A Call from the Vice Principal
Yesterday I received a call that I have been dreading for a few months now. I was at my mom’s house when I got a call on my cell phone from the Vice Principal of my kids’ school. I realize that in order to dread a call you must have some inkling that the call will come at some point. The only reason I ever suspected to get a call is because of all of the bullying that my twin boys have been complaining about for months. Name calling often turns into other things.
At the beginning of November I wrote a post about the bullying going on at my kids’ school, if you care to read it. My boys are just about the smallest in their grade. While they are twins and that can be common, they were nearly 7 lbs each when they were born! Regardless, they are small. They don’t get picked on about being small, but I think others think they can get away with bullying because they are small. I always hoped that kids wouldn’t want to mess with the twins because there are two of them. And boy do they have each other’s back.
Back to the call. When a Vice Principal or Principal call you at home, there is this little bit of panic. You don’t know if they are calling because your child had to be rushed off to the hospital for some reason, they picked a fight with someone, or someone picked a fight with them, etc. None of these options are good. I can’t think of many positive reasons a VP would call. I’ve never pictured my boys intentionally picking a fight with anyone, because they are fairly sweet by nature. I realize they can be annoying little boogers at times, but they aren’t mean boys. I haven’t ever seen them be mean to friends or neighbor kids. I have however, seen things go the other way around.
When I heard the VP tell me who she was, and the more she talked, the more I started to get nervous. It took her entirely too long to get to the point. She proceeded to tell me a story. She told me that she had Brechin in her office. She should have prefaced things with “he’s okay”, or “he’s not in trouble”. She didn’t though. She told me that there was an incident at recess. Boy A called boy B a name, or told him he was stupid. Boy B got mad and hit and kicked Boy A. Then she tells me that my son Brechin isn’t involved at this point. However, my son is friends with Boy A. He saw him getting hit and kicked and decided to intervene. He told Boy B that Boy A was his friend and that he shouldn’t be doing that. Boy B didn’t like Brechin interfering so he punched him in the back.
I asked if Brechin was okay, and she said yes. She told me that he isn’t in trouble and seems to be okay. She just had him in the office because he was involved and she needed to hear the whole story. She said that Boy B would have consequences and that Boy A had to apologize for name calling. Then she proceeded to tell me that Boy B said that Brechin punched him in the back after he had hit him. Brechin was adamant with her that he didn’t do it. Then Brechin had an “aha” moment and said, “Wait, maybe that was my brother, since we look alike.” So she was going to call Carter (Brechin’s twin) into the office to find out if it was true. I told the VP that while I teach my boys not to hit or kick or be violent, I am okay with them standing up for each other. I told her that I would talk to him and tell him to try telling an adult instead of responding with physical contact. I also told the boys that if someone will not get off of their brother and no adults are around, then I am okay with them intervening if need be. I really do not condone fighting, but I believe these two precious boys of mine have each other for a reason. They need each other.
When the boys got home from school, I asked them about the situation. The VP had most of the story right, except that Brechin was not punched in the back. The kid grabbed his shoulder and punched him in the side of the head. He also kicked him. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH CHILDREN THESE DAYS?? Seriously!! This is not okay. I have been told that our VP is great about addressing these types of matters when brought up to her, so I sure hope this boy really does get a decent consequence. I was proud of Brechin for standing up for the physical violence against his friend, but I also used this as a teaching opportunity to let them know that name calling can be very damaging too. Brechin also told me that he was tackled at the next recess. Grr! I was a proud mama to learn that my boys didn’t start with any of the name calling or physical violence. Carter did in fact hit the kid in the back after he had hit his brother. We talked about it, and some appropriate responses if anything like this should ever happen again.
What are your thoughts? Do you think a brother should respond to the physical violence against his own twin, or should he just run and tell a teacher?