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Old 27.05.2008, 15:21
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Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

Last week at school my eldest son was playing a „rough“ game with other kids in his class. A boy out of my other son’s class kept messing round annoying the kids and in the end he and my son got into scuffle and my son punched him hard on the shoulder, making the boy cry. Typically the last part of the scuffle was witnessed by a teacher who caught my son hitting him.
What gets me is this boy is quite a little bully, and on more than 5 occasions over the past 3 years has really hurt my son who’s in his class. He does kick boxing and has kicked my son in the stomach and in the back, hurting him. He has kicked him in the shins bruising his legs and had him on the floor and hit him about the head. I have also personally witnessed him performing these kick boxing techniques on other kids in the hallway outside of the class when no teachers are around. The first couple of occasions I went to speak to the teacher about it but got the “ I wasn’t there so don’t know what happened” and “oh I think they were calling each other names and it got out of hand” etc, basically the school as NO policy regarding bullying and the teachers, and schulleiter do nothing. In the end I’ve given up going and just told my kids to try and stay well away from any kids who cause trouble, which sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.
This morning I got a phone call from the son’s father telling me about this incident. He caught me off guard this morning as it was 7.40am when he called and as he was speaking German it took me a while for my brain to kick in and translate what he was saying. After I’d hung up I realized that what he’d said was they’d taken their son to the Doctor because his shoulder hurt and they want us to pay the bill !!
I’m all wound up now and not sure what to do. I'm going to tell my son to apologise to the boy, but should I speak with the father and tell him I’m not going to pay the bill due to all the past incidences or should I pay? Can he insist I pay?
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:24
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Re: school fight

Ignore it. If he pushes it, suggest that each time his son assaults your lad, you'll do the same.

Do you have Rechtschutz insurance (legal rights protection)?
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:25
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

Ignore it, sounds like the Dad is trying to bully you.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:28
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

What ?? Ignore it .....
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:30
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

Do you have any evidence form the previous injuries? i.e. Doctors vistis and bills? If yes the if he takes this furhter you have something to conteract. Also in future record all such instances including photo of injury if necessary (and if poss witness's) just in case this goes further.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:31
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

i don't understand, this kid bullies your son and now you want your son to apologize? as for the bill, your paying it is out of the question, and if he labours the point i would recommend hiring a lawyer.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:34
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

First, I'm glad your son hit back and didn't let the bully roll over him as usual.

I just hope things doesn't get worse between them two.

I guess the best option is to put things clear.

I think a boy needs to learn to defend himself, but also to know that the violence is not the best way, it is indeed the worst.

And as about the doctors bill, I would suggest to ignore it, but it could lead to more problems.

I don't think the parents should get mixed up in the boys problem. But you should be supportive to your son and teach him to handle himself better and maybe have some understanding with his parents, not in a way they think you are fighting them, but you want to reach for a good solution for you all.

Maybe the best is to talk to the other boy's parent and explain him that your son was defending himself and if his son continues to be agressive that way it would lead to worse consequences to him and also to your son, they also have to help to have things in peace teaching their son to use the fight techniques he's learning only for the sport and not to bully the other kids.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:42
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

I don't have any kids myself, but in that kind of situation I'd ask for a meeting between yourselves WITH your son and the parents of the other kid WITH their son and the head teacher or whoever's in charge there. Once the facts are out in the open the other parents may think again about you paying any doctor's bills and the Schulleitung will be alerted to keeping an eye out for that kind of behaviour. Good luck!
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:47
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

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I don't have any kids myself, but in that kind of situation I'd ask for a meeting between yourselves WITH your son and the parents of the other kid WITH their son and the head teacher or whoever's in charge there. Once the facts are out in the open the other parents may think again about you paying any doctor's bills and the Schulleitung will be alerted to keeping an eye out for that kind of behaviour. Good luck!
I think the parent would have a hard time forcing you to pay the bill. Like the teacher intimates "I wasn't there so I don't know" so it's one word against the other. What's the parent so tetchy about anyway - the insurance picks up the bills anyway and most kids' policies don't even have an excess to pay.

