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My Child Was Suspended For Standing Up To His Bully

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Children can be so sweet and innocent but what happens when bullying at school changes them?
When bullies dig their claws in and that happiness is ripped away from your child?

Bullying is a problem so many children face and it is a delicate situation for all involved. Parents find it difficult to teach their child how to deal with bullies because they don’t want to give the wrong advice and it turn out worse for their child. In the same breath of air they don’t want their kid to be bullied at school.

Bullying At School – It shouldn’t happen but it does

My boys have been bullied in the past. Not terribly but bullied none the less. We taught them to be the bigger person, walk away. Don’t let the bully see that what they are saying is hurting you emotionally. Tell the teacher if it gets too much.
My boys survived, they got smarter, and they removed themselves from situations that could possibly result in the bullies picking on them.

But what happens when the emotional bullying turns to violence?

This happened to my 9 year old. He was being bullied by two older boys in his class, who were known throughout the school for bullying. Initially it was name calling here and there, throwing his belongings around but one day it turned violent. After weeks of being psychologically beaten down by his tormentors and him approaching the teacher for help, telling her what has been happening and nothing being done, my son was physically attacked.

Where were the teachers that were supposed to be standing up for him? Protecting him while he is in their care? I suspect not wanting to get involved due to ‘school politics’. So much for the anti bullying ‘Bully-Free Zone’ the school claims to have.
I understand they cannot act on every report a child comes to them about, particularly if they didn’t witness it. However when it is constant and you can see the emotional changes taking place before your eyes in a once very happy go lucky child, it should become a priority to at least investigate it.

After being punched my son did what he was told to do and tell the teacher. It landed on deaf ears. Nothing was done. It was at this point we changed our approach with how we told our son to deal with his bullies. It was clear that the school was not going to step up and fulfill it duty of care towards my child, therefore my 9 year old had to do it himself. He is not a child that likes confrontation and will try to avoid it at all costs so we didn’t like the odds.

bullying at school

Another week went by and my son asked for help from his educators repeatedly before he was hit in the head with a hockey stick, punched in the face and then kicked in the back of the head during class. Oh and I should mention that even after these events took place not one teacher stepped in to do a thing. To our surprise, our son got up and fought back.
Yes, he grabbed his bully and hit him back. A scuffle did occur between the two boys but it wasn’t until my son stood up to his bully and gave him a dose of his own medicine that a teacher decided to step in.

I received a phone call from the principle telling me that our son was involved in a fight and was to be suspended for a week. So was the other child but from where we stood, our son got suspended for standing up to his bully when no one else would help him. When no one else offered him support when he needed it most.

We as parents do not believe that violence is the answer however when your 9 year old is being tormented on a daily basis, something has to give. We could not be more proud of our son for standing up and challenging his bully. He has got his power back and they now know that he will not take their emotional or physical harassment anymore.

NB: This is not to be used as recommendation or advice. It is a recollection of events that occurred in our life. If you need help with your child please utilise the links below.  

References that may help if your child is being bullied at school:
Kids Help Line
Bullying No Way
Reach Out – Bullying and abuse
Bully Zero Australia Foundation
Kids Health – Bullying

Has your child been bullied? Has your child been the bully? How did you deal with it?

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15 Comments

  1. 18/07/2016 / 7:21 am

    I would go and talk the principal and ask how your child was allowed to be hit in the head with a hockey stick on school grounds. I would also ask why no teachers stepped in to help him when he was hit in class. It may not get your child unsuspended but they will watch more closely on his return.

    • 18/07/2016 / 7:22 am

      Also ask what course of action your child is meant to take. If they say ‘tell the teacher’ point out that was what he was doing but he kept being physically hurt regardless. Put it on them.

  2. 18/07/2016 / 7:34 am

    I am so sorry to hear this and it seems to be a massive school failing. I would be on fire if this had been allowed to escalate to this extent with any of my own kids. The teachers and principal are to blame. I understand how frustrating it is when teachers do not listen to your child. It wouldn’t be bold enough to actually pull your child/ren from this school and find another. I know a few who have taken such measures (including myself) and never looked back.

  3. Rebecca H
    18/07/2016 / 10:35 am

    I’m going to be honest! My daughter was in kinder and the year 6 students were kicking them up the butt when no was looking!!! No resolve! So went to the school myself and ask my child to point these kids out to me! This honestly was something I knew I could get in trouble. It stopped! I just needed them to see me and that I knew what they were up too. Trust is an issue for me when it comes to schools and their systems of resolution.

  4. 18/07/2016 / 10:43 am

    I’m sorry to hear this happened to your son – what a shame the school didn’t address it before it got to that stage. It’s hard to comment objectively without knowing the school’s side of the story – personally in our school we take these issues very seriously.

