To fight back, or not fight back. That is the question.

It was just before Christmas, that my oldest son told me that he was having a few problems at school. One of them being, that a couple of lads had taken to holding him upside down by the ankles, and dropping him on his head. He said that the boys had taken to targeting him regularly, because he was small, and so easy to handle. He was getting a bit annoyed by it, as it was hurting. That particular day, a member of staff had actually noticed, when she heard his head connecting with the concrete playground! I could feel my blood boil, and found myself pacing the kitchen. I would take both those lads and……….Well, I would be spending a long time in prison.
It’s a terrible problem dealing with bullying. You seem to have two courses of action. One, is to ask the adults to keep an eye and to intervene. The other, is to tell the child to hit back. I consulted some GCSE students as to what they felt was the best way to deal with bullying. Some of them are pretty tough kids, some have been on the receiving end of the bully. What interested me most, was that they told me about the ‘Code of the playground.’ Which I though political correctness had stamped out. It was certainly rife, when I was at school. Fight back, was the message.
‘The thing is Miss,’ said one of my tough lads. ‘Even if you don’t win the fight, it sends out the message, loud and clear, that you are not to be messed with. That you will fight back. Bullies respect that. I know cos I was one.’ The others in the class nodded in an agreement. I countered this (as it was a debate) that should we be encouraging violence in schools. Is answering violence with violence the answer. The answer was a unanimous yes. Reacting violently, stops the violence.
‘If teachers get involved, it only moves the problem out of school. You lie and wait for them at the end.’ It was interesting, but it was how I was taught to deal with it.
On Monday, my son came home from school. The police had been in to talk to kids about how to deal with bullying. Their take, tell a teacher. Well they can hardly advise them to beat each other up. I won’t tell you what, I advised my son to do. The reports back are that one boy has stopped, the other, occasionally tries it on. As for my son, there is a much higher level of confidence about him. He seems so much happier.

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~ by envisioningutopia on January 15, 2012.

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