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#1 of 32 Old 04-23-2011, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5 year old kindergartener has been developing very scary weird OCD -like symptoms in the past month, and he had another freak attack in car on our way to school, when I suddenly asked, is someone teasing you, and he said yes. I asked this even though he seems very popular in school. every day after school we stay at the school playground and they all seem to love each other, and he's good buddies with all his male friends in class. But the two kids who bully him are attending after school programs, so I never saw them in action. They are troubled kids, they both live with their moms in an area women's shelter. One of them just came to the class about a month ago, when apparently, the bullying started. I realize that my son can be an easy target, even though he is sort of cool and he has figured out fast how to be cool with the tough boys who, for example watch star wars, even though he is not allowed, he tries to get all the info from books so that he can relate. Also, English is his third language so he struggles with that. 

 

When he first told me, I tried to rule out the possibility that my son just thinks HE is bullied, and if these boys just are rough and crazy and bother everyone. But it was soon clear that this was the official type of bullying. Blew my mind that this can happen in kindergarten. He tries to avoid the boys at lunch but they will switch tables, push other kids away just to sit next to my son and tease. They punch him, apparently mostly him, only once his best friend. But the stuff they talk about seems the most hurtful, they had said in more than one occasion that they hate his mom, HE will not be invited to their birthday, that he talks stupid.. and he will turn back into a monkey because he is forgetting his words.

 

And the latter has become one of my sons obsessions. He has to check, will I become a monkey if I forgot a word, will I die if I touch this... it hurts me here, will I die. al this in a state of panic, I I try to answer by asking him, he will still insist I tell him again... He was so bad at some point, I thought he needs psychiatric help. Thankfully now, during spring break he has been getting better.

 

But next week school starts again, and I'm really not loving the idea to taking him back there. First of all I never felt excited about formal schooling at his age. (I started school in my home country at age 7). Never been excited about public school. I'm definitely the Waldorf or Montessori type of mom, and hate how public schools are so obsessed with the scores. So my immediate response was, "I'm so not taking my kid to that place again," and "ok, now it's decided for me, he is going to private school." I feel that I can't send him to a place where he is not really protected. The teacher gives a red card to bullies when she feels like it, but not everytime... and does it really help on kids who get them all the time, and who's parents don't address the morals. The teacher is not there for lunch, there's one cafeteria lady who watches over hundreds of kids... besides the teasing by words... who is ever going to be able to protect him from that.

 

And I hear an echo in my head, oh, you cant take him out of school, he'll never learn how to deal with bullies and he'll be teased again in next school. But seriously he is 5, how do you tell him to deal with it. My husband told him to punch the guys back, and my son was passionately against that option, he would never want that red card from the teacher. With words... he is learning the basic english, he never watches the snobby kid television, he really does not have the means to insult back with words. I mean if he starts panicking about becoming a monkey when they tell him that, he is SO not in the level of pretending he doesn't care, or say something smart back.

So again, he is only five. If I "baby" him this one last time (K is not mandatory in our state) and keep him home.. will it really be harmful for his remaining school years?

 

I will go talk to the teacher and principal next week. I'm just pretty sure they will not move the bullies in another class because of this... and I'm doubtful that any conference with the bullies' parents would help. I see them on the streets yelling at their kids nasty. Would they really fundamentally change their way of raising kids because I tell them to? These kids will eventually move again, But by then, will my son have established a role of the teased, will he be an outcast to the coolest kids in his class because of this, and... more shelter kids will follow.

 

He has made great friends in school and I feel like it's so not fair that because of two bullies we would pull him out of school. But my son's opinion right now is that more important to him is that he doesn't have to go there to be bullied.

 

I'm grateful for any advice and opinions on the school issue!

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#2 of 32 Old 04-23-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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My son is dealing with a similar situation, at age 5.

