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kid being bullied at school

  1. #17
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    And oh, just to add, my reaction was after my son came home with 2 medical reports from school from being decked by the bully on top of everyday occurrences and AFTER the teacher has informed the bully's parents! My child was not the only one who came home with bruises. Other kids too. The teacher could do nothing apart from advising the child in school, held a classroom talk and talked to the parents. The worse was knowing that my child did not want to go to school because of the bully!

    In our case, we saw the parent. We knew that neither the teacher nor the parent would be able to stop the situation. A teacher is helpless when dealing with absent parents i.e. parents too busy working to mind their kids and this child was mostly with the domestic helper even at important school functions. We did allow for the 'right' motions to take place but the bullying did not stop. But when the boys in the class stood up for themselves did the bullying eased.

    And, incidentally, the boy is not in his class any longer, the parent pulled him out of the school after a year (to me it was obvious why - it's interview/report submitted year for primary applications).

    There is no textbook solution to bullying. If trying to do the right thing did not work, what should/would/can a parent do? In our case, we did try and then finally engaged in the non-PC way (as was the way with the other parents!).
    Last edited by TheQuasimother; 10-10-2010 at 11:06 AM.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  2. #18
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    Quasi, have you at all considered having a 3 way meeting with the bullying child's parents and the teacher? The school counselor would be a further step. THIS is the route an experienced teacher would take. Being a teacher empowers you to see things from the 'other side' - 'copying' what the other parents do is childish. Imagine being the parent of the bully not knowing what your child is up to at school - presuming this is the case - as no mention of the bully's parents has been made. And as you would know, kids can be completely different at school than they are at home. Being a secondary or primary teacher is irrelevant, it is built into our training ( hence the need for proper training) - hoping you did that bit.....

  3. #19
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    My issue is that if you teach a child to hit to resolve particular problems, then where does that grey area end?

    If every other parent was having their child cheat on a test would you do the same?

    As a parent and a teacher, I understand tha not every problem has a perfect solution. But as Elise pointed out, there are other ways to manage the situation. Classroom based role-play; working with bystanders; safety zones in schools. Does the school in question have a formal policy, and if not why not? If the child was such a threat, why has the school not had him removed?

    I was bullied in primary school, so I am aware of the short and long term ramifications. However, I disagree that teaching a child to hit is ever a constructive solution. It may stop the behaviour in the short term, but at what cost? (It's a similar argument as is used for smacking vs. not smacking).

    Try to keep your temper in check. After all, as a professionally trained teacher who is happy to lecture on professionalism and standards, you're not showing yourself in good standing, here. Disagree with me all you like: but don't lecture on what makes a good teacher and then advocate a behaviour for a student (whether he be your child or not) that would be frowned upon by every piece of peer-reviewed research over the last thirty years. As I said before, you can't have it both ways.

  4. #20
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Then I concede. I am not a perfect teacher or parent.
    So imagine, if I'm a trained teacher and am not perfect ... !

    The teacher (and school) did not engage in a 3 way conference. I don't know why. In fact, it is not encouraged (it appears) on school grounds. There is a personal telephone list though. So it'd be something you'd have to do on your own. The school prefers to deal with us separately. And, I'm not comfortable telling teachers or schools about how to run things. In this case, I was not comfortable dealing with the parents as it was obvious that if the teacher/school couldn't do anything about it, what could I do apart from sounding like a total whinger and told to Sod Off because that's just how kids are. I have encountered such parents. This school system is notoriously known of 'If you're not happy with our policy, you can leave as our waitlist is long.' There are lots of discussions about this particular school system on another forum.

    I stand by what I did. It was a decision made based on the circumstance of what the school and teacher did and open communication with other parents.

    Incidentally, my husband was bullied terribly in school - the worse sort - Think shoved in the locker, having to hide in the toilet until everyone's left the school or risk getting beaten up. The school, his parents, the bully's parents could not solve the problem. So, he took up Tae-kwon-do and Karate to solve the problem. And when he could fight for himself, that was when the bullying stopped.

    I don't need a speech from you about professionalism and standards. Just because you're a teacher, you should know (better)? What about what I know as a parent?

    I know we are never going to agree. So I'm going to suggest that we agree to disagree.

    There are lots of solutions - mine was less than ideal - I would like to stress that it is not the PC solution. I am being judged (far worse) because I am a teacher and a parent. We can't just air PC opinions/solutions. Each parent should be entitled to do what they see fit.

    Look, I'm the sort of parent who would complain or write the teacher a note when he comes home with a bruise or bite and his teachers know that. I only intervene when my child says he doesn't want to go to school. Life is a tough playground. And for boys, it's even tougher. I don't want my child to be a bully - he is not. He needs to be able to stand up for himself and not run to mummy for solutions all the time.

    This is the situation - 12 boys, 1 bully. 11 other parents teaching their child to push back. What would you do? Complain to the school about the other parents? Call a meeting of parents to not raise their kids that way? I merely went with the flow. I'm not a whinger. I don't have the time. I am a working mum. If you're a mum with time in your hands to deal with the other 10 parents, GREAT! I'm not one of them.

    And, if I'm being judged to be less than professional, then so be it. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I'm not raising my child to become an active member of a cottonwool generation.

