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Solfe
2011-Oct-18, 08:43 PM
Two, three weeks ago, my son got in a fight. The neighbor child named Ted (No, not really Ted.) tried to kick my son in the groin and my son gave him a black eye. I was not amused when I found out from Ted's mom. When I made my child apologize to Ted, a second child showed up angry that Ted had kicked him in the groin. It turns out that Ted had tricked two children into holding a soccer ball and then kicked them... hard. It was not an accident despite what Ted says. My son was third child to have this "trick" attempted on him, since he witnessed the first two, he punched Ted out before he could execute his kick.

Needless to say, I was stunned. I was tempted to tell Ted off, but instead told my son he SHOULD NOT hit anyone. At the time, I felt this was a flexible rule and was appropriate. I was not entirely comfortable with my son's sucker punch style, but I let it go.

Now at school there is a kid who is attempting to push my son around. He is failing on a physical level, this child is much smaller than my son. He has gotten my son in trouble a couple of times due to my son's mouthy responses. This Little Guy (also nine years old) is trying to do really hurtful things, like pushing heads into walls, slamming lockers on fingers, tripping on stairs, etc. I am fearing the day where I get a phone call with "You son punched this Little Guy" because my child retaliated in kind.

Should I be at the school give the teachers and administrators a lecture? Should I be amending my prior statement to "You NEVER hit anyone"? My wife says she is handling this, but has failed to get any sort of a response from the school. As an added bonus, the Little Guy is also picking on Ted who is much bigger and rougher than my child.

grapes
2011-Oct-18, 09:11 PM
Should I be at the school give the teachers and administrators a lecture? I'd recommend communication, rather than lecture. How have the communications gone in the past?

Swift
2011-Oct-18, 09:24 PM
I second what grapes said - I would talk to the school pronto.

Solfe
2011-Oct-18, 09:26 PM
My wife has been in contact with them twice by phone, twice by email, twice by note. She has received the same response three times - "I have notified the principal of your concern and we will respond in 24 hours, even if it is just a status update." Obviously, they have not done that. The reason I have been hands off with this is my course of action would be to call for an appointment with the principal and teacher. I am convinced that the teacher has either not notified principle or has understated what is actually going on.

Now if the situation is reversed they act/respond very quickly and when they contact us, they can expect a response in minutes, maybe an hour tops. My wife is the room mother for these kids and goes in all of the time.

closetgeek
2011-Oct-18, 10:34 PM
Solfe, call the principal/assistant principal directly, and set up an appointment with them. These things can go real bad, real fast. Should your son eventually take matters into his own hands, you at least would be able to say that you tried everything you could to prevent this from happening.

redshifter
2011-Oct-18, 10:36 PM
"Little Guy" might need some sort of intervention/counseling. Now. If he's doing stuff like that now, it's only going to get worse in the future. 'Little Guys' parent(s) need to be informed of what's going on ASAP. If they (or the school) don't take appropriate action, then further escalation is necessary. There may be 'bad stuff' going on at home and this is how 'Little Guy' is acting out. Or, it may be something he's doing for amusement. Either way, the proper authorites need to get involved. I'm sure the school won't be at all happy if/when legal proceedings are started after "Little Guy" really injures a student. Maybe "Little Guy" is just trying to compensate for his stature. At any rate, Little Guy needs some sort of guidance here. Big time.

As far as Ted goes, maybe getting decked will convince him the 'soccer ball trick' isn't such a good idea...although I agree your son shouldn't have hit him in that situation since he apparantly wasn't kicked. OTOH, if Ted had pulled the trick successfully on my son and my son had no idea what was coming (i.e. he had not seen Ted victimize someone else previously) and responded by decking him, I'm not sure how I'd deal with that. Part of me would think "well Ted had it coming". I think in Ted's case letting the parents know what is going on will hopefully rectify the situation. Little Guy might need counseling. He might have some serious issues going on at home and needs someone to talk to about them.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-19, 12:21 AM
In one of my substitute teaching assignments, a pair of third grade boys (about 8 years old) got into a fight. After some yelling ("Stop that right now!" usually works with kids that age) and a call to the administrators, I talked to some of the students. I don't know (nor do I really care) who started the fight. However, the teachers and the kids had diametrically opposite views of which of these two kids would have been the most likely to start a fight. If "Ted" is well-behaved around teachers (not impossible: some kids have figured out that there may be benefits to sucking up to authorities), they may dismiss your concerns until something happens. Hopefully, this incident won't involve your son.

Jim
2011-Oct-19, 01:13 AM
... As an added bonus, the Little Guy is also picking on Ted ...

I believe I see a self-correction factor here.

