15 year old son suspended for fighting in school.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 2:20 AM GMT
    My middle son is a sophomore in HS. He and another boy were suspended last week, for a week, from school for fighting. The fight apparently was started when the other boy, also in 10th grade, threw and hit my son in the back of the head with a "bottle cap", in the hall, during class change. My son confronted the boy, and asked him why he hit him with it. As close as I can get from my son and the Principal, the other boy said something to the effect of "quit your whinning you little pussy faggot, I was just having some fun". This answer didn't set too well with my son, and he just flat pounded the shit out of the other boy, right there in the hall.
    This is a large, well to do, suburban HS. Best known for their academics, golf team, Mercedies, BMW's and Caddies in the parking lot and otherwise being a bunch of spoiled little "rich brats"...not a particularly "rough" school. My son is a very lean 5ft 9" tall, about 175 lbs, with RED hair and somewhat of a "hot temper" on some days. He is a good kid, very rarely in trouble, never any issues with drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. Decent grades.. Maybe a bit of sibling rivalry, but not anything unususal. He knows that I am gay and has said repeatedly that he is not bothered by it.
    I am torn at several different levels and by different parts of this. I am glad that he is OK, as is the other boy. I am upset that he chose to solve this with violence and have let him know that violence was not the best choice. Strangely, I am almost relieved and almost happy that my son reacted as strongly as he did, to the other boy's homophobic and ignorant remarks, and then made it physically clear that he took a "no bullshit" stance on being hit and then "disrespected" and had the strength to do something about it. I DO agree with the suspension and with the HS Principal...he was completely right. Why then am I feeling a "little guilty" or a little "too harsh" and being viewed as the "bad guy" here, for handing down a concurrant one week grounding and loss of all privlleges on the tv, computer and all video game systems, as well as not having friends over? Am I being too "hard" on him or what? This sort of stuff happened in the past with my oldest son when he was in HS and it didn't bother me at all to groud him or restrict his privlleges. I never had a second thought about it...so why now? (He is now 22.) Thanks for letting me rant...
    Sporty_G
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 2:33 AM GMT
    Personally, I think the suspension is enough of a reprimand. Perhaps a talk with him would have sufficed that physical confrontation is not the most effective means of solving an issue - but they're children, not diplomats. He would have been chastised for trying to reason with your typical HS bully that enjoys bringing others misery.

    I can in no way tell you how to raise your children, but if I were in your situation, I would have a conversation with him while letting him know he had my support and thanks, but that doing that is unacceptable. It's not a paradox thanking him for what he did and then following-up by saying it is unacceptable. I am sure you both understand which out of the two is on higher moral grounds.

    The parents of the other child, now that's a different story. His mouth needs to washed and attitude stifled.

    I doubt if you move forward with the punishment that it will develop into some sort of resentment, just be sure to talk with him and let him know it is for the actions he took, and not why he took action.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 09, 2007 2:49 AM GMT
    Well let me start off by saying, "I'm glad your son stood up for himself".

    I realize that he broke rules, got suspended from school, etc, but I think there is something to be said for standing up for yourself in school, especially when dealing with a bully or someone who has no respect for who your son is...

    I was brought up in a family where my mother constantly warned that we were not to fight in school... turn the other cheek.. good students don't fight at school. At some point, you are tested as a student and teenager and I had to learn how to stand up for myself as time passed (I was a little kid in school and didn't really mature until after hs).

    The suspension was warranted. Your son has to learn there are rules. I would have talked to him about transpired so he understood that fighting at school isn't appropriate... but standing up for himself in life is... and that is "very appropriate". I hope he can do so in another way than fighting next time.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 09, 2007 3:40 AM GMT
    Yeah...I think that the suspension is enough but that is completely your call...he is your son and you know what's best for him
    The thing that disturbs me and it always goes on with esp young men in middle school and continues on at least until college is the almost hard-wired denigration of homosexuality
    when this other kid yelled out the term pussy faggot
    gay fag homo .... are always the worst things you can call a boy at this age
    and its sad that it still continues
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 3:46 AM GMT
    Q: What happened to. what punishment did, the other kid get?

    Most school districts have very strict policies these days about bullying and sexual harassment in schools.

    I think I would be curious as to what the schools reaction to the other kid was. At the same time make sure your kid undrstands that your interest is seperate from what he did, and the correctness of the punishment he got.

    I think I would also talk to your kid about the incident. Then maybe enroll him in a program where he can gain some self discipline - and work out his excess energy - maybe Karate. Have a little chat about the difference between defending yourself and going off on someone.

    Good Luck.

