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the meeting: use of force

DJ woke up with a headache today and I let him stay home. One of those 'mental health' days. At 9:30, I left him home with my husband and headed up to the school for a meeting with the principal and the teacher.

I walked towards DJ's classroom and stood in the hallway for a few minutes. The bell had not yet rung, so the kids were lined up in the halls.

It took all of two minutes before I was able to pick out which kid was Big Bully. Thing is, Big Billy turns out to be Little Bully. He's about the same size as DJ, yet his demeanor makes him appear to be much larger. In the time that I stood there waiting for the teacher, Big Bully had pushed/shoved no less than five kids, including two girls, one of whom he purposefully tripped. He had a little crowd around him; several boys who egged him and laughed at everything he did.

I should state for the record that I like DJ's teacher. She just has a very tough class this year, and it's a bit more than one person should have to handle. If you were just taking into consideration education (not social) factors, I would say she is a damned good teacher.

So the teacher and I headed up to the principal's office for a meeting. I immediately went on the defensive because the principal used wording that made me feel as if I had to explain myself when what I really wanted was for him to explain himself.

The conversation ran the gamut, from why children of divorce sometimes seek attention from their parents (are you saying my son is making stories up to get my attention?) to needing corroboration of Big Bully's behavior (I gave you the name of two other mother's, call them) to the school's zero-tolerance policy on hitting and shoving.

The problem with the zero-tolerance party is that the hitting needs to be brought to the attention of the teacher or supervising adult in the classroom, playground or lunchroom. This is DJ"s job, and I agree. He must tell someone when something happens. If Big Bully knows that DJ won't tell, it will only empower him to do it more.

I still did not like that tone of the meeting, during which I felt like the principal was somehow blaming the situation on me. He kept saying "real world" and "this is what adult's do" and "if someone robbed you, wouldn't you tell?" and I kept explaining that this is a nine year old kid we are talking about, not an adult. The principal said that DJ has to realize how the real world works sooner or later, and he needs to start telling on Big Bully before things escalate.

What if, I said, DJ gets to the point where he's had it? What if Big Bully takes it one step too far and DJ hauls off and hits him back? The principal explained the definition of fighting to me as if I was a three year old and assured me that they would both be punished.

I assured him that I would back up my son's right to defend himself physically if the situation called for it. Especially now that I no longer see Big Bully as some huge kid that would knock DJ flat, but just a little wimp whose bark is worse than his bite.

The meeting ended on a rather antagonistic note, but I don't care. I think they saw from the look in my eyes that I mean business. I did tell them I would take this higher up if need be. The bully does not have to push my child every day in order for this situation to be rectified; just the fact that he goes to school in a climate of fear is enough to warrant more action than what I'm getting.

I came home and went from upset and frustrated to pissed off and agitated. I made DJ breakfast and we sat on the couch together, watching cartoons and talking about the situation.

Aunt Lisa told me last night that I should defend myself.
Of course you should.
She told me that if he tried to hit me, I should grab his hand and bend his fingers back.
That's one move you could make.
But that would hurt him.
And then he wouldn't hurt you.
And then Aunt Lisa said I should say 'your father told my mother that you have problems and you pee your bed at night.'
Well, Aunt Lisa tends to go overboard sometimes.
What if I did hit him back, mom? Would I get in trouble?
You might, but not with me.
You wouldn't be mad?
How could I be mad at you for defending yourself? And you know, I finally got a look at this kid today. You could take him. Easily.
Maybe. I just don't know how to fight.
You've seen enough hockey games. You know what to do.
Pull his shirt over his head?
And then punch him in the stomach?
Maybe I'll just start telling the teacher when he's being mean to me.
Yea, you need to do that. It's the only way he'll ever get punished and be made to pay for his behavior.
And then I'll go kick him in the balls.
That's my boy.

Bitch at me all you want for condoning violent behavior in my child. I've had enough of him being taken advantage of. The time has come to fight back and while I may do that with lawyers, DJ can do it with force.


There are those who will call you a barbarian.

I'm not one of them. I'm proud of you.

When diplomacy fails, the only other route to survivial is to prepare to defend yourself.

