he is upset, angry, because bullying is a way to express feelings, and he needs to know that it isn't right to hurt others, it is a tough lesson to teach but it is one I do not want to miss.
Good luck, and i would certainly love to hear from experienced moms on how to deal with this.
First and foremost, we are our children's best advocate. If this does ever happen with my child, I would be calling a meeting with all kids/parents involved in an attempt to nip it in the bud. School policy's are not always in favour of the best outcome in these situations, but I think sometimes I frank discussion is in order. It certainly wouldn't hurt, and it something that the school (should) be doing anyway.
I actually had a family member go through dealing with bullying of her child. It got to the point where she told both her son and the principal, that she supports her son if he needed to resort to being physical in order to protect himself. But that's the pickle, right. It shouldn't have to get to that point at all. Then you have the victim in turn getting in trouble.
I have a tough love approach with the idea of being a 'snitch'. Too bad kids. I think that when a bully is suddenly faced with the consequence and threat of trouble, and knowing that they are being watched more closely, they tend to smarten up a bit.
Advocate, speak up and demand change.
Ooh. :( Bad situation. Something similar happened to me in middle school. A girl was bullying me making me late getting home an hour every day. After about 6 months I finally started telling adults and they just said there was nothing they could do to stop her. So I kicked her really hard in the shin and was suspended from school for two days. She got a detention... All I remember that my mom did was eventually pull me out of school for the rest of the year, but I don't think that is legal nowadays.
Physical violence does not solve a problem unless there is immediate danger, however. I think this type of thing is one issue that sorta scares me to deal with in the future.
What you say is true. I would like to point out, also, that when you fight back in the adult world, physical violence will always almost get you into trouble. It really doesn't solve a problem productively. It is important for kids to learn how to solve these issues without using violence. When the schools have reason to believe bullying is happening, they need to step in (without punishing the victim) and deal with the person rather than just turning a blind eye and waiting till it gets physical. Kids need to learn healthy problem solving, but need help until they are better at it and more mature. It seems that many schools do not do this at all and I feel that really contributes to teen depression and other such things.
I know this is terrible but I think that the bully deserved the kick. I don't condone violence but at the same time I'm glad to here that boy1 is sticking up for himself instead of being one of those kids that clams up and gets depressed while letting bullies continue to torture him. As the parent of boy 1, I would definitely take it to the head of the school and point out that if they are not going to discipline the "bully" and give the "victim" the proper tools (administrative support) to deal with the problem, then I would have to step in and take action. I'm sure it would scare them and maybe have them wake up and take the situation seriously.
Working at a school you see this kind of behavior everyday. Most schools will have a protocol on how they discipline the kids. You can't only punish the bully if the other kid did something to the bully. Even though it sounds wrong to punish the child that is being picked on, unfortunately if the child does something to the bully both students will be reprimanded and get in trouble. I think the school is handling it like most schools. There should be some type of school rule or motto to include no bullying and have a list of consequences after each offense.
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