17 July, 2008

It is definitely time for this school year to end.

There's a boy in S's class who is a complete terror. He disrupts class, bullies other kids and vandalizes property on the way home from school. Unfortunately he lives near us and walks to school using the same route as S. If he sees S he runs up to him, kicks him, throws him into bushes and pushes him out into the street.

I've tried talking to the teacher. I've tried talking to the mother. Other parents of bullied kids have gone to the principal, all to no avail. Two weeks ago he choked another student when the teacher left the room. Nothing happened.

Today the teacher left the room again.

This terrorist started mercilessly teasing a heavyset boy in the class. S told him to knock it off and leave him alone. So he turned his full wrath on S. Yanked him out of his chair by the hair and threw him on the ground. S apparently got up and got back in his chair, only to be dragged out by the hair and thrown on the ground again. This was completely without any further provocation from S-- I heard the story from S's classmates long before I heard it from him.

This time he's gone to far. I have contacted the police. I talked with an officer and told him very calmly what had happened, and that I realize that this incident in itself didn't end in personal injury but that I was worried that the next one might. At first he sounded a bit skeptical, because, of course, we are talking about third graders here, but later he became sympathetic and said that he'd pay this kid and his mother a visit, and that maybe that would help.

I picked S up from sports this afternoon and when I saw the terrorist I just boiled over. I shouted at him and told him I'd called the police and if he so much as touches another hair on S's head again he's going to be very, very sorry.

Scared him to death, at least for now, and embarrassed him in front of the the teacher and the other students. I'm not proud of myself for terrorizing a 9 year old, and S will probably suffer the repercussions later, but at a certain point enough is enough. Even for a committed pacifist like myself...

5 more days of school. Just 5 more days....


The Ripley Porch said...

I sat and watched this entire "game" that German kids go through....up until the end of the 4th grade. I don't think any of teachers will see their kids as "threats"...until the cops show up and ask questions.

Its interesting though...around the fifth grade...suddenly things change and teachers start writing warning letters and notes for anything.

I think half of these teachers at the first level just see this as a simple show-up and wink deal. There are two kids from my village who showed huge issues in the first four years...went onto the next school...and over the next four years were major problems...with one sent off to some major disciplinary program (somewhere in Finnland). I laughed when someone told me this story...figuring that the kid just never had any real control placed on him.

anno said...

Yikes! I hope S. is not too shaken after all this. I think having a mother who will speak up for you is a good thing. Being a pacifist is not at all the same as being passive. I hope the next five days pass very quickly!

Anonymous said...

S may be embarrassed that his Mother called Police now, but I think he'll admire you forever for sticking up for him. Nobody needs to 'put up' with crap like that from any kid, German or American. Period.
Makes me wonder where this kid learned to behave this way. Maybe he plays too many violent video games or has parents that beat the crap out of him behind closed doors.
I would have done the same thing as you have. Well done.
Let us know the rest of the story. Lurking Lisa

Betsy said...

Ripley: You're definitely right about the discipline problems in the Grundschule. For some reason S's class seems to have more than their share of bandits and the poor teacher can't really do anything about it.

This certain terrorist and one of the other ones will be gone next year, though, so I'm hoping that will change the dynamic a bit.

anno: The pacifist comment referred not to taking the step of calling the police, but to the fact that I morphed into a raging mother grizzly bear on the playground.

Part of me thinks that it would have been more dignified to keep my cool, but the other part was satisfied to see just how scared he was of me. I think this was the first time someone's mother has approached him that way at school and he was duly impressed.

Lurking Lisa: You hit it right on the head. His situation at home is horrible, and I generally have a lot of sympathy for him. This kid is on his way to doing hard time, and that doesn't benefit anyone. BUT the fact is, he's terrorizing my child, and it's got to stop. Luckily S wasn't embarrassed, just impressed that someone finally did something.

I spoke at length with the mother yesterday evening. And I feel good about the fact that I had a very civil, but firm conversation with her.

She said that the police will be making a visit today and that he's shivering with fear.

I am not naive enough to think that this one incident will scare him straight-- he's too troubled for that. But it might make a difference for now and I think I can at least feel good about doing the right thing and handling the situation with integrity.

Africakid said...

Supermom to the rescue!
Hang in there, only 4 days now...just think of relaxing on vacation, far from the school.

Africakid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goofball said...

incredible story

Gardner said...

Wow! Very brave and admirable. Nice work. Much success going forward. We know first hand how difficult it can be to watch a child terrorized in grade school and hope for the best.