Thoughts by Emily

A Call From The Vice Principal

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?

About the author

Emily Buys


  • This is such a tricky situation! Being right there to defend eachother is important…but, yet you want adults to be aware of what is going on!!! Man, kids can be REALLY mean!

  • My personal opinion, I think your guys handled that very well! That is always a tough situation! I wouldn’t want my boys to let the bully continue to beat up their brother while they ran to get help. But in order to stop it..if he had to hit him to get him to STOP hitting his brother…I’d be somewhat ok. Of course, as responsible adults we have to teach them that hitting isn’t a good choice, but really it’s much better than letting your brother continue to get hit and kicked.

    I’m glad they didn’t start the problem, and I’m glad that they had the courage to stand up for their friend who was getting hurt.

  • Both. IF a child is being physically assaulted by another, I think the very same approach that any rational adult would take is appropriate; defending the person being assaulted, assuming they are able to do so. If not, or when the opportunity arises, one should always take responsibility for their actions and bring the situation to the attention of an adult, whether they succeeded in stopping the attack/bullying or not. My opinion. 🙂

  • Agreed! Maybe beat the naughty kid and then run to tell the teacher? lol Nah, I think it all depends on if the kid stops at one punch or if it goes on to be a beating. Either way, adults need to be told.

  • I think they did it the right way myself–stand up for each other first, stop the violence and then go tell an adult. Siblings are each others friends and need to be there for support–sounds like your two have been taught by amazing parents to me! Sorry this happened, but you seem to have turned it into a great teaching moment.

  • You’ve done a great job with them. I think first the violence against his brother has to stop, then go tell an authority figure.

  • Our schools absolutely have a no tolerance policy about hitting. Any child hitting another child (whether child A, B or C) is suspended. Kids cannot hit the other child and say they were protecting themselves or anyone else. Within the school setting, the wisest thing to teach your kids is to immediately alert adults to the situation. They should yell – ‘Sean – Don’t hit me’ or ‘Stop hitting Carter` which will alert the playground aides or teachers in nearby classrooms. Teachers hearing those focused yells will have a headsup on what is really going on before they come around the corner and seeing unfortunately your kid retaliating. Trust me – no tolerance can mean the kid they see throwing a punch gets suspended while the kid who started it stays in school because no adult saw what happened. As much as you want your child to knock the bully down, learn how your school expects kids to respond and talk about this with your kids.

  • I agree with everyone, and I was taught the same way. Defending my sibling and then making the report seems to be the best move so that the kid being hit isn’t hurt too badly. (I get you, with kids nowadays. I’m flabbergasted at the bullying stories going around).

  • See, this would be great if this were enforced all around. When it’s not – and some of the adults don’t want to do anything about it, then the system is flawed.

  • my son is 31 but when he was a child in the first grade, i always told him don’t hit girls and if someone is bothering him go to the principal’s office and have him call me.. one day he comes home and told me a girl in his class keeps hitting him. i told him i would talk to her or her parents because you do not hit girls. i took him to school the next day and he tells me there she is. standing near a tree was a girl clearly 1 1/2 ft taller then him and built like a brick house. i swear i was so angry. i told him im going to talk to the principal but if she hits him again hit her back. kids have to watch out for themselves the parents are not there to help them all the time. i know a lot of you wont agree with me but he did hit back and she never bothered him again

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