Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Suspended, Now My Kid Is Cool?

I get a call at work... your son has been in a fight, he seems to have bitten a kid, and has been suspended! Yikes!

I tell my office mate I have to run, kid has been in a fight, she laughs, been there, done that last month. I meet my boss in the parking lot, explain why I'm leaving work early, her response, been there, done that! They both have boys. What is it with schools and suspensions?

I rush to pick up our autism dog in training from her school and go to pick up my youngest, grade six, now suspended son. He's a pitiful sight, sitting in the principal's office, eyes red from crying. I just wanted to hug him, he looked so tiny on that chair. I knew I couldn't because we would both be crying then.

I go to him and ask what happened? The principal tries to butt in, but this is between me and my child right now. Long story short, he got mad at his best friend who was name calling, tripped him and bite him on the shoulder, no blood thankfully, and he has apologized to him. (Now I'm trying hard not to laugh, okay, okay, I know he might be a serial killer because of this, but really it is funny now that I know it was fairly minor.) He has been suspended for half a day, and may come back to school tomorrow.

Then the principal gets her two cents worth in. "Have you ever bitten anyone before?" My kid answers honestly, "Yes, my older brother". Principal goes into a rant about "anger management problems", "it's not in his record", blah, blah, blah. I get my kid out of there.

POINT: What use is suspension? He gets to go home and do nothing, or even play on his computer for the rest of the day. Why didn't they sit him in a room and give some extra math homework? Sending him home was a reward!

The buddy he bit, phoned him as soon as he got home, rumours were that he was suspended for two weeks. The principal just made him a hero in the other kids eyes. He gets to wear the "I've been suspended" badge for the rest of the year. He's now a badass to the other kids!!! Not at home he isn't. What don't the schools understand, suspension means the kid is now "cool"?

Anyways, his older brother came home, told him biting was for girls, and the biting problem is now solved. It will not happen again, not because of the principal talking about anger management, but because his older brother pretty much called him a girly guy.

Kids!! You got to love them!

22 comments:

Kitchener Conservative said...

School systems have a "All things boy are bad" mentality.

Just look at what kids are not allowed to do. They're all things that boys would normally do.

MacLean's had an article about this a while back, it was pretty telling.

Neo Conservative said...

*
my 12 year-old came home upset a while back that one of his best friends was name-calling and taking his hat. he wanted me to ask the teacher to move this kid further away from him in the classroom.

update... he spent all last saturday with this kid playing at his house.

we're talking young boys, here... not the blood-soaked middle east.

they can sort it out themselves.

*

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the suspension would have been more meaningful if you DIDN'T allow him to watch tv or play on the computer.

Do you have any involvement in disciplining your kids? Why is it the school's job to manage your child?

Biting is for girls? What kind of message is that?

I expect both of my children to control themselves at school regardless of their gender.

Biting isn't for girls, it's the behaviour of toddlers. Most children learn this by age 3.

Sounds like childish behaviour runs in the family at Hunter's house.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the old 'my kid can do no wrong' attitude.

maryT said...

Anon you are out to lunch on this.
My grandson is deaf, deaf kids, and sometimes adults, get others attention by touching them, usually on the back or shoulder if they are facing away from them. When he was 5, and in kindergarten I was called into the office, he had touched a girl inappropriately. I laughed out loud.
As he was reaching for her she turned around so he touched her above her breast. Female principal called the mother and me. I would not accept a suspension, instead threatened to take him to the school of the deaf in Edmonton, at a cost of over 20,000/yr, paid by the school board. The school would lose the 8,000./yr extra funding for him. Someone would have to be let go. Of course I won, and that poor girl was ignored by the other kids all year. Family moved.
These young parents are so ignorant. If kids could play and settle their differences without parental interference we would have less young offenders out there.

Kitchener Conservative said...

Come on anonymous (if that is your real name, HA HA)

Kids fight, Kids bite when they fight, if you're a parent, you should know this.

"Most children learn this by age 3", Ya, biting as part of their normal everyday behavioural responses. Even adults will bite when they fight.

"Do you have any involvement in disciplining your kids? Why is it the school's job to manage your child?
...
Sounds like childish behaviour runs in the family at Hunter's house."....wow! with these types statements, I wonder if you really are a parent.

