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When is it time to step in?

I am trying really hard to not be like one of those moms that fights all their children's battles for them. This is a new chapter in my life, in that my eldest is in kindergarten, and I have never had to deal with anything like this before. So I am finding it hard to gauge when it is appropriate to step in and help DS with any problems he may have at school.
Here is the problem. Since the very beginning of school, DS has had a problem with this one student in his class. Just about everyday, I have heard my son say, this kid has been calling him a loser, ugly, fat ect. It's not that he is telling on him, but rather he has been asking me if it's true. We talk about it, I tell him to ignore it and that this kid might be feeling bad about himself, yada yada. I try my best to tell him he is none of those things.
This kid has also, had another student hold DS arms, so that he can punch my DS in the chest. He tripped DS down the stairs. And now he is telling other kids that DS is disgusting and for no one to play with him. I am really getting tired of having to talk with DS just about everyday about this kid.
I have talked to his teacher before, when this kid started to get physical with DS... She assured me she has it under control, and that she talks to the students about bullying and how to be nice. Yet when I ask what the teacher does when this other kid does these things, DS he tells me nothing. She just tells DS to go somewhere else. The thing is this kid will fllow DS. To me it does not seem like the typical kid picking on another kid, it feels like it has crossed the line into harassment. Especially since he is telling the other kids to pick on DS and basically rallying them to stop being friends with DS. Which DS has lost 3 friends already because of this other little boy.
This has effected DS self esteem now, he seems sad. He will come home, and just seem bummed. He no longer wants to go to school. This is odd, because DS loves school. I don't know what I should do. I don't want to step in if I shouldn't. But right now, I am not sure if I shouldn't, since it seems to be a little excessive and it really seems like DS is being effected by this.
I tell DS how wonderful he is every single day. I do my best to boost DS self esteem. I have always done this, even before he started school. I have worked really hard since DS was a tot, to let him know that he is a great child and that he is smart, funny and handsome. Now it seems like this kid at school is just set out to destroy all of this, that I have told my Ds. I am having a hard time distinguishing, whether or not my feelings are that of an over protective mother, or if they are legit and that maybe I should step in. What would you do?

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Asked by jaysmommy04 at 5:16 PM on Mar. 9, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 8 (234 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I would have stepped in a long time ago. Its bullying and really coming down to this kid assaulting your son at a public school and regardless of the age is still punishable either at school through suspension or even involved juvenile court. I would go down there and tell them you want them to discipline him, bring his parents in, and if you dont see improvement then you will call the law yourself and deal with it the way they should have been all along.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:20 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Ths is new, because anytime I bring up talking to the teacher, everyone has told me to not do that, because I would be doing DS more harm than good. Honestly IDK what to do.. I understand that if I try and fight DS battles, then he might grow up to not now how to handle it himself. And I don't want that, but at the same time, I don't want this to harm DS self esteem to where he might not ever build it up again. It is so hard to tell anymore. When DS told me about getting punched or when the kid tripped him down the stairs, I did get involved. I also said something about him calling DS an ugly loser at the beginning of the school yr, but the teacher assured me she will have it handled. It doesn't seem like it. Thanks... I think I am going to set of a parent teacher conference with his teacher and let her know this is enough. and that I see this more as harassment now, then just a kid picking on another kid.

    Comment by jaysmommy04 (original poster) at 5:27 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

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    Comment by jaysmommy04 (original poster) at 5:32 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • First the teacher's explanation of "I am handling it" is not good enough for me. You do not have both sides of the story here and you need to get that before you go threatening lawyers and the like. Try to speak with the teacher again and if you are brushed off again then go above her head. You need to get to the bottom of what is really going on and figure out how to handle it from there. It definitely sounds like more then just normal kid stuff, but your son could also be over exaggerating things too.

    Answer by aeneva at 5:34 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Since the teacher is not taking care of it, I would go to the principal. If that dosent work, ask to have a sit down meeting with the other kids parents and the teacher.

    Answer by merandaobrien at 5:37 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • i would definately step in.. hes only in kindergarten and needs help esp if hes being punched and hit and stuff.. and it doesnt sound to me like the teacher is handling it at all! maybe go to the teacher and the principal together

    Answer by zperez0809 at 5:37 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I suggested to the teacher that maybe we should sit down with the other parent, when this kid punched DS. But his teacher said that is against school policy. They are no longer allowed to involve the parents. I was not told of this by the teacher, DS came home, and I noticed he was acting weird. He wasn't excited like he always was, and he was real quite. It tool some coaxing to get him to tell me whats wrong, when he finally told me about this a day after it happened. I asked the teacher about it, and she confirmed that it happened like that, but she is not allowed to bring parents into these situation, nor can she say the name of the student ( which I already knew because DS told me) I guess they are fear of retaliation from the parents? IDK?

    Comment by jaysmommy04 (original poster) at 5:43 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Dont worry about any of the letting him figure things out on his own right now, he is too young to worry about that. I have 5 kids and usually stopped gradually stepping in, but at first I was/a, basically a fixture at the schools making sure the school knows me and how I see things and what I will and wont put up with. It helps I think because kids know wow mom is there for me, but then as time goes on theyll really not need as much of us.
    What you are describing is really just abusive and mean. The teacher is wrong & this kid obviously hasnt been punished severely enough to change his pattern of abuse against your son. You would also be teaching your son this abuse is not alright & there are consquences. Personally at this point Id let the school handle it once, and then Id involve my local police. I dont care how little the kid is, maybe a good talking to by a police officer will scare him straight.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:44 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Thanks gemgem... That explains a lot. I think you are right. It's just so hard to figure this out, when this is your first child and you know yourself to be the over protective type. And you have so many people around you say that its not a good thing. This is why I feel so bad for the eldest children out there, because it seems like its a ht and miss situation. Nothing could have prepared me for any of this, lol. Even though I have watched kids since I was 12 YO, it seems so much different when its your own. Like everything you know just goes out the window, and you don't know what the hell you are doing anymore. It feels so overwhelming at times, because I don't want to mess up and do the wrong thing. If that makes sense.

    Comment by jaysmommy04 (original poster) at 5:51 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I was "bullied" (see torture) by my classmates from the 4th grade all the way through high school. To this day (I'll be 30 next month) I wish someone had stepped in and protected me. All I ever heard was to try and act like a duck and let it all roll off my back. Sticks and stones may break bones; they heal. The problems left over from the words last a life time. PLEASE step in and protect your son. No matter what he says now he will be a better person knowing that Mom is in his corner when things get to be too much. The teacher is NOT handling things and it's time to go to the principal, the superintendant or the cops to keep your son safe.


    Answer by Rosehawk at 5:57 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

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