David Codrea blogs about today’s gun rights column. In the column, he writes about a 9 year old child, who is subject to repeated bullying and is suspended for defending himself.
I had a similar experience when my son was in the third grade. He was a very active young man, playing tackle football in a junior league. One day, they were out at recess playing soccer, when a 5th grade boy became angry because my son accidentally kicked the ball into his own goal. The bully sat on top of my son and punched him several times. He went to a teacher, and the teacher said she would not do anything about it. When my son came home that day and told me about it, I thought that he must surely be mistaken, so I contacted the school. After all, I found it hard to believe that a school would ignore this sort of behavior.
When I contacted the school, I was told that they did not witness the altercation, and if a teacher doesn’t witness the incident, there is nothing that they can do. The principal also said that the teachers could not watch the kids every minute of the day.
The bullying continued. This kid was now beating on my son on a weekly basis. I told him to fight back. After all, he regularly hit children this boy’s size on the football field, and there was nothing to be afraid of. My son then said that he was afraid of being suspended if he got in a fight. I told him that this was my problem to worry about, and I would support him if he defended himself. We then had a discussion about self defense and dealing with bullies.
Two days later, my son come home with a note saying that he was being suspended for five days, because he had been in a fight, and school policy stated that all participants in a fight would be suspended. I went down to the school to speak with the principal, and told them that such policies are laziness. A staff too lazy to properly supervise the kids in their care, and too lazy to find out what happened simply finding it easier to suspend all parties, rather than deal with troublemaking bullies. I also told them that if they insisted on going through with this suspension, I would be returning with my attorney. The matter was dropped.
As for the bully? My son had apparently hurt him badly enough that there were no more problems. Nothing stops a bully like forceful resistance.
Kids do not learn that violence is never the answer from these policies: Instead, bullies learn that they can run roughshod over others with no repercussions.