 

Has your son told the teacher when he gets punched?  He needs to, every time.  If the teacher and principal don't know what's going on when it happens, they are not going to move the bullies to another class just because you ask them to.  Your son doesn't need to punch back, and shouldn't IMO, but he should tell a grown up right away every time he is spoken to like that or hurt.

 

Personally, I feel comfortable pulling my son out of kindergarten because of 3 kids in his class that are emotionally and physically assaulting other kids, and mine has been hurt 3 times in 1 week by 1 of the kids.  I am not satisfied with how the principal is handling the situation, and I have talked to the school district about this several times, and a few other moms and I have a meeting next week with someone in the superintendent's office.

 

For me, it's important that my son knows that he can trust grown ups and that I will try to protect him as much as I can.  I will not send him back to a school where he witnesses and personally experiences physical violence and the offenders then get sent to the principal's office for a little while and then are allowed back in the classroom.  The school year is almost over and I am very comfortable with the message that I am sending him by pulling him out of school.  

 

He knows how to use his words, saying "Stop, I don't like that" or whatever, but 5 year olds who have emotional issues and are that aggressive need help beyond what another 5 year old's words can give.


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#3 of 32 Old 04-23-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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And another note - please don't worry so much about your son's popularity and place with the "cool" kids.  That's all going to change a hundred times by high school.  It's more important that he feel safe and confident at school than be victimized and scared every day.

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#4 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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I don't have school age kids yet, but I will say that when my dd was having a hard time at daycare, I just kept talking with her and the director of the center until we worked it out.  If things hadn't improved, I definitely would have pulled her out of there.

 

My little brother was bullied at school.  He was getting beaten up on a regular basis, I think he was 8 or 9.  My mama pulled him out of school and I think home schooled him for the rest of that school year.  They moved to a different elementary (same school district) so she tried him at that school the next year and he did fine.

 

Just keep advocating for your child and doing your best to protect him.  Best of luck!

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#5 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

And another note - please don't worry so much about your son's popularity and place with the "cool" kids.  That's all going to change a hundred times by high school.


And shelter kids will not always be shelter kids, and shelter kids will not always be bullies. Sometimes the bullies will be the cool kids.
 

 

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#6 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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One of my daycare girls is a bully.  She's been a bully since she was very young.  It's almost like it's part of her personality.  It seems to have very little to do with her parents.  

 

She's the youngest in her kindergarten class, yet she can have five other girls in her group all bully one kid.   

 

I do think some of those after school programs are pretty rough.  The ones in our area are mobbed and the kids have a eat or be eaten attitude.  

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#7 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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Protecting your child from bullies will not harm them. Moving your child out of toxic environment won't prevent him from learning to stand up for himself.  Sometimes standing up for yourself means leaving.  Your mommy instincts tell you your kid is being abused in the setting he is in now and that no authority figure is intervening on his behalf.    If your son was being harassed at a job and HR did nothing would you tell him to suck it up and stay there? If he was in an abusive relationship would you not try to get him to leave?    If the school doesn't have his back, which it sounds like they don't, where could he possibly gain the confidence to get the bullies off his back?

 

I'd get him some counseling, and get him out of that school.  You know in your gut that's what best.

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#8 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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He's 5. He shouldn't be expected to have the resources to deal with these kids.  That being said, there is a great curriculum called: How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied Without Really Trying. I'm not sure a 5 year old is quite ready for the concepts, but they do work. The basic idea is that the kids who bully have found a 'game' that they think is really funny. The game is making someone else cry/feel bad/get upset. If you can minimize your reaction, then the game isn't fun anymore and they'll ignore you. The ideas here really helped my son, who is quite reactive and was sometimes a target.

 

However, the situation that your son is in sounds pretty extreme. Have you told the teacher, the counselor and the principal (yes, all 3) exactly what's going on? They can solve some of the issues by having the boys in question sit at an assigned spot for lunch, making sure they don't sit near him or aren't in any smaller groups with him during classroom time, and giving your son an alternative for recess. (For example, he might be allowed to go to the library for recess for a few days.) Would you be open to your son switching classes?

