Sticks and stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
A bigger lie was never perpetrated by adults on children than that stupid little rhyme. Bruises can heal, the wounds made by words can fester all life long.

The name calling that started the bullying of Small boy aged 6 has become all out warfare. After the horrible parent-teacher conference of last month I have been trying harder to engage with my son on his school day. Each day I hear about this gang of little boys terrorising my son and others. One little boy was kicked repeatedly in the chest and stomach and was sent to the sister to recover. The boys concerned? The headmistress had a chat with them and they had to write lines. Lines? Lines?

Last week I braved the headmistress again and once more expressed my unhappiness and discontent. She praised me for the work I have been doing with Small boy aged 6 and how his classroom performance has improved. I pointed out that I had requested he be allocated a new seat away from two of the bullies. Now the poor kid can actually concentrate on the teacher and not his personal physical safety. Once more she promised to bring all the boys concerned in for a chat. Quite frankly they don’t need a chat. They need six of the best in my opinion.

Up until Sunday I believed my son and his friend to be the focal point of the abuse. At a birthday party I happened to mention the situation to some of the other parents and was horrified to discover that my son is not an isolated incidence. One mother said that her boy had complained his jaw was still numb from being punched on Friday and another said her son was coming home covered in bruises and wouldn’t say how he had got them.

The teacher’s reply to this was that the boys are told they must tell a teacher. Sure. Do they not know anything about small boys? Have they forgotten what it was like to be six years old? You’d rather die than rat on a classmate. You won’t tell your teacher or your mother. You’ll endure hell rather than say that you’re being burned alive.

The headmistress says she will ask someone to come in and talk about bullying to the boys and that the school shrink will work on empowering my son with skills to cope with bullying. He has skills. He’s being doing karate since he was 3. He also has morals and won’t use those skills out of the dojo. He does not need skills those boys need disciplining.

Part of the lengthy small print in the contract we signed with the school was a clause that states that while on school property the headmistress is “in loco parentis”. This means that she assumes the responsibilities of the parent during the school day and is likewise responsible for the well-being of my son. This is moral as well as legal obligation and one I find myself keen to act upon. Should my child return home with one more bruise inflicted on him either verbally or physically, I shall charge her with assault and or at very least criminal negligence.

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