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Old 04-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
gdandscompserv
 
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The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Friday, April 20, 2007. It was the break between the two parts of our science test and I was talking to my friends in the quad. There was a bit of a circle which I noticed some of my friends by and also Kenny Dotson, Austin Hughes, and Clayton Clark and their little gang of friends were part of this circle. I asked my friend and he told me that those kids were planning to jump a Charles Bratton. The bell rang and Charles Bratton had already gone to his classroom. This gang of Austin's was quite disappointed because they had been quite psyched to jump Charles. I was kicking a pine cone to my friend Rodrigo Zamora, he kicked it back and I returned it. I ran up to him, grabbed his shoulders, and shook him a bit, saying: "Rodrigo where you been man? Haven't seen you in a while." This was the point at which Clayton, Austin, and Kenny said that I had pushed him and knocked him down. Clayton then approached me and said, "You wanna' fuck with Rodrigo? Then you gotta' fuck with all of us!" He began pushing me several times. I told him Rodrigo was my friend but he didn't listen to a word of it. Kenny moved him aside and began his pushing of me. He pushed me several times as I repeated I didn't want to fight, I had no problem with them, and that Rodrigo is my friend. He pushed me several times and on the last push I had taken an Aikido stance I know of so as not to be pushed back. He put his hand down as if he were done with me. I then turned to the office to tell of this little incident. Austin Hughes was behind me and pushed me. I stumbled and right when I turned around Kenny Dotson gave me a left hook which knocked me to the ground. I was unconcious for a moment but I'm told that James Dunham, a very, very good friend of mine, stepped in as Kenny kept throwing punches at me. He took two to the face as some other kid broke it up. He told me he had no intention at all of fighting Kenny. Just to stop him from hurting me.
Kenny, Austin, Clayton and their little gang then ran away as the teachers came to stop all of this which had already happened. I was escorted to the office along with James. James and I both had cuts in our lips. His was a deep gash due to his teeth and mine was a long series of gashes due to my braces. Top and bottom of my right cheeck was shredded to pieces. I sat in the office for the remainder of testing so as not to disturb my class. I was interrogated and went through the procedures which are usually taken after a fight. I wrote down my statement still quite dazed from being knocked out. I'm sure I made it as accurate as possible though. I was heading to Trevithick's room to get my things. As I got my backpack and headed to Ms. Weaver's for my first period math class, Austin passed me. I looked at him and he said, "You got knocked out like a bitch!" I maintained my composure as much as I could and continued the day with no serious problems from anybody. Except the frustration of being told I was knocked out and having to tell the tale time and time again.

Monday, April 23, 2007. It was lunch time and I had just got my lunch from the cart. I was heading back to my group of friends and Austin was looking at me and heading straight for me. He approached me and flexed a bit. Trying to get me to flinch at his "awesomeness" I suppose. I responded with my instinct of taking an Aikido stance and was ready to defend myself. I knew if Austin wanted to do anything about this whole situation, he wouldn't be satisfied with one knock out punch but also a series of blows while I would be on the ground. I was a bit relieved at the fact that Austin wouldn't want to ruin his day or week by getting suspended for this.

These kids are a group or even gang of kids that seriously need to be broken up. They walk around all day just itching to intimidate littler, weaker kids and start a fight with whoever they think they can take. After the incident with me, a friend of mine asked Austin why he had to be such an asshole all the time. He responded by telling her that if she didn't shutup, he would get her beaten up too. I don't know how this group decides who fights or who gets beaten up, but it was quite obvious to me that there are some kids who are at the top of this. The so called "brains" of this operation. Austin is one of these kids. Using his position of power or popularity to to talk kids into fighting innocent kids who he may not like. During the inicident, he was the main instigator and all throughout it I heard him yelling to Kenny to hit me or to beat my ass. Even when I hit the ground he was still yelling these things. These are a group of kids who are one day going to hurt somebody seriously. All this happened at school with an officer on campus and teachers or hall monitors who were close enough to stop it. I can't imagine what these kids can and most likely would do to somebody off campus in their free time.

Jebediah E Wood
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
John Kelly
 
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Hi Jebediah,
You are strong, and you will persevere. I respect you for standing your ground and defending yourself. It is the only thing people like these characters will understand. They choose their victims based on who they think looks weak to them, especially those who look or act differently from them. Typically, they prey on the weak, and care most about how their peers see them. It isn't about you, it is about them trying to show how tough they are. It is idiotic and will get them nowhere in life. I won't presume to give you advice. But it sounds like you have a good start on figuring out how to deal with these situations.