 

If the school doesn't respond in a way that makes you feel like they're going to do something that works, I'd consider pulling him and homeschooling for the rest of the year. I would, however, give them time to respond. It sounds to me like you haven't contacted the school at all, so they may not realize the extent of it.


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#9 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

And another note - please don't worry so much about your son's popularity and place with the "cool" kids.  That's all going to change a hundred times by high school.  It's more important that he feel safe and confident at school than be victimized and scared every day.



I didn't get the sense that she was focusing on her kid being popular or cool so much as using shorthand (the words "popular" and "cool") to illustrate that he's generally well accepted, it's just that these two particular kids have chosen to target hi.

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#10 of 32 Old 04-25-2011, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't get the sense that she was focusing on her kid being popular or cool so much as using shorthand (the words "popular" and "cool") to illustrate that he's generally well accepted, it's just that these two particular kids have chosen to target hi.

Thank you Everyone! and NiteNicole, you nailed it. My favorite friends for him are not the cool ones, but oddly enough at his age, he seems obsessed about being accepted by them and he has succeeded. And true enough, the cool kids can be the bullies! I am actually very suspicious of the class king and I've tried to sneakily question my son to see if he is behind this. But sounds like not. I also don't want to sound like I'm prejudice towards the "shelter" kids, the one that was in his class from the beginning, was a big trouble maker but sweet, and friends with my son, the kid that came after christmas has in my opinion pulled him into this. And the main bully doesn't look like the evil little kid either, I feel sorry for him, he is cute, but very overweight and to be able to do such calculated bullying, has probably seen a lot of it in his little life.

 

My son opened up to another story that makes me very sad for him and mad at the school. His bullies had pulled him from his hoodie and dragged him under a park bench which they had ready with sticks and cardboard to stuff him in. I was puzzled how could he have not been able to come out, his response was: "See, I didn't remember my superpowers first, first I just tought how I wanted to be with you. When they dragged me my muscles got all weak, but when I saw everyone leave from recess, I got my powers back." I was crying to think he had been laying there so victimized, defeated. He said he was there for the whole recess and that teacher didn't see him because she was on the other side of the playground talking to other teachers. I couldn't believe it. How could this go unnoticed amongst little 5 year olds. On top of that my son had tried to tell the teacher, and she had just cut him of saying, you just think about the next recess.

 

This had me absolutely sure, that I will not take him there ever again. If the kids are so unsupervised, they could be picked up by a stranger just as well. Meantime my husband talked to the principal, who was shocked, suggested things like us parents could go there during recess, they could keep them separate during lunch, that we should not take him out because he might be afraid to ever return. We will have a meeting with the teacher and principal in two days, and I will tell them that only if they move those two kids in another class. It's really the only option for me. I know that bullying can go on in other ways than just physical, so there's just no way we could completely protect him by these suggested means. we'll see what they say about that... To be honest I was already getting excited about homeschooling him. It's been a tough first year for him, we could totally keep a creative break. And he is so traumatized by all this, that even with the two bullies gone I feel a bit uneasy about him in that environment of 28 kids and one teacher without any aids.

 

He told me:  "but what if they teach the other kids to tease me before that", when I said I'd only take him back if the two kids will be moved.

That leaves me wondering, if he has that kind of fear, would it be better for him to go prove his fears wrong, IF the school could accommodate and move them. Or would he be so weak and scared from the experience that he would invite new bullies, and prove himself right!

 

Well, I will update after meeting with the school. Thank you so much for your support. It was nice to hear of so many who would pull their kids out or have done so, since my sisters and husband seem so conventional hushing my crazy plans.

 

 

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#11 of 32 Old 04-27-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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Best of luck to you!  The school has not provided a safe environment.  If you like his class and his teacher then the bullies should be moved - they are the ones who are in the wrong.  If you don't like his teacher then ask to try another class.  Talk to the other moms about the other teachers ahead of time and see if you can figure out who would be a good fit.

