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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

My 6 Year Old Son Was Held Down And Beaten By Two Other Students

by Robin
(United States)

My six year old son, a kindergartener, was running track while in PE today. I was called and told that he had a head injury and multiple other injuries and asked to come to school by the school nurse. His father and I immediately drove to his school. My son has two black eyes and the biggest knot on his forehead I've ever seen and I've been an ER nurse for TWELVE years. We were told that after interviewing six witnesses, it had been determined that our son was pushed by one student and held down on the ground while another student punched him multiple times in the abdomen and face. He had multiple abrasions to his face and knees.

My husband is a policeman and asked our son about the incident and he told us that one of his best friends came to his rescue and helped him get away from the children who were hitting him. He then said he ran to the coaches who were "sitting down" and reported the incident. He was sent to the school nurse and the other students were sent to the principal. Our son had to walk to the nurse's office alone and wait for us to arrive. The two aggressors were suspended for a week; however, their parents never showed up at school to address the situation with school officials. Our son stated one of these children had bothered him before but obviously never to this extent. He's handling this great after much positive reinforcement from us, the principal, the school resource officer, and even our pediatrician - who were all livid, but very supportive and positive. My questions are as follows:

1. How should the coaches/teachers who did not intervene or stop this "beating" be handled and what do we do, as parents, if there isn't some kind of action to address the fact that they never even stood up from their chairs nor accompany a child with multiple injuries to the office?

2. How do we handle the fact that he has to interact with these other two children daily?

3. At what point do we encourage self defence? We've always taught our children there is no reason EVER to hit - use your words instead - but we also never thought multiple children would beat our child up?

4. The pediatrician stated he had "blood behind his eyes" because he had been hit so hard. Do we need to address this further with school officials? Our son stated he had not said or done anything to provoke a confrontation with the other children and six witnesses confirmed this to the principal. Does this sound like typical bullying or do we have a bigger problem?

Comments for My 6 Year Old Son Was Held Down And Beaten By Two Other Students

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Bullied student
by: Anonymous in Kansas

This is a horrific story. I know you are a nurse but I hope and pray you get some professional medical help at once with the head injury your child sustained... I work with a volunteer, an older man, who had head injury in his youth and it is tragic what it has done to his critical thinking and memory. Three weeks ago a male friend tripped and fell and hit his head and broke his collar bone. The doctors ignored "the bump on the head" for 24 hours until the knot was huge...too late, he died three days later.

Trauma to the head is serious business. Targeting like this is a tragedy of our society. I am so sorry you are having to experience this with your young son.

Maybe children should be taught to protect themselves by running away. And if that is not possible, hit but not on the head. I don't know the answers. It is simply sad and tragic.

Watch how school handles it
by: Dan

That is awful what happened with your son. When our 17-yr old daughter got bullied and knocked unconscious at school during lunch, we learned that it was as much of a problem with the school as with the bully.
After you seek medical advice to make sure your son will be OK, you should look at what steps the school took to deal with this. One red flag is that there is no mention that a paramedic was called, which there always should be with a head injury. If he was just sent to wait in the nurses office, there would be grounds for a lawsuit. Also, why did they not treat it with more urgency after discovering it happened. Also need to see what the school will do to protect him from these kids.
In our experience, the school did very little to prevent ongoing harrassment and made such big mistakes that we ended up taking our daughter out of that school a couple months later. And don't count on the district Superintendent or Board of Education for any help. School districts are a "good ol boys" network where everyone will do anything to protect each other. Your best bet is to find a good attorney and reporter.

He Must Have The Right To Defend Himself
by: Anonymous

That's absolutely outrageous. I hope your son makes a full recovery soon.

You really need to contact a lawyer to find out more about what can be done. It would seem that the coaches/teachers were negligent in fulfilling their duty of care. Since your husband is a police officer he is probably already familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction—at least regarding assault. Yes, this is bullying but since it has become physical it is assault. If possible, assault charges should be brought against the perpetrators. That may get the attention of the parents of the attackers and the school and underscore the severity of what has happened.

Your husband can also tell you that everyone has the right to defend themselves (using reasonable force). I can't recommend telling anyone, including kids, that they never have the right to defend themselves, that they should never hit back for any reason. It's the same as if your husband were to be attacked in the line of duty (or off-duty for that matter)—words are nice but it may become NECESSARY to defend himself and/or others using reasonable physical force.

Just as police officers are trained ahead of time so they can deal with situations like that I suggest enrolling your son in martial arts classes. It's great exercise, builds confidence, self-esteem and discipline. Besides, it's easier to negotiate peace (using your words) from a position of strength than it is from a position of vulnerability.

School bullying attack...
by: Sarah

Woooohhh, it sounds like you've got a bigger problem than just a bit of backyard teasing and shoving. This was a serious assault and should have been dealt with as such.
I don't know how old the children concerned were who took part in the attack, but the police should have been involved in some way.
The adults who run that place need to take some responsibility for what happened. And so do the parents of the attackers.
I would sue the place if it were me, but you have to decide what the best (and safest) course of action is in the end, for you and your child.
I'd be inclined to remove him from the school and find another.
If the teachers are willing to just let an injured child walk on his own to the Head's office then I don't think they are worth staying with. Suppose your child had collapsed on the way to the office, from his injuries? They would have been culpable.
My advice: remove him from the school and seek legal advice; you have a right to it.
Good luck and I wish your son well.

Any resolution yet?
by: Anonymous 808

I'm sorry for what's happened to your son, and the turmoil that's probably followed. I'd like to ask if anything resolution has been reached, or if you had to involve police, educational lawyers, etc. Our kindergartener just had a school incident, resulting in skull fracture and concussion. We've begun discussions with the school, and are trying to keep our cool. The more I read, the more it seems like bullied kids pretty much have to endure the run-around until they graduate, unless they eventually file suit after years of physical and mental abuse.

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