    Oh and thanks for the chance to link up

  5. 18/07/2016 / 10:56 am

    I know that schools today are suppose to have a no tolerance policy towards bullying but bullies still exist and the truth is bullies are always going to exist. There are bullies in adulthood and if we don’t learn to stand up to a playground bully we will never learn to stand up to adult sized ones. We already exist in an environment where everyone expects someone else to fight there battles for them so I really don’t think all the anti bullying is really helping kids learn to cope.

    Especially when there cries for help fall on deaf ears. Good for your son for standing up for himself. I’m sorry but we all know that true bullies in childhood or adulthood don’t go away from a stern talking to or a kiss and a cookie. Good for you mom for supporting your kid!

  6. 18/07/2016 / 11:24 am

    This is an issue more prevalent than should be. Sometimes like me, you don’t even know it’s happening if the bullying is not physical.
    The first I knew my son, with a developmental delay, was being bullied was when another mother whose son was in my son’s school class, and we knew outside of school activities said “I’m so glad you changed schools for ***, he was getting bullied, but he seems much happier now”. Why did she not mention it to me?
    Please if you think another child is being bullied, have a gentle chat with the child’s mother – she probably doesn’t know about it!!

  7. 18/07/2016 / 11:35 am

    I completely feel you! I’ve been in a similar situation with my son where he was getting bullied and despite him telling the teacher a number of times nothing was done. I confronted the teacher each and every time, to the point where I know I was being annoying but didn’t care. I will stand up for him always, every single time. It is SO frustrating. Also, on the times where he was actually hit the teacher actually made excuses for the bully, trying to explain away the behaviour. It makes me sick. Also my son, like yours, is gentle and has good morals. It’s so hard! What I did was discuss the situation with the teacher every single morning that it was going on, just be a real pain in her ar*e, until she just got on top of it probably because she was sick of hearing it from me. Your situation is so unfair! I hope you can get it fixed, the school sounds really unprofessional. 🙁

  8. 18/07/2016 / 11:54 am

    That is terrible, I agree I would talk to the principal and let him know that your son was hit with a hockey stick. I don’t blame your son for fighting back. It looks like the school has failed him.

  9. 18/07/2016 / 12:51 pm

    So sorry to hear this and it makes me dread coming up against a similar situation when my daughter gets to be school age. How ridiculous that your son is being punished for having to defend himself after doing the right thing. I’ve heard from family members whose children were in a class with a kid who was cutting clothes with scissors but nobody wanted to deal with it for cultural reasons. Unacceptable.

  10. 18/07/2016 / 9:09 pm

    I don’t think schools have any power over these bullies anymore. There seems to be an epidemic of bullying in so many schools. I would be considering a change of school. This is not OK for any child to have to deal with.

  11. 19/07/2016 / 3:09 am

    As an educator for the last two decades and a parent, there is a fine line between the rules that are written and the real world rules. Your son was suspended due to the rules that are written but in the real world, what your son did is great. That kid will not (if he has any sense) be bothering your kid any more.

    You need to ask for documentation from the teachers that your son was being bullied. If they hear a report from the student that he/she is being bullied then they are to file some sort of documentation (at least here in California). In the case of your child being hit over the head with a hockey stick, that starts to fall into legal areas (i.e, assault with a deadly weapon). Even if the other student is not charged, using a weapon is grounds for explosion. If any adult (teacher, para, office worker, etc) saw your student being abused like this, then they are personally libel and can be sued (I sign a document every year attaining this fact), the school is also libel in a civil court of law. In California, there have been lawsuits attaining to this fact.

    I would go pass the principal as it seems like he has no control over is staff. I would go straight to the school district office and ask for an investigation. Seems like something is wrong there.

    My kid was bullied in high school (some guy was sending her x-rated pictures) and I followed the steps, the school said they couldn’t do anything. I read the education code to them and laws and threatened to sue. A lot of school administrators believe that parents don’t know the laws and rules and take the easy way out. Long story short, I got my meeting with the principal and again, he said he couldn’t anything. He didn’t know, I know the laws and rules. When I spouted what I did for a living, he changed his tune and the bullying stopped.

    Bullying has no place in school but it happens and a lot of educators look the other way because it is easier.

  12. 19/07/2016 / 6:00 am

    My daughter had ongoing issues in the last year of primary. We got the school involved and they made things worse. Pulled the bully and my daughter in for some ‘mediation’. The bully lied through her teeth and then the moment the teacher wasn’t looking was at it again with reinforcements. Nothing physical though.

    I strongly believe the fact my daughter stood up for herself in the end, meant she missed out on a major award at the end of the year but I was proud of her for taking a stance. Of course as soon as my daughter stood up for herself the bullies mother was in at the school in a flash.

  13. 19/07/2016 / 6:42 am

    Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Don’t forget to comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured! Pinned and shared.

  14. 19/07/2016 / 8:16 am

    Man, my babies are still babies and we haven’t entered this space yet. It makes me so worried, as I feel like there are a lot of teachers who go above and beyond – but there are also teachers doing the bare minimum and children are suffering. Where were the suspensions of the bullies when they hit your son with a hockey stick? It all seems a little crazy.

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