 

In my son's school it seems they send bullies to visit with the counselor and the counselor visits with the bullies' parents.  II don't know how much good it does. 

 

My son was picked on at the beginning of this year and by the holidays we'd had enough.  We let him try on his own to resolve and nothing happened.  So, we asked to have him moved not just because of the bully but because of the teacher - she was not a good fit and did nothing about the bullying even when he would tell her about it.  He also wanted to be moved.  The principal agreed to it and within a week of being in the new class he was his old self again, no more over the top anger, no more outburst, no more begging not to go to school.  Now he LOVES school.  So much of it is the new teacher and her attitude with her class.  It's not perfect but it is the right fit for him.

 

You are the only one who can do this for him.

 

 

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#12 of 32 Old 04-28-2011, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want my son moved, because this is not his fault. He has made great friends in the class, I don't want him to try make new ones after this kind of negative on the self esteem -experience. But I guess that would have been an option, moving the bully wasn't. We just met with the principal and teacher today. Teacher was really sweet and concerned and i sensed that she'd love it if the bully was moved, he is causing a lot of headache for her overall. But when we were allowed in the principals office, tone changed. She really was the coldest #^%*# I've ever seen, and seriously.. I never was scared of my own principals, now I am!! I've heard how terrible she is, and felt cold vibe when shortly seeing her before. But man... the meeting was a fiasco. She gave me half a sentence to speak up at a time, misunderstood my sons poor English on purpose. It took him forever to explain how they tease him in the lunch room, how they move next to him by pushing his friends to the side even if they first sit somewhere else, and she goes "they want to be your friends!"

Of course my son, all nervous about meeting a principal said yes, he is OK going to the class even though the bully will be there, then she turns to me asking sarcastically: "and now, are you OK with that, will you let him come back?" I said sure.

And sure he can go, he promised the principal. If he throws a crazy tantrum Monday morning, I might not be able to force him.. but naturally I try not to instill fears on him, even though I feel that I should talk about this and prepare him... My husband is taking the principals side, he agrees that they have to learn to deal with it, this is a sentence the principal yelled at my teary face. They will encounter this in their lives all the time. I tried to quote HeliMom from this thread (here:  "If your son was being harassed at a job and HR did nothing would you tell him to suck it up and stay there? If he was in an abusive relationship would you not try to get him to leave?") But the principal cut me of after maybe 5 words...

If I was the breadwinner in this family I would have walked out of that meeting and singed him up for next year in a private school. But because my husband is the breadwinner and thinks private school prices are ridiculous... So me and my husband are now arguing over  is life about dealing with bullies or bad people in your life or is it about avoiding them.

 

I mean... maybe things will work out! I just had to went out about this horrible principal. But I hope, and will try. The teacher seems so sweet and ready to do everything to stop this, and the principal will allow me to come observe lunch and recess. (not the class, she's known to be strict about that.) My son really wants me to. first I thought he'd be embarrassed and teased about his mom being there, but hey, I guess even a boy picks that rather than spending recess under a bench! 

 

Someone also gave me a thought, to have the bully and bullied in a play date together. They are only five after all and situation could change in a flash if both parents got involved, but we'll see, the teacher has tried to get the mom in a conference unsuccessfully the whole time he has been in this class.

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#13 of 32 Old 04-29-2011, 05:02 AM
 
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I don't want my son moved, because this is not his fault. He has made great friends in the class, I don't want him to try make new ones after this kind of negative on the self esteem -experience. But I guess that would have been an option, moving the bully wasn't. We just met with the principal and teacher today. Teacher was really sweet and concerned and i sensed that she'd love it if the bully was moved, he is causing a lot of headache for her overall. But when we were allowed in the principals office, tone changed. She really was the coldest #^%*# I've ever seen, and seriously.. I never was scared of my own principals, now I am!! I've heard how terrible she is, and felt cold vibe when shortly seeing her before. But man... the meeting was a fiasco. She gave me half a sentence to speak up at a time, misunderstood my sons poor English on purpose. It took him forever to explain how they tease him in the lunch room, how they move next to him by pushing his friends to the side even if they first sit somewhere else, and she goes "they want to be your friends!"

