How would the peas handle this school bully situation?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 2/1/2013 by Wrong Way Feldman in NSBR Board
1 2 >
 

Wrong Way Feldman
BucketHead

PeaNut 138,960
March 2004
Posts: 916
Layouts: 60

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:32:26 PM
A good friend called me today and told me the following account of what happened at her 13 yo old son's middle school today, and I'm curious what kind of advice you may have for her...

"Jared" was in line in gym class, sitting against the wall, along with over 50 other kids, all in alphabetical order, waiting to be dismissed from gym into the locker room at the end of class. He was talking with a friend on one side of him, when another student on his other side rudely asks Jared if he's gay. Jared responds by saying something like, "I don't know what you're talking about." The kid continues to harass Jared, saying, "You ARE gay," and "You're a little bitch, aren't you?" Jared ignores the first few comments, then finally turns to him and tells him, "You think you sound really cool, but you don't. Leave me alone." Then the kid stands up, moves in front of Jared, towering over him on the floor, and says, "Shut up, you little bitch." and "What are you going to do about it?" This happens for about a half a minute, when the teacher calls out for the whole group to stand up and head into the locker room. At this point, the kid is behind Jared in line, walking, still antagonizing him, and eventually the kid pushes Jared in the back, causing him to fall forward a bit into his friend in front of him. Jared turns around and tells the kid to not put his hands on him again, and the kid continues to use profanity and threatening language. The line is still moving, and the kid shoves Jared a second time, and Jared responds the same way. Finally, ,the kid shoves Jared a third time and Jared falls into a stack of folding chairs that are against the wall. When he falls, he is turned out toward the kid, and almost on the floor, against the pile of chairs. The kid then knees Jared in the groin, at which point Jared flies up and punches the kid in the eye. FINALLY the teacher comes over and grabs both boys by the arm. He asks what happened, and immediately notices the kid's swollen eye. Without even asking if Jared is okay, he hauls Jared to the office and the other kid to the nurse for an ice pack. Jared is made to go into a room and write out what happened while his parents are called. When he's done, he is escorted to his locker to get his things and then to the main hall to wait for his dad to pick him up.

At this point, they don't know what is happening with the other kid, but Jared is immediately expelled from school for 3 days. They never once asked Jared if he was okay, but when they read his statement, they did review a video of the gym, and his story checks out exactly like he reported the incident. They have a zero tolerance for hitting, so no matter what else happened, Jared is going to be expelled for 3 days.

I would be furious! I would like to know at which point in this bullying scenario he was supposed to excuse himself to go and get the teacher. I can't understand why the profanity and threatening behavior are not looked at the same way hitting is. Those words and intimidating behaviors are JUST as damaging and scary as a fist, in my opinion. They are meeting with the principal on Mon or Tues, but I wanted to get some opinions as to what to offer her in the way of advice when she meets with them.

What would you want to see happen?


Michele

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:39:17 PM
Maybe this isn't a popular answer but I think Jared did exactly what he should have. He tried to diffuse it with words. He stood up for himself. But the SOB persisted. When he took it too far, he let the other kid know he wasn't going to take it.

Jared should not have been expelled. No way. No how.

AND I maintain that the only way to put a stop to the SOB behaviors are to empower the eyewitnesses to try to intervene by telling the SOB to stop and that someone should run and get help. You can't expect a victim to manage the bully and get help at the same time.



OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




BudgetMama
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 138,670
March 2004
Posts: 2,316
Layouts: 2
Loc: Oregon

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:41:27 PM
I don't understand zero tolerance towards a bully victim. If my kid defended him/herself in such a way, and was suspended, I would probably take her to Disneyland or something. gaaaa!

nicolequinn
Sick of Snow

PeaNut 41,352
June 2002
Posts: 6,048
Layouts: 0
Loc: Canada

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:42:49 PM
This is ME only talking as a parent of a 13-yo, 7th grade boy.

I would accept the 3-day suspension. Policy clearly dictates that it doesn't matter what the reason is, he is suspended. It is complete CRAP that the victims of bullies can be caused this kind of punishment, but my kid was made to read this policy and sign a letter at the beginning of the year.

I would be in complete support of my son punching bully kid. He would receive no repercussions at home. Especially since the video showed he was telling it exactly like it happened.

