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very violent child at our home-school co-op UPDATE

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
so there is a very violent child who attends our waldorf co-op school (we meet 3 mornings a week) . he has seriously hurt most of the children in his class. my daughter is in his class and her teacher is amazing. this child is going thru a very tough time (his parents are divorcing and getting remarried right away, and i do not think they are really involved with him emotionally) and the teacher is working with him to help him mature thru this without acting out. there has been a lot of success since the beginning of the year. however, when he does snap, he really hurts kids, out of the realm of normal. today my daughter (they are both 6) picked up a toy he had put aside and he freaked out and bit her cheek REALLY hard. this happened almost 10 hours ago and her face still looks really nasty (blue bruise, swelling, and broken skin from every tooth). this is his worst injury so far. whenever these issues have come up with this child and his violence, the teacher and the school's chair from the board have tried to talk to them about it. and they deeply deny him being any thing but a normal kid with normal behavior. just a little boy! is what they say. i mean deeply unwilling to look at this at all.

now the obvious thing is that we should get this family to leave our co-op and it is in the by-laws that a family can be voted out in this type of situation. however our co-op is so small that if we loose that one family we will not have enough money to pay our monthly rent and teacher (we have already increased all of our payments and are paying our teacher less than what we promised her) if we loose this family we loose our school.
and we LOVE our school.
and this little boy is making over all progress.

but i am feeling concerned for my daughter's safety.

this is not normal behavior for a 6 year old. he talks about getting the dolls naked before he kills them!

his mom is a acupuncturist and his dad is a yoga teacher, it is really concerning to me, as his behavior is so intense when he snaps and his parents seem like such gentle people.

anyway, we are having a discussion about this at our monthly meeting on sat and i wondered if i could get any feed back about how we can handle this situation.
post #2 of 62
Would it be possible to have one of his parents sit in with him to help manage his behavior? Or if his parents are unwilling, maybe a volunteer.
post #3 of 62
um WOW? I hope your daughter isn't too traumatized, and while I commend the coop teacher for trying to help the child cope in a very stressful situation for him, that is not the environment for it IMO. He is regularly, and seriously, injuring other people's children and it's a giant breech of the school/coops duty of care to the other childrens safety to allow him to continue coming.

It's a huge shame that his parents are so in denial... maybe someone should type up a list of the injuries he has inflicted on all the other children with an inclusive range of dates. Present that to his parents and ask if they would consider it normal if any other child had done all of that? They obviously need to get their son some professional help dealing with his anger.

Would it be possible that in the interim of finding another family to fill the empty spot, the other families could band together and spread the lost funding out over the group? Obviously that would depend on how much the fees are, but it may be a workable solution for the short term.
post #4 of 62
Has anyone, parent or teacher talked directly to his parents about it? It sounded like people had spoken to the school, but not the parents. That would be a good place to start. I like the idea above about someone staying with the boy.
post #5 of 62
Safety trumps money. The boy simply cannot ethically be allowed to continue at the co-op - he's endangering not just your child, but the children of all the other parents. To let him continue is insane (and a legal liability, which will shut down the co-op faster than missed rent).

He needs to be kept home until the family can be voted out (although voting doesn't seem necessary in this case - there is surely a provision for violent behavior?). Scour around for a replacement family and if you need to, talk to the landlords about your situation and see if you can either get a temporary reduction in rent or at the very least permission to pay late for a month or two. Place ads for additional families if you need to. Advertise. But whatever you do, don't let that child walk back through those doors. Take pictures of your daughter's face, because you may need them if the parents try to stay in the co-op, and also because it may help them see that their son truly has a problem.