Of course my son, all nervous about meeting a principal said yes, he is OK going to the class even though the bully will be there, then she turns to me asking sarcastically: "and now, are you OK with that, will you let him come back?" I said sure.

And sure he can go, he promised the principal. If he throws a crazy tantrum Monday morning, I might not be able to force him.. but naturally I try not to instill fears on him, even though I feel that I should talk about this and prepare him... My husband is taking the principals side, he agrees that they have to learn to deal with it, this is a sentence the principal yelled at my teary face. They will encounter this in their lives all the time. I tried to quote HeliMom from this thread (here:  "If your son was being harassed at a job and HR did nothing would you tell him to suck it up and stay there? If he was in an abusive relationship would you not try to get him to leave?") But the principal cut me of after maybe 5 words...

If I was the breadwinner in this family I would have walked out of that meeting and singed him up for next year in a private school. But because my husband is the breadwinner and thinks private school prices are ridiculous... So me and my husband are now arguing over  is life about dealing with bullies or bad people in your life or is it about avoiding them.

 

I mean... maybe things will work out! I just had to went out about this horrible principal. But I hope, and will try. The teacher seems so sweet and ready to do everything to stop this, and the principal will allow me to come observe lunch and recess. (not the class, she's known to be strict about that.) My son really wants me to. first I thought he'd be embarrassed and teased about his mom being there, but hey, I guess even a boy picks that rather than spending recess under a bench! 

 

Someone also gave me a thought, to have the bully and bullied in a play date together. They are only five after all and situation could change in a flash if both parents got involved, but we'll see, the teacher has tried to get the mom in a conference unsuccessfully the whole time he has been in this class.


Wow. It sounds like the principal is the biggest bully of all. irked.gif

 

Yes, bullies are a fact of life and we need to learn ways of dealing with them. This is not dealing with them though. She's teaching your son that if someone is treating him badly, he just needs to suck it up because the people he's supposed to be able to trust don't care. Having an authority figure take that stance is even more damaging than the original bullying.

 

Another point - your husband being the breadwinner doesn't give him final say over financial decisions. You're a married couple, what his is yours. If he doesn't understand that, well...that's a whole other thread. I would keep the discussion going. You should both have equal input here.

 

Can you make a formal complaint against the principal?

 

I'm so sorry you're being put in this difficult position. Keep advocating for your son. hug2.gif


Mama to a preschooler and a baby.

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#14 of 32 Old 04-29-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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OK, I'd pull my kid. I'm all for giving the school a chance to fix things. The principal had her chance and she screwed it up. Your child does not deserve to be harassed and bullied. These kids are not trying to be his friend. And I'd worry that because the principal is not taking this serious at age 6, what do the older grades look like? Do you know anyone who has kids who are older? What's the social atmosphere there?


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#15 of 32 Old 04-29-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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Typed up a reply and lost it.  Anyhow, WOW.  That is totally unacceptable.  Your son is not *safe* in this school.  Trust your mama instinct and do whatever you have to do to remove him from this situation.  I would pull my son out in a heart beat.  I wouldn't even think twice.  This is worth fighting your husband on.  He is wrong.  Your son has a basic right to safety as well as emotional and psychological well being and this has been completely disregarded by the school and the principal.  I cannot believe she is acting as though she cannot understand your son and telling him that these kids want to be his friends.  That would be like a woman being raped and the man going to trial and the judge saying "He was just interested in a romantic relationship with you!  What is the big deal?  You're fine.  Get over it!  Can't you see this man was attracted to you?" 

