Ok, I get it... Kids will be kids. Shit happens. Pushing, shoving, bumps, bruises, etc... but this...this is pissing me off...and I need some help not going all mama bear on a 5 yr old. So, all read on and give me some level headed advice...
Today I went to pick up El D from pre-school (summer camp) and perky little blonde behind the counter informed me I had an 'accident' report to review... I was thinking uh-oh skinned knee, etc from the playground. Uh, no. A fight. Apparently El D and another boy were in the bathroom and Shithead (yes, I'm calling a 5 yr old a shithead) said to El D "You have to fight me to get by"... El D proceeds to try to walk by...Shithead grabs El D, punches, scratches, chokes, and pushes him into a wall.. Apparently that's when the aides finally made their way to the bathroom to break it up. El D has a bump on the side of his head, bruises on his neck (not the deep black and blue kind but still) and didn't want to tell me about it... When I got him in the car I asked how his day was and breezed right over it... Until I sat him down and told him that he can tell mommy anything, its important to tell mom when people hurt you, people aren't allowed to lay their hands on you, etc, etc -- El D told me what happened and demonstrated it. El D isn't sad, unhappy, or even complaining about going back to school tomorrow... he also didn't bring it up again after we talked about it.
So *deep breath* tomorrow I'm going to do the following:
1) Ask to speak to the adult that broke it up to hear what they saw
2) Tell the director that El D is not to go the potty with another kid. Ever. (the practice in public school is one at a time - why it isn't in pre-school I don't understand)
3) Tell the director from now on if El D has as much as a wet fart at school I.WANT.A.PHONE.CALL (I wasn't called after the incident)
4) Ask the director if Shithead's behavior is being addressed and how (and if this is the first incident vs singling out El D)...and did Shithead get sent home for the day (which is the regulation for any violence in any school/daycare here)
- The school hasn't told me who Shithead is... El D did.
- Small town note - I grew up with Shithead's mother...who is also (not surprisingly) a shithead.
So, Hivemind - what would you do?
Oh GG. :( Damn. I can't think of anything to add, except maybe some vaguely threatening statements when you askk why you weren't called. I mean, there is a HUGE difference between a minor scrape from an accident and this, which honestly falls into the category of assault, if it really went down how El D said.
And the pre-schools I have worked in as a speech therapist don't let kids go in together. In fact usually there's kind of an open-door policy and there's an aide or teacher standing either just inside or just outside the door to supervise a bit.
And again, I'm really sorry. I don't want to worry you, because the age difference might make a big difference in their reactions, but Sam was assaulted in 7th grade and he really had some mild PTSD symptoms for quite a while afterwards. So don't hesitate to get some advice from a professional if El D seems more anxious, or more angry, than usual.
I'd probably need to be held back as well. Looks like you are/will be handling it well--I'd do pretty much all those same things. *hugs* to both of you.
The thing that would piss me off the most was that you didn't get a call when it happened. Kids will do shitty things, bullies happen (and that needs to be addressed), but when somebody beats my 5 year old bad enough to leave bumps and bruises, even if it was another 5 year old, then I'd better be notified or the shit will hit the metaphorical fan.
And as far as the school not saying who did it, I don't think they are allowed to because of privacy issues and all that. N had an incident in school a couple of years ago (horsing around in the bathroom, as much his fault as the other kid's and the other kid is one of his best friends and a really sweet boy, although I really can't stand his catty, bitchy, butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth mother) and the teacher wasn't allowed to tell me who else was involved. N told me later when I asked him.
GG, your story has my heart rate elevated. I would have such a hard time not being "burn bridges" angry. I like your plan. It would be my plan. I would raise HOLY HELL about not being called.
And as Ruth said--I'd probably really watch El D. I have a hard time believing that he's hunky-dory with the situation.
I am so mad for you. This is absolutely not okay. Keep us posted.
I will open by saying that when 1st and 2nd Kid are harmed I tend to rain down upon all negligent parties...
1st kid was assaulted by another kid when he was 4 at pre-school all under the "watchful eye" of teacher. During lunch Asshole Kid in put 1st Kid in a headlock and bit his face multiple times because 1st Kid would not give up his food.
I took lots of pictures and documented everything. Then I had very stern words with the director because I was told via a vague note and not called when it happened. I also filed a complaint with the state. There is protocol pertaining to instances of physical violence and none of them were followed.
