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RowanMoonWynd
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27 Jan 2006, 2:42 pm

*Sighs* Here we go again.........bullying. You would think we would know how to handle it by now, but it seems as the kids get older, the bullying gets more intense and personal. My son got into a fight at school yesterday. He was in gym class, and this kid behind him shoved him into the trashcans and knocked him down, so Josh threw his binder at the kid and called him a stupid Puerto Rican 8O so the kid tackled him and started throwing punches. The kid got suspended because he started it, my son got In School Suspension for the rest of the day, plus I got a phone call from the principal with Josh in his office, along with his TSS. Mr. Edwards (the assistant principal) made Josh tell me what happened. Of course Josh thought he was in trouble when he got home, but the only thing he got punished for was the racial slur that he made. I told my son that I was suprised that he didn't get suspended for that, because it is considered a hate crime, but the principal told me he knew Josh was a good kid and that the other boy started it. I do not condone racial slurs in my home, and he has been taught how harmful and hurtful that is to others. He has been through it before with people saying racial things to him, so he knows how it feels. I was still suprised to hear that Josh said it. Now, Josh is afraid of what the boy is going to do to him when he gets back to school. I'm going to call the school a little later and talk with the principal about it. Josh has an abnormal heart valve, and if he is punched or pushed hard enough in the chest, it could be fatal for him and then that kid will really be in some serious trouble. I don't think (I'm hoping it won't) happen, but still these kids are bigger, and the pushing and shoving gets rougher. I just don't know how to help my son cope with it anymore. When I tell him to tell a teacher or other adult, he says he doesn't want to look like a baby and run for help everytime someone gives him a hard time. When I tell him to just try and walk away, he says it makes him look weak and like he is afraid, and then the kids will really have it in for him. I thought things were going better for him this year, because I had not heard of any incidents of him being bullied at school. It turns out he just wasn't saying anything to anyone about it, and then this happened and he told the principal that he just tries to deal with it himself. I talked with him about this yesterday when he got home from school, and it breaks my heart. He kept telling me, "Mom, I'm not strong enough to defend myself and the other kids know it." He said that it's his fault for being weak because he just sits in his room with his video games instead of working out or doing other activities to build his strength. I just wished he could see how special he truly is, and not to be so hard on himself all the time. He has such a low self esteem and he is such a wonderful kid. I just wished that these kids didn't have to put up with bullying. They have a hard enough time trying to deal with things as it is. I feel like the more I try to help my son, the worse it gets for him. He doesn't want me to call and talk to the principal, but they need to be aware of his heart condition. I'm not some paranoid parent who is afraid that every punch thrown at my son is going to be fatal, I just want some awareness that it is a possibility. Am I wrong?



JsMom
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27 Jan 2006, 3:41 pm

I think I would talk with the principal if this were my situation. Your son might not be happy about it for a little while. But if you didn't say anything, you would feel guilty for the rest of your life if something bad happened.


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ster
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28 Jan 2006, 10:44 am

i can sympathize totally with your situation. my son was bullied repeatedly for a long time
( years) before he finally broke down and told us. he, too, didn't want to be perceived as a week tattle-tale. i tried talking to teachers, i tried talking to the asst principal, school psychologist, and principal~ no luck for us :cry: no matter waht son did, he was guilty and the others didn't get in trouble. ( son would always get caught retaliating in some shape or form against the people who wre bullying him, unfortunately the people who bullied him were the popular kids who "couldn't possibly do something like that").............can you tell i'm bitter ??? :wink:
we ended up moving him out of that school and into a therapeutic day school. things have been calmer since he's been there.
i hope for your sake that you can find someone to listen and help your son. good luck!



andrew
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28 Jan 2006, 11:08 pm

litsen. as a person who has had his life ruined (it has been im 16 and it has) i can tell you one thing about the schools:they will try to help, it will provent the violence, it will not protect his feelings. Every measure they make is for their benefit first.



