Hello Dr. Laura,
I will start out by saying my child did not act wonderful, sweet or cute at school yesterday. So this is not another "My child is beautiful and perfect" email. This email will confirm that my child will grow up to become a beautiful and wonderful man. I give you partial credit.
Many times the subject of school bullying has come up on your program. The best way to stop bullying is to file a police report. That thought never occurred to me -- yes, stupid parent alert so I appreciate your wisdom on this subject. Never did I think MY child would be the one that would need to be reported. Below is the letter I received from my child's school yesterday and my reply. Thanks to your wisdom, there will be one less bully. My child knows that when his mother makes a threat she ALWAYS follows through. When I explained to my son that if this ever happened again he would not have to worry about losing recess privileges or any privileges at home, his eyes lit up. I said, "The school and your parents will not have a chance to take privileges away from you. We will visit the police station and they can take them from you." His eyes lost the "I got away with it" glow. I asked "If someone hurt me what would I do?" He said, "Call the police." I said, "You are no different. If you hit someone, you should have the police called on you. This will protect others from getting hurt." We have never discussed bullying in our home so that is the only reason he got off with a warning. I explained that to him, too. I told him, "I love you very much, but I will take all actions necessary. I was a victim of a bully when I was young and I wished someone would have taken that bully and locked her up." He started crying. I continued, "If you do not listen to your teachers or parents, I will have no choice but to contact the police who will force you to listen." I have never seen my son turn white so fast. He promised he would never be a bully again. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, "That promise needs to be made to yourself, not me. You are the one who will sleep in a jail cell at night, not me. That kid you hurt could be called as a witness someday to put you in jail, should this happen again."
Thanks to listening to your show, I was an empowered mother who handled a tough situation with ease. More mothers should follow suit. If you ever get another email from me it will be to let you know I filed a police report on my child. The look on his face last night told me...you won't be getting one.
P.S. - My husband was impressed at how his girlfriend handled the situation; So thanks for that as well.
Note from school:
E. was involved in an incident at lunch recess today. He was caught kicking another student on the top of the hill. I talked to him about his behavior during his afternoon recess. As a result of his actions, he is no longer allowed to play on the hill during recess. I reviewed the rules of KHAFOOTY (Keep Hands And Feet and Other Objects to Yourself) and the 1-2-3 Rule (1. Ask to Stop 2. Walk Away 3. Tell an Adult) with him. Please review the rules and sign stating you have discussed this behavior with him. If you have any questions, feel free to email or call me. Thank you!
Note from Mom:
I have told E. that bullying will not be permitted in our house. If I ever hear of him harming a child again, I will contact the police department and they can tell him what happens to people when they do bodily harm to others. I think after our talk you will notice Ethan will keep his hands and feet to himself.