9 Year Old Suspended for Fighting

Updated on November 16, 2007
E.W. asks from Kansas City, MO
9 answers

My 9 year old son was suspended today for getting into a fight at school. He told me another kid hit him so he hit him back. He says he doesn't know why the other kid hit him and that kids at school make fun of him. His father isn't around. He's in the Big Brothers program and has a "Big Couple" but I don't think that's enough. I've always told him that if someone bothers him to tell a teacher or school official but then he says the kids pick on him for being a "snitch". I know I need to sit down and talk to him but I'm at a loss for what to say. I've never dealt with this type of thing. Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone :-) I went to the school today with my son because they wouldn't return my phone calls and talked to the dean. It was my son, a 4th grader vs a 2nd grader who is a lot smaller than him. In this case, I think my son could easily have just told a teacher or someone. Now, if it was a bigger kid, or someone his own size, I can see hitting back. Maybe I'm wrong. He said it started out where he was trying to trade a paper airplane he made for something the 2nd grader had and it ended up where the 2nd grader called him "stupid" and he called the 2nd grader "crazy" and later in the bathroom, the 2nd grader wanted to fight him. The dean said the 2nd grader was small enough to where my son could've just put his arm out to block him from doing anything.

That boxing match is a good idea! lol I'm going to have to remember that :-) I'm going to talk to the school about him seeing a counselor as well.

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answers from Kansas City on

Why don't you try to talk to the school counselor. I had a similar problem with my son (12 yrs old) with others picking on him- I tried to talk to him and he would stare a hole through me. I called the counselor and he/she talked to him and found out the problem. The school officials started to watch more closely and stopped the problem in it's tracks!! Give it a try.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have been in this situation with my 10 year old son before and it is not easy! While my husband and I do not condone fighting, we also do not condone bullying. Everyone has a right to defend themselves and sometimes the only way to get a bully to leave you alone is to stand up to them.

We explained to our son that there will be consequences at school for fighting, but if he is truly defending himself, there will be no punishment at home. He has only had to defend himself once, and lucky for us, it worked. The bully left him alone.

I mainly just wanted you to know, you are not alone. It's hard to see your child being hurt in anyway, but to us, the best way to defend them is to teach them to stand up for themselves.



answers from Kansas City on

My daughter has always had a problem w/ people picking on her. I have tried to teach her that when people pick on her that she needs to not react, when she reacts she gives them the power. That the parents of those kids have not taught them how to respect others and that you should feel sorry for those kids. My advice is for him to learn that not every one has been taught to be respectful of others and that he is better then that and not to react and sink to their level. I hope this helps.



answers from Champaign on

I am the single Mommy to 4 children 1 in heaven and 3 here . I have 9 year old son. He constantly was "taunted" and fought with other children. He was more than once suspended. He is a sweet boy but just can't really interact with others at first diagnosed with extreme ADHD now with that and in addition Aspergers Syndrome a form Autism. That's just my son. As for how I'd handle Your situation is continue to do right by telling him to tell staff. But if the children continue to taunt him call the principal. And if it still doesn't stop call for the papers for an IEP or 504 plan.They can help alot. You have ALOT of rights you-n- Your son. My son is now in a smaller classroom and I mean I took these constant problems ALL THE WAY!!!! Best of Luck with Your lil 'guy. Kids are cruel as ever. Much Care,M.



answers from Tulsa on

You dont much worry about the behaviour of your son at this age. Its generally common with kids of his age. I think a little counselling and parental care would solve the problem.You said his father is not around.Give personal attention to his needs and make him feel that he is well cared.Advice him on all about good behaviour.Take him occasionally to movies or other places of enjoyment etc. Everything will be all right



answers from Kansas City on

If someone should hit my kiddos, I'll give them full permission to hit them back. If you son was defending himself, I can't imagine why he would get suspended. Do you have a strong male figure in his life... like a grandpa, uncle, cousin, etc?



answers from Springfield on

I agree that there might not be a need for an at home punishment, this time.
Let your son know that he has to take the school's punishment because rules are rules, but you won't add to the punishment given the fact that he was hit first. Also explain that you will punish him if he ever starts a fight. You might also want to tell him you will consider punishing him if he ever gets suspended again. (This will cover you in case you ever suspect he is doing something to get himself into a fight even if he isn't the one to hit first.)
I hope this helps you talk to your son. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

This is my personal opinion. But I don't think you should punish your son for sticking up for himself. Lets turn the tables if it were you and someone came up and hit you what would you do ?? I know what I would do....the person that hit me better make for sure they landed a good punch because I'm gonna get up swingin'.

Now when kids get in fights it doesn't matter who started it or finished it they (1 or all) gets suspended. Not only that but the idea to tell your 9 year old son to tell the teacher, I think that went out the window years ago. I feel your son was in the right. The other kid now knows and along with everyone else that if they are gonna get in a fight he will stand up for himself. And I guarantee you this kid that hit him will either 1) not bother him anymore or 2) they will become friends. Thats how it goes. I don't think you should punish your son though. Your son isn't the one going around getting in fights with people, he is just sticking up for himself and what he should rightfully do.

I have 4 kids, when the oldest one (now 16) was in kindergaten he had some kids picking on him and one of them hit him, so I told him hit him back. So he did and they never messed with him again.

I also have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and she fights with her younger brother (6 years old) and she is ruthless when it comes to him. But then again so is he. So if my daughter can fight like a boy then she will be treated like a boy when it comes to this. She takes no BS from anyone no matter what. I think your son was in the right. I don't promote fighting but I do promote sticking up for yourself no matter where, when or how or with who, W.



answers from Kansas City on


Years ago my younger brother was getting picked on and bullied on the playground at school. He was in 5th grade and small for his age. On top of everything else he was also a teachers kid, so his behavior was monitored more closely than most. My mother did not cut either of us any slack and our behavior had to be above reproach. One day he had enough and started to take a swing at this bully. A teacher stepped in and sent him to the principal. When he got home, he and my dad sat down and talked about what had happened.

The solution they came up with was this, the next time my brother was getting picked on he was to challenge the bully to a supervised boxing match at the base gym the next Saturday. Dad would arrange for the boys to both have gloves and reserve the boxing ring for a two hour window. Sure enough the kid started to bait my little brother, so my brother laid out the rules for how he would fight the kid. Every day the bully approached him he would remind him that they could not fight at school and they had an arranged time at the gym.

Dad chose the gym, because a lot of kids had basket ball and indoor soccer practice there every weekend. On the appointed Saturday they went in reserved the ring and checked out the boxing gear. All morning Dad taught him how to box properly. They made sure that everyone saw them waiting. My brothers classmates kept checking in to see if the guy had shown up yet. Of course, the bully never showed. My father figured that was what would happen since to get to the base gym the coward would have had to told his parents. However, the next Monday when the bully started to pick on him, my brother had the upper hand and told him he had his chance on Saturday and never showed up. Since lots of kids had seen my brother at the gym the bully lost all credibility and had to back off. My brother never had a problem again with bullying

We were lucky in that my father was in the Air Force and this incident took place at a department of defence school. We had access to the base gym and the proper equipment. The trick to making this work is taking control of the fight and choosing the safer location with suppervision. You also can't bluff you have to show up even is the bully doesn't. Bullies thrive on making their victims feel weak and helpless. Standing up for yourself very publicly is the only way to get them to stop.

Hope this story helps,

J. N.