    Also, this is HK. There are limitations to what I can do as a parent as the waiting lists in ALL international schools are long. Try being that parent. Ring the school each time there is a problem. Try telling them that you are not happy about how they are dealing with the problem. See if the teachers are happy to write a happy report! I'm not willing to risk my child's place in primary school so that I can be a professional teacher over a parent who fits the mould.

    All international schools have a section for teachers to comment on how parents of the children are. We've had to do that for several applications. The teacher's response is sealed and you will never know. What i do know is that my child's gotten into an international school without an interview. So again, apologies for being a parent first over being a teacher! I'm not cashed up and get corporate sponsorship for a school placement.
    Last edited by TheQuasimother; 10-10-2010 at 09:15 PM.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  5. #21
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    So now it's because your child is waiting for an international school place?
    So it's OK for you, as a trained teacher, to publicly advocate violence as a solution, on the grounds that you do not want to upset your child's teachers, but it's not ok for someone else to point out that teacher training isn't everything? I know I am connecting two threads, but I still find your stance on this quite strange. Presumably your child attends a school where all the staff are 'trained' - in which case, your comment questions their professionalism - that if you tried to solve this situation 'properly' (for want of a better word) that they would take it out on you in a report?

    I still don't follow your logic - because what you are saying is not logical. Aren't you more worried that one of his teachers may write in a report that your child has been seen hitting another student, even if it was provoked? (And believe me, in an international school application, that comment would be taken far more seriously than any observation about the parent!)

    "So imagine, if I'm a trained teacher and am not perfect ... !"
    Lastly - I am a trained teacher: so you can keep the inference to yourself. The bullying I experienced was easily as bad as what you describe: are you now a bullying expert because of your husband? But teachers with decades of experience but no qualifications don't know what they are talking about? It's the double standard that cannot be justified.

    We all make decisions for our children that are not perfect and are based on the best we can do at the time. However, when you openly criticise others, you also need to be open to someone calling you on being hypocritical.

    We can agree to disagree - if that makes you feel all justified and righteous about a poor decision. I am quite happy to provide you or your school with the research and guidelines that give a school the basis of a policy to deal with bullying: policies that have been successful in a myriad of schools/cultures/countries/contexts.

    I really hope that your son is OK, and that the school handles it better if there is a next time.

  6. #22
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    And oh, this is a kindergarten with 24 kids in a class. School counselor? Who's that? They don't even have a school nurse! Why would a kindergarten employ a school counselor anyway? We are obviously not rich enough to be in that kindergarten that has employed one.

    Gosh! Some of your kids are really lucky to be in such a privileged school.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  7. #23
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Look, I'm sorry that you were terribly bullied. So, I do understand where you are coming from. There is a personal take/stake to your opinion.

    I'm not worried about teacher's reports because my child has gotten into an international school with a long waitlist without an interview and we were told by the admissions manager of that school that the teacher's report was sufficient. We do have a good relationship with the teachers and parents of his class. The bully is no longer there. His parents pulled him out - like i said for obvious reasons.

    As far as my take is concerned on professional credentials, I've always looked at it from a curriculum development point of view - teaching and learning. And you have rightly point out the flaw in my training/experience. I have only worked in cushy schools - no bullying has occurred. Lucky me i guess!

    There are a lot of reasons at play with such a sensitive situation like bullying and in my son's case, the bullied. We did not make the decision without thought. And because you've been bullied, you'll get angry each time a parent/teacher does not follow a certain procedure you deem is right.

    I'm going to use this as an example (real situation - one of two I know) and would like to know your thoughts. We moved so that our child would not be in this situation. He was in the bus route if he went to the school (either):

    A certain reputable international school bus ride (where K-12 students ride) is notorious for bullying on the school bus. A parent asks the bus mother, the school, the teacher to intervene. The situation did not improve. After six months, the parent pulled the child out of the bus service because despite everything that has been done (within the powers of the school, the bus company, the parents - essentially all the stakeholders including the students), the parents had no choice but to pull the child out of the school bus service and hire a private driver to ferry the child in question to school. The parent got tired of having to knock on the school's door to deal with the situation.

    (1) What would you do as a parent (given that you are a professional teacher) if you did not have the means to hire a private driver or drive your child to school?
    Last edited by TheQuasimother; 10-10-2010 at 09:54 PM.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  8. #24
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    And, as far as teaching credentials are concerned, mine has suited my needs. I have unfortunately worked with really really bright kids or kids who are very motivated (academically) across all 3 countries I've worked in. It's the privilege of employment choice. I've turned down jobs in Oz so that I don't have to work with troublesome kids/schools.

    NEVER had to deal with bullying. Only about learner motivation, stretching learning, ... all about teaching and learning for the motivated and bright. So my opinions on teaching credentials are based on that. Have you forgotten that I am also behind teachers like Cara who are brilliant at what they do (even without teacher credentials?) I think you are taking my opinions out of context to suit your personal anger/frustration.

    And, no, my husband's experience does not make me an expert. I am not. I did stress my non PC approach!
    Last edited by TheQuasimother; 10-10-2010 at 10:23 PM.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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