 

I am seriously horrified by this principal.  I would absolutely file a complaint with the Department of Regulation and Licensing in your state as well as the school district.  This biggest problem isn't even these boys.  You are right...bullies will come and go. It is how the school handles bullies that is going to make all the difference in your son's well being.

 

While you're busy filing a complaint with the school, I would demand they allow him to be transferred to another school (unless you are interested in homeschooling).  Your son has a *right* to receive an education in a place where he is *safe* and protected.  I wouldn't be afraid to threaten legal action if they don't agree.  You shouldn't have to pay for private school for your son to be safe. 

 

Trust your instinct, Mama.  You know you can't send him back there.  Now you just have to get your husband on board.  It will be worth it.  Hugs and best wishes to both of you.

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#16 of 32 Old 04-29-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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OK, I'd pull my kid. I'm all for giving the school a chance to fix things. The principal had her chance and she screwed it up. Your child does not deserve to be harassed and bullied. These kids are not trying to be his friend. And I'd worry that because the principal is not taking this serious at age 6, what do the older grades look like? Do you know anyone who has kids who are older? What's the social atmosphere there?



I completely agree, and like I said earlier, I pulled my son out of school for a similar situation.  I don't want my son to be in an environment where he learns he has to be a bully or be a victim.

 

If the principal is a dead end, go to the school district.  Go to the school board.  Talk to the other parents in the class and find out if their children have gotten bullied and what they've tried to do about it.  Don't be bullied by the principal.  This is your child and he needs to be protected and safe.

 

I'm sorry, but things will not "just work out", and your son deserves better than that.  I let my son go back to school after getting pushed on the playground by another student, and the same student punched him in the face.  He hasn't been back since, and I've been talking to other parents and the school district in the meantime.


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#17 of 32 Old 04-29-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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Oh, and the principal not letting you observe a kindergarten class where your son is being abused is absolutely unacceptable.


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#18 of 32 Old 05-06-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Typed up a reply and lost it.  Anyhow, WOW.  That is totally unacceptable.  Your son is not *safe* in this school.  Trust your mama instinct and do whatever you have to do to remove him from this situation.  I would pull my son out in a heart beat.  I wouldn't even think twice.  This is worth fighting your husband on.  He is wrong.  Your son has a basic right to safety as well as emotional and psychological well being and this has been completely disregarded by the school and the principal.  I cannot believe she is acting as though she cannot understand your son and telling him that these kids want to be his friends.  That would be like a woman being raped and the man going to trial and the judge saying "He was just interested in a romantic relationship with you!  What is the big deal?  You're fine.  Get over it!  Can't you see this man was attracted to you?" 

 

I am seriously horrified by this principal.  I would absolutely file a complaint with the Department of Regulation and Licensing in your state as well as the school district.  This biggest problem isn't even these boys.  You are right...bullies will come and go. It is how the school handles bullies that is going to make all the difference in your son's well being.

 

While you're busy filing a complaint with the school, I would demand they allow him to be transferred to another school (unless you are interested in homeschooling).  Your son has a *right* to receive an education in a place where he is *safe* and protected.  I wouldn't be afraid to threaten legal action if they don't agree.  You shouldn't have to pay for private school for your son to be safe. 

 

Trust your instinct, Mama.  You know you can't send him back there.  Now you just have to get your husband on board.  It will be worth it.  Hugs and best wishes to both of you.



I totally agree with this! The schools lack of concern and action is completely unacceptable.

 

I'm really surprised at their reaction. My dh has been a public school teacher at two elementary schools (2 differents districts and states) and both are becoming so much more responsive to bullying. They have curriculum and additional meetings, programs, trainings, whatever geared around bullying/character traits etc. Something even minorly offensive usually at least requires a phone call home to the parents of the offending party. I can't believe that the supervision at recess was so poor to have allowed that to happen to your ds. Poor thing! I would be furious. I also have a son who's personality could be prone to being bullied and I couldn't imagine sending him to a school where I and he couldn't feel he was safe and happy. Take it to the district and further if necessary.