Solfe
2011-Oct-19, 01:51 AM
Ugh! The thing that kills me is my son makes long range plans. When he slugged Ted, he played along up until the last possible second. Ted was mid-kick. I would say "Yup, he had that coming" if he was an adult; but there is that dicey line between poke in the eye and serious head trauma. If he can plan so well, why can't he just avoid the whole situation??? Trust me, I ask him all of the time.

Ted appears to be an angel at school. He does know how to play adults, but you should have seen his mother's face when he explained how he came to be punched. My son never mentioned "the game" at all, it was the other boy and Ted himself.

As far as the Little Guy at school goes, I think he needs some one on one time, perhaps in a different room. I don't think he should be isolated, just mixed with different children or perhaps some one on one time with a teacher. My oldest son already is somewhat isolated in the classroom as he has some attention problems; he has been placed in the back of the room, he pays more attention and usually is right with the class because he copy other other kids visually. This is a huge improvement from being seated in the front. He follows along now.

My main issue is not Little Guy attacking my son physically when no one is present, my son can handle (or not handle as the case may be) but he is also making verbal attacks across a whole classroom with the teacher present. Or worse getting up and crossing the whole room to say something. When my son replies verbally, he is of course disciplined verbal. Not so much the teacher I would imagine, but more by me. I can't really think of a more hostile situation that having someone approach in full view of authority and being nasty. So I am sort of out of things to say to my son, because he isn't really doing anything. Little Guy's actions are so "epic" other children tell their parents about his outbursts, I get daily questions from other parents.

My younger son was sent the principal's office for far less, why isn't this happening with Little Guy?

What did my younger son do? He was asked to stop working and go to the playground. He wasn't done and did understand what was happening (class change) so he burst into tears. When the teacher tried to calm him, he asked her to hold him. When she refused (I doubt she is allowed to pick up and hold the children as a general rule) he grabbed her leg and begged her to pick him up. What makes this funnier or sadder is my son is somewhat accelerated and was sitting in a third grade class for reading. The teacher didn't really know him all that well as he was a kindergartner at the time.

He is the polar opposite of my older son and he does like to be held when he is upset. To correct this issue he is now in "a pod" of children of his age so they don't become socially isolated when visiting upper level classes.

Obviously, I am not suggesting that Little Guy be isolated as I know exactly how well that can work.

novaderrik
2011-Oct-19, 03:22 AM
maybe i'm old school here, but maybe the teachers should maybe just happen to be looking the other way when "the little kid" accidentally runs into a bigger kid's fists a few times.

yeah, i know.. i'm a bad, bad person.. but kids gotta learn their place and be allowed to set up their own hierarchy. i once got a kid to stop picking on me by doing something incredibly simple- he saw me walking along a wall one morning before school and decided he'd have fun by running into me at full speed and slamming me into the wall. i saw him coming, but pretended to not see him.. at the last second, i stopped and took a step back. he hit the wall with a satisfying "thud" and fell to the ground and started crying.. the teacher's aid- who was enjoying a smoke about 20 feet away (this was in 1985, so it was ok)- saw it and turned the other way.. the kid got up and went sulking away- we were good friends a few months later.. 5th graders are weird like that..

korjik
2011-Oct-19, 03:31 AM
Ugh! The thing that kills me is my son makes long range plans. When he slugged Ted, he played along up until the last possible second. Ted was mid-kick. I would say "Yup, he had that coming" if he was an adult; but there is that dicey line between poke in the eye and serious head trauma. If he can plan so well, why can't he just avoid the whole situation??? Trust me, I ask him all of the time.

Ted appears to be an angel at school. He does know how to play adults, but you should have seen his mother's face when he explained how he came to be punched. My son never mentioned "the game" at all, it was the other boy and Ted himself.

As far as the Little Guy at school goes, I think he needs some one on one time, perhaps in a different room. I don't think he should be isolated, just mixed with different children or perhaps some one on one time with a teacher. My oldest son already is somewhat isolated in the classroom as he has some attention problems; he has been placed in the back of the room, he pays more attention and usually is right with the class because he copy other other kids visually. This is a huge improvement from being seated in the front. He follows along now.

My main issue is not Little Guy attacking my son physically when no one is present, my son can handle (or not handle as the case may be) but he is also making verbal attacks across a whole classroom with the teacher present. Or worse getting up and crossing the whole room to say something. When my son replies verbally, he is of course disciplined verbal. Not so much the teacher I would imagine, but more by me. I can't really think of a more hostile situation that having someone approach in full view of authority and being nasty. So I am sort of out of things to say to my son, because he isn't really doing anything. Little Guy's actions are so "epic" other children tell their parents about his outbursts, I get daily questions from other parents.

My younger son was sent the principal's office for far less, why isn't this happening with Little Guy?