I would IMMEDIATELY file a police report for assault against bully. He was physically assaulted and this kid needs to be punished for it further than what the school can usually do.

I would have a meeting with the principal and gym teacher asking them what they plan to do. My kid was verbally and physically assaulted by a bully (who probably has done this before). And then I'd wait for them to respond.
Depending on if I know if this kid is a "known bully" or incidents like this have happened before, I would ask that even though my kid isn't allowed to be at school, can he still do make-up work. If the school hasn't done their part of the Bullying Policy to keep kids safe from a known bully/troublemaker, I think this is only fair.

After that... I'm not sure. Probably be really pissed about it for several days that my kid was being held out of school and then we'd move forward.

But you can bet I'd be very supportive of my son defending himself.

I'm sorry your friend's son is in this situation.



Fraidyscrapper
She calls me a Fun Sucker

PeaNut 38,100
May 2002
Posts: 13,400
Layouts: 0
Loc: Jersey Strong

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:59:25 PM
I would agree with the police report, and I am saying that as the parent of a child who was physically assaulted at school last year.

I would also ask the administrator your question: At what point your son should have done something different. I would also ask some pointed questions about teacher supervision in this scenario. I do not think I would lightly accept the suspension. These "demmocratic" punishments cheese me off.


"The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." - Robert F. Kennedy

KittenOnTheKeys
PeaFixture

PeaNut 498,237
February 2011
Posts: 3,407
Layouts: 0
Loc: SW

Posted: 2/1/2013 1:59:28 PM
Jared behaved exactly how I teach my kids to behave.

If the bully did not get the same, I would be somewhere - lawyer, police, TV, I don't know. After viewing the video and still punishing the victim, I would know I'm dealing with idiots.

In the mean time, on his 3 days out, my kid would be rewarded the whole time.



batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:00:10 PM

I would be in complete support of my son punching bully kid. He would receive no repercussions at home. Especially since the video showed he was telling it exactly like it happened.

I would IMMEDIATELY file a police report for assault against bully. He was physically assaulted and this kid needs to be punished for it further than what the school can usually do.

I would have a meeting with the principal and gym teacher asking them what they plan to do.


ITA with all of this and this is what we did when it came up in our case, when DS was 7th grade. School was supportive and thank goodness they think with their heads. Though it was not AS severe as it was in the OP though we did have some hate speech thrown in for good measure and corroborating witnesses and video proof, like the OP. Kid also rode the bus with DS, got off at our bus stop, lives on our block and mother made excuses. Fun times.

ETA: Fraidy makes a good point. I wouldn't sit there and take that suspension. My child is missing 3 days of his EDUCATION, why he is in SCHOOL in the first place, when if there was adequate supervision over 50 children, he wouldn't have to fend off the physical aggression of a bully? Really???


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Mary Kay Lady
I'm thinking . . .

PeaNut 367,913
March 2008
Posts: 5,353
Layouts: 0
Loc: The state of Confusion!

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:07:52 PM

This zero tolerance thing has gone too far. This situation is an example of what I refer to as "the law of seconds." The instigator doesn't get caught but the other child involved does and takes most of the blame for it.

That said, I agree with the previous posters about how to handle the situation.

The hands of the principal are tied. She/he has to inforce the zero tolerance policy. The parents do have the right to take it up with the school board.

I understand that zero tolerance means zero, but at some point common sense needs to come into the equation. No reasonalbe adult would have handled the situation any differently.

I think that the parents of the boy who was being bullied should be very proud of their son. He demonstrated maturity and self-control in a hostile and very awkward situation. I only hope that if either of my sons are in a similar situation they are able to handle themselves in the same manner.


nicolequinn
Sick of Snow

PeaNut 41,352
June 2002
Posts: 6,048
Layouts: 0
Loc: Canada

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:08:19 PM
Ya know... I've been thinking about this for a little bit.

I wrote above that I would accept the suspension.... upon reflection I'm not so sure I would. Batya makes a good point... he is missing 3 days of education.

I'm getting all worked up for your friend's son!!
I hope it turns out okay.

I guess this is one reason why it is good to think about things before you react because upon reflection usually your opinions can change and it is good to not have done something you regret!



Fraidyscrapper
She calls me a Fun Sucker

PeaNut 38,100
May 2002
Posts: 13,400
Layouts: 0
Loc: Jersey Strong

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:08:28 PM
Exactly, Batya. I am a teacher. Stuff goes down, and you can't be everywhere at all times. But A) this went on for a WHILE, and I don't give a shit how hard it is to be a teacher when it's MY KID. I can be all reasonable and the like in a meeting until they exhaust their "professional mode" buttons and I go mama bear. Then they better look the hell out. I know school law and procedure, AND you touched my baby.





Sorry. I still have a lot of anger over last year.

Don't let this happen to you, OP. Deal with this ish now.


"The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." - Robert F. Kennedy

Paisleys Garden
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 464,263
April 2010
Posts: 2,860
Layouts: 8
Loc: MinneSNOWta

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:09:29 PM
My daughter was in the same sort of situation when she was 15 (almost 20 years ago)--she was antagonized, she ignored it and ignored it until she was physically attacked and then she fought back. She got 3 days suspension. The other girl didn't even go to the same school and should not have been on the property. The really stupid part is that the VP watched the WHOLE thing.


ETA Wish I would have thought of calling the police.

mtomseth
PeaFixture

PeaNut 191,190
February 2005
Posts: 3,788
Layouts: 0
Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:10:44 PM
People have the right to defend themselves. It sounds like Jared made every effort to diffuse and deflect the bully, to no avail and then did what he had to do to protect himself. He responded with physical proportional force, of that which he was receiving from the bully. And because he stood up for himself he probably will not get harassed by the jerk again anytime soon.

This is why zero tolerance rules are baloney. Jared did nothing wrong. He was defending himself.

AnonPeaName
BucketHead

PeaNut 570,169
October 2012
Posts: 918
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:10:48 PM
What Batya said!

Something similar happened here and teachers made sure friend's kid wrote everything down. They knew what a stinker the bully was.

Please educate me about police report. Won't this come back on Jared since he gave kid a black eye?

raindancer
Capt. Sparrow's Pirate Wench

PeaNut 217,886
August 2005
Posts: 16,512
Layouts: 44

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:11:53 PM
I agree with Nicole Quinn all of those suggestions are what I would do as well.


~Heidi~



"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both."
Uploaded with iPhone client

Luvspaper
PeaFixture

PeaNut 24,564
November 2001
Posts: 3,968
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:12:20 PM
You've gotten really good advice above. I just wanted to add that you should be proud of how your son handled it! And I would speak with the school about allowing him to do his missed work at home.

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:13:52 PM
Anon-what you want to do, is start a paper trail on the bully if anything ever happens to Jared or anyone else as a result of this child's actions. They have the video and the witnesses/school report saying that Jared was defending himself. That's why I went to the police in my town. I wanted the child, the school and the parents on alert, to know I was not messing around and that this wasn't an 'incident.' It was a first offense. Do it again and you start to form a pattern of behavior.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




beachgurl
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 288,459
December 2006
Posts: 6,858
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:17:09 PM
Your post asked what we would want to see happen...well, I'd like to see the situation played out again but with the principal standing in where your son was, with exactly the same things happening, and see how well he took to being treated that way and then kneed. I'm doubting that little fantasy would ever happen.

I'd complain to the school admins, but fully expect for there to be no change, so I'd have my back-up Disney plan in the works. I wish I could believe that school administrators would appraise the situation and respond appropriately, but I believe they have made it clear that they are not interested in anything like that with their zero-tolerance policy. Zero-tolerance policies sound good, but seem to usually mean "we don't want to have to bother investigating a situation and then respond appropriately".




angela1422
Trying to find Narnia

PeaNut 312,012
April 2007
Posts: 8,946
Layouts: 9

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:17:19 PM
Well, it wasn't technically a bully situation.

There are three ABC's that make up a bullying situation:

A- Aggression
B- imBalance of Power
C- Continuous

All three must be present for it to be a bullying situation - this was a conflict, because Jared was able to defend himself quite well against the aggressor.





"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in command!"



Sometimes I wonder if God made stupid people purely for the entertainment of the rest of us.

moodyblue
PeaAddict

PeaNut 346,032
November 2007
Posts: 1,956
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:20:25 PM

AND I maintain that the only way to put a stop to the SOB behaviors are to empower the eyewitnesses to try to intervene by telling the SOB to stop and that someone should run and get help. You can't expect a victim to manage the bully and get help at the same time.


