Thursday, 17 May 2012

bully or not a bully, that is the question.

Ebi-kun seems to have settled in at school OK despite the bumpy start to the year. He has started to get homework every day, I suppose they need to start at the basics for the kids that haven't had any help from home but I was still surprised he came home with a sheet where he had to match the numbers 1-5 to pictures of 1-5 fish! He also has to do reading practice every night.

Over the last week he has had to take in a urine sample and a bum patch sample (testing for worms) and he gets a full medical and dental check. They seem to do it over the course of 2 weeks, he has also been tested on things like how far he can throw a ball, how fast he can run and how many sit ups he can do. I believe this is done every year up until university. I think it is a great idea especial for those kids whose parents don't take them to the dentist etc. I remember having my eyes and teeth checked at school and of course the visit from the 'nit nurse' but I think that was it.

Yesterday we had the Sensei home visit, it must be knackering for the Sensei's, having to teach a full day and then go round to a handful of kids homes after school for 2 weeks. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether the Sensei would come in or stay in the genkan (entrance area), different friends said different things so I asked the mom down the road so at least I knew I had to clean the whole downstairs and not just the genkan!

Then there is the dilemma of should we serve tea and snack or not, they usually say don't offer anything but then is that rude and you are supposed to offer something anyway? I have no idea and neither does my husband so we followed the rules and didn't offer anything, I probably have a black mark by my name now. Oh well.

Anyway, everything seems to be fine, Ebi-kun is confident and enthusiastic and always helping his classmates. The only issue is with S-kun who keeps hitting him. When he first started another boy in the class was kicking him so my advice was that next time he kicked, Ebi-kun should grab hold of him and in his scariest voice tell the kid if he kicked him again he would tell Sensei. The tactic worked and they are now friends, I imagine it was the whole pecking order thing going on. Back to S-kun who sits in front of Ebi-kun, every day Ebi-kun comes home and complains S-kun has hit him, he tried the same tactic as he used with kicking boy but that didn't work, he has also told Sensei about it but that doesn't work either. 

After talking to Sensei it sounds like S-kun isn't good at controlling his emotions yet. What usually happens is that S-kun turns round and annoys Ebi-kun so Ebi-kun 'tells him off' and S-kun thumps him. So, Sensei has moved S-kun and we told Ebi-kun to just ignore him, hopefully it will sort it's self out.

I don't think this is a bullying instance but it is so easy to jump to that conclusion, especially when you only hear one side of the story. We have talked to Ebi-kun about bullies but not just what they do and why it is wrong but why they do it too, often it is learned behaviour and the child is not really to blame, I explained that the behaviour has to be stopped though before something really bad happens and so he is to tell me if anything happens.

Want to hear my bully story? 
When I was 11 I transferred to a new school and went straight into the 2nd year. One of the boys in my class was the school bully and he would pick out a kid and bully them until they cried and then move onto another kid, I didn't know this at the time. Anyway, we were in music class and the boy was sat behind me being really horrible, pulling my hair name calling etc. for the whole lesson. I turned round and told him to shut it or I would punch him - ripples of laughter from the back row boys (no one punched this kid). By the end of the lesson I was seriously pissed off so as we left, bully boy was stood in front of me, I tapped him on the shoulder then when he turned round I punched him as had as I could in the face. I said 'I warned you' and walked off, leaving him and his mates in silence. I also know that the teacher saw me do it but turned a blind eye.
The outcome, the boy never spoke to me again. He did end up getting expelled from high school for hitting a teacher with a chair or something like that. When I look back now, I wonder what was going on at home to make him turn out the way he did.

So, that is my bully story, do you have one to share?
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