Sunday, March 27, 2011

#parents #kids #tcot What To Do If Your Child Is Bullied-Our Children’s Right to Self-Defense

Police officer and parent George Mathias offers sound advice on how to prevent bullying. He also provides steps parents should take in defending their child's right to self-defense.

As adults we have a right to self-defense even if that defense includes use of physical force or lethal force with a weapon. Why not our children?

While I don't encourage physical fighting and of course am not saying kids should use or bring weapons to school, this is against the law, there are times when children  are in situations that they must fight back and must defend themselves before serious harm is done. If that means using a physical means of self defense, such as punching, pushing or kicking back then make sure you stand behind them, because if they don't feel you will support them then they will not trust you when they have a problem.

What is most important is that the bullying is reported and you follow up to prevent it from happening again, take notes and go above the teacher and principal, to the school board and police if you feel that your child's situation has not improved.

Via Patriotupdate-Editor’s note: Bullying has been a hot news topic as of late. With all of the focus on  bullying itself, little has been said as to what can and should be done to prepare our children for handling bullies and   bullying. We asked self-defense expert and weapons trainer George Matheis from Modern Combative Systems to give his perspective. His response to this politically-charged subject is what follows.
When we send our children off to school, we have a reasonable expectation that the adults entrusted to teach them will also protect them. Of course, we have all seen the threats by active shooters, but the topic of this article is dealing with bullies.
As a police officer and a parent, it has been my experience that the teachers and administrators know who the bad apples are in their school in much the same way that a police officer knows the criminals on his post. The good kids, like the majority of citizens, start off each day trying to do their best. It is a small percentage of people that prey on them.

Consider the fact that every time you read or hear a story about a violent act, the person committing those acts likely has at least one child. If you are the adult victim of a crime and the criminal is arrested, you will likely be amazed by their criminal record. The same is true if your child is the victim of a bully. The vast majority of the time the incident with your child is just part of an ongoing course of conduct.

Here we are going to focus on physical bullying, ranging from blocking someone’s way, to the threat of, and actual, physical harm. If your child is a victim of bullying, it will likely go something like this: They are in school when the incident takes place. Depending on the incident, a teacher sees it, or is told about it, and the well-known bully is told “not to do it again.” Your child comes home and tells you what happened. You call or go to the school and they assure you that they have already spoken to the student and have explained to him how serious they are about their no bullying policy, just like the police are about informing a criminal of how serious they are about enforcing laws. This may or not be the last time you hear the bully’s name, but if you ask around you will find out that other parents are familiar with him.

Many schools have adopted the policy that if a student is attacked and defends himself, he will also be suspended—no questions asked. Few things could be more against our God-given rights than the right to defend ourselves.

From what I have found, most serious bullying takes place from about 4th grade and up. Children should be taught about the danger of adult strangers from birth, but from about 10 years old or so they should be taught how to defend themselves against their peers.
No matter what a school’s policy is, they cannot take away your child’s right to self-defense. The seriousness of an incident is open to interpretation. My rule of thumb is that if your child was scared or intimidated, you must pursue action. First, go to your board of education’s website and print and educate yourself on their Bullying Policy. They all have one because it has become a buzzword in public education these days. Go to the school, see the principal, and find out what type of action they plan to take. If there is a school resource officer, have them attend the meeting also. If a crime has been committed, insist for the child to be charged with the crime. This is especially important if your child is suspended or punished for defending himself. You need to be able to prove that he was, in fact, defending himself. Be sure to take notes.

If you are not happy with the outcome of the meeting with the principal, go to the board of education and ensure that they are following their own protocol. As soon as you can, use your notes and summarize the meeting in an e-mail to the people with whom you met. If they receive it and don’t contest any points, we call that an “agreed upon statement of facts.” Any correspondence of this sort should be done through certified mail.

Further, educate your children about the reasonable use of force. A few examples that call for the use of force are: multiple attackers, unequal physical size, woman vs. man, and the use of a weapon. Primarily, the reason I bring this up is because of the rate of sexual harassment and sexual assaults in schools. Grabbing a girl’s breast or slapping her butt in schools is a crime, just as it is in the street. My 14 year-old daughter has been trained and educated that it is perfectly acceptable to drive a pen into the arm of any young man who touches her sexually.

Be sure your kids know that you will support them if they defend themselves, and to let you worry about the consequences. Just as the government wishes to destroy our right to self-defense against criminals—and as they continually fail to protect us against them—our schools are trying to do the same to our kids. Show them that you are unwilling to allow this to happen and that you will not only fight for your own rights but for those of your children as well.

Written on March 24, 2011 by George Matheis

©2008-2010 Patricia Garza

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