From Janis, Child's Age 12 - 01/19/18 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
I need advice from you parents, please! On Tuesday I called to my son Paul's school to pick him up. He had been in a fight in the lunchroom. The next day we (Paul, myself, and my brother, Paul's uncle) went to meet with the assistant principal. All the boys involved are in 7th grade. There is a bully who made has been making fun of one of Paul's friends (Lane) since Lane transferred to the school last fall. Lane is very fat. The bully (Ricky) makes fun of him and other overweight kids (boys and girls) all the time
We were told by the counselor that on Tuesday (according to witnesses), Lane started to cry because Ricky was so mean. My son Paul stood up and told Ricky to stop. Ricky said "Are you going to make me?". Paul said he would if Ricky punched him first. Ricky did and the two boys ended up wrestling on the lunchroom floor. My son ended up on top. The counselor told us that Paul's story matched what other witnesses said. When we met with the assistant principal, she told us that Paul would be suspended from the wrestling team for the next 4 weeks because the school has a strict "no violence" policy and my son challenged Ricky to the fight! (Paul told us he challenged Ricky to punch first so he---Paul---wouldn't be blamed for starting the fight.) She would not tell us if Ricky has any punishment. She also said that Paul is so big for his age (5'6.5", 225 lbs)that Ricky felt intimidated by him!!!!! I can't get over this. My son comes to the defense of another student and he is made to seem the bad kid. Paul told his uncle and me afterwards that he and his friends (most of whom are chubby/fat) get made fun of all the time and finally he had enough of it and that's how he came to challenge Ricky and that most of the other students are happy he won the fight because maybe now Ricky will keep quiet. Any comments or advice?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 13 - 03/02/18  - IP#:
Thanks for asking, Barbara. To make a long story short, I finally had to hire a to help me deal with the school. There were a number of situations where the bully (Ricky) seemed to be a danger to Paul's safety. For now, Paul is staying at home but doing all of his schoolwork on the computer. My sister-in-law, who homeschools her son, is supervising Paul. This arrangement will continued until the start of the 4th quarter in April, when I will decide if it is safe enough for Paul to return to school. I'm also having him apply to a private school. I know I may sound overprotective, but schools just seem to be such dangerous places these days and I have heard from other parents stories about how dangerous this other boy (Ricky) can be. He seems to be very angry at Paul for standing up to him, so I feel it's better to remove Paul from the situation since the school feels they have no "hard facts" to act on.
Today is Paul's 13th birthday. On Tuesday I took him for his annual physical, including blood tests. Everything is normal. Paul is now 5'7" tall and weighs 231 the charts for both height and weight for his age.
Reply from Barbara, Child's Age 13 - 02/10/18  - IP#:
How are things going with Paul?
Reply from Blanch - 01/20/18  - IP#:
Blanch here. My advice would be to tell Paul that it was noble of him to stand up for his friends and against the bully. But regardless, it's violence shouldn't be the answer. The suspension should teach him that while it's important to stand up for oneself and other people, that doing so with violence comes with consequences. If he had been 18 or older and did this on the street, he could possibly be facing jail time because the real world doesn't care who started what, if you involve yourself in a fight, there are consequences. A fight could also lead to a lawsuit if injuries occur. I commend him for standing up against the bully. But I think there are better ways to go about it than challenging someone to a fight.