This needs to be repeated!

AnonPeaName
BucketHead

PeaNut 570,169
October 2012
Posts: 918
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:25:06 PM
Thanks Batya, makes total sense now!

justbecause
Useless Information

PeaNut 249,087
February 2006
Posts: 5,087
Layouts: 1

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:31:02 PM
First of all, he wasn't expelled. He was suspended. Expelled usually means kicked out of school permnantly or at least the rest of the school year. Suspension is usually shorter, anywhere from one day to a week.

Secondly, I think Jared did exactly what he should've done. He tried to ignore it, tried to stop it by talking first, and then when push came to shove, he showed he wasn't going to stand for it. One push that makes him stumble is small but pushing him into a pile of chairs is WAY over the line and that kid should've been suspended too. Especially if they reviewed the video. Do you know if they suspended the other kid for the pushing. After all, he started it. If not, I would be that Mom and push for a punishment for that kid.



Basket1lady
AncestralPea

PeaNut 465,906
April 2010
Posts: 4,047
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:41:16 PM
It's always gym class. Lordy, I'm so glad DS is in his last year of gym.

Although my guy was assaulted in French class. There was a sub, it was the last day of school, and witnesses testified, "what are they going to do with me. It's the last day of school." DS was pushed, fell down, and was hit twice with a chair.

Because DS did not hit back, he was not suspended. And witnesses supported his statement. We did file criminal charges against the other kid. The school reports an "incidence of violence" differently for criminal charges, so we chose to file them.

I would fight it. We've talked to DS about defending himself and have told him if he feels his life is in danger, to protect himself. He is a black belt and he knows how to take someone down.

It makes me so angry. The teachers can't control these brats, but our minor children are expected to diffuse the problem. Really???


Michelle
Uploaded with iPhone client

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:42:37 PM

Really? Because jr high students watching someone being bullied have no fear they will be next on the list of the bullied? And there's always someone standing nearby with the guts to either run to the teacher or tell the creep to stop? and schools have somehow NOT empowered kids who are so inclined to do those things? How long has it been since you were in jr high?


Yes! Really! I have spoken to psychologists who specialize in middle school and bullying. I have gone to events that single out such situations and teach that THIS is what will make the biggest change in the bully culture.

They don't have the guts b/c they have not been taught. B/c parents like you don't give them the credit. And throw up their hands and say no one can. No one will. They don't have the guts. You're resigned. I'm not. Kids can do it. I will raise confident kids with the will to do right and they my not do it every time but even if it makes an impression and they can help one child one time? Worth it.

Schools and parents have to be partners to teach and remind and empower. B/c kids and evidently adults are not naturally made to react in such a way, it needs to be impressed upon them that the bully reacts to strength in numbers and only acts the way he does b/c he counts on people being too intimidated by his routine to do anything about it. Some simple teaching, reinforcement and support over time can change the tide.

I teach my kids that they should stand up for the underdog. That if they see something that's wrong that they should tell the jerk to stop. Or get a trusted adult who can. If it's not natural, we have to work at it. It's worth it.

How long has it been since you believed someone else beside you knew the answers? And I have a middle schooler right now. So it's been just a week since I have been in the Jr. High schl thankyouverymuch.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




nicolequinn
Sick of Snow

PeaNut 41,352
June 2002
Posts: 6,048
Layouts: 0
Loc: Canada

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:43:14 PM
Not to be rude to you, Angela, but who makes this stuff up?

There are three ABC's that make up a bullying situation:

A- Aggression
B- imBalance of Power
C- Continuous

All three must be present for it to be a bullying situation - this was a conflict, because Jared was able to defend himself quite well against the aggressor.


I thought a bully is anyone who uses physical, verbal or emotional means to intimidate or "browbeat" another individual.
Repeatedly calling someone gay, pushing and shoving when asked to stop is a bully. Whether it happens once or over time.
Without knowing this kid, I'm sure that this isn't his first offense... a 7th grader just doesn't one day decide he's going to pick on another kid calling him ugly names and physically assaulting him.

