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December 18, 2008


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go sing with the fam now.

and this is such a hard one. I'm glad I'm not the administrator because from a "policy" point of view, I can see the pros and cons. Grrr.

mrs. g.

Bummer. I'd go with the middle option too. The sibling solidarity is icing.

lakeland Jo

We have been here too. Our school don't suspend for a fight unless it is an unprovoked or vicious incident- they just put it down to too much testosterone, and boys clashing antlers.
The kids are read the riot act, but privately the teachers and parents roll their eyes.
I blame too much WWE personally. When teenager was younger we had to ban it!

Mary Alice

I'm so sorry. I would go with the middle option.


oh goodness, being a teenager is hard!


I'm voting for the middle option. You can't really fight it.


I'd go with the middle option. You can't really fight it.


Yes, you are heading in the direction that I would go to also. Kudos for sisterly love.
It is a blessing knowing that DB was not the instigator, only the defender.....some consolation maybe?


Our school also suspends for either starting or defending ones self in a fight. The kids are supposed to get an adult. How is that supposed to happen if it has already escalated to fisticuffs??

Sooo frustrating for you, but I would also go to the middle option.


I vote middle too; assuming that the suspension shows up on his transcript simply as an unexcused absense.

p.s. How'd the OTHER kid look?


I totally thought you'd go with the last option!

Jen on the Edge

So what the school is saying is that the person being hit should not defend himself in any way and should just take the hits?

I'm in the minority here, but I would not have gone with the middle option.


I would go with the middle option and assume that any college familiar with California public school policy would not be shocked to see a suspension for fighting on the transcripts of a good student. My 15yr old was suspended for a day for defending himself in 7th grade and it annoyed the heck out of me. The fact that the other kid was expelled really didn't make me feel any better.

Green Girl

That's the MOST unfair rule. A dear boy I know got suspended for a similar situation--total self defense, but "Rules are Rules" said the Powers that Be.
Glad the sister camped on his side--that does sweeten the pot.


I'm sorry, Jenn. Life isn't fair.
I know the policies are there for a reason, but sometimes they don't make much sense. When heads have cooled, is there a way to make sure it doesn't hamper college apps?

What could a mom be, but proud of her son for defending himself and proud of her daughter for showing her love.
Kum Ba Ya away.


siblings are awesome. they are your fiercest protector and loudest supporter.

eventually =)


I think you made the right decision. But I might consider writing a letter of protest 'for the record' to the school. Not so much an appeal, but rather a diplomatic "I disagree with this policy" statement (or maybe you'd rather just put it to rest). Gosh, it's tough being a parent or a teenager or a school administrator in today's world!


I agree with your decision. I think teaching your kids that these are the rules, it's not always fair, but they need to know life is not always fair.

Memarie Lane

I guess I can see why they'd suspend the one not at fault, it might help the atmosphere of school to settle down for him. But it still seems unfair, especially if it might hurt his record.


Oh, I'm sort of glad it didn't make it into the Christmas letter - tee hee! I know - this is not funny - this is the crap we often have to deal with when our kids go out into an "unfair" and crap filled world. I'm sorry this happened to your son and glad to hear his sister was there for him!

Take care - Kellan


I completely understand why the school has to suspend both parties, but it is difficult to accept that defending oneself should go on their long term record. I wouldn't make a big deal about it, but I would ask that it not be on his record. Especially if they all know it wasn't his fault!

Very sweet reaction from his sister!


Have you seen Changeling yet? She tells her son, "never start a fight but always finish it." Meaning if someone hits you, you hit them back. It actually becomes the theme of the entire movie and honestly, is a beautiful story how sticking up for yourself is very important in life. In your story, your son did the right thing. Buy the teacher the DVD for Christmas.


I would do the same you are doing, but I would talk to the school administration to get to the bottom of more details. I am sure the rule came into play because at some point in time a child defending himself became the agressor during a brawl and they had to come up with a rule to avoid a certain situation from arising again.

Rules can be that way. You should read all the disclaimers on an adoption consent form/parental rights waiver - HOLY COW. And they all came to be because some situation arose and an adoption fell through at one point in time or another because of some silly detail.

Rules suck sometimes, but situational circumstances created them.

I would show my support to my kids regardless and explain rules are rules. This has happened to my kids on the bus- getting in trouble for horseplay when they were dogpiled or pushed into the aisle. I tell them there is usually a way around looking like you are in the middle of it, but sometimes it happens. That is why it is important to make good friend choices. If you are friends with those that are constantly in trouble, it looks like you are a trouble maker too, eventually.



At least he got an extra day for Christmas break

Deb D

I would have taken the middle option as well BUT here in Canada it would have absolutely no impact on college applications. I'd probably try and get the suspension removed from his record if it is likely to be held against him.


Wow, that is a tough call. I'm not sure what I'd do. But this just goes to show that the world is not black and white!


That is tough, Jenn. Thinking of you.

stephanie (bad mom)

I highly recommend the middle option also. Though I strongly discourage group singing of KumBaYa.

The Girl Next Door

Wow this is a tough one. So glad sister stepped out for her brother. Way to go.


When sibling love and support is shown, it does show that all is right with the world, doesn't it?

Being drug into a fight and then getting punished for it sucks. I can see where doing the middle option would probably be the thing to do, but...a part of me would really want to fight it...defending oneself should NOT be punished...the instigator should...especially if there were witnesses to the fight.
Man...parenting doesn't get any easier, does it? I'm taking notes!!

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