Is My Son the Bully or Is He Being Bullied?

Updated on March 05, 2012
C.B. asks from North Olmsted, OH
12 answers

My son is 12, and is really working h*** o* his behavior problem in school. It just seems that no matter what he does, it is always his fault, and he gets into trouble. There is a boy who has been blowing into my son's face for about a month. I know, I thought it was wierd too. But the boy comes up to my son (about 1/2 inch away) and blows into his face. My son told him several times to stop, but the boy continued. My son didn't tell anyone, because he thought he would stop eventually. The other day, the boy blew into his face, and my son blew back real hard. The boy told the lunch lady that my son spit in his face. My son got sent to the office, and ended up with 3 hours of detention. The principal did not want to hear my son's side of the story, but I told it to him anyway. The principal said it didn't really matter, that my son shouldn't have retaliated. The other boy was not even spoken to about his behavior. Does this make sense?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for the responses. Yes, he has a behavior problem. I have twins; and they both have an IEP for behavior. Not for bothering other kids though-basically being too hyper in class-way too hyper. The school seems happy that they have turned my one son into a passive boy, that just lets anyone pick on him or call him names. According to the school, his behavior has greatly improved. They will never turn the other twin into this passive boy that they imagine. I spoke to his teacher directly, since the principal is apethetic to the matter, and feels that my son should not have retaliated. The teacher assured me that she will be on the look-out for the other boy. She also is going to move them to separate tables, since they sit directly accross eachother.

More Answers



answers from Fort Wayne on

tell your son the next time the boy blows in his face to yell out loud WILL YOU PLEASE KNOCK IT OFF!!!!!! When everyone looks at them to see whats going on have your son call out for the lunch lady. make sure he does not touch or blow back in his face. Once the bully sees that everyone is looking at him as the culprit he hopefully will back down. Bullies hate to be stood up to. Dont retailiate (sp) its the whole aspect of standing up for yourself they hate. I was bullied at school and once I made a scene and the attention was on her she quit, its weird how that works. gl

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

It sounds to me like your son was being harassed and finally retaliated when his efforts to stop it didn't work.

The other kids is the bully.

And yes, if your son is being bullied and the bully doesn't stop when asked to stop, he is well within his rights to retaliate.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

The other boy is the bully because he is the one repeatedly harassing your son after he's been asked/told to stop. And your son handled it the best way he knew how and then resorted to doing the same thing back when he felt he had no choice. Maybe it would have been nicer if he had spoken up to an adult first about the bully "spitting" in HIS face. Yeah, in a perfect world, he should not have retaliated, but it seems like the only effective way to get bullies to stop is to finally really stand up to them and sometimes just pop 'em one. If you are not happy with how the principal is handling this, ask them what their policy is on bullying, then complain to the school board/superintendent.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Yeah.. the other boy is the bully. And he got what he wanted from your son--a big reaction.

I wonder what would happen if he did it again, only next time your son quickly turned his head to the side (not moved away, just turned so that the side of his head was facing the bully) and then loudly protested: "Why are you always trying to blow in my EAR?! I'm not INTO THAT! Geez!"

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Elkhart on

When my kids were in grade school they were taught chain of command. At least that's what I called it.

Ask them nicely to stop.
Tell the teacher.
If teacher doesn't help. Tell another teacher or authority figure.
Tell parent everytime the bully does something to you so parent is current with what is going on.
If it still does not stop. Tell principle.
If continues. wait til after school off property and beat the snot out of them. come home and tell me it happened and I will stand behind you 100%.
My youngest did this and the kid never bulied him again. I know it's not right to solve a problem with violence but it was the only way this kid understood to stop picking on him.
I even spoke to the kid's mom before my son finally had enough and her excuse was boys will be boys. That told me my son would have to take it into his own hands and put an end to it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It's an unfortunate outcome of the anti-bullying efforts that kids today are reluctant to stand up for themselves because they're afraid they're the ones who will get in trouble, as your son did. Not sure what the answer is, just an observation that I've discussed with several parents. I encourage my kids to tell a teacher when someone is bothering/bullying them. Last year, the teacher told me my daughter was a tattle-tale.It's very frustrating for me as a parent trying to guide my children through the social aspect of school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

NO it doesn't make sense. Some schools today won't teach proper escalation and steps to take beyond "I" messages. I messages are a good way to start but what do they do next? Sometimes you say, "I feel sad when you kick me" and I can only imagine the bully thinking, "Great! That's exactly what I wanted!" You will have to teach him this yourself and let him know if he does escalate in an apporpriate fashion he won't get into trouble with you. Check in with him frequently on this and role play what he should do if there is an issue/situation that comes up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Good news, neither are bullies but the other kid is a little jerk! My son had issues like this, really the only thing you can do is tell the teachers.

The kids Andy had to deal with always made him the aggressor if he took it into his own hands. The one time the kid kept poking him, wait, poke, wait, poke, teacher is looking, poke, finally Andy turned around and yelled knock it off. Guess who got in trouble?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

your son is not the bully the other kid is. I for one knowing the principles reaction or lack thereof would have wanted for my kid to actually spit in the other kids face. Im sorry get in my face and I will react, and not very nicely to that.



answers from Indianapolis on

If your son is working h*** o* his behavior than it sounds like he has been in trouble in the past. When kids are in trouble a lot they get labeled as trouble makers so when something does go on and he is involved he will be the one blamed. I would encourage him to tell the next time something happens. Most kids don't want to tell because of the label that brings but he needs to in order to keep himself out of trouble. Good luck!!



answers from Cleveland on

No. Zero tolerance means both are talked to. If they aren't doing that then your son needs to start going to the office each time this kid does this.


answers from Dover on

No it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't at least listen to your son and address his concern as well. Remind your son that anytime something like this happens, he must tell the responsible adult present immediately or loudly enough for them to hear say "Johnny, don't blow in my face. I have asked you repeatedly to stop." I had to do the same w/ my son before. My brother was once known as a bit of a trouble maker in school, no matter what he did or someone else was always "his fault" because of his earlier reputation. Even when he did nothing wrong.

My son had a boy that was about a year older then him and attended the same daycare. My son was the youngest of the "big kids". The boy knew that picking on one of the little kids (not yet in school) would get him in big trouble. But picking on another big kid...not so much. So my son was his target. He would pick, hit, or kick when the daycare provider was just out of sight or had her back turned. When my son would say anything the boy would swear it didn't happen. When my son would retaliate, the boy would alway holler (and typically the timing was such that the provider would see it too). My son would get in trouble. She did tell me that she thought Rawley was instigating but was sneaky about it so she never saw it. Once in a while when her hubby would help out, he would keep an eye on the boys and notice it so he would "let my son get back at him a bit". Never enough to hurt him but the boy would jump on my son and since my son wrestled, he would quickly turn the table and sort of "pin" the boy. Hubby would say "see, you need to leave him alone" and it would put a stop to it temporarily. Her hubby really liked my son and thought it was funny that Rawley was always trying to be sneaky and my son always turned it back on him.

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