assults at school, what would you do in my shoes?

Chantal - posted on 05/02/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )




My son is in his first yr of school (kinder) and just a couple off days ago his teacher sat a young boy next to him, who is known to be very violent towards others for no apparent reason, this young boy turned to my son who was doing his work and said ' i'm going to stab you with my pencil to see how sharp it is" , my son ( who im so proud of with his behaviour) told this boy, no, hands off!!! But unfortunatly the boy didnt listen and stabed my son in the arm with the pencil, my son didnt cry or retaliate he just got up went to the teacher and told her, i was called to come in and have a look (which thank god my son was ok, there was only a small puncture wound,) but i am so dissapointed by the way the school is handling this.

The school has a hands off policy were you have 3 strikes then you move on to a white card which restricts you from being able to join in extra curricular activities and no canteen brought food and miss 3 lunch break playtimes.

With the younger children of the school as they are still learning right from wrong there slate gets wipped clean each term.

The problem i have is this child isnt just pushing and shoving other children, he is really doing things that are alot more violent, he is not involved in extra curricular activities and dosnt have the money to buy things at the canteen, so these school policiesdont really teach him anything,

But the thing is i dont actually want to see this child expelled or treated poorly, i actualy feel bad for him, i have seen his parents around the school and they are both very loud, bad mouthed and have communication problems.

I look at his mother and see a women who loves her children and is doing what she can to look after them, but is an angry sort of person.

The school has said they will call her and chat but i get the feeling that it will be ignored.

The 3 days of missing lunch was not availble on the day it happened apparently the teacher that runs these lunch time detentions was not there, so he got to go out and play with the rest of the children, while the lunch break was on i was there to see my son and this boy within half an hour of stabing my son was out in the playground having a pretty serious fist fight (yeah this boy is only 5-6yrs old but i've never seen any child that violent).

So i've hastled the school to see what they can do, and i get the feeling there just as frustrated as me, but because of government legislation they can only do so much.

so i feel like im stuck between a rock and a hard place i dont want this boy to be victemised because of this, but i do want him to realize this behaviour isnt on and he is obviously not getting that message at home, and the school's policies dont really suit this situation.

I thought of calling childs services to see if they can get the parents involved in some kind of parenting courses or something, but i think i would feel so bad if he was taken away from them, it's obvious they love him and are trying, i know a few ppl may read this and say no childs services wont take him if the parent are willing. but childs services are so bad in nsw they are always on the news for making mistakes.

So i would like to put my situation out there and see what others would do in my shoes?

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Ruth - posted on 03/13/2011




Perhaps this child could benefit ig buddy from counselling or a big buddy program to help him build his self esteem. This boy needs to feel empowered in his life as he feels he has no power. Bullies need to feel empowered so they lash out and hurt others. Using a big buddy program or encouraging releases of emotional energy through safe release programs are ways to help this little boy and perhaps his parents too. for information websearches are great ways to find programs or ideas on how to safely realease emotional energy. If the school has a counsellor maybe you cousl suggest it to them or the principle...I have recently heard of sand therapy where kids draw pictires in a sand box and tell the story as they go...another idea which seems to be working well for troubled kids. I hope this helps.

Sharonda - posted on 05/03/2009





Chantal - posted on 05/03/2009




Thanks girls, all of this advice and info is great, I went back into the school today to try to follow up with the teacher and principle what they done (the teacher had told me she would contact the parents and the principle talked to the young boy).
i forgot to mention that when i spoke to the teacher last time she had told me she asked the child why he did it and he told her he wanted to know how sharp the pencil was and if it would hurt and yo would not believe what the teacher said back to himshe asked him why didnt you stab yourself then if you wanted to know. really it surprises me hows this women teaches, she could easly give him the message its ok to self harm instead of hurting others.
I spoke to the principle and she told me that because of duty of care legislations they had to report this situation and that they had, she then went on to tell me that the department that they had reported to informed her that there was no evidence of or risk of harm in his home.This devistated me i've worked in child care and my sisters work in schools and government and we all no that when a school does have to report something like this they get no info back, that is one of the reson children fall through the cracks, who ever recieved this report would have handled this without reporting back to the school.
So no i feel even more poorly about the school, in every other area they are great, so i am now in the middle of writing a few letters to the schools teacher, principle,school board director, department of education and this area's school onbudsman, hopefully they can get something done to help this child and his family to improve his behaviour
I did end up calling childrens services and rang asking them for advice on what to do and they asked me if i wanted to report it, for some reson i think i finaly spoke to the right person she asked me what happened i told her and asked if i did actualy lodge a report would anything actualy be done or would it just be fobbed off, she told me to definetly report it, and that it might or might not be a health issue that could cause it or parental neglect or maney othr things but that the hole family obviously needed help and that all issues that are possible would be looked at before they'd even consider taking him from his parents.
I really hope i havnt opened a can of worms for myself with his family i think they will jump to the conclusion that i reported this but i no i made the right choice. thanks for the support girls
Anymore advice on this is greatly apreciated i want to look at this from every angle.

Liz - posted on 05/02/2009




So sorry for your situation and what your son and the other children have to go thru with this undisciplined child.

