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Should I tell DS off for punching someone and being excluded?

(131 Posts)
HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:24:12

I haven't and I'm wondering if IBU...

I have breast cancer, not very advanced and responding well to treatment.

DS was invited to a friend's birthday party, he is relatively new to the school and DS's group of friends took him under their wings. The problem was, it was at the same time that my chemo appointment was at (DS usually comes with me - he always wants to come, we play games and have a good laugh) I told him to go and I'll be fine, but he insisted he would rather be with me. He messaged the friend (I'll call him J) and got the response of 'K', DS thought it must just be the way he answers and he isn't mad (as 'K' normally means you are...?) anyway, DS goes into school the next day and thought nothing about not going to the party.

Forgot to say, DS is 12 (Yr 8)... J then goes up to DS and says "I hope your mum hurries up and dies, so you don't keep missing things you're invited to, it's rude" and he punched him right in the face.

DS then hurried to the toilets and phoned me in a massive frenzy (he never normally gets into trouble/does 'naughty' things at school) telling me how sorry he is and he didn't mean it, but he is going to be in lots of trouble, etc.

DS got a day exclusion and as soon as he got home, said he shouldn't have done it and he knew it was a bad choice, etc. so I figured he knew he did something wrong, he never gets into trouble at school, etc.

However, ExH (who he sees 3 times a week) says that I handled it wrong and he won't be doing anything fun when he has him/have any of his gadgets, etc.

So, WIBU? confused

sootica Wed 10-Feb-16 06:27:33

That was some extreme provocation. I wouldn't tell him off for that and he's been punished at school but I would have a discussion about controlling anger. Do the school know what the boy said? I hope he is being punished too.

hesterton Wed 10-Feb-16 06:29:15

No, he's been punished enough. As long as he knows it wasn't the right way to respond, and feels remorse - let it go. Poor lad must feel so hurt by that comment. I hope you are ok too, and that your treatment goes well. Put this behind you now flowers

HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:29:31

sootica - the other boy was punished, the school said, but it wasn't an exclusion, so I'm not sure what his punishment was hmm

wannabestressfree Wed 10-Feb-16 06:29:50

I wouldn't punish him no. Have a chat about picking nicer friends but what a horrible thing to say..... hope your both OK.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Wed 10-Feb-16 06:31:53

hes being punished already at school, i think thats enough

exLtEveDallas Wed 10-Feb-16 06:32:54

I know that 'violence is never the answer' and 'two wrongs don't make a right' but, no, I wouldn't tell your son off for this. I'd be more inclined to make sure that DS was properly supported and counselled over his understandable anger and fear for his mothers health.

What a shame that his father can't see it this way.

SueGeneris Wed 10-Feb-16 06:33:36


I would have done as you have. He does not 'need' a punishment - as you say, he has said himself it was the wrong thing to do and also, talk about provocation!

Good wishes to you for your treatment. I think it says a lot about what a lovely boy your DS is that he chooses to come with you.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 10-Feb-16 06:33:38

I'm really, really strict, but no I wouldn't punish him any further for that.

I would have been volcanically angry that the school were unsympathetic though as far as I'm concerned the punishments in this instance should have been equal.

Did the other boy's parents apologise?

Resideria Wed 10-Feb-16 06:34:22

Of course your DS shouldn't have punched him, but at the same time, this was an absolutely understandable reaction. The other boy is a horrid little excuse of a human being.
As your DS realised immediately that he should have acted differently, and as it's out of character, I'd certainly not punish him under these circumstances (and would secretly be very proud of him).

IguanaTail Wed 10-Feb-16 06:36:43

I think you're right.

On a separate note "K" is often used by teens to indicate a passive aggressive "acceptance". But what that boy said is appalling. The irony of him telling your son what acceptable social skills are as well. He should be ashamed.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Wed 10-Feb-16 06:37:23

What a vile thing for a year 8 to say, especially about something so trivial as missing a party? I'd be cross with school for not ensuring the punishments were equal in this case. Maybe a chat with ds about how to manage his anger? Is he coping ok away from jackasses? Maybe school could recommend someone for him to talk to if he gets upset at school (my old school had pastoral support department for things like this).

I think I'd probably contact school (without input from ds) regarding what the other boy had said and asking for clarification on how he had been dealt with.

mummytime Wed 10-Feb-16 06:37:49

I never punish out of school for something that has been punished in school. Other than to express my disapproval, and forcing my DC sometimes to discuss why it happened and how to deal with it better.

