Wendy had a productive meeting today at the school about the fact that Mark is being pounded into the ground regularly by a bully at school. He has come home from school with bruises on his face several times and Wendy and I have been escorting him to school. That stops the violence going to and from school but it was happening at recess and during school now. It came to a head on Friday when after taking several punches and kicks, Mark turned around and punched the kid in the face (who then beat Mark up again but at least he went down fighting). The substitute teacher didn’t like it but after talking with Mark and the principal, we decided that there was no need for Mark to apologize and I wasn’t going to make him apologize even if the school wanted it.
My mother was a teacher and I was always taught that the teacher’s opinion was the one that mattered and we have carried this over to Mark. For three years we have stood behind and reinforced the school’s discipline but on Friday it was decided that a) substitute teachers don’t know what they are talking about sometimes b) a punch to the head is occasionally the answer c) it could be dealt with in ways that don’t involve Mark having to humiliate himself by writing a bully a note of apology.
While Stanley Hauerwas may not have agreed with my parenting decision, Mark was all for it and the school is working with us on ways to make sure Mark and other kids don’t have to fear going out for recess.