McJeff
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02 Feb 2006, 8:02 pm

I had some problems with bullying during my middle school years. I went to a "model school" - not one where you learn to be a model, but one that is supposed to be the beacon for the school system, the one they count on to pull the county average grades up, etc... it was called Sudbrook Magnet Middle, if there's any Marylanders around you may have heard of it.

When I was middle school age, I was both extremely undersize (I was born prematurely and was physically about 2 years younger than I was chronologically), and rather fat. I was obviously incapable of defending myself, and while the supervision in this school was too tight for any of the physical kind of bullying, I had to put up with non stop streams of verbal abuse. My bullying problems went away when I hit my growth spurt, and became pretty big. I also started getting along with other people, though, and I think that was because I had increased my self confidence knowing that I could physically defend myself.

Have you considered offering your son fighting lessons? Boxing, karate, ju-jitsu... anything that makes him capable of fighting back. Knowing that he isn't helpless should help his self esteem more than anything else, and some of the problems may work themselves out. Tell him that if he'll take the lessons, you'll let him take any style he wants... bullying shouldn't be a problem in the martial arts classes, they teach discipline and that kind of stuff there. There are plenty of teachers out there who would be glad to help a kid who needed to be able to defend himself.

I know that no one really wants their kids getting involved in fighting, but it's always seemed to me once you're able to carry yourself in such a way that you are obviously unworried about bullies, they quit being much of a problem.



ster
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03 Feb 2006, 3:11 pm

Quote:
Have you considered offering your son fighting lessons? Boxing, karate, ju-jitsu... anything that makes him capable of fighting back. Knowing that he isn't helpless should help his self esteem more than anything else, and some of the problems may work themselves out.


i would worry about letting my son take lessons, although he's asked to take lessons ~ his TOM is definitely not developed, and knowing self-defense techniques wouldn't help him discriminate between a real threat and a perceived threat. .....there are so many social interactions that he just simply doesn't understand, that i fear he would use self-defense techniques at TOTALLY inappropriate times. son's psychiatrist, who's a bit flaky, suggested karate and said " the instructors tell the students that they can only use the techniques when they feel threatened"........obviously, if my son feels threatened most of the time, i don't think this would be the way to go.



Aspen
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03 Feb 2006, 4:16 pm

I have not let my daughter have karate lessons for the same reason you have not let your son have them, Ster. I am afraid she would use them at inappropriate times. However she has not been a victim of bullying and I think RowanMoonWynd's son Josh might be able to use the lessons appropriately. I took Shotokan karate lessons after I was the victim of a violent crime, and I have not misused my lessons at all. The first thing I learned in karate class was how to block punches with my arms. Nobody would be able to land a blow to my chest now, and that might be a very useful skill for Josh to learn.

I feel more confident knowing I would be better able to defend myself if I needed to and I feel more powerful, not so defenseless as I did before.

If you do pursue karate lessons for Josh, RowanMoonWynd, you should know we were taught to pull our punches so they barely make contact with the person in case they miss a block, but my forearms were covered in bruises from blocking punches and kicks at first.



egghead
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06 Feb 2006, 4:55 pm

I strongly recommend a martial art. My kids were in Tai Kwan Do, and it does a world of good both for their self esteem and protection. A good studio does full contact with pads; I think it helps because the kids get over the fear of getting hurt and not hurting someone else. Additionally, a good studio teaches emotional restraint in that fighting emotionally decreases your ability to fight effectively.
A friend of mine put it well. He said, "Before [martial arts- in his case Bushido, a mixed art], I was 140#, quiet, shy, and preferred to be alone. Now I am 135#, quiet, shy, and prefer to be alone, and can kick the crap out of anyone who won't let me be that way".
Now, if your kid is a bully, I wouldn't suggest it as your kid will now be a trained bully. But if you child is like mine, quiet, withdrawn, etc., I think it is a good option if you have a good studio.


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egghead
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06 Feb 2006, 6:04 pm

The other thing about a good studio is that it is highly structured, that is, right is right and wrong is wrong. The structure allows for good interplay and educated interaction between individuals. A person generally does not have to tried to read another's body language except in combat/defense, and a good studio will instruct on what to look for.
I do say a good studio, as I have seen bad studios with bully types.


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