What did my younger son do? He was asked to stop working and go to the playground. He wasn't done and did understand what was happening (class change) so he burst into tears. When the teacher tried to calm him, he asked her to hold him. When she refused (I doubt she is allowed to pick up and hold the children as a general rule) he grabbed her leg and begged her to pick him up. What makes this funnier or sadder is my son is somewhat accelerated and was sitting in a third grade class for reading. The teacher didn't really know him all that well as he was a kindergartner at the time.

He is the polar opposite of my older son and he does like to be held when he is upset. To correct this issue he is now in "a pod" of children of his age so they don't become socially isolated when visiting upper level classes.

Obviously, I am not suggesting that Little Guy be isolated as I know exactly how well that can work.

If the Little Guy is 'also making verbal attacks across a whole classroom with the teacher present' and the teacher isnt doing anything about it, the teacher needs to be removed. That sort of behavior should not be allowed at all, as it can only escalate as the Little Guy begins to think he can get away with stuff.

novaderrik
2011-Oct-19, 03:58 AM
If the Little Guy is 'also making verbal attacks across a whole classroom with the teacher present' and the teacher isnt doing anything about it, the teacher needs to be removed. That sort of behavior should not be allowed at all, as it can only escalate as the Little Guy begins to think he can get away with stuff.

but that kid is someone's precious perfect little angel.. and he's just trying to express himself. the teacher can't stifle the kid's expression and creativity because it might cause psychological trauma that will manifest itself later in life.

but the other kids, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of stifling his creativity- because they would also be expressing themselves by taking care of the situation..

Nicolas
2011-Oct-19, 08:51 AM
maybe i'm old school here, but maybe the teachers should maybe just happen to be looking the other way when "the little kid" accidentally runs into a bigger kid's fists a few times.

yeah, i know.. i'm a bad, bad person.. but kids gotta learn their place and be allowed to set up their own hierarchy. i once got a kid to stop picking on me by doing something incredibly simple- he saw me walking along a wall one morning before school and decided he'd have fun by running into me at full speed and slamming me into the wall. i saw him coming, but pretended to not see him.. at the last second, i stopped and took a step back. he hit the wall with a satisfying "thud" and fell to the ground and started crying.. the teacher's aid- who was enjoying a smoke about 20 feet away (this was in 1985, so it was ok)- saw it and turned the other way.. the kid got up and went sulking away- we were good friends a few months later.. 5th graders are weird like that..

As a 10 year old, I was once standing with my back to the local bully, about 10 meters away. I overheard him saying to another kid that he knew karate, he would run up to me and push me down. I pretended not to hear it. I could hear his feet running towards me. At the last moment, I ducked. What followed would have easily qualified him for the olympics. I don't know how far he flew, but I do know that he didn't even touch me and he was very silent afterwards. We were standing on grass so he wasn't hurt.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-19, 09:13 AM
This could well also be a symptom of the school's apparent policy of grouping the kids by scholastic rather than developmental level, without properly educating the teachers in what extra trouble that'll make.
Sticking a kindergartener in a third grade classroom is a recipe for disaster right there unless the teacher is hyper-aware of what's going on.

I expect "Little guy" to be confused about why your son is being coddled by being there unless "Little guy" is another kindergartener and his behavior is being allowed because of his age?

Click Ticker
2011-Oct-19, 05:04 PM
My son is in 4th grade. He's got a kid in class who is trouble. Smaller, very little self control, etc. So far, the school has handled it well.

In kindergarten this was a real distraction to my son. We just keep preaching self control and the only choices my son can control are his own. Don't allow the actions of "a Ted" distract him from his work, etc. It's gotten a lot better. Now we get occasional updates of what "a Ted" is up to - but it doesn't appear to be a constant distraction.

I do credit the school though. They remove him from class and give him cooling off time in the hall or with the principal when he becomes a big distraction.

My son does have the benefit of being a pretty big 4th grader 5 ft and 100 lbs - so there isn't all that much anyone is going to do to him. Kids are typically smart enough not to risk retaliation if they don't see it going well.

nosbig5
2011-Oct-19, 05:24 PM
My kids (3 boys, 13, 11 & 9) hav e fortunately not yet run into these types of problems in school, at least not that we've heard about. Maybe its because they get it out of their system at home trying to beat the ^%&* out of each other. Just like my brother and I used to. Hmmmmm.

Buttercup
2011-Oct-19, 05:26 PM
Wow. :( Wish you the best with this situation.

Makes me glad to have a lazy cat...

Solfe
2011-Oct-19, 07:11 PM
maybe i'm old school here, but maybe the teachers should maybe just happen to be looking the other way when "the little kid" accidentally runs into a bigger kid's fists a few times.

I am totally for this, just don't let be my kids fist.

I have decided to change my warning to "Don't talk to this kid, don't respond and you are grounded for a good long time if you touch him." I will wait until Thursday after school before I call the principal.