I hope your daughter is OK.
post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 
yes his parents have been confronted, they are unwilling to call it anything but normal, we have a incident reports with each date, time, and details from all of his acts of violence.

and yes, thank you for reframing it that all of the children must be safe and school is responsible for that above all. i have considered having a parent attend with him, but they seem to be a trigger for his attacks in that i suspect he is acting out for attention and trying to get them to stop him. instead they litteraly laugh it off.

his mother was there today when my daughter was bitten and she was trying to make jokes.
arrrrrrrrrrggggggggggg.
my momma bear is totally on right now.
the other issue is that i am another teacher at the school, and so my daughter gets free tuition. somehow this ups my guilt issue for me to demand that this family leave the co-op when they pay and i do not. ykwim?
post #7 of 62
Thread Starter 
thanks soulcakes, my husband did take pictures. he is really pissed.
post #8 of 62
No tuition for your dd is really simply part of your payment package- which is fine and normal. It's standard practice for children of teachers to have free/reduced tuition- even at the state college I attended! So no worries about that please!

Your dd and the other children need to be safe. End of story!
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by moma justice View Post
his mother was there today when my daughter was bitten and she was trying to make jokes.
arrrrrrrrrrggggggggggg.
my momma bear is totally on right now.
the other issue is that i am another teacher at the school, and so my daughter gets free tuition. somehow this ups my guilt issue for me to demand that this family leave the co-op when they pay and i do not. ykwim?
Seriously? your child has her childs teeth marks on her face, and she JOKES?? Momma bear of oz might have assaulted her so I'm glad it was not ME. You DO pay by virtue of your services rendered to the school, I'm fairly sure your services as a teacher are worth at least what the tuition for your child would be. You should not feel in the slightest guilty over demanding that they leave the group after a LONG string of violent attacks on the other children!
post #10 of 62
What a tough situation My heart goes out to this little boy who obviously is in need of more help than the co op can give him.
It's unfortunate that his parents don't see the severity of the situation.

It may be the best thing for him if you did vote them out of the co op. The parents would have to find another school and if there is a pattern with his behavior then at some point his parents will have to deal with it. (if he continues to be booted out from different schools)

You are in a tough situation, mama Good luck and keep us posted.
post #11 of 62
It's a frustrating situation, but please don't let your guilt over free tuition stand in the way of doing the right thing. Good luck.
post #12 of 62
That is unacceptable behavior on the part of this poor little boy's PARENTS!

Can your group start posting on local homeschool lists, Craigslist etc. looking for a replacement family? Who knows, you may even get a few more families that are interested in attending so that money isn't quite so tight for the school.

I'm so sorry that your daughter got so injured, and I hope that these parents step up to the plate and let go of their denial. However, it sounds like you, the other parents and the teacher need to begin the process of discharging this child from the co-op.

Good luck!
post #13 of 62
These violent outbursts are probably as unhealthy for the boy as they are for the victim.

If it were me, I would do everything I could to keep my child out of school until I felt reasonably confident she wouldn't be attacked while she was there.

Expelling the boy may be the best thing for him, as it may be what it takes to get his parents to take his behavior issues seriously.

Short of expelling him, I suppose his parents could be given the option of holding his place in the school (by continuing to pay tuition) while keeping him out and working through his issues in a way that doesn't endanger other children.

I was in a similar situation once, and the clarifying realization for me was that the status quo was dangerous, and if I chose to do nothing I would be responsible for the inevitable injury when it occurred. This little boy can't control himself-- the adults in his life need to protect him and the kids around him from these impulses.

Your situation is more complicated, but the basics are the same-- the grownups need to act to keep all the kids safe. It would stink to have to find a new preschool, but certainly no school, or a different school would be better than a dangerous school?
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
Your situation is more complicated, but the basics are the same-- the grownups need to act to keep all the kids safe. It would stink to have to find a new preschool, but certainly no school, or a different school would be better than a dangerous school?


If the parents are unwilling to address the situation, odds are that at some point a child is going to end up needing stitches, or a trip to the ER, or something of that nature.
post #15 of 62
As teachers aren't you in a position to know when a child needs to be evaluated? Can you tell the parents he needs to be evaluated by a child psychologist for anger issues? When he's be evaluated he can come back to school. That way he might get the help he needs.
post #16 of 62
im just going to 2nd or 3rd what everyone has been saying.

in fact you do "pay" for your daughters school but only as your services. So dont feel any guilt for not being a monetary tuition payer. Your school needs you, your a teacher.

wow, I couldnt imagine making jokes if my child had hurt another child seriously. I wouldnt flipped out all mama bear right then and there. Obviously (well to everyone else) there is something going on with this child. its sad because he's a child and dosent know how to express himself. my anger would be the parents who are in some serious denial about stuff that or they really have rose colored glasses on.

