Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: when is it appropriate to *fight* back? (m)

  1. #1
    northy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,195

    Default when is it appropriate to *fight* back? (m)

    lots of schools have zero tolerance when it comes to fighting / violence - and i generally think this is a good thing... but recently a 15 year old got suspended from school because he swung back against a bully who was using racial slurs and hit him... as i understand it, the bully didn't seriously hurt him, but when he swung back, he broke the bully's nose... the bully did NOT get suspended (altho' the matter is now under review because there has been a HUGE uproar due to the racial aspect of the situation)...

    anyway, it just made me wonder... yes - my preference would be for my kid to walk away from such a situation and get help from an adult... but at some point, i think swinging back IS the right, and possibly necessary thing to do... but i don't know where that point is, and i can understand WHY no one would want to define it and why the schools would keep to a zero tolerance policy...

    thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default defense

    When the bully swings first or corners the child so they cannot physically get away. Words, however awful, do not justify physical violence.

  3. #3
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Self Defense

    verbal attacks do not warrant hitting. When a bully is physically hurting a child, that child has a right to fight back to get away, even if it means hurting the bully.

    Also, in situations where a kid is constantly hit, pushed, coming home with scratches, bruises, the parents go to the school repeadily and get nowhere, then the next step is starting to hit back to teach the kid they won't take it. Unfortunately, when the bully is that violent toward another kid, it usually works and give the victim some reprieve.

    The schools try to *say* they won't tolerate bullying, but they allow it over and over and do nothing about it. I've told my son that as long as he doesn't throw the first punch and is defending himself, he will never get in trouble by DH and I.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    500

    Default

    I've instructed my 7 year old son that he will never get in trouble at home for defending himself at school, even if he gets suspended from school. This goes for someone physically assaulting him, or if someone physically intimidates him by getting in his face and threatening him. My son is on the very small side (he is the second smallest child in the entire first grade) so he has been and probably will be a target for bullies. I'm just glad that I've had him in karate and wrestling for 4 years now so he isn't easily intimidated anylonger.

  5. #5
    MelanieOH is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,450

    Default Not just schools with a zero tolerance policy....

    Some schools call the police if there's a fight, especially if a problem juvenile is involved. Our juvenile judge doesn't care who started the fight. Everyone involved ends up with juvenile record and punishment.

    Melanie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    500

    Default

    While I tend to agree that it is only appropriate to fight back if physically threatened, I also can understand why a kid (or adult for that matter) might eventually end up throwing a punch in response to repeated verbal abuse.

    Even though the bully did not get suspended, I sure as hell hope he was disciplined in some fashion...that punch may just be the tip of the iceburg. The next time it could be a gun, etc. Or the victim could end up depressed and turn on himself. Not necessarily the original kids in the scenario, but in general verbal bullying could easily turn to violence.

    If there is a zero tolerance for what appears to be physical contact, then there should also be zero tolerance for the verbal bullying that preceded it.

  7. #7
    nmcd is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    I find it hard to generalize. I think it's wrong to say it's never okay to fight back nor is it always a good idea to fight - particularly if it's over something trivial. I guess the trick is teaching kids how to judge what to do when.

    I also think it's important to show kids that there are many ways of fighting back. I made the decision to fight twice, both times calling someone's bluff.

    I once stood up to the bus stop bully on behalf of a girl he was picking on. He would have knocked the tar out of me if an adult hadn't broken up the fight, but I have no regrets since he stopped bothering people after that.

    Another time I arranged to fight a girl because - wait for it - she kept saying my friend stuffed her bra. We arranged to settle it in a field after school but she didn't turn up. Which was a huge relief because she was bigger and tougher than I was. Again - worth doing because she kept her mouth shut after that.

    The funny thing is this: though I don't regret the fights, I do regret some of the things I said to people. I think words can sometimes cut far more deeply than a physical assault -especially if what you happen to say is true and in front of other people.

  8. #8
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Lol!

    Such funny stories, esp the one about stuffing the bra.

    You make a great point about not generalizing. Also, no one knows what they would do in a situation, or instruct their child to do, unless they are facing this situation. I had always told my DS "no hitting-ever" until I saw the crap that went on in school. When he came home with headaches from being punched in the head and scratches on his face, and the principal did nothing, he had no choice but to start fighting back. And it worked.

    I remember one of my best friends in middle school was smart, beautiful, athletic...and tormented by this one girl. It was relentless for a year, maybe more. My friend's parents were the kindest people you could ever meet. But they absolutely hit their limit. One night, the father brought my friend to the bully's house and rang the bell. When the bully's parents answered, he said "look, your DD has been threatening to beat my DD up for a year--my DD could kick her butt, so bring her out here so they can fight" He was serious, he had had it. He said "c'mon, let's get it over with already, I'm sick of hearing about it, your DD keeps threating so let's get her out here. " The parents of course were horrified because they were called on it and the bully never looked in my friend's direction again.

  9. #9
    northy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,195

    Default in this particular case the school rallied hugely (m)

    Quote Originally Posted by karen m View Post
    While I tend to agree that it is only appropriate to fight back if physically threatened, I also can understand why a kid (or adult for that matter) might eventually end up throwing a punch in response to repeated verbal abuse.

    Even though the bully did not get suspended, I sure as hell hope he was disciplined in some fashion...that punch may just be the tip of the iceburg. The next time it could be a gun, etc. Or the victim could end up depressed and turn on himself. Not necessarily the original kids in the scenario, but in general verbal bullying could easily turn to violence.

    If there is a zero tolerance for what appears to be physical contact, then there should also be zero tolerance for the verbal bullying that preceded it.
    behind the kid who was suspended, and the situation is turning into a human rights issue... the school is re-looking at the entire thing... which i fully support...

    what worries me is that they will focus on the human rights aspect, and the fact that the kid was just defending himself will get lost in the shuffle - which i am afraid may be a bit of a mistake...

  10. #10
    jenm is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3,586

    Default

    I have not told my DD that she may hit anyone--and I can't imagine her hitting anyone. But if she or a friend were being bullied without appropriate intervention, I would let her know that it is important to stand up for herself and her friends. Bullies don't want to fight, they want to control people for the most part. I would prefer that she face the consequences of the school or juvie system, which we can fight for her, than to face a bully by herself.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •