HELP HELP PLEASE Daughter Suspended - FamilyEducation
HELP HELP PLEASE Daughter Suspended
03/23/2010 at 15:08 PM

Well on top of everything else now she has been suspended from school for 3 days. She was suspended for fighting.
The situation is this. A girl has antagonized my daughter and said horrible things to and about her for a long time now. Probably around three years. My daughter has never said or done anything to retaliate. Today she embarrassed my daughter in front of the whole class and then continued to embarrass her later on in the halls by pointing, full arm stretched and laughing. Then the other girl got right up in my daughters face, nose to nose, and yelled at her. So my daughter pushed her back to get her out of her face, then the other girl started punching and pulled her to the ground by her hair and then punching and hair pulling were exchanged.
Now, mind you I DO NOT advocate fighting, I do however advocate defending yourself against a bully. And in this circumstance where the girl has made my daughter’s life a living hell for so many years, I feel that the three day suspension is enough of a punishment and I don’t feel she should be punished or given further punishment at home. My husband and I have always said if you were put in that situation then you should defend yourself and you may get suspended from school but you will not be in trouble at home.
Now my husband wants to ground her for getting suspended. I don’t think that’s right especially after us saying it’s ok to defend yourself, even though she technically made the first move, she was only defending herself against the years and years of bullying.
Am I wrong? Should she be punished at home?

There should be consequences for your daughter not walking away and telling school personel about the bullying. YES, she should be held accountable for her poor decision making that led to her suspension from school. Don't make excuses for your daughter's negative actions or you will teach her to make excuses for her own and the actions of others.

That depends. I don't advocate fighting, but I think it is reasonable for someone who is repeatedly anatagonized to defend themselves. Telling a school official could have just made it worse. I think it is possible for violence to solve problems in two situations-- high school and prison. :) That being said, IMO, there should still be consequences for fighting- even if it was the "right" thing to do, b/c there would be consequences in the "real world." Is this contradictory and inconsistent? Yes, but that is life. Your daughter is old enough to understand that. I really wouldn't consider a three-day out of school suspension punishment, either. What kid doesn't like a little time off for school? That's more punishment for the parents, I don't really know why schools do it.

I didn't punish her and her counsler agreed with me. She loves school, she is a social butterfly, she cried and cried and cried when she found out she was gonna be suspended for FINALLY standing up to this bully.

Good for her for protecting herself. Kids are told all the time that no matter who starts a fight they are not to fight back. I dont agree with this at all.