Not only do I not think there is anything wrong with your for encouraging your child to protect himself and not tolerate being abused, I would find fault with you if you hadn't.

The response to a bully is a punch in the nose (or a kick or a shove).

I am proud of you too- big bully will do it as long as he knows he can get away w/ it. Tell, then give him a taste of his own medicine.

I personally would send DJ a roll of quarters to hold in his little fist.

As long as he is going to be punished for defending himself, perhaps a preemptive strike against the principal is in order.

Sounds like he needed the support more than anything. Good for you for giving it to him. :-)

Wait a second here.... i was joking about the peeing the pants thing and DJ knows it! however, i did show DJ how to put on a game-face and point right at the kids face and look him straight in the eye and roar "GET AWAY FROM ME" through his teeth. it was quite convincing. i also told him that if the BB does touch him, he should grab his shirt by the collar, pull him towards him and them push him back - really hard. and the bend-the-finger-back thing works like a charm. the kid will fall to his knees. DJ practiced on me last night. he was quite convincing.

the best defense is a good offense.

i soooooo wanted him to go to school today. tomorrow is another day.

whatever force DJ might end up using make sure he understands it should be overwhelming and harsh. The little punk needs to understand that bullying kids will in fact one day produce reprocussions. bad ones. otherwise all he'll do is just move from DJ to other kids.

I've never met you, or DJ. But I'm really affected by this situation.

I think you're one hell of a Mom, and I hope DJ is proud of you.

No, no, no, no, no....
Hockey players don't simply pull the jersey over the head. That might be hard or impossible if the shirt is too tight.

Tell DJ to figure out which is the Bully's punching hand. Likely he's a righty. DJ needs to grab a big fistful of the Bully's right shirtsleeve, around the bicep area. This will immobilize, or at least restrict the range of motion in the punching arm. Then, that leaves DJ's right arm free to wreak havoc. But, he needs to be instructed to punch straight through, like a piston, rather then throwing big, arcing punches which waste time and energy.

good for you. I'm in agreement with jimmy - make sure that when DJ deals it out - he goes 100%. Do it and get it over with. the kid will then have second thoughts of continuing his behavior, knowing he'll get his butt kicked, rather than just knowing he'll get shoved into the lockers or something like that. defending himself does not make DJ the bully or a kid with problems - it makes him a kid with solutions.

DJ takes after someone... someone... related to him... I just can't quite place my finger on it.

Sounds to me like DJ has a better grasp on humanity than society. He's more worried about hurting BB than he is about being punished himself, which is a commendable attitude.

You ran into a common game of the cowardly and the lazy when it comes to actually having to do something or be answerable: they go on the offensive and it becomes all about you instead of the situation, you become defensive, and they win. Or so they think.

Fact: your son is bullied.
Fact: they know who does it.
Fact: they had ready-made excuses for the bully, showing that they've had complaints before.
Fact: your divorce has nothing to do with the bully's behaviour.
Fact: whether or not your son reports incidents as soon as they occur, the people in authority at that school KNOW. And choose to do nothing.

Keep going...up the ladder, to a lawyer, to the police. Don't let a tinpot school principal get away with this crap.

I'd be careful with that advice val and jimmy. When i was in 7th grade I was in a similar situation, I finally snapped one time after getting slammed into my locker, took the little punk into a headlock, and gave him a few good blows.

My result:
-Pricipal and teacher called my mother and called me 'vicous' and 'barbaric'
-I got a weekend detention, while the punk that started it got off scot free (other than the beating I gave him)
-End result: the little #$!# became even more emboldened, knowing that if I ever fought back again, I'd be suspended.

Oh, I like the psycho face "get away from me!" approach if the abuse is teasing or verbal but also there is "the 70's show zen" approach, response to anything is "thats cool" or "whatever". But also remember that where zen ends, an ass whipping begins. He shoves DJ, or even touches DJ, give him a rupture!

Sounds like the priciple is a dick too.

