Just finished a very long reply in the other forum to someone we both are familiar with and am kind of tired - so will get back to you.
Is your son in 7th or 8th grade? I taught 8th grade for years (and 6th grade) so am kind of used to the middle school mentality. Can you give me a few examples of what the other kid is doing to him? I assume it is more mental then physical?
Oh, and if he is in 7 grade, make sure that his counselor separates the two kids classes next year. You want to do this NOW - before the computer gets its hands on the schedule. If you wait till next year, it may be too late.
Thank you for reading through my post and responding.
My son is currently in 7th grade, and enrolled in a rather small K - 8th school. Last year my son was able to avoid this other boy, because there were two separate 6th grade class rooms; this year there is only one 7th grade class, and next year there will be only one 8th grade class according to the principal. My son has attended this school for the last three years, and wants to continue on there, but I'm not so sure this is the best place for him anymore.
Here's the recent history regarding the situation between my son and the other boy. About 2 weeks ago, when a substitute was teaching my son's class, the two boys got into a yelling match during P.E. due to my sons claim that the other boy kept tripping and shoving my son during a volleyball game. Once they returned to the classroom, according to my son (and 3 other kids who were witnesses) the other boy shoved my son to the ground and told him that he was going to kick his @-- at lunch break. At that point the sub told both boys to take their seats and they were both issued a warning to knock it off, or there would be detention for disrupting class. When first recess began my son spoke with the principal telling him about the classroom incident, and told the principal that he was scared of being beat up. According to the principal, he told my son that was keeping on eye on both of the boys and not to worry. In the past, my son has been instructed to report any & all confrontations w/ this other boy to the teacher & principal due to previous physical altercations. To make a long story short, the boy kept his promise; while on their lunch break he beat my son up after throwing him over a lunch table ~ supposedly it was a pretty ugly scene, the principal and another teacher had to pull the boy off of my son. According to the kids who witnessed the fight, my son wasn't the one who instigated it, although because he was involved he was given one week of detention (during all breaks and recesses), and the other boy received one day suspension from school. This is the 4th fight my son and the other boy have been involved in this year ~ the principal will suspend my son if another fight occurs, no matter who is to blame. The school has a strict 'Hands Off' policy, as do most schools ( I'm sure you're aware). Personally, I do understand that there has to be consequences, but I'm confused as to why this other boy wasn't removed from the classroom after the 1st incident, or at least sent to the principals office? This certainly isn't the first time this has happened, I believe there's a pattern forming here. When I questioned the principal he said that neither he nor the sub thought that it was necessary to take that type of action at the time. It was my understanding that 'Hands Off' meant no physical contact whatsoever, first time you receive detention, second time around suspension, and third time around could result in possible expulsion ~ so what is going on here I wonder?
Having a child with a behavioral disorder isn't easy, and I don't make excuses for his lack of better self control because of it, but I do believe that he is targeted because he's impulsive and will react more dramatically than other kids w/out ADHD. So one of my questions is, how do I safeguard my son from further attacks from this boy? Are there any links that you might know of that could steer me in the right direction?
Anyway, sorry about the ramble. I think your input would be enlightening due to the fact that you have experience in this field.
Well, the whole thing should never have progressed very far during the Vball game. If the teacher ( probably the sub) had been watching it would have been stopped early and never progressed. Oh, his classroom teacher needs to make sure that if she/he is out again that very specific directions are left for the sub about the two boys.
And yes, if a small school, there are less places to hide which makes it more important for the school administrators to act. Clearly, your son is being bullied. There are some very strong anti bullying laws now in effect. Seth's law states, "if school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.” (Education Code Section 234.1(b)(1)). If the personnel fails to do so, you have legal recourse. So its probably worth your time to be familiar with this law - https://www.aclusocal.org/issues/lgbt-equality/student-rights-project/new-tools-to-prevent-bullying-in-california-schools/. and you can google bullying rules in Ca to get lots more info.
In terms of your son being suspended if this happens again. No way. Ask the principal what it will sound like if the public hears that your child was being bullied and got suspended? Ask, him what he thinks will happen if your child gets hurt in the process?
Now, you don't know what the principal said to the other child. A one day suspension could be just the warning (I hope so), and the next time the child could be gone for quite awhile. But, we really don't know.
I would read up on the bullying laws. Then make an appointment with the principal and then very nicely tell him that you don't know what went on between him and the other child. But you are getting fed up with seeing your son being bullied. And that you are quite willing to go to the school board or the newspapers if this doesn't stop.
The next step is to let your son know what you are doing. And that under no circumstances is he to get involved in anything physical (or even verbal for that matter). Don't even talk to this kid. If the other kid hits him, make sure he has witnesses. In fact, since bullying is also verbal - does he have a cell phone that will record? With luck, the other child will dig his own deep hole in the ground. Or, the other child will get the message and back off.
I don't know if your son is on meds or not. If not - ya, it gets kind of difficult to not say or have the quick verbal comeback. Either way, it can be a bit difficult for him. A lot of times role playing out several different scenarios can be helpful. I hope this is. Note, many times I recommend trying to get the two kids to get along. But, not sure that this would work in this situation.
Hope this helps. What do you think?
Wow, great suggestion regarding the anti-bullying laws ~ it didn't occur to me to even look in that direction! I'll definitely check into that this weekend...
Yes, my son is currently taking Concerta ( he's on 27mg.); just recently we lowered his dosage because he was experiencing increased moodiness and sleeplessness. His Dr. and therapist made the suggestion that hormones (puberty) may be the cause ~ it certainly could be one of the 'culprits', but I'm thinking that the bullying could also be adding a lot of stress... I guess it's a good thing that I'm having all of this documented w/ his therapist..
I really like the cell phone idea you had, but unfortunately they aren't allowed in the classroom, yet they can be used during breaks ~ we'll give that a try for sure. You're probably right, the kid will end up digging his own hole in the future...
There is light at the end of this tunnel; the school year will be ending in nearly a month ~ it won't be easy for my son, but he's well aware that he's got to keep his mouth shut and avoid any further contact w/ the other boy...
Thank you so much for the advice; it has given me renewed hope :)!
Lowering the dosage is certainly worth trying. Make sure he has a good high protein breakfast as that will help the concerta be more effective during its time of duration.
Glad I could help.
Oh, by the way. In that very long post of mine to briwolf - that last part give ideas on dealing with anger. There are some very good links there which you might want to check out. A lot of those ideas will also work well for your sons age group or any age group.