I was attacked in high school as well, and fared about as well as you did. It took me many years to understand my feelings and the conflicts it stirred in me. I am a very peaceful person and just could not understand why someone would attack me unprovoked. I was no threat to my opponent. We didn't even know each other. Now I am more confidant that I would fare better than before, but knowing how to fight isn't the source of that confidance-- it is knowing why to fight that changed me the most. I continue to train, and puzzle over what justifies violence, and the more aikido I learn, the more I am confidant of my abililty to avoid it.

Good luck to you and your good friend James. Be true to yourself and stay sharp.

jk

p.s. there is a good thread that addresses intimidation going on right now, check it out.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11648

Last edited by John Kelly : 04-24-2007 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #3
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I would like to point out that the post originating this thread is a copy of the email my son Jebediah sent to me as a result of my asking him to write down the original incident as well as any successive bullying incident's that occur at his school.
Thank you for that nice post John.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:14 AM   #4
John Kelly
 
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I would like to point out that the post originating this thread is a copy of the email my son Jebediah sent to me as a result of my asking him to write down the original incident as well as any successive bullying incident's that occur at his school.
Thank you for that nice post John.
oooooooooooooooooohhhh, well. (slightly embarased) Good to know... and... you're welcome.
jk
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I was always bullied in school, beat up constantly. My parents talked to the parents, teachers and principle, it only made it worse. I hated school, I hated walking home, I hated walking to school. I was always threatened and always looking over my shoulder. I was always told by my martial arts teachers and father to not fight. At the time I thought this ment never fight. The times I tried to fight back with my TKD only made it worse on me because they were older and bigger then me.

One day I snapped, 2 'cool' guys had pushed me and hit me all day in school. I believe this was 6th grade and they were in 7th or 8th grade. I told them that if they ever did it again I would not rest until one of them was in the hospital. Sometime in the afternoon they cornered me and started rabbit punching my ribs and calling me names. I was sweeping the hall at the time as punishment for being constantly tardy to school. I kicked though the end of the mop and started swinging at them till someone (a teacher) pulled the stick from my hands. I had snapped physically and mentally and really believed if I did not end this now, I was going to die. I know that is overly dramatic, but that is how I felt. The conflict ended with one of them taking an ambulance to the hospital just as I promised.

This solved the problem for good. Until I switched to high school I never so much as had another person look at me funny. This caused me to gain confidence, and start getting into sports. Of course being more active made me more popular and by the time I switched schools I could quickly make friends and no longer did I have to worry about people wanting to fight me. I was on team sports, playing in band, and outgoing.

Had I not beat a person half to death with a mop handle, I would probably killed myself in depression or worse. I had isolated myself from everyone and was full of fear. Other kids just a few years afterwards too a different approach and gave up, we all seen those results on tv. I'm glad I was lucky enough to have a will to change my situation instead of blame it on those around me.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I agree with Don. Jebediah has to learn to stand up for himself sooner or later. Until he does, he will remain the target of the thugs. If he fights back, and looses, at least he won't be on their top list, because they know he won't take it passively like others.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
Roman Kremianski
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I know a lot of Aikido people say that "fighting" someone within a group would only escalate the situation and will get the rest of the group after, but to be honest, in high school (depends on the high school of course) things usually aren't run like in street gangs. Obviously if you're in a very bad high school where stabbings are not uncommon (these places exist/have existed), things will be different. But generally what I found while training in Aikido through ought half my high school life is that if people see you have some sort of training, they'll be more hesitant to attack you.

(Especially if you happen to floor one of them in front of the others)

Kids in high school are kinda stupid to begin with anyway.
Sorry to hear you got caught with a left hook though.

Don Magee: Have you seen Art of Fighting?

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 04-24-2007 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:20 PM   #8
crbateman
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Couple rules to live by:

DLGD >> Don't Let your Guard Down (Don't turn away from someone close enough to hit you.)

YCBA >> You Can't Beat them All (Fighting a group might get you some sympathy, but you'll get your butt kicked more times than not)

Then, if put in a position with absolutely no alternative:

TOTL >> Take Out The Leader (No explanation necessary)




There's no shame in NOT fighting. The only one who can truly shame you is YOU. Keep your dignity, protect your head, the other bruises will heal. Those who really matter will respect the fact that you kept your composure, and did not injure another needlessly. Remember that the guy who thinks he's the baddest invariably runs into the guy who really is. The bully will get his eventually.

Last edited by crbateman : 04-24-2007 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Personally, I am very proud of him. Do you know how rare a truly peace loving individual is? Do I want to train that out of him? I don't think so. It is a rare gem. We both hope that if the situation is severe enough, he will be able to protect himself from harm. That didn't seem necessary to him. He took the high road. Me thinks he might understand more about the spirit of aikido than many of us.
Good job son!

I forgot to tell Clark thanks for the great advise. Those are good tips for all. He was knocked to the concrete with no visible sign of striking his head. Perhaps those ukemi skills contributed to that good fortune.