I HATE assholes who try to put you on the defensive rather than having a natural conversation. Sounds like DJ is getting the idea. It's tough when we start to see the world clearly, but incredibly powerful as well. That sense of wonder was what made me choose the Marines for a career, and let me see the world in ways I never could have otherwise.

And by the way, Aunt Lisa ROCKS.


No. He. Does. Not.

If indeed he did know, he'd have done something. Long ago.

The boy needs a physical defense teacher. Karate. Aikido. Kung Fu. Let him go to an introductory class in each and let him choose.

From a good martial arts teacher, your boy will learn more than to pummel a bully. He will learn NOW to pummel that bully. He will learn how to control his body when he is in the action. He will learn how to control his emotions when he is in the action. He will learn how to impart the maximum effect with the least damage, both to himself and to his opponent.

This means he will have the best chance at being at peace with himself for his actions as he grows up.

That you've got yourself to the point where you can encourage that your son defend himself is a good thing. Now, take the next, imperative step and get him an education on how to do so.

Geez. Even those guys out on that hockey rink have been trained.

For what it's worth...

When I was in 4th grade a 6th grader picked on me everyday at the bus stop. I would get punched in the stomach and pushed around. I was terrified of this kid. One day he hit me and I just snapped. I dove on top of him and started punching him back. Much to my surprise, I whipped him good. That kid never bothered me or said another word to me again.

In 7th grade, an 8th grade bully would sometimes push me around, slap me, rob me of my lunch money and basically terrify me. One day he pushed me up against my locker and just I snapped. I'd had enough and somehow found courage in my anger. I grabbed him on the back of his head and slammed his forehead into the vents on my locker. Cut his forehead wide open and gave him some stitches and a massive headache. That punk avoided me the rest of the school year and never bothered me again.

I always tried to avoid fights but in the real world, one has to stand up to the occasional bully and let him no he can't mess with you. IMO- These liberal educators don't live in the real world.

You have every right to demand that the school take action. They are responsible for what happens on school grounds. The educators work for you, as you pay taxes that pay their salaries. Keep pressing the issue and demand satisfaction.

You inspire me.

Damn Brent! Wake up...drink some coffee...type slower and remember to proofread for typos.

Good going!

Like some of the other commentators, I had my own bully problem in junior high. I've always been the type to avoid trouble where possible, but one day I too had a 'snapping' experience and caused minor injuries (cuts and bruises) to my tormentor. Said tormentor never bothered me again.

The touchy feely approach is predicated on children being able to view their actions in the same way that an idealized adult member of society would view them.

What is more distressing is the idiocy of the school officials you've dealt with. They are the reason why no child of mine will ever go within 100 meters of a public school, let alone attend one.

After your son reduces his adversary to a blubbering heap on the floor, please sue your school district until they beg for mercy. It is the only fitting thing to do.

SO WHAT if he's called vicious? SO WHAT if he's called a barbarian? He needs to fight back for his own self respect.

How on earth did we get to a place where being called names by an adminstrator is a deterrent?

i've been through this too from DJ's side and at the time never told anyone it was happening. maybe if i had thought i could, that anyone would listen, things would have been different.

he knows you're on his side, that's huge.

I like the hockey thing. If the shirt is suitable, that's a great idea. If not, you're kinda screwed.

Karate or judo classes sound good, too. But not everyone can fund them.

You could also blow the bully's parents in to DSS, CPS, whatever the agency is called. A good chance that a child bully is bullied at home and abused.

At my mom's suggestion, I put a pencil into the hand of a bully once. In college, I took a ball bat after the seniors terrifying freshman me, set my room on fire, etc.

I am really impressed with DJ's thought process. He knows that he will be supported WHATEVER he does, but instead of rushing off hot-headed to a fight, he tucked that piece of info away for when all other options are exhausted (sadly, it seems as though that moment is rapidly approaching). Gives me hope for the world. Good luck to both of you.

I was bullied through my jr. high years, got no support from the schools or my parents. "You shouldn't fight, just turn and walk away" is great advice - if the damn bullies are nailed to the floor. Otherwise, it sucks. Shit continued through high school, and warped me for a long time.