    As for feeling guilty... Where you OUT when "oldest son when he was in HS and it didn't bother me at all to groud him or restrict his privlleges"? Do you feel the need to 'make things up to your son' somehow?







  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 3:56 AM GMT
    TooL and HansmKansan pretty much nailed it, and I agree with what they both said. It is very admirable that he stood up for himself, though getting violent isn't the best way to have handled the situation.

    Yes, the suspension was warranted, due to the violence. I would also agree that talking to him is a great idea. It certainly is not a paradox to thank him for what he did and then tell him its not acceptable. As for the grounding, etc... that's your call... you know your son and you know what he needs.

    The other kid, however... I wonder who taught him that using such terms against another is acceptable. His parents, perhaps... his peers at school, maybe... or maybe both? That speaks volumes about his parents' attitudes and the kind of people he hangs with... and its not PC to say this but, the kid deserved to get pounded... maybe he'll think twice next time... but that's the Southerner in me talking. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 4:02 AM GMT
    im 23 and I think the punishment fits the crime. physical violence is never the way to deal with things. you feel bad because the attack on him was one that was probably thrown at you alot when you were his age and it is an attack on you now and he stood up for you which is right but he still should not be fighting
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 4:27 AM GMT
    It's awesome that he pounded the asshole down. It'll be the last time the jerk pulls that shit, and your son saw to it.

    Some folks, just don't understand "civil", "nice", "understanding", "compassionate", and "tolerant". Sometimes, a well-deserved, quality beating, is just what the doctor ordered.

    Kudos to your kid for not being a pussy. Let him take the consequences, but, in this case, he may well have done the world a great service by teaching a rich-kid-punk a well-deserved lesson.

    You get your kid lifting, and strong, and folks won't cross him. Also, maybe some martial arts. Speak softly and carry a real big stick works wonders.

    When I do triceps extensions with 50# dumbbells at the gyms; the young 18-somethings say to each other "can you imagine what it would be like if he hit you?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 6:34 AM GMT
    yeah, what happened to the other kid? He surely deserved far greater punishment. Personally, I would be of the attitude, if you dont want to get pounded, dont do and say insulting things. Then other people wont punch you out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 6:42 AM GMT
    LOL

    I reckon that's sound advice.

    It's not so much about running off at the mouth, but, more about having virtue / karma.

    Good karma pays deep rewards.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 12:30 PM GMT
    Not being a parent, I have no standing - but I do have an observation...

    I picked up on your statement:

    Sporty gsomewhat of a "hot temper" on some days


    You've already raised one boy - your 22 year old. Was he of similar temperament, or do you see some kind of emerging pattern of behavior that might require some professional advice? I'm NOT saying put the boy in therapy - I'm just wondering if you might ask a qualified professional what's going on with the temper.

    With every generation it seems the pressures of the world grow greater. Even the 7 years' difference between the two of us, Sporty, brought about big changes in what schools were like.

    My hat's off to you for doing a good job with your boys. I'm glad I don't have that responsibility these days.

    Joey
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 1:47 PM GMT
    why does everyone misunderstand karma?

    the concept of karma is that you get no reward in this life time. Karma does not affect you till your next lifetime
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 3:20 PM GMT
    Don't be a moron. Karma is not always defined in the context of false belief systems.

    From dictionary.com:

    kar·ma /ˈkɑrmə/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kahr-muh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun
    1. Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman. Compare bhakti (def. 1), jnana.
    2. Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
    3. fate; destiny.
    4. the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something.
    [Origin: 1820–30; < Skt: nom., acc. sing. of karman act, deed]
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 4:35 PM GMT
    WOW!

    Sporty_g,

    I will commend you for taking action with you your son, regarding addressing his anger issues.

    I do feel that further discussions are warranted, after all words only have the power to hurt you if we give them power.

    I find equally disturbing that some responding whom seem to condone the "beat-down".

    What if he had beat this guy into a coma or even to death. What could have happened...woould you still have this cheerleader attitude?????

    The young man in question did not respond becuse of the intial chucking of an object at his head but to the words that was said to him.


    If this were two adults the more agressive party would be in jail and it would have to be sorted out in the courts. The very same tghing could have happended in this case.

    What the young man said was wrong.

    Violence is never the answer.

    I lost my mom who was an innoncent bystander who was minding her own business, shopping and was killed by two idiots fighting.

    When you resort to violence things can get out of control.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 5:00 PM GMT
    "Why then am I feeling a "little guilty" or a little "too harsh" and being viewed as the "bad guy" here, for handing down a concurrant one week grounding and loss of all privlleges on the tv, computer and all video game systems, as well as not having friends over? Am I being too "hard" on him or what?"

    I would guess it's because, in a sense, your son defended you by responding so strongly to homophobic posturing. Indeed, the extremity of your son's response may have been inflected by his feelings about having a gay father.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 6:47 PM GMT
    If I was as I am now back in high school, Id have done the exact same time as your son. It wouldn't put it past it that there might have been or is more going on. The reaction that resulted from it all seems to lead that way but I could be very wrong. Props on how you delt with it. Thats about what my parents would have done. Im not sure if I would have been grounded to the same level since I was defendng myself and honor but eh.. something around thoes lines would have been about it. icon_wink.gif
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Dec 09, 2007 10:13 PM GMT
    It's a fine line. In school, if you DON'T fight back then you chum the waters and it's a big feeding frenzy with YOU as the main course.

    Outside of school, there's a special place for people who can't reign in their tempers if someone calls them a name, cuts them off in traffic, steals their cookie or whatever. It's called PRISON.

    Threading the path between these distinctions will probably be tough, but it sounds like you and your son are on the right track.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 10:45 PM GMT

    Fuck that twerp! Talk shit- get hit. Everyone learns that lesson in high school. I went to a ghetto ass high school; rife with gangs, drugs, and poverty. I learned my lesson. It surprises me how many people never do. Don't start none, won't be none, but there is always some motherfucking buster trying to step on your nuts. Sublimating one's response from violence to something milder but still offensive is all one can hope for. "A small revenge is humaner than none at all" says Nietzsche.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 09, 2007 11:59 PM GMT
    Thank you all for the comments.
    The other boy is fine and I met his parents in the principal's office. They acted suprised by what they were told their son had done and said. They were even more suprised that my son flattened their son. This kid was pretty large and probably had my son by 100 lbs, or more, and a few inches in height. When the mother started to speak, dad cut her off, repeatedly. She seemed to be the one "more aware" of what her son is really like, but dad kept her in check. He was an unrepentant loudmouth. The principal was really good as an "arbitrator" and explained to all involved, the school policies and the discipline being used. He was very aware of what this boy's parents, particularly dad, were like. The principal spoke very harshly of the other boy's actions and words, to his parents and to the boy, and he even made several pointed comments to his dad about him being a "poor role model" for his son at this meeting. He was suspended for 2 weeks and is required to attend an "altenative HS" for a month after that. No busses available, parents will drive him in every day and they must sign him in, every day. If there is a single incident he is expelled for the rest of the school year. They all had to sign an "agreement notice". My son was reprimanded for "fighting" and was supended for 1 week. The principal was decidely not as critical of my son, and left it at "don't fight in school, report it to a teacher instead..." and "no karate in school, unless in self defense". We signed our agreement notice and left. The other boy and his parents were in another room waiting for the principal to return. As I walked past the closed door of that office, I could hear the argument going on, between the boy and his parents. I almost feel bad for this other boy, after what I witnessed and later heard, as we left.
    My son and I have talked about this incident and what triggered all of his response and if he felt he was somehow worried that he would be perceived as "gay" in school, by his actions or by association with me or just what was up. We are good....but I lifted part of his grounding, so he could get online and play "World of Warcraft" with his buds, yesterday and today. He is off grounding on wednesday, when he is back to school.
    My son has been in Karate for the last 7 years, as many of you noted, for the discipline and to give his energy a direction to go. He is pretty good. My oldest (the 22 year old) was a rough kid. I had some trouble with him, particularly when his mother and I were both in court for custody. He is a much bigger guy at about 280 lbs and 6 ft tall. He was known as a bully in school and even with his brothers, back then. I took care of that issue and he is much better now. And yes, the boys and I have all been through years of therapy. Some is still ongoing. Insurance has been getting a real workout...LOL!
    God! Does middle school and High School need to be so traumatic and dramatic?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2007 9:19 PM GMT
    i used to be a teacher at a very ghetto high school - i WISH the administration would do to those kids what happened in this instance. more and more it seems like people aren't being taught about consequences. it may sound awful, but i'm glad the boys got in a fight in this school and not another - it sounds like you have a very good principal. hopefully the bully has equated the consequences with his choices (rather than simply getting angrier and playing the victim) and won't "have fun" like that anymore. i think your son's suspension/partial grounding (with time out early for good behavior) was very fair and even-handed: he wasn't rewarded for being violent, but he wasn't stifled for being brave. you sound like a good dad. as for your feelings of guilt: guilt is an illusion. each child and each situation is different. if your older son meritted firmer punishment, then so be it. if your younger son learns more with less restriction, then he's so much the better/wiser than your older son.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2007 12:57 AM GMT
    I don't think your son is going to look back on this and remember "Dad grounded me!" I think he's going to remember "I beat the crap out of that kid!"