Just because its normal toddler behavior (Im assuming they mean biting part) dosent mean it isnt grounds for being removed. Ds had a "biter" in his class and even though yes it is "normal" behavior the school had them withdraw. They had to be concerned for the safetly of the children and staff and the liability issues of having him continue. They had to be watchful of the overall groups safety. it is not the teachers or schools place to act as a therapist in trying to calm the child, that needs to be left to professionals.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv-my-boys View Post
Just because its normal toddler behavior (Im assuming they mean biting part) dosent mean it isnt grounds for being removed. Ds had a "biter" in his class and even though yes it is "normal" behavior the school had them withdraw. They had to be concerned for the safetly of the children and staff and the liability issues of having him continue. They had to be watchful of the overall groups safety. it is not the teachers or schools place to act as a therapist in trying to calm the child, that needs to be left to professionals.
I agree that biting can be a normal behavior for a toddler, but I think OP said the child is 6 years old. Biting isn't normal behavior for that age range, is it?
post #18 of 62
No, it is not normal for a 6yo. I could only see it if the 6yo were non-verbal, but that doesn't sound like the case.

OP, I'm sorry I'd be furious, take pictures and document the incident with a formal request that he be removed from the co-op. There's no expectation of behavior for him and he's been told from his parents that he can do this. People are going to start leaving soon ( I see it all the time with our homeschool group, we leave in a group when we leave somewhere). You can replace one or replace the group of people already considering other options and I can guarantee you that it's happening already.

This happened with a gymastics class we have. Several of the parents just set up a private class on another day and left that class. The offending children will not be allowed to join the new class.

Good luck. Poor baby girl.
post #19 of 62
Thread Starter 
thanks for the support! the last time he really hurt my daughter, he threw a ball really hard at close range right at her eye, i wrote a long letter to the teacher and the board asking that we as a school refer them to a family counselor. no one did and he continued to improve with less and less violence, so i think the suggestion was over looked.

but yes, i do think that he needs real help and more than a teacher can give him in the context of a school day setting.
sigh....
i hope the meeting goes well, my husband wants a sit down with both his parents and us and the teacher and the board chair before the meeting.
wish me luck!
post #20 of 62
I kind of feel two different ways on this issue. Yes, definitely, the other children need to be protected. Maybe a one on one volunteer to monitor his behavior and immediately remove him from the room if he begins to get violent. It sounds like he really needs some support. I'm sure his parents are so wrapped up in their divorce issues that they just aren't able right now to see his needs and are not as attentive as they need to be. By removing him from the room at first sign of violence and giving him this one on one attention you might be able to help him work through his issues. Grant it that this should be the parents job but if they are not going to do it someone has to help this child.

I was extremely ill last summer and fall. I was dealing with cancer and chemotherapy and really not able to give my seven year old what he needed. It seemed that the sicker I got, the more violent he got. He started throwing things, hurting the cat, getting in fights with other kids, defiant about any request we made of him. I know his behavior was tied to my illness. I tried to make sure he had play dates on a regular basis. One particular friend would come almost every week just to spend time with him. She would visit with me a bit but most of her visit was spent with him. She even got him involved with helping her clean up a bit around the house. She was the best thing for him ever. That one on one attention was just what he needed. Now as I am recovering and we are able to start to get back into our normal routine, his behavior is getting better all the time. He still lashes out from time to time, but not anything like he did last fall.

I say all this just to say that I can relate to this little boy. He needs lots and lots of attention and his parents right now are not able to give it to him. I wouldn't kick him out of the coop if there is anyway you can provide him with the one on one he needs. And yes, I agree that this is the parents job. But if they are unable to do it someone needs to.

I hope you can work something out for everyone involved.

Kathi
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