Got totally fed up with it in 10th grade. One day before algebra I was being hassled by a guy who actually followed me into my class, who didn't belong there. Hell, the whole school knew I was an easy target. Bottom of the pecking order, that was me.

I snapped. Shoved him down, and kicked his ass (LITERALLY) out the door. Four kicks it took. Think I broke my big toe doing it, too... Nobody cheered, or even said anything. Guess they never figured that I'd get fed up and react the way I did.

But that was the end of the bullying. Took years to get my head straight, though. And MY son won't ever get the same lack of support I got from my parents.

Support him. Love him. Tell him it's okay to kick ass if need be. Because sometimes that's what it takes to move off the bottom of the pecking order. And if he doesn't move now, it'll be harder later.


I think we share the same opinions here about fighting and such...I don't condone it normally with my son who's also 9 and is having a problem much like the one your son is. I've always told him not to fight. Go tell the teacher...but how long do we tell them this before we finally get sick and tired of it doing no good? I'm with you. The time HAS COME to fight back. I told my son the same thing...don't start it, and don't egg it on, but you certainly better defend yourself.

I think we should start a new group:
Objecting to

Thanks for sharing your stories here...glad to know I'm not the only one having this trouble!

Being called vicious and a barbarian is a deterrent unless you have a mother that understands how full of crap school officials are(Mine didnt at the time). As was basically getting told that I was the one that could get kicked out of school if I defended myself again.

DJ is a lucky kid to have a great mom :)

Hey. If DJ goes after Big Bully after school and not on school property, the school can't punish him. Or at least, they shouldn't be able to.

That's what we did, growing up. "Meet you at the park at 3:30!" "I'll be there!" [growl} [growl]

Effing unbelievable that this sort of shit goes on today.

Okay, if they have a zero tolerance policy on the hitting, and you were able to observe him pushing/shoving several kids just in the few minutes you were standing in the hallway, my guess is the teacher HAS observed him hitting in the past.

I think you're doing the right thing though, in letting DJ know he has your support, and in him seeing you "going up to bat" for him at the school. It means a lot to kids to know their parents will stand up for them, and I think a lot of parents would have just told their kid to "suck it up". (sad, but true)

There is a difference between being a bully and defending yourself. He needs to defend himself. But you also need to keep a record of all of this so that when he does defend himself and get into trouble with the school you can go to the school board and prove your point. But they are right....him just knowing you are on his side will help him immensely in dealing with the problem. But you shouldn't stop...it's educators such as that principle who make it so hard on the "good" parents. Keep standing up for what's right...try to get those other parents whose kids have been bullied to stand up with you.

I will be interested to see how the situation resolves. I too am a Michele, and I too have a 9 year old son. (Difference in our situation is I am happily married) Problem is, when I went to the school over "our" bully being a pain in the butt, and spoke to principal, I was told that if my son retaliated in any way, he would be suspended, and it would be on his school records for life. I was told that if I would encourage my son to let the teachers/adults know, the situation would be resolved. It wasn't. I encouraged my son to tell every time the bully was bullying. This has now labeled my son a "tattle-tale". It has alienated the other children, and has added even more stress to my son's life. Seems that the bully tries to find times that no one is around or says "Prove it - you are just trying to get me into trouble" and now the teacher views my son as someone who is making things up. Encourage your son to retaliate, and be done with the bully.

I'm sure that any self-defense instruction DJ gets from his family will be adequate for this situation though you still might want to consider martial arts classes in the future. There's a lot more to them than just learning how to beat people up. Of course they can be expensive but there are some cheap alternatives that are just as good. For example you can check to see if your local YMCA offers any sort of boxing instruction.

When DJ cleans BB's clock, be prepared to throw the principal's words back in his face. Ask him if perhaps there's something BB did to egg DJ on. Perhaps BB angered him in some way? Wonder why there's antagonism between the two. Remind him that they need to be careful of children's feelings. They wouldn't want DJ to think they were against him, right? They need to understand DJ and his actions. Perhaps if BB was taken out of the equation you could see what was really going on with DJ, how he behaves when BB is out of the classroom. Suggest that a proper punishment would be to have him sit on a bench for a few minutes and then go back to class. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Heck, now that you know that the BB is not so big, I hope DJ cleans his clock and uses all the advice he's been given as to how to go about it. And the detention thing? Just do it off school grounds.