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 04-24-2007 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
graham
 
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I'm afraid to say that I was once an Austin.

Contrary to what most well-meaning parents seem to tell their kids, standing up to bullies (who, we are told, are all cowards!) is no guarantee of walking away unscathed. The issue isn't whether or not you fight back, but how you do it.

Ricky, it sounds to me like your son is handling this just right. I think that if it was me I would want to discretely confront Austin on his own and explain that I'm not the kind of kid who responds to intimidation, that there's no reason we can't just forget all this rubbish and carry on, and that if he leaves me alone, I'll leave him alone. Alternatively, maybe he (Austin) wants to really say wants on his mind...

Speaking personally, and with much regret, the only time I ever stopped bullying people was when they didn't let me bully them. They either, a) turned out to be far tougher than I'd thought and beaten me up or b) shamed me with kindness, by refusing to accept my attempts to alienate myself and humiliate them.

I'd suggest giving 'b' a go before 'a'! :-)
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:53 AM   #11
Michael Douglas
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
...
There's no shame in NOT fighting. The only one who can truly shame you is YOU. Keep your dignity, protect your head, the other bruises will heal. Those who really matter will respect the fact that you kept your composure, and did not injure another needlessly. Remember that the guy who thinks he's the baddest invariably runs into the guy who really is. The bully will get his eventually.
I'm sorry but I must disagree with these points.

1...kept your compusure and did not injure another needlessley.
It sounds to me like there is a need to injure the other here.
Don't take it like a punchbag, fight back!

2. ...the guy who thinks he's the baddest ... might run into some fights, some difficult situations, but there is absolutely no foundation in thinking he's going to get his comeuppance eventually.
Give him his now!

And remember : never fight fair.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:53 AM   #12
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

That sounds really personal, Graham, but if you don't mind I would appreciate hearing more about your experiences with being"shamed with kindness".

And Ricky, you are so right. You have a rare son.

jk

Last edited by John Kelly : 04-25-2007 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:25 AM   #13
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I'm sorry but I must disagree with these points.

1...kept your compusure and did not injure another needlessley.
It sounds to me like there is a need to injure the other here.
Don't take it like a punchbag, fight back!

2. ...the guy who thinks he's the baddest ... might run into some fights, some difficult situations, but there is absolutely no foundation in thinking he's going to get his comeuppance eventually.
Give him his now!

And remember : never fight fair.
Masaka Agatsu/True victory, Self Victory-Morihei O'Sensei

I would agree with these statements if we were talking about street fighting, a topic I can speak of from experience. However, let us not forget to ADD our training to our other wisdoms and be inspired not by winning or losing in conventional means, but by the creative use of time, space, and maybe an atemi. A fighting mind is not necessary to accomplish Agatsu.

A painful byproduct of fighting mind is to have your mind caught up in reaction to someone elses' violence. We surrender our freedom when we become too soon.

I congratulate this young man, and others, for their commitment to strong and flexible interventions in the face of physical violence!!!! And by the way, thanks to your friends, your 'gang of good'.

jen
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:01 AM   #14
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
All this happened at school with an officer on campus and teachers or hall monitors who were close enough to stop it.
If the adults that are in charge don't intervene to stop Clayton and his gang, then how will the gang be discouraged to stop bullying Jebediah?

David

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #15
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Personally, I am very proud of him. Do you know how rare a truly peace loving individual is? Do I want to train that out of him? I don't think so. It is a rare gem. We both hope that if the situation is severe enough, he will be able to protect himself from harm. That didn't seem necessary to him. He took the high road. Me thinks he might understand more about the spirit of aikido than many of us.
I would think getting knocked unconscious and having your cheek shredded would be a severe enough situation to warrant taking action to protect yourself. The "spirit of aikido" has nothing to do with allowing others to do physical violence to you, rather just the opposite. Why bother training in a martial art if you cannot or will not use it to defend yourself?

Last edited by G DiPierro : 04-25-2007 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:57 PM   #16
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Nothing wrong in defending one's self. In this case, if it were me, I'd have the kid who threw the sucker punch arrested imediately. In my world, if this happened in an adult situation, that's what would happen.

Larry Novick
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:13 PM   #17
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Larry Novick wrote: View Post
sucker punch
I went back and read the original message again and I have to say you nailed it here, Larry.

Anyone - and I mean anyone - can get hit by a sucker punch. That's why it's called a sucker punch. And this was a classic sucker punch. Worse, it was premeditated.

These kids need serious consequences.

But, the next time Jebediah (?) will know to look out for this stunt. If he could have done anything in this original case (which I regard as open to debate) he could have pursued the situation with the first guy (Rodrigo?) until either the guy tried to hit him or walked away.

But that's hindsight, knowing that these kids were planning a sneaky assault. Hindsight is always crystal clear, 20/20.