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#19 of 32 Old 05-06-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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Have you met with the school?  I ask because my ds had a very similar situation in kindy - age 5.  We live in an apartment still to afford to live in this "excellent" school district, and my husband was NOT happy and ready to move.  I had meetings with the vice-principal and other school officials, and as it turns out, it was much more of a teacher issue than a school issue.

 

My son is now 8, going on 9 and at the very same school.  Thanks to our active involvement, he's gotten GREAT teachers and support and is making great friends, bully-free.  My son has Aspergers, so that makes navigating social stuff that much harder.

 

I would not give up on the school until you have gone to the top.  It made all the difference for us. My son's kindy teachers was "boys will be boys" which was insane.  But above her, they understood, and helped.

 


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#20 of 32 Old 05-06-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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I would pull my kid out.  I was bullied at school, and while I can't say for certain, I am almost 100% convinced that it would have been better for my self esteem and personal development to know that I had choices, that my feelings did matter and I didn't have to suffer thru being bullied.


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#21 of 32 Old 06-01-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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I would pull my child out of that school. I too was bullied; pulled out of school and taken to a new school where I was bullied again. I'm certain that it has had far-reaching repercussions for me. I still struggle with low self-esteem and other issues. Your son is too precious!

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#22 of 32 Old 06-05-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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I've been reading these posts and just want to send a hug to you, mama!


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#23 of 32 Old 06-06-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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From reading your posts I have a couple of thoughts.  #1, i don't think a 5 year old boy should have to go out in the world and defend himself.  If he were 9 or 12 I would say teach him to box so he can knock that kid flat on his butt.  But he's 5.  Some marital arts training (which I think you should consider) would probably boost his confidence and give him some self defense techniques, but won't help him in the short run. 

 

#2, I suspect that the other mother is more difficult than you and the principal wants you to not have a problem because dealing with this other mother would raise some issues, perhaps even perceived racial issues if these kids are african-american.  Obviously there are no real racial issues, but some people are quick to pull the discrimination card.  Regardless, dealing with the other mother is, for whatever reason, far more complicated than intimidating you into submission.  

 

Finally, in your telling of events I notices that you and your son sound very similar.  You both seem to be easily intimidated.  Maybe it's just the language barrier, maybe it's personality, but you dealing with your own issues of self-confidence might help your son.  I'd bet that your DH could give you some insight, you may have heard many times from him that you are raising your son to be soft...if you have, listen to him.  If I'm wrong, forgive me.  


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#24 of 32 Old 06-08-2011, 04:13 AM
 
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Public tax funded education cannot stop a taxpayer who poses no threat from observing the process.

 

Also as a parent, I would never put my child in an institution where I was not welcome at any time, with the POSSIBLE exception of resident summer camp, but I will have to think on that one.

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#25 of 32 Old 06-10-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post

And I hear an echo in my head, oh, you cant take him out of school, he'll never learn how to deal with bullies and he'll be teased again in next school. But seriously he is 5, how do you tell him to deal with it. 


No five year old should learn how to deal with bullies.  They simply aren't equipped to understand the situation, or to cope with it, which is why so many playgrounds turn into mini Lord of the Flies.  This is why I'm not sending my kids to school at all.  I refuse to have my four year old son exposed to a situation like this without me directly by his side.  As he gets older, I will be able to step away and work with him on dealing with people who are mean, spiteful, ill-intentioned, and he will be more and more able.  But not at four or five years old.  I if you can do it, pulling him out would be in his best interest, then work on finding an environment that works, homeschool or unschool.  Trust your instincts on this one, not all the voices around you echoing in your head.  Best of luck.   


