Conversation questions: suspension for self defense? how parents teach kids to react to bullies?

Here’s the story. A little skinny kid throws a few punches at a chubby kid before the bigger kid body slams the skinny kid.

Here are a few native speakers talking about the issue. This could serve for language models for your non-native speakers:

1. That bigger kid was probably bullied and teased due to his size for a long time. He is also most likely a pacifist and never stood up for himself.

You absolutely cannot suspend a kid for protecting himself unless the school has ways of doing it. My kids’ schools also have stated that if you try to defend yourself, then you are also guilty and will be punished.

I am tempted to send a registered letter with a copy of that particular communication from the school stating that since my kids are unable to defend themselves, I hold the school 100% responsible for defending them. If anything happens to them while at school (ie harm from another student), then legal action will be taken against the district since the kids are not permitted to defend themselves.

In what world does all of this make sense?

2. I’m fine with the bullied kid getting a school punishment along the lines of “violence is never the answer”, so long as

1) The little bastard got a significantly harsher penalty to send the signal that his actions are what’s the problem; and,

2) The bullied kid’s parents take the proper stance and treat their son to whatever dinner he wants as reward for standing up for himself.

Best of both worlds: school sends the message it should be sending (no fighting, ever) and the kid gets the message he should be getting (defend yourself when you have to).

I also think the bullied kid deserves a lot of credit for simply walking away after that quasi-powerbomb he delivered, instead of exacting further revenge by continuing a (deserved) beatdown. The restraint is admirable: he defended himself, walked away.

3. This is one thing I’ve been crystal clear with my wife about – I will never, NEVER punish my son for standing up for himself. I don’t care what some school administrator says or does. Is he going to protect my son? Hell no, and the kids that go crying to a teacher are the kids that are going to get beat on even more. Bullies are weak and they’re cowards – they go for the easy pickings. A kid who fights back, even if he loses the fight, will be better off for it. My son will not be raised as some kind of half-assed pacifist. He better not start fights, or it’ll be his ass when he gets home, but I’ll be damned if I tell him not to fight back.

Filed Under: Teaching tips

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