    In all seriousness, I think you have a great opportunity to emphasize acceptance here.

    I think it's important to let your son know that he's going to encounter this type of ignorance on many issues and to start thinking about other ways to deal with these confrontations.

    Nothing is going to change over night. He will undoubtedly get in quite a few more fights before it sinks in.






  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 12, 2007 12:54 AM GMT
    Hey look, I taught JHS for 16 years. It happens every few months there; or at least at the 3 schools I taught at over the years. Every parent confronts good and bad behavior; but a good parent looks at everything as an opportunity to teach, encourage and develop their child; not necessarily as a responsibility to discipline.

    It really depends on the students involved; as to how you dish out the punishment. Take the time to determine what lessons are to be learned, and how to best convey them to your pupil (ie, son).

    Be careful not to confuse the lessons that YOU need to learn for the lessons that YOUR SON needs to learn. Tolerance is a virtue, but if you tolerate prejudice, injustice, bigotry, homophobia, and unfairness; then you are feeding those evils. You may want to teach your son not to tolerate bad things; and sometimes you have to fight fire with fire; and do what it takes to maintain respect and self-esteem. Also, teach him to be stong, righteous, and courageous, in addition to tolerant.

    Personally, I want to add two things. First, the Principal is always wrong. He/she usually only has a five minute view of a student before making a decision. You know what is best for your child. Second, as the father of 2 sons; I'd be glad for the opportunity to take time to talk things thru and spend time bonding. I'd rather use this as an opportunity to spend time together and make the best of it, rather than being the disciplinarian. You can do the Dad stuff daily, but fathering opportunities are not always frequent or regular. Think about it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    I'd like to ask everyone here a question.

    I've read all the posts in this thread so far, and the vast majority of them seem to agree on two things:

    1. It's good that Sporty_g's son "stood up for himself."

    2. Yet, it is also good that he was punished, because "violence isn't the best answer" and "there are other ways."

    This begs a question which it seems NO ONE here has answered:

    What should Sporty_g's son have done INSTEAD of punching out the other kid?

    If there was some other way he could have dealt with this situation, a non-violent way he could have stood up for himself, what is it? Any ideas?

    If you don't know, then you are all contradicting yourselves. You are saying "It was the right thing to do AND the wrong thing to do." You are being morally inconsistent.

    I'm sincerely asking this because I don't know, and would like you guys' take on it. I have no children of my own (yet), but I've taught junior high, and still feel as helpless to answer this question now as I did when I was in junior high and high school myself. When I was teased, I never stood up for myself; I just bottled up the anger and beat myself up with it. Now I am struggling with what moral lesson to teach teenagers in school, and my own future children.
  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    May 11, 2008 8:44 PM GMT
    I'm glad that the other kid was the one that got more punishment. When I as in highschool, I never was the fighting type - mainly because people left me alone.

    Violence probably wasn't the answer, but the other son knows not to start stuff.

    And from what I was reading, the other paretns were the "That's not my son, my son would never do that" type. I had to deal with this in middle school a lot. Their kids were on the football team, etc and never got in trouble. When they did something big enough, suddenly the parents went on the offensive.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2008 9:58 PM GMT
    rotabilis saidI'd like to ask everyone here a question.

    I've read all the posts in this thread so far, and the vast majority of them seem to agree on two things:

    1. It's good that Sporty_g's son "stood up for himself."

    2. Yet, it is also good that he was punished, because "violence isn't the best answer" and "there are other ways."

    This begs a question which it seems NO ONE here has answered:

    What should Sporty_g's son have done INSTEAD of punching out the other kid?

    If there was some other way he could have dealt with this situation, a non-violent way he could have stood up for himself, what is it? Any ideas?

    If you don't know, then you are all contradicting yourselves. You are saying "It was the right thing to do AND the wrong thing to do." You are being morally inconsistent.

    I'm sincerely asking this because I don't know, and would like you guys' take on it. I have no children of my own (yet), but I've taught junior high, and still feel as helpless to answer this question now as I did when I was in junior high and high school myself. When I was teased, I never stood up for myself; I just bottled up the anger and beat myself up with it. Now I am struggling with what moral lesson to teach teenagers in school, and my own future children.


    I personally have no problem with what his son did.

    Yes his son needs to learn some self control and self discipline.

    But the other kid deserved at least some of what he got.

    Sometimes puppies need to get whacked with a newspaper in order to learn that what they did was wrong.

    I also don't have a problem with the school punishing his kid. Kids need to know that there are consequences to actions. See above statement regarding puppies.

    I would only have a problem if the school meted out equal punishments - and did not take into account the belligerence and provocation of the other kid.