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#26 of 32 Old 06-13-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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I was bullied all through school, was very uncool and quiet. I wish my parents had done something but that was part of life and school :( I can tell you, though, my children have been homeschooled their whole lives, I have two teenagers and they have NO PROBLEM standing up to bullies. One even stands up for other kids being bullied.(very outspoken child!) They have very busy social lives and have always been involved in various groups so they have encountered plenty of bullying behaviour, including the girl-drama that's famous around the pre-teen and early-teen years. Watching them go through these situations makes me so proud of them for how well they handle other kids. (and the majority of the bullying goes on between school-kids, not homeschooled kids, but the girl drama stuff is everywhere).

 

Bullying should NOT be a normal part of life...I HATE hearing people rationalize it that way. Most adults who encounter that type of behavior on the job will get it taken care of, either personally or by reporting it to HR. Bullying is not allowed in real life; it shouldn't be allowed in school, either, and if no one else will handle it then it's our job as parents to take care of it however possible.


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#27 of 32 Old 06-13-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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 My son was excluded at school .He was the artistic quirky kid in a class full of soccer playing boys. We did our best, but when it escalated to real exclusion (kids telling other kids not to play with him) and physical aggression, we moved him. He is much much happier where he is. He's never gonna' be the most popular boy in the class, but he feels that he fits in and he doesn't feel excluded or bullied. If moving is an option for you all, I'd take it!

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#28 of 32 Old 06-13-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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I really hate bullies! They scare the heck out of other kids and they have no idea how much they impact the lives of those that they bully. HOWEVER, let us put into consideration that the bullies in this story are also children with their own personal issues. I'm sure they're feeling a lot of insecurity and depression too which causes them to act out the way that they do. Although, their parents should be made aware of what's happening and given clear instructions for them to do something about it (see http://www.growingupchildren.com). 

 

I'm sure your kid is a good and smart angel. All that I wish now is for you to continually give him support. If I were you, I'd fight to get the bullies out of school. I wouldn't give in pull my kid out. It's not his fault. 

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#29 of 32 Old 03-10-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Now a year later! Thank you all for your awesome helpful and supportive replies. I did the craziest thing and just pulled him out of school, told them I will homeschool for now, and enrolled him in our own neighborhood school next fall. 

Don't know if I shared it here before, but he had simultaneously with the bullying developed this fear of death, he thought his heart was going to stop beating etc... After pulling him out of school , all those fears and "heartproblems" ended. We had some playdates with his best friends from the class, so that he wouldn't feel like the whole school is just a nightmarish past.

 

Going to a new school next fall was hard for him, he played with no-one during the recess on the first week, although I was miserable for him and it felt too long.. i think it was by wednesday that he found his "best" friend, and by following week he was friends with everyone. 

I love how the new school was sensitive to this, and because I told the principal our reason for transferring, our teacher had read a book about bullying on the forst day of school. It meant a lot to my son, especially since a kid that looked just like his old bully, had said with passion, that he'd never, ever bully someone. And it's been true, it took my son a while before he could feel comfortable with the boy he thought looked the same, but quite soon he had proven his fears wrong, and they became friends.

 

This new school is nowhere as high performing as his old school, and my husband still complains about that. But we could not be happier, this new school just has the greatest parents, principal and atmosphere!

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#30 of 32 Old 03-10-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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That's a great update!

 

Tell your husband that it doesn't matter how high performing the school is. Your child won't learn if he's under that much stress. Furthermore, it's what goes on at home that really matters for elementary school, for the most part. My kids go to an "underperforming" school -- 80% free/reduced lunch, ~70% don't speak English as their first language. Test scores are so-so. But, we've had excellent teachers, an amazing discipline system that focuses on the positive, and bullying is an absolute minimum. If it's discovered, they address it immediately.  For example, they recently assigned seats to all the kids on the bus because they were having some behavior issues, which included bullying. They separated the bullies, and they made it possible for the bus drivers to immediately identify the trouble makers. In addition, the school counselor goes into every class weekly to work on social skills and reinforce the ideas of being kind, safe and respectful. The kids may not be the highest achieving, but they're nice kids. And none of "test score" stuff has held my kids back -- both of whom are working well above grade level.


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