Seriously, our community as a whole has gotten so lax. 30 years ago when I was in middle school, if someone did decide they wanted to bully others, usually they got taken out to the back corner of the school by a few peers and got the sh$t beaten out of them. And miraculously, it stopped! But then again, there just wasn't the same kind of problems because other kids, adults, administrators, teachers, etc, had NO tolerance. At least where I grew up.

There are no consequences anymore. Bullies know they can get away with it... girls and boys.
They get sat down and "told" of their indiscretions. It is shameful the way criminals, bullies, aggressors, etc., have MORE rights than the victims.

Soapbox over.



batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:45:59 PM
Angela, you don't know that there was no imbalance of power. This kid may have been bigger, more popular therefore less likely to have been reported or stopped. There are a number of ways the power may have been shifted.

And just b/c we have a snapshot of one incident, it doesn't mean and it's most likely that this was not the first time this kid picked at Jared. Something like this hardly happens in a vacuum. I know it didn't with my DS. That's when it hit its peak. Like this. I'd be curious to find out from the OP if her friend's DS was never picked at by this kid before this incident.



OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Annabella
Leads a Charmed Life

PeaNut 43,843
July 2002
Posts: 43,806
Layouts: 46
Loc: East Coast

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:47:35 PM

I would IMMEDIATELY file a police report for assault against bully. He was physically assaulted and this kid needs to be punished for it further than what the school can usually do.



What would the police do to a 7th grader for this? Does the school welcome police involvement in matters like these?




writermom1
Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
Posts: 22,729
Layouts: 66
Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:48:04 PM
I think this is why Zero Tolerance Is the lazy way out.

If Jared were mine he'd have he best three day expulsions ever. There would be ice cream and videos and good times ...

I would also want the school to answer where the adult supervision was during this protracted effort to provoke a fight? If the victim cannot defend himself then they best have adequate monitoring in place to do so.

Also, what's the point of the camera if not to find or absolve guilt? If everyone is guilty why bother?



Uploaded with iPhone client

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:49:22 PM
The police have a juvenile division and the school was perfectly fine with the police being brought in, in my case. It creates a paper trail as explained above. If you will be in school with this person for the next 5-6 years, it's prudent to involve the police.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




PghScrapper
Waiting for Godot

PeaNut 210,270
June 2005
Posts: 11,048
Layouts: 47
Loc: Back in the 'Burgh

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:49:57 PM
Jared did what I taught my son to do. And I agree, that defending oneself should not result in punishment.

It's been 10+ years since something similar happened to my son at school, only in his case, it was during the walk home. A kid in the neighborhood had been tormenting him for weeks as they all walked home from school. One day he started throwing stuff at my son (and only my son). DS decided enough was enough and leveled the kid with one punch, came home and told me about it right away.

I called the kid's mom and told her what happened and added, in no uncertain terms, that if her son came within a block of my kid ever again, I was going to file criminal harassment charges. The next morning I was in the principals office and told him what happened, and that I expected the school to be proactive in protecting my son. I also told him that if he defended himself again and they tried to suspend him, I'd have every news outlet in the city of Pittsburgh on his doorstep at 7:30 the next morning.

Never had a problem with any of them ever again.


-----------------------------------------
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Hol-meister
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 274,252
August 2006
Posts: 2,180
Layouts: 0
Loc: Back in Eastern WA

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:51:42 PM
My DS had a similar situation. Not as severe though. These 2 kids kept antagonizing my DS, he finally had enough, slammed one kid into the lockers and walked away. Other kid kept it up so DS took ahold of him and put him into the locker and punched him a few times in the face then walked away. DS is not a fighter at all. At the time he was about 5'6" and 130 lbs. he just had enough. He ended up with a 1 day suspension. I believe the other 2 got detention since they didn't actually touch him but were antagonizing him. Their parents were very supportive of the situation and felt their sons were wrong and didn't blame my son for doing what he did. it was all on tape so it was hard to refute. My DS never had a problem with them again.

We did have a talk about him using violence to end the problem. We have always told him to defend yourself. I didn't think that what these boys did really warranted what my son did back, he could have tried talking it out. But I found out after the fact that the one he hit he had been having underlying issues with for awhile and it just all came to a head. I do know it solved the problem and he hasn't hit anyone else since then. So in our case, that one day suspension was worth it.


Holly

WingNut
Best Cat Evahhh!

PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
Posts: 14,031
Layouts: 200
Loc: Maryland

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:52:48 PM
A nearly identical thing happened to my son in September. Also happened in gym, also wasn't not noticed until my son defended himself. Because the other child as well as witnesses confirmed my son's version of accounts, my son was only suspended on day while the other child (the instigator) was suspended for 2 or 3 days.

As an aside, the day this happened I was already under a great deal of stress: 43 yr old neighbor died in his home of a heartache in the early morning hours, I rec'd an email that long time friend had succumbed to her battle with cancer and I was already scheduled to attend the viewing of the mother of my daughter's friend (who also died of cancer) that evening. I was picking my son up early for a counseling appointment (thank goodness!). I was asked to meet with one of the vice principals when I got there.

The school had no discretion with regards to suspending or not suspending my son. The only thing they could do is just give him one day versus more. Their hands were tied because of the way "no tolerance" rules are designed.

My son has a history of being bullied. Interestingly enough, the argument he had that day was also about whether he was gay or not. My son's counselor applauded my son for standing up for himself. He bluntly told me to NOT punish my son any further and if anything, let him have a day to do as he wanted. I also learned that my son would not be barred from making any work/tests up that he missed during his suspension. He was suspended on a Friday so he had a 3 day weekend.

I took the opportunity to talk with his case manager at school. I expressed my frustration and let them know that another incident like this would likely be followed up with a police report of physical assault at a minimum. I wanted the word to get out that we were NOT going to just let things happen to our son anymore and if the school couldn't do more, then we would.

As it turns out, my son's defending himself seems to have brought about a change in attitude toward him. He's not Mr. Popular or anything now, but it seems the outright attacks have been minimized by this incident.

I wish your friend and her son well. It sucks to be in this situation with your child. Really, really sucks.


Joy


WillowJane
Running the Marathon, Not the Sprint

PeaNut 110,589
October 2003
Posts: 7,062
Layouts: 8
Loc: Texas

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:55:22 PM
I am not a fan of zero-tolerance policies for situations exactly like this.

DH and I have always told our children if any other child at school ever touches them in an in appropriate place, forcefully hits or kicks them, or any other act of bullying that does not cease, they have our full permission to stand up for themselves by hitting back. We have also warned them they will very likely get in trouble at school. If they do get in trouble at school they only thing they are to say is "I need to call my Dad."

With that said, school personnel know our kids are not troublemakers. They know we stand by school personnel when our kids do something wrong/don't follow the rules. We are fair, but we are also for what is right and bullying is not right.

If it were my son, I would start advocating with the school board for a change to the policy. It may not fix the 3-day suspension, but your actions will pave a better way for other innocent kids in the future.

dreamerpea
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 211,290
June 2005
Posts: 7,048
Layouts: 0
Loc: somewhere dreaming

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:57:22 PM
I'd take Jared to Disneyland.




WingNut
Best Cat Evahhh!

PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
Posts: 14,031
Layouts: 200
Loc: Maryland

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:58:56 PM

What would the police do to a 7th grader for this? Does the school welcome police involvement in matters like these


I don't give a flying fig what the school would "welcome" when it comes to MY kid being assaulted.

We would NEVER stop to end a similar event from happening in a work environment. School is our children's work environment. We wouldn't allow it it happened to us and there's no reason our kids should have to put up with it either. While I don't expect a whole lot to happen as a result of forcing police involvment by filing a report, the paper trail will support MY son if/when future incidents occur. My son's counslor is very serious about keeping my son's school file "clean" of such things being laid at HIS feet because it could very well be used against him in the future.



Joy


Darcy_Collins
PeaFixture

PeaNut 514,615
July 2011
Posts: 3,028
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 2:59:30 PM
I think zero tolerance laws would be more aptly named zero brain laws. My children have been encouraged to defend themselves, and any school policy that would punish a kid for using self defense would be vigorously challenged.

I would probably accept the punishment if my son had hit a kid VERBALLY abusing him - but the second he put his hands on him - no way.

hop2
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 43,893
July 2002
Posts: 5,985
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:01:10 PM
As the mother of a 14 yo boy, Who goes to a zero tolerance school, I'm sure my DS would be be suspended and I would have nothing to say about it. However, I would also be sure that 2 things happened as well.

