Would this bug you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-11-2007, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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My son (age 11, grade 5) got into a fight with another boy. My son was not hurt, nor was the other boy. The other boy, however, was suspended for his initiating the fight (the other boy does have behaviour issues....).

The school did not call me. I found this out from my son.

If my child is in a fight, particularly one that leads to another child being suspended, does the school have an obligation to call me? i am trying to decide whether to call the school on this issue. I know, however, that they will say "they dealt with it" and brush me off...:

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#2 of 10 Old 04-11-2007, 11:46 PM
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I would want to know...at least a phone call or something...but they really dont have time to call every parent when something like this happens...they would of called you if your son got hurt or hurt someone else though....

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#3 of 10 Old 04-12-2007, 08:27 AM
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I would want a phone call in the situation you describe.

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#4 of 10 Old 04-12-2007, 08:40 AM
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As long as your son wasn't injured, I doubt the school had any obligation to call you. I don't think they are legally allowed to talk about another student with you anyway, even if they don't mention any names.

I agree I would want to know, but I wouldn't be mad if they didn't call me.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#5 of 10 Old 04-12-2007, 09:16 AM
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Consult your school's handbook, the guidelines for that type of situation should be in there. IMO, at that age, unless there was need to discipline your son, or he was injured, then no, it wasn't necessary to contact you.
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#6 of 10 Old 04-12-2007, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I am not mad...more irked.

I had 2 thoughts:

1 - if the incident was serious enough that another child was suspended over it, then calling the parent to let them know an incident happenned is appropriate

2. It was a physical fight, even though no one got hurt. When I worked in recreation, we had to fill out incident reports over every little thing - and inform the parents of the incident. The theory was - even if the child looks fine, the parent has a right to know and it may explain any syptoms that develop after the incident (like bruising, headaches/naseau, soft tissue damage, ect).

Given the fact that DS is 11 - he certainly is capable of comunicating incidents, but the school should too.

I suspect part of me being irked has more to do with me. I do not like not knowing what is going on 24/7. Letting go is hard!

Thanks for the input!
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#7 of 10 Old 04-12-2007, 11:36 PM
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My son had a similar situation this year. Except he is in 2nd grade! And no they probably wouldn't have told me except I'm there a lot and the teacher knows my ds would tell me that the other kid was punching him (my ds punched him backafter being repeatedly punched). That child has since been moved to an emotionally challenged class room.
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#8 of 10 Old 04-13-2007, 01:41 AM
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Yes that would bug me. every time one of my kids gets a bump on the head or something i get a "courtesy call" I don't understand why they would not call you.
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#9 of 10 Old 04-13-2007, 09:08 PM
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Absolutely, it would irk me. A scuffle, physical contact, etc. is different than an actual all out fight. Especially since the school thought that this student's behavior and/or history of behaving this way, merited suspension. Suspending a student - especially at that age - is quite serious.

I understand that you can't be informed of every event or every conflict your child experiences. But physical violence is not just "any conflict". As a parent it is your job to address your son's life experiences and use them as a teaching tool. What happened here is one way to turn a negative into a positive. Instead of just this being a "bad" thing it can be a way to educate your son on how to be a successful citizen of the world. There are so many lessons here: how to handle conflict, a bully and even handle retaliation. In my view the school didn't work with you on educating your son.

Think of it in this way: Directly addressing the actions of the other boy (by suspension) and notifying his parents and dismissing your son's role in all of this is faulty logic. If this fight called for the involvement of one set of parents then why don't you rate high enough to be merely notified? Does your son's involvement not merit being addressed? I'm not saying anything more than a "Hey mom, your son was involved in an small altercation with another student. He's completley fine, no one was hurt and although we're not at liberty to discuss another student with you, please know we are addressing the situation. We just thought you should know.". I understand some parents would storm down to the school and rant and rave. But they're going to do that no matter who tells them. That doesn't make it ok to not tell you.

Lastly, what if your son was the type of child to internalize feelings and didn't tell you that he was in a fight and someone physically hurt him? What if this other boy (with a history of aggression) continued to harass your son? When should you be notified? Where is the line drawn. When he bleeds? When your son cries? I don't mean to be dramatic, but really what constitutes "important" to the school?

Sorry for the long rant. But if this was my son I would be mighty unhappy. And it would NOT be because another boy hit him or even if he got a bloody nose, etc. Things happen, kids fight sometimes, kids get hurt. But I think you not being gently informed is nonsense.
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#10 of 10 Old 04-13-2007, 10:06 PM
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I would want a phone call, not sure I'd get it. I know they don't call parents when the police interview a student, only if they are arrested. They also don't call parents when a social worker shows up and interviews the child. At our school, the first referral to the office is a "letter home." Second referral is meeting with parents.
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