My 2nd grade grandaughter has been experiencing some bullying from a boy in her class. Not only her, but some of the other children have as well. He is very aggressive and physical–hitting, shoving them into things, as well as being verbally agressive to both classmates, teachers, and the principal. His aggressive behavior is almost a daily occurrence, from what I have been told.
The school has been proactive in their approach to bullying, they had an evening for parents and students discussing this subject, and have tried to intervene in this child’s behavior with counseling sessions for parents and child, but it is obvious this child has a severe behavior problem. I know the school is trying to get him some professional help (according to what my daughter tells me), but he cannot be taken out of school without some long process, according to the school. What that process is, I don’t know.
My concern is what to advise my grandaughter. She has been repeatedly told to report the bullying when it occurs, but sometimes is afraid to, and will let it go a day or two before telling her parents that he elbowed her in the stomach or punched her. She says she is afraid she will get in trouble, although she has been told by both parents and school staff that she will not. I don’t know if he is threatening her not to tell or what. In any case, when the behavior is reported, the child is removed to the classroom and taken to the principal’s office, but nothing changes, he is right back at it.
Now I am sure that many will see this as inappropriate, but my instinct is to tell her to defend herself and punch him back and mean it. She is capable physically of doing this, having well developed muscles from being on a swim team. The reason I say this is that I experienced this as a child myself from a certain girl at school, and and one day I had enough and threw a punch back and after a few minutes of scrapping, that ended the problem. Her mother also experienced this when she was about 10 yrs old with a neighborhood boy, and defended herself and that was the last of that. She came home with her shirt torn, and rather dirty, but he never went near her again. I am not a violent person and do not like fighting one bit, but somehow, given the fact that no one else has been able to deal with this child, I think my grandaughter should feel free to defend herself at least. Am I “all wet” here? I don’t want her to grow up fighting, but I also don’t want her to grow up thinking she has to accept being punched and hit. Her parents have expressed the same thoughts I have, but we are uncertain about the ramifications. This has been going on since school started. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or any experience? I do think the school is doing all they legally can at this point and they have been very willing to meet and discuss things with the parents who have complained, but they say they cannot remove the child from the school the child at this point.