So, I have a good friend who recently pulled her four year old out of preschool because he was being physically bullied and his teacher wasn’t doing anything about it. Her kid isn’t a wimp either. When he and his brother were toddlers, they told me that Dad taught them to “fight in the octagon.”
My friend’s kid didn’t hurt the bully, he simply held said bully in a headlock whenever bully started punching him. Four-years-old. 🙂
My friend went through all the appropriate steps. She told his teacher what was happening and asked her to intervene. Nothing improved. Then, she went to the principal of the school who simply referred her back to her son’s teacher. Ultimately, the situation only got worse and my friend wound up pulling her son out of the class.
My friend is awesome. And I think she handled it perfectly. She was her son’s advocate. She tried to settle the matter with the private school’s authority and when that didn’t work she removed her son from an unhealthy situation.
That’s a good story right there.
Here’s one that’s not so good – the fact that California city wants to make criminals out of Kindergartners.
I could see this going bad places. Whenever you trust the government to do anything, you’re giving up your say. Sure, jailing a 25-year-old or even a 15-year-old for physical abuse is one thing, but that’s not what this proposal is saying.
Jim Dear, Carson Mayor, supported the proposal saying, “We’re not talking about putting a 5-year-old in jail, we’re talking about intervening in both the bully’s life, who is a person who is hurting too, and the victim’s life.”
This may be very well-intentioned. I don’t doubt that. But, what’s to stop the government from restricting, say, name calling. I’m not the only person who had that thought either.
Ross Ellis, the founder of a leading anti-bullying group called Stomp Out Bullying said, “Do you want someone to go to jail if they’re calling someone a name?”
This proposal isn’t just about physical abuse, it includes cyberbullying – which is, in essence, the technological age’s form of name calling.
I don’t know of ANY children who didn’t experience being called names (or really, CALLING other kids names). Also, saying it can happen as early as Kindergarten is NUTS. Could you imagine?? Mayor Dear denied that a Kindergarten bully would go to jail, but the vagueness of the proposal seems to leave the possibility of a 5-year-old being in a juvenile court hearing on the table. Correct me if I’m wrong.
When my sister was five, she punched a little boy in the stomach over who would use the slide first. Could you imagine that following her around for the rest of her life? Ridiculous!
I am a big fan of private education because the parents have a say in what happens. But, I think public schools should function the same way when it comes to discipline. When it comes to bullying, disciplinary action should come from school officials and be enforced by parents. When it comes to teens and violence, that’s a different story – get the government involved there.
But Kindergarten? Cyberbullying? No.
Anyway – it’s just a fact. The more power you give the government, the more freedom you lose. It sounds all well and good to want to protect our children. Hey, I WANT to protect our children too – I just think that having even local government involved in something like cyberbullying or playground fist throws is going to do more harm than good.