My feeling is also that they wouldn't really be open to sitting down and talking it out. I have seen this countless times before both with cub scouts' parents and school kids' parents. Little Johnny is perfect and would never be a bully... so you are onto a loser from the start.

I'd just ignore him and let him do all the running about, blustering and raising his blood pressure.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:51
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

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First, I'm glad your son hit back and didn't let the bully roll over him as usual.

I just hope things doesn't get worse between them two.

I guess the best option is to put things clear.

I think a boy needs to learn to defend himself, but also to know that the violence is not the best way, it is indeed the worst.

And as about the doctors bill, I would suggest to ignore it, but it could lead to more problems.

I don't think the parents should get mixed up in the boys problem. But you should be supportive to your son and teach him to handle himself better and maybe have some understanding with his parents, not in a way they think you are fighting them, but you want to reach for a good solution for you all.

Maybe the best is to talk to the other boy's parent and explain him that your son was defending himself and if his son continues to be agressive that way it would lead to worse consequences to him and also to your son, they also have to help to have things in peace teaching their son to use the fight techniques he's learning only for the sport and not to bully the other kids.
Totally agree, we are having similar problems with our son at the moment and by talking to their parents and being supportive there’s not a lot else you can do. We did invite one boy over to our place to play and things have gotten better. But now switched to another boy that is coursing problems, I think this will be a pattern throughout, my children however don’t speak Swiss or German and I know that this can course a lot of frustration between his peers. All I can really do is be there for him and try and protect him the best way I can.
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Old 28.05.2008, 23:22
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

As with any proposal, ask the other party to put it in writing.

Ball's now in their court. If they follow up, contain your laughter, then pass it onto your lawyer. It's not likely they will, though. The apple falls near to the tree, etc.
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Old 28.05.2008, 23:36
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

While I do not want to in any way make light of the situation, I have to say WHO brings a young boy to a doctor because he got punched in the shoulder?

It has been a few decades since I was that age, but through sports, playground fights and the usual 'boy stuff' I never went to a doctor for that sort of injury. Illness yes, but unless I had a bone protruding through the skin, uncontrollable bleeding, or something pretty obvious, ice and a bit of rest were the solution. "It's only a flesh wound!"

Seems that the parents are trying to use a minor incident to shift the blame/burden to you.

I long for the days when kids were taught to fight their own battles and the parents stayed out of it.

Probably explains so many 20-30 somethings living home with their parents...

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After I’d hung up I realized that what he’d said was they’d taken their son to the Doctor because his shoulder hurt and they want us to pay the bill !!
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Old 29.05.2008, 08:35
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

Thanks everyone for their comments. After reading them all I felt much braver and rang him that night to speak to him....but they were out. So after going through the dictionary to look up all the words I needed to know for my conversation I rang him early the next morning and asked him in a very efficient non nonsence manner if he had 5 mins free to talk, he said yes, so I said I'd be right over. After a bit of stuttering on his side, he said he now was no good as he was just off to work! I arranged to meet him at 7pm that evening and hung up after I said goodbye (very curtly) At 5 to 7 he phoned me to tell me they were'nt at home, and perhaps we could sort it out on the phone !!! Typically I was on the upstairs phone with my little list of german vocab downstairs in the hall Anyway, I launched in and explained that it was a playground squabble, it wasn't intentional and if his son was wanting to join in with the big boys then he could get hurt. I told him my son would apologise for hurting him though he didn't mean to. Then I got as far as "and as for me paying your Doctors bill...." when he said "ah, macht nichts" Typical. So seems it was all bluster after all...thank goodness. But thanks for your comments as they gave me the bit of extra boost I needed to tackle him. Cheers
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Old 29.05.2008, 09:12
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

Well done Swisscath, you did not give up on the situation until it was sorted out, i bet the father of the other boy thought because you where not from Switzerland, he could bully you into paying the bill, well he got a shock i bet when you kept ringing him .
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Old 29.05.2008, 11:46
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

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I long for the days when kids were taught to fight their own battles and the parents stayed out of it.
There are two sides to this. On the one hand, you want your kids to learn to stand up for themselves. On the other hand, you want your kids to know that if they do have a problem with a bully, they can talk about it with you or a teacher and have the problem dealt with in a proper way.

