Kids fighting & punishment - OT

lamomMay 11, 2010

Since this board is filled with moms, step and birth, I would like some opinions on something involving DS7.

Today he got in to a scuffle on the school bus with two other kids. According to all accounts, the three kids and the bus driver, DS initially tried to break up a fight with the other two kids, got hit, hit back and was punished at school.

DS7 is not a perfect child but fighting is not one of his things. Every time he has been involved in one, which is less than a handful in his little life, the other kids started it (not what overprotective mom thinks but what the kids and adults have always said.)

What would you do? I believe that he got pulled in, got hit and hit back. Do you think his being punished along with the others is fair? If not, would you say something to the school administrator who punished them or just let it go? BTW, both kids apologized to DS when the school bus dropped them off and confirmed the story.

Thanks.

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silversword

What's the punishment?

Honestly I think the lesson is a good one. The kids apologized, which is BIG. I think his "street-cred" may be enhanced if you let it go. That said, I'm sorry!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:21PM
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mom2emall

I know a lot of schools have a policy in place where it does not matter who threw the first punch, if you threw a punch you are in trouble. It stinks for your son, but if that is the rules in place there is not much for you to do about it.

But I do think that is great that your son stepped in to try and help another student. Maybe tell him that next time he should let the bus driver know right away so he stays out of trouble.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:25PM
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finedreams

DD got in trouble once on a school bus, she was attacked by a girl (the same one I ended up filing police reports), and DD tried to defend herself. she was told she must inform an adult and not to defend herself, she got in some kind of trouble along with a girl.. Next time when a girl tried to start fight DD went away and told an adult. eventually we picked her up as to avoid her riding the bus. I would let it go and tell DS to not break a fight but tell an adult.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:30PM
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sweeby

If I considered my DS to be also to blame, I would reinforce the school's punishment with one of my own -- so double-dipped, so to say.
But in your son's case, that doesn't seem to be the case --

Given what you've said happened, if the school's punishment isn't too hard (detention?, essay?), I'd have him 'take it like a man' and tell him privately at home that you respect his desire to break up a fight, but hope he now realizes that it can pull him into trouble as well. After all, he did hit back. Then together, figure out what he should do instead if he ever finds himself in a similar position. The whole point is for DS to learn, right? And so long as he doesn't also get punished at home, I think he can put in into proper (bummer, but not a life-changer) perspective.

Only if the punishment is severe (suspension, expulsion) would I call the school to intervene. There are many parents who are blinded by not my little angel syndrome and who are quick to jump school officials and threaten lawsuits whenever Junior gets 'unfairly' picked on by all those mean and nasty teachers who just don't like him... Those parents get very little respect and find very little cooperation from school officials. The names get around, the teachers do stigmatize the kids, and the kids usually turn into nasty little brats.

I know you're not one of these parents, so please know I'm not even suggesting you are. But always going the extra mile to show DS you're on his team might label you as such. If your DS really is a nice kid, this little incident will quickly fade into obscurity and his good name will be quickly restored.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:32PM
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lamom

The school punishment was to clean up the trash around the lunch area. Not too serious but still noted by the school.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:00PM
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lamom

LOL Sweeby, never my little angel! I did get an e-mail from the school asking for me to call so I did. The policy is like mom2emall said, it doesn't matter who threw the first punch, no hitting is allowed. Only to report incidents to the responsible adult on the scene, in this case the bus driver.

BTW, once DS7 heard me call the school (as requested via e-mail) he volunteered more information, like I said, he's not perfect!! Some of the blows fell after he bragged that he was a Tae Kwon Do black belt, which he is at the little kid level, and the others were only yellow belts. So while he was playing Sir Lancelot, he provoked the other kid at the same time it seems.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:11PM
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justmetoo

Trash pick up is not so bad.

Yeah, throw a punch pay the price is standard here too. We have different penalty for different places. If kids are being disruptive in any way on bus (including screaming, being unduly loud, fighting...verbal even) the kids lose bus. First offense is 3 days, then 5, then 10, then finally rest of school term with school principal being able to increase timing of punshiment to fit seriousness of actual offense.

We're a rural community and route is country highway, anything considered distracting the driver is a big no-no and any child involved in any way pays the penalty.

Fighting on school property, no matter who starts it is a automatic 5 day out of school suspension.

We all have 'perfect little angels' of course, but we gotta let our little angels pay the penalty when they slip up.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:25PM
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ashley1979

It's funny that you called him "Sir Lancelot", because when my DS was that age, he did something similar and I told him "You're not Sir Lancelot and she's not Guinevere!" LOL!

When DS was in K-2nd grades, he had the same little "girlfriend". Cutest little thing ever! Anyway, in 1st grade, there was this bully kid (later became DS' friend, go figure) that was always mean to everyone at recess. One day, he picked on DS' little girlfriend. DS got between them and asked him to leave her alone. When the bully bowed up to him, DS proceeded to punch him in the eye.

LMAO! I'm laughing at how seriously we all took this back then! It seems like such an after-school special now! DS weighed all of 50 lbs. (maybe less) back then. What damage was he really gonna do???

I think his punishment from the school was to miss recess (or something like that). But I handled it a little differently. I did tell him what I said above and that he should've told a teacher what was going on. BUT I told him I was proud of him for sticking up for a girl, and what he did was exactly what he should do in the future when he's older.

I understand and support school's no tolerance policies when it comes to fighting. We never know who to believe...even our own kids. And maybe it will deter them when they are hormonal, emotional teenagers. But school doesn't last forever. Isn't the job of parents to build good charachter in our kids?

I WANT him to feel an obligation to protect women, children, and those that can't defend themselves. There is a shortage of men like that nowadays.

I think your DS did something brave and it shows he's not afraid to get involved when he thinks he can help. What a brave little guy you have!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:05AM
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lovehadley

I don't like the whole "it doesn't matter who threw the first punch" thing and don't really approve of so many schools and districts adopting that policy.

That said...I agree with the others, let it go. Personally, I think your DS was very brave and I like that he stood up for someone. :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 7:22PM
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