Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken or the egg?

Long story short... the boy that caused enough stress for Dominic to drop out of Math Olympiad?  He walked up to a football game at recess, and popped a child's ball.

Dominic?  Oh- he tackled him.  Football style.

Let me interrupt here to tell you I have received so many "awesome" and "way to go Dominic" messages from parents that were just waiting for that child to get what's coming!

So of course, Dominic was taken to the Principal's office, got another behavior slip, and missed a day of recess. 

Let me just get this straight.  My son defended a friend that was wronged.  My son didn't let a bully well, bully.  My son took full responsibility and was completely honest.  In my parenting handbook, he's doing all the things that make me proud.  So what are we teaching these kids?

Talking with a friend today, I made a connection I hadn't noticed before.  I was aware that as kids get older, the problems get tougher.  I have also noticed that our school seems to be in a bit of a crisis lately.  What I hadn't noticed was the complicated bully formula that educators are not handling correctly.

Bully is the ten dollar word of this decade.  The problem is children are being bullied, but not receiving any tools to handle it.  There is no bully education.  They haven't formed a task team or parent group to discuss the problem.  The same children keep causing the problems, getting a slap on the wrist, and we actually expect that to change them?

Enter the other children.  The victims.  Given no information or tools to handle a bully, they are taking it into their own hands to handle.  And safe to say however they handle it, they will get in trouble. 

My son flipped off a child.  I get that it was wrong.  He learned from the experience.  What was not adequately assessed is why my son was so angry with the other child.  He had his reasons.

My son stood up to a child that was already pretty ticked off at my son.  A child that had already caused problems in their personal relationship.  A child that regularly picks on other kids.

My son, with courage, put a stop to it.

So again, to sum it up, this is a chicken and egg situation.  If we educated children and took the time to change the status quo, perhaps his intervention would never happen.  Teaching children tools to handle these situations is surely something that will stop the bullies in their tracks, and enable bullied children to cope.  Cope within the accepted behavior.

The way they're doing it now?  Seems pretty ass-backwards to me.

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