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely not normal behaviour for 11 yr old kids to bite, deaf or otherwise.

This isn't about martyring the offender with a suspension, it's about parents accepting responsibility for their children's behaviour.

To blow it off as merely typical kid stuff is shameful. To go a step further and suggest that biting is normal for girls is pathetic.

My oldest is 10 and a girl. If I had a call from school saying she'd bit another student, I'd be shocked.

My youngest isn't quite 4, there was one biting incident when he was 2. My partner and I dealt with the matter. We certainly didn't leave it to an older sibling.

Before anyone accuses me of being a latte sipping lefty, and I fail to see how my partisan stripes have any bearing on the matter, I voted conservative last election.

As for Kitchener Conservative, I don't see how your nickname makes you any less anonymous than me.

jad said...

I just love people who post comments criticising your parenting and then hide behind the name "anonymous". Either they are too timid to provide a real name or too dull to think up a "handle". Anyway, try not to be quite so sensitive about your politics. Nobody really cares.

As an only child with virtually no experience of small boys, raising my son was at times quite eye-opening. I remember being completely horrified whan he came home one time having obviously been in a fight. My husband's response - "All boys fight, it's in the genes". And this from a guy who could have been the model for the original 125 lb weakling.

The whole idea of suspension, however, really does concern me, particularly nowadays when most parents are both working. I suppose the idea is that you are so ticked off at having to come home from work to take care of your kid that you take it out on him. But what happens when enither parent can take the time off as easily as you apparently could? I think parents have a duty to bring up well-behaved kids, but teachers have a responsibility to ensure all the kids behave properly when they are at school, and in my experience, it takes at least two to tango. It seems that nothing happened to the other kid involved here.

When I was at school, we had detention, so you had to stay behind when the other kids left for the day. Obviously someone had to stay with us, although I'm not sure if it was a teacher or one of the senior pupils. In any case, it wasn't much fun and seemed to accomplish its purpose.

One thing, your kid has a great elder brother ! They always respond much better to criticism from other kids, and particularly older siblings.

Don said...

Idiot school system, idiot principle, idiot anonymous person who is going to be shocked as heck one of these days.

Kids "fight". It's the nature of boys to roughhouse. All the feelgood legislation in the world won't change this simple fact. Usually when boys scuffle it's a few punches to the chest and head, some wrestling, and no "real" damage to the participants.

Girls fight too. Girls fight differently from boys. When girls fight, they are vicious. They go for joints to cripple, eyes to disable, and "tender parts" to hurt. They claw, bite, and rip.

Yup, boys are much more prone to "fighting". Because they know it's nothing serious and they'll be able to remain friends after the scuffle is done. Unfortunately, our school system is now run by leftwing social workers who's knowledge of "fighting" is based on the way they themselves fight. Vicious all out war, which must be strictly controlled.

One of these days you're going to be shocked Anonymous, simply shocked.

Kitchener Conservative said...

"It's absolutely not normal behaviour for 11 yr old kids to bite, deaf or otherwise." again you've missed the point, it was part of a fight with his friend.

"To blow it off as merely typical kid stuff is shameful" you must be wound up too tight.

"My oldest is 10 and a girl. If I had a call from school saying she'd bit another student, I'd be shocked", even it was to defend herself? at best, your answer's hypothetical.

No offense, but you were extremely rude, something we see all the time, when you called Hunter's parenting skills question.

BTW, I may go by Kitchener Conservative, but I still have an email that connected to by profile that leads to a real person.

Kitchener Conservative said...

Oh ya anonymous, since I go by a unique name, it's easy to see who you're talking to, when you go by anonymous, it could be different people, hence the "if that's you're real name" snark

Anonymous said...

Kitchener Conservative,

I understand that young children fight with their friends. What YOU fail to understand is that biting is not acceptable behaviour, especially in an 11 yr old.

Your second remark, I must be wound up to tight fails to address the issue. Your comment, is in fact, an adnission that you're in over your head.

I believe my children are clever enough to defend themselves without resorting to biting. I apply this belief to the 3 yr old also. It's a given for my older child.

If Hunter doesn't wish to have her parenting skills called into question, perhaps she shouldn't display them on a blog attached to a widely read blog roll.

