To punish or not to punish? Update, I am so f***ing furious, I am seeing red. Another update.
So I just got a phone call from my son's school. Apparently there were two boys harassing a girl in his class outside of school (in the school yard). My son was standing away from them but heard what was going on. The two boys said "We're going to take you to pound town later" and the girl told them she was going to the teacher to tell her what they said. The boys told her if she did they would get her beat up. So my son walked over and told the two boys he heard everything they said to her and was going with her to the teacher. So going to pound town means having sex (the teacher clarified this). Anyway, one of the boys told my son that he would get beat up too. My son said oh well. One of the boys pushed him and he pushed the boy back. A teacher came running over before anything escalated so that was that. There are other witnesses that said this is exactly what happened. Both the boy who pushed my son and my son are losing study hall and are having an in-house detention.
Now at home we teach our children not to hit back until it's absolutely necessary. Being pushed *to me* is no grounds to push back. If the kid hit my son it would have been a totally different story. So would you punish at home (probably have his X-box taken away for a bit) even though he did the right thing by intervening when the girl needed help? Or do you think the in-house detention is enough of a punishment?
So apparently it was more than what the teacher told me over the phone. I know the girl (and her family) that was being harassed, they live one street up from us. She is a black girl with a white stepfather (I swear it's relevant to the story). Apparently these boys were making fun of her hair at first because it was braided. They pulled one barrett out of her hair and said "I'm going to take you to pound town cause I'm white and I know you like that just like your "N" mom". That is when my son went over. He told them to shut up and leave her alone and that he was going to tell the teacher what they said. My son said it looked like the one boy looked like he was going in to touch her hair again so my son stepped in front of the girl so the boy wouldn't touch her, that is when my son got pushed and he pushed the other boy's hand away from touching the girl. The boy then pushed my son again and said if you tell you are getting beat up too, that is when a teacher came over.
The girl went home right after school started because she was so upset and nervous that she was going to get beat up. My husband is on his way home right now and the parents of the girl are coming over here to talk when he gets home. We're making an appt with the teacher, principle and the other two kids parents because them just getting an in-house detention is not enough.
I am so fucking mad right now, I can't even imagine how the parents of this girl feel.
My son said "Mom I know I am supposed to keep my hands to myself unless I HAVE to defend myself and I understand if I am punished. I knew that I would be punished and I still felt it was necessary to hit the boy's hand out of the way so he didn't touch the girl again. It's worth being punished if that means ______ doesn't get touched again and if it means they will come after me and not her".
My son will NOT be punished tonight. I'm so mad that I am shaking right now.
Ok so the girl's parents (her bio father, mother and step father were here) and me and my DH just got done talking. We were all sitting at my table and my phone rang. It was the school calling to tell me there is a meeting tomorrow at 1:45 and the girl's family wants us to be there. My reply was "yes I know, they are sitting at my table with me".
So both of her fathers gave my son a hug and thanked him etc. The little girl was still crying and was very scared. My son said "don't worry about them because if they come near you I would do the same thing again". I do think that made her feel better but inside I was thinking how I don't want him to resort to violence every time. Well one of her father's spoke up and said even though they appreciate him going to lengths to protect her that they do not want him to hit or push if he can avoid it. Thank goodness they said it so I didn't have to be the bad guy.
So we (her parents and me and DH) all agreed that we are going to let the school approach us first on what they think should be the appropriate punishment for the two kids. If it's another in-house detention that is when we are all going to ban together and let the principle know that we will contact the police, where my son will be a witness, and her step father will use his PR connections and will take this outside of the school to get attention and awareness. Luckily, her bio father is a police dispatcher in the town over. I'm sure he will be pretty influential. We will not take anything less than a suspension and an apology letter to both my son and their daughter. We are all on the same page.
My son and this girl are 12 years old and are in the 6th grade.
Ok, final update.
So my son came home before we even had the meeting (half day) and said the two boys were not in school today. He asked around and heard through the grapevine that they were suspended, woohoo! He thinks they are suspended until Monday. Apparently the school did some investigations after everything happened and all of the kids who were around and heard what happened all agree to what my son and Alexis said.
So we went to the meeting and it was her two fathers, her mother, me and my husband, the princliple, Mike's teacher and the teacher who ran over to stop the pushing outside. The boy who said the "N" word and pulled the girl's hair, his mother was there. The other boy who just egged him on, both of his parents were there.
So the boy who did the pushing, his mom was in complete denial. The other boy's parents were so apologetic and brought in letters of apology from their son to my son and the girl. So basically the principle and teacher couldn't tell us the other kid's punishment (but we already knew because our kids told us) but they assured us that since they investigated the boys are being punished accordingly. The one mother (who was in denial) threw a fit that her child is being accused of this nonsense, she had the "not my child" syndrome. The parents of the other boy (the one who egged the other on) did most of the talking and agreed with the punishment that he was receiving and assured us and the other parents that not only is their son to stay away from the other boy (that did push and pull the girl's hair) but for our children not to feel threatened because they are also punishing the kid at home and making sure he understands that if anything happens to my son or the girl that they will contact the police themselves (LOVE these parents).
The other mother said that children need to learn how to handle these things on their own (at this point I am literally biting my tongue trying not to tell her to STFU) and when parents step in it causes more trouble. We all looked at her like she had three heads. The parents of the girl were kind, they said since bullying is not happening to her child she doesn't understand etc etc. She told them to stop baby their daughter. This is when I stepped in because the girl's parents seemed to not want to say anything mean. WELL, I couldn't bite my tongue anymore, lol. I told her it's not about babying adolescents. It's about teaching them diversity and respect towards their peers which will almost ensure a halfway decent adult, maybe that is why YOU don't understand. It's about instilling values and morals which you child seems to be lacking. It's about actually parenting and not being your child's friend so they learn respect within their home. I went on to say that children are a product of their environment and when they are raised in a repugnant environment it shows. And then I smiled, got up, thanked the principle, teachers and the other two parents for all coming and resolving this issue. I turned to the woman and said "since you seem to not want this issue resolved IF your child touches my child I will be calling the police and taking it as far as I can, you may be in faovr of bulying but we are not". The girl's parents chimed in and said "us too". The woman was so red in her face and stunned that she had nothing to say. The teachers and principle closed with "we will all do our best to keep an eye on this issue (meaning her son since the other parents were in agreement ) and if anything happens we will be contacted immediately and are encouraged to call the proper authorities. The woman got up and stormed out.
I am very pleased with the outcome of this meeting as are the other parents, well except for the one asshole, lol.