Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What would you do: Bullying edition.

I was reading an article in the Kennebec Journal this morning about a child that was constantly being bullied, and one afternoon was choked at recess. When the child’s father learned that the bully received only a two-day suspension and would return to class, he filed an assault charge and pulled his son from the school for safety reasons.

On Maine’s end, parents were outraged. Said he overreacted.
Personally? Not having a child myself, I'm not sure what the punishment should be. Aside from having almost all privileges stripped, chores until he can't see straight and a helluva lot of lectures on right and wrong ...

I think the punishment for choking was far too light.
The school gets put in a difficult position, because they are expected to deal out consequences, but ultimately have to look out for the best interests of both children.
Bullying, in my opinion: falls under the subject of parental responsibility. Children should know what acceptable behavior is; they should know the difference between right and wrong, and frankly, parents need to grow up, step up, and stop trying to be the kid’s friend. The kid has enough friends: what s/he needs is rules, regulations and appropriate consequences.

So what would you have done in the father's position??


  1. If it was a one-time incident, I would say the father overreacted. But since the kid was constantly being bullied, I might have done the same. It's too bad, though, because it sounds like the BULLY should be the one to leave the school. A school needs to be a safe place to learn, and that bully will just pick on someone else. I would have expected the bully to be expelled and sent to an alternative school.

  2. Bullying is a growing problem in schools. I know a lot about this because I am so much older than my youngest sister that I kind of helped raise her. It's not only psychosocially unsettling for the one being bullied, but it's gravely dangerous. There should be a no tolerance rule for this type of behavior. Schools are there to teach, for students to learn; you can't learn when you are so scared that something might happen to you. It's not fair for anyone to be in a hostile learning environment and a lot of times, schools are way to lax about these things because they still have that mentality that kids will be kids. Times are changing, it's not like it was 30 years ago when you and I were kids. Kids are more vicious now.

  3. Choking the kid would count as assault...I say bring in the cops and take that little bastard to juvie hall!

  4. Seriously, only a 2 day suspension... for CHOCKING someone. Absolutely I would get authorities involved. The school should have expelled that kid! If the school wont do anything about it, I would definitely stepped up. Yes, I agree, parents are responsible for their kids actions and should become more of a disciplinary rather than a friend. But, if I enroll my child somewhere, I am trusting that school with my child's well being. If I find out that my he or she is being bullied constantly followed by being chocked, and the school only gives the bully a 2 day suspension - basically a slap on the wrist - I would be outraged. That is unacceptable. What happened to the no tolerance rule they had in place when I was in high school?

  5. I don't think he overreacted..I am not sure if I would react similarly, but at the same time, I am a lawyer and there is a good chance I would make use of my and my children's rights. Either way though, I can't blame him for his reaction. These days kids aren't the same kids as they were when we grew up, I feel. Kids have more potential to be a lot more dangerous these days than I remember my classmates to have been back in the day. That requires more drastic measures. Also, a more drastic measure may actually draw more of the parental attention to the child and its raising. I am not sure that all parents - especially those who neglect their children for the most part - would pay much attention to a small punishment such as what the kid received. I believe, a more drastic measure could cause them to feel forced to pay more attention to their child and its wrongdoings.

  6. Schools are terrible with discipline lately. Working in one, I get outraged by how little punishment kids get. However, if the school tries to give the student a harsher punishment, the parents go to the school board who insists that the principal lighten the sentence. Its sad, but schools are run by the parents a lot more than people think.