In "the real world" you or someone else would kick the principal's ass for being so fucking ignorant. Wonder what he would have said to that?

I was never bullied as a kid - but my brother was and I always had to end his fights for him. Let me tell you, all this feel good, psycho-babble doesn't mean SHIT in "the real world". Big Bully needs to get his ass kicked, but good.

Go get him, DJ!

by the way, headache or not that kid is going to school tomorrow!!!!!! DONT BE AN ENABLER!!!!!

Terrifying Theory of the Day:

History Recap:
  • Kid gets bullied
  • Kid shoots up school
  • Kid goes to jail for a long time
  • Schools take bullying seriously
  • Schools forget lesson
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to have it repeat in their schools. My suggestion:
  • Document everything
  • Tell principal you are documenting
  • Offer to make documentation available when something happens

    My guess? Something will get done.

    On the other hand, it may be necessary for your child to respond to the bully. Tell him to make sure it's off-school property and make sure your child understands what a "limited and appropriate" response is. If the bully winds up dead, your kid will have a rough life.

It always makes me SO mad the way teachers talk to everyone like they would talk to a five year old. I think they specifically train them to do that in teacher's college. My husband has a couple of relatives who are teachers and they even talk to everyone that way at family gatherings!

My youngest is a senior now and the schools here in OK are not as bad as they were in VA but I often wish I could go back in time and do things differently. I tried to be nice and work with them but it did not good. I think if I had it to do over again I would go out of my way to be a cast-iron bitch.

I don't understand how the principle can condone bullying aas being a real world prooblem, or maybe I am reading that wrong!

Michele, you are doing an awesome job! I think that the fact the DJ is worried about hurting the BB, but that he knows that he should tell someone/standup to them is a testament to how great a parent you are.

I think if I had kids I would be standing right behind them as they took the bully on, be damned what the school board said. I am in no way advocating violence, but one should not be punished for a defence.
oh well that's my 2 cents.

good going Michele!

BRAVO!!!!!! Thank you for standing up for your child and to the school system. I am tired of mamby-pamby, politically correct, tree-hugging, Hands-across-America, know-it-alls looking down thier noses at people who see black and white, not grey.

When I was growing up (late 70's), my father taught me NEVER throw the first punch but make sure you throw the last one. My son is the same age (9 in 4th grade) and he was being bullied on the bus, after my wife's meeting with the prinicpal got nowhere (same as yours), I took over. The next day when the bus dropped off my son I stood in the door and asked the driver if he knew about the 2 bullies causing trouble with the younger kids. He said nothing was brought to his attention. I then asked my son where the kids were, one had gotten off but the other was still there. I looked at him and said, if i ever heard of him bothering ANYONE on the bus again, I would follow the bus until it dropped him off and wait in the driveway until his parents came home and explian to them why I was there and make sure that he was punished. I told him to tell his buddy the same thing, then I told my son to shake his hand and start tomorrow off saying 'Good Morning' and try to be nice to each other.

Next day I got 7 phone calls from other parents saying Thank you, including the bully's mom!!!!!!!

Hope your boy does fine! But sometimes nothing moves a school administrator like a phone call from a lawyer!!!


One more thing - if DJ gets suspended for justly defending himself give him a big reward - take a day off and do something he enjoys a lot - and most important of all, make sure the teacher and principal know that you rewarded him. It will infuriate them, of course, but you'll be letting them know that you won't let them get away with unjust punishment.

Aunt Lisa's pretty funny! We must be cut from the same mold, cuz I woulda chosen the her approach (telling everyone that bully's dad told mom that he still pees his pants) over the physical approach.

of course, i've always had a way with words...

I think you handled it perfectly. Well done.

And did you record it to play back for the superintendent and, failing that, the local paper?

My kids all know if they have to defend themselves I will back them up. Hell, I'm the one who showed them the moves to begin with.

Sounds like the principal needs to get in "the real world"... what kids has the courage to blow the whistle on a bully?

