Again, a couple weeks later, bullying

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 3:00am
carpediem's picture
Joined: 01/08/2007 - 09:00

You may remember this just happened to my son a couple weeks ago or so. A girl in his first grade class said she had peanut butter on her fingers and then smeared her fingers on my son.

Then yesterday, I got a call from his teacher saying that a boy in his class had wiped peanut butter on my son's lunch box. The boy was suspended immediately and the principal is sending home a letter to all first grade parents stating that this is a death threat and it is equal to threatening someone with a deadly weapon and that anyone will be suspended who does this.

This is a really nice school in a nice area with a good school community and lots of parent involvement. Although this is the 3rd time this year this has happened, it is still a surprise to me that this is happening and especially in first grade. Not to downplay the first two incidences, but you also have to look at the source. This kid has got some problems and this was of malicious intent. Whereas, we were upset by the first two, I feel those kids were just doing something stupid and not trying to really be mean, as this kid was most likely. I think the principal and teacher, who were both very upset about it, handled it properly and swiftly.

I just pray this never happens again. Thankfully, he was ok. I guess this is just really getting to me. I am discouraged, emotionally unraveled a bit and worried about what might be to come. And I worry about what effect this has had on him. Well it's being dealt with and let's hope this is the last of it.

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 3:36am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I too am sorry you and your son have to deal with this yet again. I appreciate you sharing your story though, like others I've read, I use them as examples of situations we all will be faced with soon or later. I hope my school would handle itself the way yours did....I think labeling this kind of bullying as a *death threat* really puts it into is.
Thank you, HUGS
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 3:43am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I'm very impressed by your school--and by your perspective on all three situations.
Hopefully this letter will send a strong message. I'll remember this thread should this happen at our school.

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 4:01am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Wow! Color me impressed by the strong reaction from your school. Wonderful!

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 4:36am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

I'm so sorry to hear this happened to your son. But I too am very impressed with the way your school handled it.
Just curious, have any of the parents of the kids involved in any of these incidents spoken to you about it?

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 9:23am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

WOW. 1st grade. That is awful!
I am glad your school admin handled it promptly and seriously.
Keep us posted on this.

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 12:17pm
Mom2Ian's picture
Joined: 02/26/2007 - 09:00

I am so sorry that he went through such an awful time.
As you may have read, I am a teacher and I too would like to applaud your teacher and principal for their strong reaction. Bullying can be difficult to deal with but this incident as you described it goes beyond normal bulling at their age. This little boy seems to actuary want to hurt others. It

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2007 - 8:23pm
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I'm so sorry your little one is going through this! My son was also bullied in the 1st grade (another student put a peanut in his lunch). (This was last year). At first my son seemed to be okay, but we definitely saw a delayed reaction. He had a series of what we figured out later were full-blown panic attacks in the classroom. Therapy helped him a lot - you might consider looking for a good family therapist just in case.
And don't assume that the school counselor can handle it - in our case her solution was to put the two boys together and try to make them "be friends." Uh huh. Right.
The good news is, my son's friends really rallied around him. Everyone seemed to instinctively know that the other child stepped over the line. And this year has been a great experience (needless to say, the other child was placed in a different class).
Take care!

Posted on: Mon, 03/19/2007 - 5:13am
carpediem's picture
Joined: 01/08/2007 - 09:00

