It sounds like it has been going on since the beginning of the year and getting worse. R has said things to my son like "I hate you" and "You are not my friend".
He has been physically violent with him repeatedly in the classroom, on the playground and on the bus. Asher has told me a few other times about some punching, pushing, etc. Up to this point, I have just asked Asher to keep talking with his teachers and asking the child to leave him alone.
Today, R tackled my son while he was trying to play basketball, held him to the ground, punched him repeatedly in the face and stepped on his feet when he tried to get up. Asher said he told the teacher about what R did. It sounds like the teachers keep telling R to stop, but there aren't any consequences. It also sounds like R is doing this to other boys in the class.
Among other things, I told Asher that he has my permission to hit back in self defense, if the boy is holding him to the ground and punching him again. And I sent an email to the teacher.
What should happen here? I am used to typical boy behavior (we have 3!) and the wrestling and general rough housing doesn't bother me or my boys. It seems like R has something out for Asher though, as he keeps picking on him and is getting more violent.
I agree w the PP who said face to face is best. I would also ask the teacher what she was doing while your son was getting punched in the face! You may consider going to the principal to make sure there is a follow up w the teacher from admins.
(yes, I have boys, and I get wrestling, and it's ok at our house as long as everyone is having fun-- of one is having fun at another's expense or anyone has said stop, it has gone too far!)
blessings-- hope this year goes better from here on out and that this is dealt with!
As for what's going on, you need to be at the school first thing. The violent child cannot be allowed to continue and check to see if your school has a zero tolerance policy. If so, then the other child should automatically be suspended for this behaviour. I would insist on knowing what repercussions this type of behaviour will result in and what they plan to do to keep your child safe from violence.
As an educator and a parent, here are the steps I would take.
1. Since this has escalated to physical violence, I would skip the teacher and go straight to the principal at this point. The fact that nobody else saw this or reported this or broke it up is worrisome if this happened on school grounds.
2. Does your son have any physical bruising from the punching? If so, the Principal and teacher need to see it.
3. Having your son fight back is not always the right answer (since this can lead to him having the same consequences as the other child), however what he needs to try to do (if he can) is if the other kid is picking on him again, to go straight to the teacher to report the situation. This is not snitching, this is trying to prevent another incident.
4. If you feel that this is continuing and your son is still coming home and reporting these things happening, you need to keep the communications open with the school either via email, or face to face conference with the teacher and/or principal. Many times we are the last ones to know that things are going on because kids find ways and times to bully each other that is not in view of the adults. So if nobody tells us, we can't do anything to help out. However, if he is doing this in the classroom, on the bus, and the teachers are just asking the other kid to knock it off, and he's still repeating this behavior, it is so important that you go to the Principal.
In my classroom, I have a hands off policy. When I see hands on - the kids are removed from the room, we discuss, they stay for detentions. If they repeat, I call home and they are written up in the office. I have 37 kids in my classroom and I teach 6 classes of 37 kids a day and I teach middle school.
For the mean talk I would suggest coaching your son on not giving the other boy a big reaction. There's a great article that I've seen linked here several times that I just can't find (hopefully another mama will come and post the link), that explains how to deal with bullies. It basically comes down to not giving them the big reaction that they're looking for. Instead of tears and arguing the bullied kid should give a bored or "whatever... you can think what you want to think" kind of reaction. I'm not explaining it well though... I hope someone chimes in with the link.
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
Willow (6) says: "Mother Earth is the mother of all mothers"
♥ Phoenix (6/2011) ♥ print-n-color mandalas >
my daughter learns "bully busters" in her martial arts classes. quite a few bullies locally and at school, she's handled all of them by doing this: 1) say LOUDLY "(kid's name), stop (what they're doing)!!" as in, "John, stop stepping on my toes!" this way, she's not tattling per se, and she's drawing attention directly to the bully, rather than herself. it's working great, so far. i'm always recommending martial arts for kids because it seems to tremendously increase their confidence. (it really seems to work for the kids who bully, to learn self discipline!)
But that is a great idea.
OP: Talk with the principal. Explain that your son *needs to feel safe at school.* He cannot feel safe with the way the classmate is behaving and the school is failing to respond to it.
The administration needs to speak with this child and let him know that the behavior *will not* be tolerated. If there is bullying at our school (to that level--repeated physical violence) the child bullying is sent home. Period.
I typed out a long response, but rereading the OP, do you feel your child has instigated some of the roughhousing and so you're on the fence as to a response? Because to me, this would be a no-brainer--that's bullying, the teachers were derelict in supervising, interactions btw R and your child need to be watched in the future. My kindergartener isn't big on roughhousing, so if he came to me w/ a story about being punched on the playground I'd be at that school the next day demanding a meeting w/ the principal, AP and teacher to find out how they were going to correct the situation. To me, R's behavior is unacceptable and needs to stop, and the teachers need to do it.
Do not let this situation go without clear communication
Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.