My son, who is now in high school, has had one fight during his school years. To be honest, it was more of an altercation than a fight. While I did not tell him at the time, I was actually proud of him.
He was in fourth grade and his class had just returned from a field trip. My son and some of his friends sat down outside to wait for the school bus. Apparently it must have been a great place to hang out because soon some older kids told my son and his friends to leave in a rather threatening tone. While my son’s friends were willing to leave, my son was not. He told the older students that, and to emphasize his point, he added a wisecrack. The other student was not taking no for an answer, plus he did not enjoy my son’s sense of humor, so he decided to attack my son from behind. My son fought back enough to escape as his friends went for help.
The reason I was proud of my son was that he did not back down from a bully. One of my fears as a parent was that one of my children would be one of those seemingly random kids who would be bullied or picked on. I remembered as a student myself the kids, who for some reason, were picked on by others. Even at a young age I was not sure what made them a target. I was relieved that my son stood up for himself at a young age. I told him I was happy with how he handled the situation although the wise remark was probably not a good idea. (My wife insists that he inherited the smart-aleck gene from my side of the family.)
My son’s incident was not a chronic bullying problem, but there is no denying that bullying in some form or another is an issue in our schools and now, with the Internet and social media, it can even reach a student in the safety of his or her own home. As in my son’s case, bullying happens outside of the eyes of the adults. Many students don’t share details of their private life even with (or especially with) their parents. (more…)