Time to go over his head.

Michele - I think you're doing a terrific job with DJ. Reminds me of my own Mother who was President of the Wichita PTA back in the '50s in part, I'm sure, because she stood up to the system for EVERY kid in the schools, (not just her five). She would not have tolerated this PC crap. The only thing I can add to the comments above is this ... I live in NYC and can be at your back if ever needed. You're an inspiration. Best, Terry

right on, dj.

honey, that's the first time i've smiled all day. thank you for that, and give him a hug from me.

Do encourage him to tell his teacher. I can't speak for where DJ goes to school, but they encourage kids not to be tattletales in our grade school. They give them a short list of instances where it is ok to tell on someone. I think all of us would agree that this is an such a situation, but a kid might second guess themselves. DJ knows he has a powerful advocate in you, but obviously he has reason to doubt those at the school. I can see why he would hesitate to go to them with something so important.

That being said, keep up the good work and keep writing. There are those of us who may need a how to guide on this subject in the future.

To begin with, your school needs a new principal. That one is a failure. If your school system is set up anything like ours, there are reports the principal must file concerning incidents such as this, and if there's one thing the principal doesn't want to do it's file these reports because it exposes him as a failure - which he is. Call the police over to your home and file a report. Then, the principal will no longer have the luxury of sweeping this one under the rug. Eventually, the police should ask whether you want to press charges. Depending on the circumstances at that point in time, you can go either way. In our case, the next thing the bully kid did was set fire to garages at an apartment complex up the street. Bully kid's father was - guess what? - a child counselor. LOL. But you must protect your son, and this bullcrap the schools have going where you get suspended simply for defending yourself will end a lot sooner if parents take it out of the hands of failed principals such as yours and put it in the hands of the law.

My son was bullied at school, too. One thing that helped was several moms whose kids were bullied by the same group of little snot-nosed punks got together and made sure the administration wouldn't just sit by twiddling their thumbs. The alpha-bully was eventually suspended. The others lost their steam. Something that helped me in when I was bullied in elementary school was a sense of humor. I fired back once with a smart remark no one was expecting, and it broke the ice. The same eventually worked for my son. When parents, teachers, and administrators make excuses for bullies and their peers, the bullies will only get worse. They want to see how much they can get away with. Negative attention is still attention.

Looks like you got a keeper, Michele. Looks like he has a mom who's raising him right, too.

The Aunt gets my vote, the mental over the physical usually gets 'em worried enough to stop. But there are times when violence needs to be met with violence, or in this case when some snotty-nosed rotton kid is making life difficult for another who just happens to be Michele's son. I'm all for Dawns insane approach actually. I've been bullied, and I cracked and laid into a few kids my age who were giving me hell. I may have been fat, but I could use my weight and I still throw a decent punch when I'm pissed off. It also helped that my dad was a security officer - big and imposing to 9 year-olds. His occasional presence worked wonders.

Good on you for encouraging your boy to defend himself.

The bully is a bedwetter??? ROFLMAO! DJ should announce it to the entire class! I'll bet the group of boys egging on the bully would disappear in a hurry. Bully might even get a taste of his own medicine. A little humiliation might be just what he needs.

Tell DJ to use it! (Right after he tells the teacher & kicks the little bastard in the balls)

There's a vast difference between encouraging violence (that's a no-no) and asserting in your son the right to defend himself (that's NOT a no-no). Kudos to you!

Bravo. My only complaint is with this:

"And then I'll go kick him in the balls."
"That's my boy."

This is something that only a woman would encourage. It makes sense for women who is attacked to take advantage of this male weakness, but in a fight between two boys (especially when the bully is no bigger), there's no reason for it. It's the low road (literally).

On another note... does DJ have any chance to interact with BB away from school grounds? If the fight doesn't take place on school grounds, he won't get in trouble...

You did the right thing. I posted in another comment that last year I had a meeting with a principal and some teachers about my (then) 13 year old son. They were convinced he was a bit of a problem. They had the gall to tell ME what he is all about, deep inside, what his true motivations were. BullSHIT!