I think your final comment reveals much. You claim that you can be reached by email thereby making you a real person. I don't have a blog and I rarely comment at most.

Only those with blogs are real people when online?

My comments are my own, I don't require the support of an online community that agrees with every word I utter to feel confident in my beliefs. Perhaps if you spent less time indulging in virtual reality and more time squarely planted in reality, you'd make a little more sense.

Yours- Jason Bracken, Toronto, Ontario

Kitchener Conservative said...

"I understand that young children fight with their friends. What YOU fail to understand is that biting is not acceptable behaviour, especially in an 11 yr old."

I didn't say it was acceptable, if one of my children bites someone even when fighting, I don't pat them on the head and say good job, they get grounded.

"If Hunter doesn't wish to have her parenting skills called into question, perhaps she shouldn't display them on a blog attached to a widely read blog roll." she also doesn't have to take abuse from people like you or perhaps you don't mind it when someone questions your parenting skills?

My last point reveals that its easier to identify me as someone unique making comments, not just anonymous, now that you've included your name, now it's easier to know which anonymous is which, get it.

Anyways,

the point of the Hunter's story is that by suspending her kid, the school effectively turned him into someone cool. I think they could have handled these things better by, like Hunter said, more homework or some special assignment, then it's not so cool to do bad stuff it just means more work.

maryT said...

anon has a partner, one could jump to all kinds of conclusions from that stmt.

hunter said...

Kitchener Conservative, you have it right, it's about the school's washing their hands of any discipline in school.

Like any parent, we learn as we go, so far this has been the only incident from either of my boys, at school.

Jason, I told my boy to punch next time not bite. HA!! How's that for parenting skills!

Anonymous said...

im hunters son and this is what i have to say:

what anonymous said:

"I believe my children are clever enough to defend themselves without resorting to biting. I apply this belief to the 3 yr old also. It's a given for my older child."

i didnt have to resort to bite....it just hurts alot more and is easier then punching somone in the face, braking there nose, braking your fingers, and paying for the medical bills. hehe

hunter said...

Good one buddy, anon just got told by a 12 year old! (This from my oldest son!)

Anonymous said...

Hunter,

If those comments were actually from your 12 yr old, you have bigger problems than biting.

The kid is functionally illiterate.
The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree eh?

Kitchener Conservative said...

"The kid is functionally illiterate.
The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree eh?"...such harshness anonymous.

Sure there's some spelling mistakes, like braking instead of breaking and a couple missing words, but that hardly makes him functionally illiterate.

The kid's spelling is a function of how kids type on computers today. ie lol, saving keystrokes by dropping ', all lowercase, etc.

With all due respect, I'm sure you weren't waxing poetic as age 12 either.

hunter said...

I had a professor who was a really bad speller, he stated that "spelling is no indication of intelligence" I have lived by that quote all my life, because I am a really bad speller, but smart in my field of work.

maryT said...

When was the last time a student of any age brought home a paper or an assignment and the spelling errors were marked with a big red circle. Spelling is a non issue in school today, might hurt the self esteem of some kid to have it corrected. My son was/is a horrible speller, and even spell check does him in. I was told many years ago, don't worry, he will learn from reading ect. How can a person read if they can't spell or learn pronounciation. Spelling affects every subject one takes, from math to science.
Blame teacher unions, who want the money but not the work. In grade 5
he invented a new spelling method he said when he spelled nephew-nefu. If one uses closed caption on their tv you can see the problem. The wrong tense is used, the wrong spelling is used, especially with words like-to, new, red, for and so many others.
I wonder how many could pass the tests we had to take in our business class every morning, 100 words taken from the front page of the yesterdays paper. To get your credits you had to take 100 tests and get 100%, in a row. Flunk one and you started over again. Final marks were based on how many time you started over. (I passed with 98%)Some Russian leader fouled me up.
Thinking back, that exercise got students reading the paper, involved in world affairs and politics and current events.
Don't blame the boy for misspelling a word. Blame the curriculum that has taken spelling, as well as fun, out of the classroom.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the anon's who are questioning hunter's parenting will be in for a real shock if and when they have kids who are not perfect.


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