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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Bully

There's a bully in Will's class. Yes, apparently, a three-year-old can be a bully. This child bites, hits, and jumps on the other children at naptime. Just the other day, he deliberately poured milk on two children before 9 AM. A great way to start the day. The teachers are at their wits' end...he doesn't respond to their punishments...nothing seems to work. He has terrorized the class. Almost every day, Will comes home and says, "I don't like Hayden. Hayden is mean. Hayden is mean because he bites and hits." (Not his real name.) Will has even learned to hit back, a fact that I am none-too-pleased about, but at the same time, I don't know a better solution. He tells us, "I hit Hayden back when he hits me first."

However, I've seen this child be sweet. He comes and hugs me almost every morning when I bring Will to school. He really wants other children to like him. I feel for him, and I feel for his mother (she is a single mom; don't know any info about dad). But, I'm more concerned about Will and the other children who are being terrorized by the bully. Zach and I went to talk to the director of the center and voiced our concerns. The meeting was quite unsatisfying, as she mostly gave us rhetoric about "adjusting schedules" to suit everyone better and told us that this type of thing was what you had to deal with in "group care settings." The kicker is that Hayden's grandmother is a teacher at the school. And, I can't help but think that the response would be different if another child, a child whose relative didn't work at the school, were acting the same way. It just doesn't seem fair or right to put the "needs" and behavior of one child above the needs of eleven others. We may have to revisit the issue with the director, but it's frustrating because we really have no recourse. Our only option would be to pull Will out of school, which obviously doesn't make sense, since we would likely encounter some form of this behavior at any school.

I just want to protect Will, though. I want to do what's best for him. I don't want to get the run-around. And, I really don't want to hear, "Mama, I don't want to go to school because Hayden scares me" anymore. It breaks my heart.

3 comments:

Liz Rich said...

Oh Kate! I thought this sort of thing only happened at the Tot Lot when moms aren't paying attention! I can't believe this is under supervision...and tolerated. Yikes.

Z said...

clearly I'm going to have to show Will how to whoop "hayden's" A$$

Cara said...

I had some kid choke me in 4th grade and when my parents went to the principal, she told them that "Brandon" had a rough home life. It sucks to be/have the good child!