1 I would force the school to have a bullying investigation the things the other boy said ( gay bitch etc ) are specific triggers for a mandatory bullying investigation in my state due to the new bullying law.

2I would want the school to look at the policies that contributed to the situation going on for so long before the teacher stepped in. In my opinion the teacher should have been able to notice the issue when the other boy stood up and towered over 'Jared' either the PE teacher isn't attentive enough or is over burdened with too many students to manage safely at one time or whatever. That the other boy got to shove Jared 3 seperate times and knee him in the grion AFTER the other boy had already escalated the situation means something went wrong in the gymnasium to allow it to progress so far.

When all is said and done I would expect a plan from the school to protect my child from HAVING to defend himself again.

I would not punish my child if the scenario given was proved to be the truth ( you mentioned the video ) he's been punished enough for it already.

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:10:51 PM
It is the primary thing that will overpower bullies. No one is with kids more than kids. We can't expect that at this age adults will constantly be watching them. And we know the bullies stop and start knowing how to hide the behaviors.

You have a defeatist attitude. I do not. I think we can take these kids and in league with better discipline, deterrents and supervision, use their own power to quash bullying. It's not going to happen overnight. And certainly not with people like you resigning themselves to a world where school=bullyfests.

It is the only thing that will be able to stop it once and for all. B/c the bullies know that they wield the power of intimidation. Until we shift the power, and all you need is that first confident kid to stand up and say 'shove it--don't talk to him like that you're being a jerk' and the others who want to say the same, but were afraid will follow suit, nothing will wholly stop it. Zero tolerance isn't working? Is it?

As to being in a jr high, I was just answering your ridiculously condescending question with an equally ridiculous answer.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




writermom1
Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
Posts: 22,729
Layouts: 66
Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:15:47 PM
I believe in first trying to defend verbally. My DS did this just this week with excellent results.

It doesn't always work however.

If the situation escalates then my kids know to defend themselves, each other, and any smaller child who needs it. Frankly, you can get suspended for fighting back or get beat up and be home injured right?

They better never start a fight but I have no problem with them defending themselves.

Our school teaches the Alveus (sp?) system which features other students disarming the bully and gathering in defense of the victim if I understand it.

My daughter has used it to defend a friend - a girl that outweighed her by a good 30 pounds - and her friend did the same for her another time.




Uploaded with iPhone client

Fireflyy
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 409,118
January 2009
Posts: 2,840
Layouts: 0
Loc: NC

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:28:26 PM
Wow, this makes my blood boil for Jared. I agree with Darcy that zero tolerance = zero brain (just like politically correct = politically stupid). I would be furious if my child were punished for defending himself.

Kudos to Jared.

AussieMeg
How about you, Lash LaRue?

PeaNut 51,689
October 2002
Posts: 7,646
Layouts: 16
Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:42:38 PM
I agree with a lot of has been written here, and good on Jared for sticking up for himself!

But I would not file a police report for assault. After all, Jared PUNCHED the other guy, while the bully 'only' pushed Jared. I would worry that Jared would also face assault charges if they go down that path.

hop2
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 43,893
July 2002
Posts: 5,985
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:50:13 PM

There are three ABC's that make up a bullying situation:

A- Aggression
B- imBalance of Power
C- Continuous

All three must be present for it to be a bullying situation - this was a conflict, because Jared was able to defend himself quite well against the aggressor.


That depends on where you live. In NJ bullying is legally defined and can include a single incident, a fact I am happy about. Who needs this to happen multiple times before you can take action.


New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Right’s defines HIB as follows:
"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L.2010, c.122 (C.18A:37-15.3), that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school


Just know that in some places 'bullying' may consist of a single occurrence.

Christine58
pea'rific teacher Union President

PeaNut 164,125
August 2004
Posts: 23,611
Layouts: 0
Loc: Western NY

Posted: 2/1/2013 3:55:45 PM
Just an FYI...if they file police charges, I would bet that the other parents do also. Right or wrong this kid punched another kid. I would ask to see the school policy on bullying. Was Jared bullied...yes he was.

What consequence did the other kid get??



Some people only dream of angels, I have held one in my arms.





Enough
PeaAddict

PeaNut 553,030
April 2012
Posts: 1,836
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:23:42 PM

If the victim cannot defend himself then they best have adequate monitoring in place to do so.