In the first incident, the grandmother (who picks him up from school) made a point to introduce herself and apologize. The second incident, a couple weeks ago, the girl's parents did not call or attempt to talk to me. Nor did the parents of the child with this most recent incident. If it was my child, I would most definately make an effort to get their phone number, or at least, if the school wouldn't give it out, to write a note.
Emotionally, he has had so many questions about his allergy and the incident, which is unusal. He thought it was going to be on the news because "it's never happened to anyone before and because [the boy] got kicked out." Of course, I told him, he was surely not the only one this had happened to.
Thank you all for your support. Thankfully, he was ok.
The boy was serving detention out on the bench outside the classroom after lunch when he did it. The kids are supposed to put their lunchboxes on the bench after they eat and then run out to the playground, which is not directly in front of the bench.
Now I don't know if he really had pb on his hands, but let's remember, this is not a nice boy and he has some behavioral issues. Another boy, who was also serving detention, saw him doing it and of course he told him "I'm putting pb or going to put pb on his lunch box." The nice boy (who thankfully was there at the time) told him to "Stop" and he did not. The nice boy even described to my son where he had put the pb.
Well, when my son was carrying his lunchbox back into the class after recess, the nice boy told him what the other boy had done. My son dropped his lunchbox in the middle of the floor, right where he was standing. Then he went to sit on the carpet, having told the nice boy, "Oh that's ok, I'll just go wash at afternoon recess." Now, he has told me he didn't tell the teacher because he was scared. Later, she noticed his lunchbox sitting in the middle of the floor and then my son and the nice boy told her what had happened. A class helper mom was sent to get the principal and my son to wash his hands. The boy was removed immediately from class and suspended. The teacher called the mother and asked if he had pb in his lunch that day, and yes, he did. She called me as well. When I got to school, she already had a letter they wanted to send home typed up for me to review. The lunchbox was scooped up into a bag and the class was given a huge lecture. They were asked if they wanted to see him go to the hospital (Yikes!) and whether they would run over their friend with their car? (Double yikes!) It must have really frightened my son with all this drama. But the teacher was reaallly upset and wanted to make them understand the severity, as was the principal, who later told me, this is like taking a gun to school and threatening to shoot someone. Or, I guess really doing it in this case, if there was pb put on the box. (He has a new lunchbox.) The next day, the boy was back in the class, and the teacher told him to leave, that he was still on suspension. The principal told me it is an in-school suspension and he was put in a higher grade class with a really strict teacher. A letter went home over the weekend to all first grade parents. It is a really good letter. Today, he was back in class and brought an "I'm sorry" note over to my son with a picture on it.
We are very pleased with the way things were handled. Swiftly, quickly and properly. I am a little worried for backlash from the boy, but the note was nice. We are concerned about my son's non-chalantness about the it, although he did say he was worried about what might happen to him reaction-wise while he was sitting there.
We are concerned that he was scared to tell the teacher, esp. after the incident two weeks ago. We have discussed this with his teachers with him there so that he hears it from them that it is ok to interrupt and that he needs to tell them right away.
I told him not to play with the boy, that it was mean of him, and that he is not a nice boy, which I have never told my son to do. My son doesn't have a mean bone in his body and I fear he is wondering, why would someone want to do this to me?
Unfortunately, this is the way of the world. There are mean kids out there. I maybe shouldn't have told him to not play with him, I don't know. You want to protect them, but you don't want to cause more problems, esp. emotionally with him. I do fear that he is more anxious about his allergy now. I also don't want this to hurt his self-esteem. He has a lot of good friends, friends who look out for him, who care about his allergy and he doesn't like a lot of attention. They were all asking, "Are you ok?" and he didn't like that. I just pray this doesn't happen again.
BTW, that boy should be commended for telling my son and for trying to stop it from happening. I am going to ask the teachers to stress to the class that they need to tell them if they see or hear of someone doing something like this again. Sorry so long, I just wanted to share the details so that maybe it could help others.

Posted on: Mon, 03/19/2007 - 5:38am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

In school suspension? I don't like that with younger kids. I think that the behavior has to be severe to suspend a young child to begin with (I think this does warrant it). But I also think part of the reason to suspend a young child is to also make the point to the parents that thye behavior will not be tolerated. If the parents must make arrangements (either take time off from work or arrange for other care), it makes that point so much more clearly. Later, when kids see suspension as a day off, then I think in school suspension is a good idea.
But I do think the shool handled it very well, with contacting you immediately, addressing the situation with the class and letting them know just how serious it is, and sending a letter home to parents.
About telling your son not to play with the boy-- I understand your fear that you don't want your son too close to him, in case he tries something again (I assume that was your reasoning?). In your shoes I would probably tell DS not to play with this boy for a while--until the boy has proven that he can be a good friend and would never do something like that again, that is, IF the boy ever does prove that.
And that boy that told what happened does deserve praise for doing the right thing. If the school has some sort of reward for "caring" or "being a good friend" or that kind of thing, that boy should get the award. (In our school, they have certificates for thast kind of thing that are given every once in a while).

Posted on: Mon, 03/19/2007 - 11:15am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

If it were me, I would buy the nice boy a little gift, maybe a gift card. I did that when another girl reported to the teacher that there were spilled peanuts on third base of the baseball diamond. No one could figure out how they got there as the school does not serve peanuts. Someone in another grade must have brought them and spilled them. Anyhow, the girl who reported it is not a close friend of dd`s and I thought it was wonderful (as the class was about to play baseball and if no one had noticed the spilled peanuts they would have ended up on everyone`s shoes and getting tracked into the classroom. I wrote her a short note from dd and me and included a $15 gift card from Claire`s (great store for tween girls). Dd said the girl was so happy when dd gave it to her (5th grade). I would do something like that for this boy. He went out of his way and deserves recognition for that. It is good to positively reinforce him for keeping your son safe.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited March 19, 2007).]


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