The classroom teacher was ultimately fired. The kid was ejected from the pre-school because this was not his first time attacking someone.
Thanks all... I have tension headache that wine can't even touch over this whole thing...
Good points about keeping an eye on El D... He definitely is the type that takes a few days to process things sometimes and has a steel trap of a memory.
Kiwi - that's sort of my worry about Shithead... I have a feeling this isn't the first incident...and wisely (either by the parents or school) his Shithead ass wasn't in school when I picked up El D today. I did take pictures, wrote down El D's account of it and kept a copy of the 'accident' report.
Another side note... I totally understand kids 'rough house', etc etc ...but this feels different because of the injuries El D received... It takes a lot of force to get a bump on the head and bruises on the neck.
The fact that this happened in "private" totally creeps me out. That kid knew EXACTLY what he was doing waiting for the precise moment to make his move. That is a bully, and a shit head kid, for sure. If it was truly innocent horse play/rough housing, it would have went down in front of the entire class or at some random moment with people around.
Trust me, my oldest is and has always been King of the Rough House. We've dealt with him both giving and receiving injuries due to his bone-headed shenanigans. He is just now starting to outgrow that bullshit (at 13). My younger son never has enjoyed any kind of physical or verbal aggression (out of anger or playing). He avoids it like the plague so I know if he's hurt, it wasn't due to joint efforts. I'm a different mom with each of my children, and I'd have to say if this happened to my oldest, I probably would insist the daycare call me when an injury happens in the future and then just drop it. I've been on the receiving end of angry moms who get pissed (usually at me for some reason) because her kid has a red mark on his face from playing with my son. And then my kid has a similar mark on his face because they were rolling in the dirt on the play ground pretending to be soldiers or some kind of stupid crap. So, I'm slow to react to his situations, recognizing them for what they are. The moment he actually hurt someone out of anger or meaness, I would be all over him. But I'm not going to fault some other kid because my son was an active particpant in a stunt gone wrong.
But if it was my middle son, I would recognize instantly that he was being bullied and I'd want heads to roll. I would trust your instinct and push this as far as you feel comfortable. You know your son.
Glad to hear you are documenting. It is my understanding that while you have the right to ask if the other child's behaviour is being addressed, I don't think they can tell you who it is, what they are doing etc.
I have a feeling, sadly, that this isn't the last time you'll encounter this. It may be time to discuss defensive strategies with El D... more along the lines of situational awareness like not taking invites from SH, not going to the bathroom with SH, stuff like that. Nothing big, just sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If ElD has good buddies at that school, talk about the value of being with those who support you.
Kids that have already been abused do those things subconciously by the age of 5 already, but anyone by that age can start developing the skill.
I am having major problems with this site: on another computer now, just wrote a super long post only to have it disappear when I hit "Add Reply." Rargh. Long story short: you're doing all the right things and have gotten some great suggestions here. I'm taking notes for when my daughters start school. Please keep us posted on updates and let us know how El D deals with it in the long run.
Call CPS in your county--I think you can file an anonymous report anywhere, and tell them the kid's violent, and you think something is going on at home. Maybe the kid is acting out because something bad is going on where he lives.
On top of all you've done--which seems to be comprehensively all the right things.
I confess I disagree with the advice to call the cops and/or CPS. At least not yet. Without more concrete evidence, CPS isn't going to make a finding, and the abuser, if there is one, will only work harder to hide it.
I would be PISSED about not getting a call, and I would absolutely want to hear a clear and committed game plan from the school about how to keep El D safe. Is this his regular school, or just a day camp he's at for a few weeks? If it's the regular school I'd be interested in them explaining how exactly they adhere to any curriculum teaching the kids about self-care, self-defense, getting help, etc. My guess is that El D isn't the only one experiencing this.
Also, the schools here have a really interesting curriculum that teaches kids to distinguish friendships from "fearships" - meaning those friendships where there's a strong imbalance of power and one kid uses their "friendship" with another kid to bully them or get them to do stupid/risky/mean stuff with them. It seems to make a lot of sense to me, since some bullies are sort of "distance targeters" meaning they pick out kids they dislike and try to hurt them, but some are more close-range, meaning they bully their friends because it's a little safer and might more closely resemble dynamics they're seeing elsewhere in their lives. They might not even realize they're doing it or intend it - they might just not have the emotional skills to figure out how to manage their emotions with their friends yet. Not saying that's what's going on here, more just rambling about things that help kids stand up for themselves.