Also, what's the point of the camera if not to find or absolve guilt? If everyone is guilty why bother?


Very good points.

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:32:19 PM

But I would not file a police report for assault. After all, Jared PUNCHED the other guy, while the bully 'only' pushed Jared. I would worry that Jared would also face assault


No Meg. The other boy is the one who kneed Jared in the groin while he was down. And THEN Jared punched him.

Often, the aggressor is in other kinds of trouble (very often these incidents are not the first time) and the parents do no want to call attention to their child or press any types of charges. At least that was the case with my DS's 'bully' who had been making verbal taunts for quite awhile before it escalated.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Maryland
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 87,597
May 2003
Posts: 10,659
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:42:55 PM
Wouldn't he be suspended, not expelled? I thought expelled meant that you can't go back to the school, but suspended was just for a few days.

I can't believe a middle school boy would have treated him like that. I thought it was the girls that did that kind of thing. If I was his parent I would be furious! He should not be in trouble at all. He was defending himself. What, is he supposed to sit there and get beat up. The other kids should be in a lot of trouble. I would also go to the police about that other boy. Hate crime!

Shih Tzu Mommy
Million dollar camera, 10 dollar lock!

PeaNut 224,352
September 2005
Posts: 23,842
Layouts: 0
Loc: Right here

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:48:54 PM

Maybe this isn't a popular answer but I think Jared did exactly what he should have. He tried to diffuse it with words. He stood up for himself. But the SOB persisted. When he took it too far, he let the other kid know he wasn't going to take it.

Jared should not have been expelled. No way. No how.

AND I maintain that the only way to put a stop to the SOB behaviors are to empower the eyewitnesses to try to intervene by telling the SOB to stop and that someone should run and get help. You can't expect a victim to manage the bully and get help at the same time.

I agree with this, however I have told my kids to pipe up. They can respond once and that is it. Then they are to call out for the teacher because of these types of asshole bullies that will take it to a level kids might not expect and then the victim is punished, too.




Dog people are a special breed!

LippyMans
I like pizza Steve

PeaNut 28,105
January 2002
Posts: 15,063
Layouts: 0
Loc: West Jordan UT

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:48:58 PM
I would ask the principal how HE would react if someone punched him in the junk! I do not understand why schools think kids should have to put up with physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The whole "use your words" doesn't work for most situations. Bullies escalate until they are knocked back into place. Handling them with kid gloves only makes the situation worse. It is beyond ridiculous that schools have a zero tolerance situation. Everyone has a right to defend themselves when someone gets physical towards them.

I tell my kids you are not to use violence as a first response. But damned straight you have a right to defend yourself. Especially if someone is touching you in your private parts!

ashazamm
PeaAddict

PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
Posts: 1,053
Layouts: 18
Loc: NY

Posted: 2/1/2013 4:57:49 PM
I wouldn't fight the punishment and be proud of my son for defending himself.

Judy26
BucketHead

PeaNut 32,327
March 2002
Posts: 685
Layouts: 9

Posted: 2/1/2013 6:50:11 PM
I just wanted to chime in and say that teaching kids to stick up for others who are being bullied can work. My son went through our district's anti-bullying program and we have always taught our kids that if you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem.

A month or so ago I was called in to our Superintendent's office. He shared with me something that had happened during lunch at the high school. Three special education students were eating and some other students started saying rude things to them, throwing grapes at them, and just plain making their lunch time miserable.

My son (who is athletic and quite well liked) saw what was going on. He went over to the three boys and asked them to join his group of friends. They did so happily. My son and his friends became their protectors from then on and no one would dare say anything cruel to those sweet boys after that.

The Superintendent heard the story from one of the parent's of the boys and wanted to share it with me. When I asked my son about it, he said it was no big deal. It was just the right thing to do. I think that the program taught in school helped give my son the tools he needed to make the right decision about how to help the bullied students. Anti Bullying Programs aren't the only solution but they can be a useful tool to help resolve these types of problems.

batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,820
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 2/1/2013 6:52:22 PM
Judy, that's great! TFS. That should be the norm, not the anomaly. And of course you know, your DS is just wonderful.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.



1 2 >
Post Reply . Post New TopicShow/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
Hide
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}