He is now in high school, loves it, doesn't get into ANY trouble, and is fitting in just fine, thank you. Just like I knew he would.

And, beware, the 6th-8th grades are the worst, if you have all women teachers - they do not know how to handle boys at that age very well, from what I've seen, and from what other parents I know have seen. Not all are bad of course, but all it takes is one if its your kid's teacher.

Good luck. As long as DJ knows you're backing him up, things will turn out OK in the long run.

two things:

michele, will you be my mom? Seriously. You kick a whole lot of ass, lady.

Chris: this is a fight, not a friggin' dance. Kick that bully square in the nuts and smile when you do it. There is no "low road" during a fight...only before and after.

Also, in today;s climate, a fight off school grounds no longer prevents retaliation using "Zero Tolerance" policies. Just the admission you fought is seen as enough to discipline you in many cases.

However, I see that as a non-issue. On or off school grounds, I hope DJ stomps a mudhole in this kid, humiliates him in front of everyone and then teaches him later how to be a decent kid. THAT is my optimum outcome were I his parent.

Michele...the next time the principal talks about "real world," ask him what he thinks would happen to an employee who physically assaulted another employee at any "real world" corporation in America. Most probably, there would be instant termination. This would occur if any other employee witnessed it and reported it, not just if the victim took the initiative to report it.

In general, the use of the term "real world" is prevalent according to one's distance from it.

I would like to advise against DJ taking revenge against his bully. That's the wrong way to do it, though I've seen several people suggest it. What DJ needs is defense and deterrence, not vengeance. If DJ defends himself when he's bullied, it doesn't even matter if he can "win", the bully will get the idea that every time he picks on DJ he's going to get hurt and that should substantially discourage him.

As for me I never got bullied in school, even though I was the type that you might expect to be, being geeky and fairly low key. I attribute that to a combination of how I carry myself (with a fair amount of confidence) and not being easily rattled or easy to get a rise out of.


Another devious plan coming at you:

Since you were able to observe the bully in action while you stood in the hall, how about another, unannounced visit to the school. Only this time have a concealed video camera documenting the bully' actions. Then, drop by the dumbass principals office and ask him why you were able to video this bully in action and yet he was unaware, unable or unwilling to resolve the issue. And also tell him your next two stops are to 1) the school board and 2) the local TV station. Threaten to drop off a copy of the tape at each location.

You might also tell him that in the real world, when there is a problem, concerned parents resolve problems.

Bet you he pees his pants.

DJ is very fortunate to have you as his mom. All children should be even half as blessed.
The principal at DJ's school needs to be given an attitude adjustment--big time. (Personally, I think he needs to have a Come To Jesus talk with a few "concerned" parents and community members out behind the barn, but that's another matter.)
From my perspective (as a university instructor/administrator working in teacher education), I see that weak, ineffectual principals are the source of many (if not most) school site problems. A principal who refuses to act as an advocate for students who are being bullied should have the decision to look for another f*cking job forced upon him. If your disctrict has a parental ombudsman/liaison office, contact them and start getting this fuckwit's willful stupidity on record. You should also see if any other parents have had problems with this fellow; chances are very good that your experience with him is NOT an isolated event.
Just as DJ needs to tell his teacher that BB is tormenting him, so do you need to tell the district that the principal of your son's school is failing to fulfill the obligations of his position.

A few years ago my son was choked by a boy in school at his lunch time. The other boy was a huge 'behavior problem', as they say in the 'biz. This was an overseas school (DODDS), probably some of the worst, most awfully bureaucratic, unionized school systems anywhere, and the response was "yes, we know he is a problem, we're working on it, he can't be removed from the classroom, etc." I told the principals the next time he touched my child I was taking going to the local emergency room and contacting the MPs (our local police) to file an abuse citation. I made sure I mentioned that not only would I give the child's name and his parents, but that the school system knew this abuse was going on and did nothing to stop it. This helped a lot.