If it was a proper exclusion, did the school arrange a reintegration interview for when your son returns/returned?

I would also discuss with your DS's head of year/pastoral head the situation. And try to find out whether this group of boys is a nice group - or there is a lot of politics at play.

The other thing I would do is try to get some support for your son, because I do worry that he is taking on too much support of you. I know you said he wanted to be with you, but I think with my DC I would have forced them to go to the party.
The punch could be a sign of far more than one boy saying something extremely hurtful.

Does the school offer support for young carers? Because maybe that would be one way for your son to get the support he needs.

Katenka Wed 10-Feb-16 06:39:27

I wouldn't punish him. I would have a discussion with him about why it's not ok.

I know he has already said that he knows he shouldn't have done it. But a chat about it so he knows that it's not ok to punch people, just to '
Make sure he knows you don't approve. That should be enough.

Not entirely sure I would let him chill out at home though either. I would have found him some jobs to do for a bit. Not as punishment but just so it's not essentially a day off to chill out.

HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:42:12

mummytime - yes, he had a reintegration meeting and the Head of Year actually said "it's such a surprise to see someone I don't know here" and they decided to not put him on reintegration report. They said they couldn't say much about the other boy, but they were dealing with it. They have a lot of support things at school and said they'll make sure he's aware of them, over the next few days.

kinkytoes Wed 10-Feb-16 06:42:50

I remember doing a similar thing in the classroom. My stepmum was in a similar position to you and some 'friend' of mine disrespected her somehow, I can't remember what exactly. The red mist descended and I got up went round the table and smacked her in the mouth. Broke her brace as I recall. Not proud but I don't think I could have stopped myself it was almost automatic.

I don't recall any repercussions at all and I'm not even sure my parents found out. Things have changed in twenty years or so. But I really sympathise with your son. I suspect like me, he had no choice in what he did. Not that I'm condoning violence of course! I'm sure he (like me) is usually a calm, peaceful character. Sometimes extreme outside factors can influence that in ways we don't like.

HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:43:05

Katenka - he didn't, he had school work to do smile

IguanaTail Wed 10-Feb-16 06:43:46

I would have been volcanically angry that the school were unsympathetic though as far as I'm concerned the punishments in this instance should have been equal.

You don't know they were unsympathetic. Your opinion might be that the punishment should have been equal but if you set a precedent that verbal comments receive the same punishment as physical then that's very hard to follow through. It's very hard responding totally fairly to incidents like this. Yes from what we have heard there was real provocation, but the school can't say that as long as the provocation was extreme, physical violence is tolerated. If you take it out of a school environment for a minute - if a woman on the street really insulted you, and you responded by punching her in the face, the police would respond differently even through they might well have sympathy for you.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 10-Feb-16 06:44:04

He's been punished by the exclusion, so no, no further "punishment" from you. But, a big talk.

I think I would also do as pps have said and try and access some support for your son, as he's obviously going through something along with you, that despite being 12, so old enough to understand, is still a big thing. (understatement flowers) It sounds as if the wanting to come with you is to make sure you are OK (which is lovely, but it's not his job to do that) I think I would gently encourage him not to in future.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 10-Feb-16 06:44:16

No, YANBU. He clearly already knows it's wrong - he rang you straight away full of remorse.

I think his friend is probably missing your DS, though, and it just came out in anger. NOT that what he said was okay but he's only 12 and is probably a bit lonely if your DS is spending less time with him/his mates for you. He needs to write an apology letter to your DS and to you, really. What he said is awful.

I hope you continue to respond to treatment, OP flowers

IguanaTail Wed 10-Feb-16 06:45:45

ask for clarification on how he had been dealt with.

No schools are not allowed to discuss other children or their punishments or parents etc. Just like you wouldn't want another parent discussing your child. You just have to trust that the school is dealing with it as well as they can.

HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:47:18

I know it may seem I'm relying on my son, but I'm not smile we make a lovely day of it! We go and get lunch, we play Monopoly, have talks and we both love it, I often suggest he does something else, but he claims he would really miss not coming with me smile

IguanaTail Wed 10-Feb-16 06:49:31

Do you think he would feel guilty if he didn't go? He sounds so kind and mature.

HelpfulChap Wed 10-Feb-16 06:49:53

I would have done exactly the same as your son. Probably worse.

I wouldn't punish him at all.

Sounds like a good kid to me.

HolsW Wed 10-Feb-16 06:53:29

Iguana - that's what worries me and he says that he would, but that isn't the only reason he comes... If he insists he comes, I don't know what else I can really say!

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