I remember many years ago during a half-term holiday my brother was picked on by much older kids from his school - outside school premises. My dad called the school headmaster (whom, I remember was nice chap) who hauled these kids over the coals when the term restarted and sorted the problem out. My brother was and is no pushover - however in my opinion this was the correct way to deal with such a situation.

The problem comes when schools have no coherent anti-bullying policy. I've been googling around for something about relevant law vis-a-vis requirements on schools in Switzerland - will post a link if I find something.

I fully intend to start my son in Aikido training when he is old enough - which will hopefully give him the confidence to deal with conflict situations in a disciplined way; only resorting to a physical response when there is no other alternative; and Aikido techniques can only be applied when the other person attacks first.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 29.05.2008, 12:00
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

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There are two sides to this. On the one hand, you want your kids to learn to stand up for themselves. On the other hand, you want your kids to know that if they do have a problem with a bully, they can talk about it with you or a teacher and have the problem dealt with in a proper way.

I remember many years ago during a half-term holiday my brother was picked on by much older kids from his school - outside school premises. My dad called the school headmaster (whom, I remember was nice chap) who hauled these kids over the coals when the term restarted and sorted the problem out. My brother was and is no pushover - however in my opinion this was the correct way to deal with such a situation.

The problem comes when schools have no coherent anti-bullying policy. I've been googling around for something about relevant law vis-a-vis requirements on schools in Switzerland - will post a link if I find something.

I fully intend to start my son in Aikido training when he is old enough - which will hopefully give him the confidence to deal with conflict situations in a disciplined way; only resorting to a physical response when there is no other alternative; and Aikido techniques can only be applied when the other person attacks first.

Cheers,
Nick
good point Nick.
Neighbour of ours has a son who was quite introverted & typically became the local bully scapegoat, both inside & outside of school.
After starting with Judo, he has become a lot more self aware & able to astand up for himself in confrontational situations.
Now a very nice & outgoing lad, with a bunch of friends that look up to him.
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Old 29.05.2008, 12:08
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Re: Child in school fight - possible injury to other child

I think you reacted perfectly. You let the father blow off some steam without giving in to his demands. The fact that he seemed reluctant to meet up with you further shows that he has cooled his jets in the meantime, and is probably aware of the fact that his son may not be innocent in this ordeal.

I don't have any children, but I can imagine that this must be a frustrating situation to deal with, especially if your concerns fall on deaf ears at the school. It is a hard lesson for your son to learn so early in life, but at the end of the day we are responsible for our own actions and reactions, even if it is unfair!

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Thanks everyone for their comments. After reading them all I felt much braver and rang him that night to speak to him....but they were out. So after going through the dictionary to look up all the words I needed to know for my conversation I rang him early the next morning and asked him in a very efficient non nonsence manner if he had 5 mins free to talk, he said yes, so I said I'd be right over. After a bit of stuttering on his side, he said he now was no good as he was just off to work! I arranged to meet him at 7pm that evening and hung up after I said goodbye (very curtly) At 5 to 7 he phoned me to tell me they were'nt at home, and perhaps we could sort it out on the phone !!! Typically I was on the upstairs phone with my little list of german vocab downstairs in the hall Anyway, I launched in and explained that it was a playground squabble, it wasn't intentional and if his son was wanting to join in with the big boys then he could get hurt. I told him my son would apologise for hurting him though he didn't mean to. Then I got as far as "and as for me paying your Doctors bill...." when he said "ah, macht nichts" Typical. So seems it was all bluster after all...thank goodness. But thanks for your comments as they gave me the bit of extra boost I needed to tackle him. Cheers
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