There is more that the school can do than what they are doing. They sound pretty lazy to me. I would start with demanding a meeting with the teacher, principal, and the child's parents. I would not care if they are loud mouthed rude people. The first step is letting them know there are behavior problems with their son. One of the first thing child services will say to you is have you contacted the childs parents. Contacting them is not something you want to do on your own because of the way they are so go thru the school and make the school do their job. The school can also separate this child from your child. The school can also make special disciplinary procedures for this child as well. The school can also have this child evaluated by the district or school psychologist. Get back to hassling the school and make them take their share of responsibility in this situation. Schools are what are called "reporting agencies". They have a legal responsibility to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. If they fail to do so, the legal consequences are pretty harsh.

You can call child services but make sure you have more to tell them than my son got punctured with a pencil. Granted these parents would benefit from some parenting classes, but child services only takes children away when they are in immediate danger OR the parents have been found to be neglectful or abusive and child services have left the children in the home because the neglect or abuse didn't meet the standards of taking the child from the home and the parents did not follow what child services wanted them to do. It is an entirely frustrating situation with child services in any state. Every state has made mistakes and the children have paid the price for it. It isn't so much child services is terrible it is more so they are so overwhelmed they don't have enough case workers for the amount of children in their care. We need more people to open their hearts and their homes to foster care and some of the problem could be resolved. We also need more money donated to the system as well. Like I said, you can call child services, but make sure you have documented incidents of abuse and neglect against this child or you have documented incidences where this child has threatened the life of other children, has intended to do or has done sexual harm to a child, or has threatened to seriously physically harm other children. A call to child services could set the parents off and make it worse for the child as well. It can also put you in harms way as well. So please think carefully about making that call.

Get on the school and make them do their job! Go all the way to the superintendent if you have to!

Sue - posted on 05/02/2009




Getting child protective services involved is a good thing because there may be some other behaviors going on in the home that are causing this boys outbursts in public. At least he will be checked on by the profesionals and there will be some follow up down the line.

Chantal - posted on 05/02/2009




Thanks girls, this is all so much great advice, it is not someting i will be tolerating, everything you have all said is exactly how i feel, i have spoken to other friends about this and because they know me and my son so well and they know of this boy they are supportive but bias and think he should be punished. but im kind of more worried about protecting my son and of course others, and at the same time protecting and educating this boy. I feel so much more confident in the thought of calling child protective services.

Oh i did call the police on the day to get advice, and sickeningly enough they dont consider this as assult as the boy is so young and they cannot get involved and that he may just be socialy developmentaly behind and give him a year or so and he should get better, yeah right as if! !!!!! i think the police in nsw are probably worse that childrens services.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/02/2009




I definitely agree with Kara....follow your instincts. Yes child services is on the news a lot for making mistakes.....but equally in making bad mistakes and not taking children out of violent, abusive homes all to "give the parents another chance". Even though the parents are maybe doing the best they can....obviously it is not enough for this child. My daughter is also in kindergarten and I have watched some similar children being picked up by their parents. It seems a lot of the time that the parents totally ignore the children or are constantly yelling at them. Maybe these children are learning that yelling, screaming, and hurting other people is the only way to get attention...even if it is negative. I would do everything in your power to do what you feel is right. Thinking back to when I was in grade school, I don't remember children acting this way because if they did they were sent to the principal and paddled. Too bad they can't bring that back to the schools.

Holly - posted on 05/02/2009





Here's a story for you: My niece was on the bus when this boy told her, for no reason, he was going to kill her then have sex with her dead body!!! They are only 8-9 years old. Bad people start doing bad things at all ages and grow to be even worse. In this case social services got involved and the child has to see a counselor, is monited by social workers and was banned from the bus.

The school may only be able to do so much but we are talking about the good of all not just one. Perhaps they have a classroom available for kids with social issues. Question: do they have scissors, utensils, etc and what do you think could/would happen if the little boy got his hands on something sharper than a pencil? In the little boys best interest, I think something more needs to be done to help him not so much punish him. He has these thaughts and feelings and is acting out. He's getting all this from somewhere. There's physical, psychological and emotional forms of abuse. You never know his home life could be more abusive than what the public sees. Exactly the way the abuser likes it and wants it to stay. Nobody knows what is going on behind those closed doors until it is too late and somebody is seriously injured and/or killed. In any case, the rest of the children shouldn't have to take the blunt of punishment from him.

Dang, sorry for going off like that but please don't sit idley by and let this continue to happen to any more children. I'm seriously worried for any child that is forced to be involved with this problem child.

Angie - posted on 05/02/2009




I have had similar issue with my son who is compassionate to a fault. I simply went to the school an told them that I would be calling police if my child was going to be assaulted at school. I then assured them that if an injury that needed medical care was needed, I would be suing the school to cover the medical expenses and emotional damage done to my child. Low and behold, the school started cracking down. Make sure that YOUR child is not moved away from the other child - this gives him the message that he did something wrong. This child should be away from all children so that he cannot hurt anyone else.

Kara - posted on 05/02/2009




i would call childs services for advice. i did when a little girl in his class kept writing sexua notes(yes 1st grade). i turned her in and there was something going on at home. they couldnt tell me anything else. go with your instincts. i say better to be safe than sorry.

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