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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.


  1. Brian Jon Tap says:

    Bullying is the most coward practice in childhood. Kudos to Mark for punching this kid!

  2. Brian says:

    My experience may be different, but I was bullied as a kid as well. After getting sick of dealing with inaction, my dad taught me how to flatten the kid. I knocked him down once and he never touched me again. It also really built up my self confidence.

  3. pierre says:

    Mr. Cooper. I sympathize with your situation.
    One method that has proven to be effective in dealing with bullies is taking legal action against their parents for failing to maintain control of their children. While it may sound like an extreme solution, it has proven successful and may be worth exploring.

  4. Jordon says:

    Thanks for your comments. We are working the school on it as it is a problem that extends beyond Mark. Mark is okay with our decision as well.

  5. […] Jordon posted some of the details but Mark has a bully problem at school that we are working with the school to resolve.   I was […]

  6. Steve says:

    Hey Jordon, I empathize with you guys, it sucks to send our kids to school knowing that some other kids aren’t treating them respectfully. As a parent, I would have done what you did. I hope things work out positively for Mark.

  7. […] Published February 4, 2009 Mark Mark has had some experience with bullies before.  It had been going better but yesterday three kids who have caused him problems before waited […]