Monday, May 18, 2009

A Copy of the Lovely E-Mail I Got to Send My Son's School This Evening

My son, Smoochie, came home from school and informed us that he was punched in gym class today. Upon questioning, he told us that he was punched not once, but twice. Once in the stomach, and once in the back- hard enough that he cried. We asked him what he did, and he said he told his gym teacher what happened, and his gym teacher said he would talk to the boy who hit him. According to what my son has told us, he did not hit the child back, and did exactly what he was supposed to do according to the school policy and rules.

Right now I am a very concerned parent. I was under the impression that there was a no tolerance policy regarding violence in the school system. While I do understand that there are occasions when boys will be boys, and that sometimes accidents do happen, I should be able to send my son to school without fear of his physical and mental well being. He should not be afraid of being hit at school, nor should he be afraid of being made fun of for crying because of this- both of which happened to him today.

A couple of things lead me to wonder if this situation was handled appropriately. The first and foremost being that no notification of any kind of the incident was sent home with my son to explain what may have happened. Does lack of notification mean that the situation was handled properly, and steps have been taken to ensure that it doesn't happen again?

I think the biggest thing I am looking for is assurance that this situation will not happen again, and that I can send him to school knowing that he will not be harmed again physically. As a mother, it is my duty to insure that the incident is only a one time thing, and is addressed before it has the opportunity to become a pattern. My son loves school, loves learning, loves attending, and it would be heartbreaking to see his attitude change because of something like this.

I did try to call the office, but by the time Smoochie got home today, the office was already closed. I felt an e-mail would be a much better approach than a voicemail message.

Thank you for your time,
Smoochie's Mom.

*I would like some input here, am I over reacting? Should I have just let the incident go? Because I have to confess, right now my Momma Bear Gene has been triggered, and I'm a little toasty under the collar. I can think of nothing more appealing than making heads roll. How on earth do you tell your kid to do the right thing if it happens again? To me, it's almost like telling the poor boy to be a doormat, especially if the school has done nothing. In all fairness, the school has not had a chance to respond yet, as I am sure they will do with all of the politically correctness they can muster. But there's a fine line here, really. At what point do you tell your children that violence never solves anything , and at what point do you give your child permission to stand up for him/herself?


Jafael said...

I like your letter, I think it is well worded, and calm. As for the rest of your concerns, this is so far out of my never-been-a-parent league that I'll just say, I feel for you, and good luck! Here's to the school responding well, and there being no further problems. I do like the bit in your letter about no notification being sent home with your son.

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, friend, you absolutely didn't overreact. Your email appeard calmly worded, and truly, I think garners respect because don't come off as hot under the collar, even though, understandably, that's how you naturally feel. I speak from experience after this year, and what we dealt with regarding my 7 year old being bullied on the school bus. Our school also has a zero tolerance policy that I think really means they attempt to work out the matter through discussion before escalating to anything more should the bullying not stop. We were lucky in that once all parties were made aware of what had been going on, the student in question who was bullying my son was spoken to and made to apologize to my son. I'm pleased to say that the actions taken really did help combat the matter, and the little boy who loved going to school and woke up happy every day returned to my house.

Honestly, my instinct was to tell my son to fight back. Hell, I wanted to join him! However, at this point in his life, when we teach them not to fight with their siblings, etc., I find it hard to tell him to do so, and then on the other hand, I don't want him to be a wimp. So basically, what I told him is, never ever ever be the instigator, and always try to find a better way to solve the situation, but when that breaks down, do not ever be afraid to stand up for yourself.

I've recently watched some television programs that now say we should immediately encourage our children to fight back because, honestly, in this day of school violence, etc., we never know what they might be dealing with at the hands of another person. I don't yet really know how I feel about that school of thought because I've not had to help my child out of a situation so dire. I truly hope I never, ever have to.

Mom said...

I feel at this point you are handling it the right way, but if you don't get a response that you agree with then you should be standing in the Principal's office until it is resolved! No one has the right to hit another person these days with out having consequences! Love Mom