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Old 04-25-2007, 03:32 PM   #18
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I'm sorry but I must disagree with these points.

1...kept your compusure and did not injure another needlessley.
It sounds to me like there is a need to injure the other here.
Don't take it like a punchbag, fight back!

2. ...the guy who thinks he's the baddest ... might run into some fights, some difficult situations, but there is absolutely no foundation in thinking he's going to get his comeuppance eventually.
Give him his now!

And remember : never fight fair.
Are you insane??? We are talking about a child in school here. It is exactly the mindset you are encouraging that gets kids killed every day, and lives ruined if they survive. Shame on you!
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:02 PM   #19
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Are you insane??? We are talking about a child in school here. It is exactly the mindset you are encouraging that gets kids killed every day, and lives ruined if they survive. Shame on you!
Thank you for that. I've been stressing over how to best respond to that all day.

Peace,
jk
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:14 PM   #20
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
Are you insane??? We are talking about a child in school here. It is exactly the mindset you are encouraging that gets kids killed every day, and lives ruined if they survive. Shame on you!
I know this; had he "fought" back, I would be dealing with the juvenile court system rather than the school administration.
Speaking of which, I am sorely disappointed in the principal's response to this incident. She is steadfastly maintaining that this was not a bullying incident and they do not have a bullying problem at the school and therefore there is no need for any type of bullying education program at the school.

I do know she was NOT happy when she found out I had posted my son's email in this forum. Even pulled my son out of class to interrogate him about it. He called me. I zoomed over to the school to find out what's going on. She told me that posting it was inappropriate and perhaps illegal. I got a good chuckle out of that one.

Sometimes I wonder who the bullies are.

I'll be at the next school board meeting expressing my concerns though. I feel obligated. The California public school system is hanging by a thread but I aint giving up yet.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:59 PM   #21
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I know this; had he "fought" back, I would be dealing with the juvenile court system rather than the school administration.
Speaking of which, I am sorely disappointed in the principal's response to this incident. She is steadfastly maintaining that this was not a bullying incident and they do not have a bullying problem at the school and therefore there is no need for any type of bullying education program at the school.
Children are the only general segment of our society that still face the real possibility of physical violence on a daily basis, and a big part of the reason why is that they do not have the same legal protections as adults do. Violence between children is usually just written off as "boys will be boys." For this reason I often think they need effective martial arts training even more than adults do.

Given this, it is unlikely your son would have faced any legal repercussions had he "fought back," unless you mean to imply that by doing so he would have killed his assailants, and I doubt he would have been physically or psychologically capable of this. Even a police officer would not be legally permitted to respond with that level of force in self-defense against an unarmed attack. Of course, if he is training in aikido he should be (at least theoretically) learning to defend himself without "fighting back" anyway.

You are certainly right to insist that the school take action to protect its students, but that is an entirely separate issue from looking at the situation from the perspective of aikido or martial arts. The whole point of martial arts training is to learn to protect oneself before and during an attack, not to seek redress or protection from an external authority after the fact. By then, the damage is already done.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:14 PM   #22
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Ai symbol Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Jeb,

I'm proud of you! You stood up for your ideals in the face of adversity. It surprises me that some of the people on this forum actually tell you to fight back. Standing up to people doesn't necessarily mean fighting back. You may not have to. Aikido isn't about fighting it's about protecting. Whatever anyone says...you did the right thing!

-Kevin

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:14 AM   #23
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

A lot of teachers and adults in general have a pretty murky understanding of the difference between conflict and bullying -- they are pretty different and I don't remember seeing all that much overlap when I was in school myself, even when both are just on the verbal level. But if a teacher doesn't even really undestand what each one is and isn't, I don't think they're likely to deal with either particularly well...
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #24
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

Quote:
Are you insane??? We are talking about a child in school here. It is exactly the mindset you are encouraging that gets kids killed every day, and lives ruined if they survive. Shame on you!
Are you really that convinced that every school yard feud will result in death or serious injury? As I said in my first post, some kids just need a slap reality check. If you'll be going to the same class with a dick, might as well show him you're serious from the start. I don't know how "defeating yourself" has suddenly blurred into "getting freely smacked around". Though I still don't agree with Michael's advice. (No point in injuring the other guy, or fighting unfair.)

School system rules for fights and self defense are ridicules anyway, and have been so for a while.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 04-26-2007 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:17 AM   #25
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Re: The Art Of Peace vs Silver Valley High School Bullies

I must not be understanding something....

Your son was attacked at school, and adults were present and witnessed this, and the attackers not only haven't suffered any repercussions, but continue to threaten others? And the principle is not taking action to insure this doesn't happen again?

If that's essentially what happened, I think you need an attorney to help you vigorously pursue this.

Regards,

Paul
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