Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Suspended for 3 Days for Fighting

Cyr first came to us with a very flat affect. It was scary. She never laughed or became angry. She was just blah. She let her siblings run over her and barely complained. She has been victimized by many in her short life and didn't have the strength to stand up for herself physically....until today.

Last night, she asked me if I would be mad if she got into a fight at school. A girl had just texted her that she was going to "beat her ass" in the morning. She claimed to have no idea what she had done to this girl, they were friends just hours before. I was pretty confident it would blow over so I suggested she not do anything to the girl. If she was hit, defend herself. Shame on me for not being more clear. I should have said, "Do not let her continue to attack you. Get out of her way, if possible. Try to work things out with words." What she heard was, "If she hits you, you have my permission to beat the heck out of her until an adult pulls you apart." My mistake.

She got to school this morning and the girl came right up to her in the Cafe. The girl was screaming at her and Cyr told her that she wouldn't start it but she would finish it if she was attacked. The girl slapped her across the face and it was on. Cyr let out all her pent up anger on this unsuspecting girl. It sent her into a frenzy when the girl kicked her, like her brother does. She wouldn't stop hitting her until several adults pulled her off and then she refused to let go of her hair, pulling some of it out. She said there was a lot of hooting and hollering in the background but she doesn't know what was said. Eventually, she was taken to the office and I was called. She was under the impression she would get 1 day of in school suspension. She was quite surprised when she received 3 days of out of school suspension for the violence she showed towards this girl.

How do you teach them to not fight when you are so proud they actually did? I know she won't go around beating kids up but I don't want her to be puffing up her chest at any little conflict either. I didn't give her any additional consequences other than, she can't text her friends during school hours and if I heard her brag even a tiny bit about it, she would lose her phone for 3 days. She is really upset about being kicked out for any length of time. She loves school (boys). This child has never been remotely aggressive, ever. I'm a bit surprised she actually followed through with it. Am I being too easy?


Laura said...

My Monika is only 10. Last year she was in 3rd grade. Some boys on the playground were bullying her and her friend so she decided to beat the crap out of them. Somebody's clothes were torn, somebody's glasses were bent, somebody was bleeding- but Monika looked just fine.

Inside I wanted to say, "you go girl!" Instead I talked about geting help and walking away and had her write some sentences.

I think you're doing just fine! If it becomes a trend then you can change tactics later. For now, soak up the fact that she got out some seriously pent up anger and she allowed herself to feel something! Woohoo!

Kath said...

If you know she's not gonna do it again, I don't think you are being too easy. I think most teenagers, girls and boys get into at least one fight (Heck, I did) in their school days, and after seeing this, it will probably make other kids less likely to start with her. It's a one off, so I think you're right :)

Innocent Observer said...

Something similar happened with a friend of mine (not exactly the same, but close enough). She said, "The school gave her a 5 day suspension, I gave her a week long shopping spree!"

Personally, let the school have their consequences, you don't need to do anything. The fact that she stood up for herself FAR outweighs the fighting, IMO. Not only did she stand up for herself, she made sure to get your permission first! haha Go Cyr! Make sure there is some ice cream for lunch one day!

MyLinda said...

I think you are doing the right thing...she has her consequence from school!

Michelle said...

Tudu, can I just ask you what you would have done if someone had done the same thing to you? Would you have taken the nasty text messages, and the threat...then the confrontation, humiliation of being slapped and yelled at in public?

Probably not. And if this had happened to one of the teachers most of them would have reacted the same way, IMO. Picture standing in Wal Mart and having someone act this way because of...whatever....you took the last bag of Oreo's. She gets in your face, yell's (making quite and scene) and then slaps you.

I personally think we need to teach our kids non-violent solutions to problems also....good solutions to avoid these kinds of problems. But if you tell her that she was wrong for defending herself when she was physically attacked....after all the abuse that child has been through...I think you will possibly undo a LOT of progress that she's made. The message will be clear....people can touch her in any way they want, and she can't/shouldn't do anything to defend herself.

I say be proud of her. Tell her that she did the right thing, as long as she tried to work this out. Remind her that no one has the right to lay a hand on her that way. And make this the funnest 3 days ever.

Teaching them when to run AND when to fight is an important job as a parent.

Melissa said...

I think just the punishment from the school is enough. Good for Cyr for not allowing that girl to push her around.

My daughter is bullied (sometimes) at school, not physically, thank God. She is easily manipulated and is so passive everyone walks on her. I only hope that long before she has to kick the snot out of someone, she learns to stand up for herself.

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