I would like to advise against DJ taking revenge against his bully. That's the wrong way to do it, though I've seen several people suggest it. What DJ needs is defense and deterrence, not vengeance

Huh? I think it's pretty fucking clear that DJ is very sensitive and has no vengeance in his heart to begin with, according to the conversation Michele posted. If it DOES come to blows, DJ will probably feel bad WHILE he's doing it. It will only be later, when he knows that the only thing he really hurt was the jerk's ego, that he'll feel okay.

And as for kicking him "down there", I say go for it... maybe if he does it REALLY hard, he'll permanently damage the swimmers and there won't be any BB Jrs.

Oops, is that vicious and barbaric?? Well, it's vengeance, but I can feel it, 'cos I won't be the one fighting the fucker.

HELL YES! What Laurence and irabk said! Video-tape the hell out of this whole thing! At least audiotape everything the principal says! Find a reporter and voila! The superindendant remembers that his is an ELECTED position!

You should take care of the principal as his is a sickness that will darken the lives of many more children/parents than just DJ's. He is a problem, indeed a poster-boy for the problems with public education.
But DJ takes care of the bully. Don't push him, but hope that he doesn't run/avoid/tell forever. He'll have far less baggage later on in life if he stands up to this moron himself, regardless of whether he wins the ensuing confrontation or not. Believe me, I know of what I speak.

Videotaping the incident sounds like a GREAT idea...

Does your local TV station have one of those community "We'll help you" reporters? The "Problem Solvers" or some such dumb name? They can be very effective in getting things done. They will likely stick a camera in the Principal's face themselves and show any tape you make, just with the bully blurred out.


I meant to post this yesterday...thought I'd share with you - and this is coming from a "bad" pacifist - I try to avoid fighting, but if somebody messes with my family...

For what it's worth, we're raising our older son (7 yrs) to defend himself if somebody tries picking on him, and that goes for defending his younger sisters, and momma (we're a very traditional Latin family).

He won't let anybody push him around. I've seen him stand up to teenagers for trying to push him around, and I've seen him walk up to men in the 20s and tell them to have a bit of respect when they address his mother. The downside, he won't let his sisters play with little boys, "because they're not supposed to have boyfriends" (I wonder where he got that idea, maybe from a selfish father?)

He's a good kid, and he knows there's something about defending family and personal pride and honor. And yes, we do teach him to defend himself (my wife the Latin momma is a master). He knows we'll always support him if it's defensive, but let me catch him picking on anybody and that's another story...

And less you think this little boy is a monster, this is the same boy that will see some child hurt at school and go to the nurses to help out, or give his lunch to others who he thinks are hungry. Or who prays for the poor at night. He's not a saint - he's just a little boy.

It's not a popular subject at schools, and yes he's been kicked out of his private school once (already) and sent to the headmaster a million times (and us called in because they don't support this sort of behaviour because we all just have to get along).

But you know what, I don't care...I too was pushed around when I was younger, until one day it dawned on me that I was bigger than most of the other kids, and that most bullies are pipsqueaks. First time I defended myself I was a sophmore in class, and a big fight it was, with chairs thrown and three teachers pulling us apart - and I realized that my six foot frame at that time could pack a whallop. I was kicked out of school a week, and my parents were supportive. And you know what, from that day forward I was never bothered againv - at that school.


Bitch at you? I'm cheering you on.

Two of the things really wrong with this country today is that there seem to be too many schools like this and that there are not more parents (and aunts and uncles) like DJ's.

We ought to give you an award, not complain about you!

Amazing! If violence for violece is the rule, then what about the truely vurnerable among us? D.J.'s bully was no bigger than he was. That's usually not the case. Not every one will be able to physically defend themselves but all can be secure in their school. The key as others have stated is to document,(name, date, place, time, what happened, and witnesses)and to push the issue with your school's administrators, going over the building principal's head if necessary. The law is on your side and few if any administrators will risk a pending lawsuit.

A futher note. A nine year old, bully or not, is does not have to be another Saddam. By holding administrators accountable, we can get this nine year old the help he needs before it's too late. School districts are reluctant to place these kids due to budget constraints. Their issue is with the state and taxpayers over funding. Unfortunately, we, the taxpayers, tend to be shortsighted. We'd rather save some money now and pay when these same individuals appear in court and in our prison systems.