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BOTD 4/4/15 "Football Bullies" A mahoover Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Football Bullies
A mahoover Production

For a while you have thought that your son John (16) might be gay.  You haven't said anything to him, because you are hoping that he will come to you when he is ready.  You have a good friend from your college days that is in a long term committed relationship with another man, and the two of them have been to your house for dinner, so John has seen and heard that you don't have any issues with gay people.

John - 16
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John is on his high school football team, and he has become friends with one of the student team assistants, Chris (16).  You thing that John might be more than just friends with Chris.  You like Chris and are fine with the two of them being more than just friends.

Chris- 16
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Chris is a much smaller kid, and his parents don't have as much money as most of the people in their high school.  Because of that, he has been being bullied by some of the other players, especially Mark (17).  Earlier in the year, John called Mark and his followers on their giving Chris a hard time, saying bulling isn't cool in front of the entire team.  The team seemed to follow John's lead, but since then John and Mark have not gotten along.

Mark - 17
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Today you get a call from the high school assistant principle in charge of discipline.  He tells you that Mark and his friends were pushing Chris around during lunch period.  John found them doing this, and took a swing at Mark.  He ended up breaking Mark's nose, and his finger.  Chris has a black eye from when he was pushed into a locker.  Mark has been suspended for 10 days for the bullying, and Mark's friends got 5 days each.  John has been suspended for 2 days for fighting, which is the minimum under the school rules.  He could have been suspended for up to 10 days, send to alternative school for the rest of the year, or expelled.  The assistant principle wants to know if you can come pick John up and take him to the ER to have his finger set.

While you are driving John to the ER, he breaks down crying saying he couldn't let Chris get hurt and basically outs himself.

What is next?


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Padraig


Trailboss
I'll stop the car and comfort my boy, telling him that I will be there for him/them whatever happens and of course always love him.

Jack


Admin
I'd say that next is, 'after we get the finger set', I contact the assistant principal, point out that John moved to defend Chris, and that if they don't reverse the suspension, I'll be urging Chris' parents to file criminal charges against all the students involved, and I'll pursue civil action against the school and the VP for aiding and abetting bullying.

The only thing that will strongly effect my decision about this would be John not wanting to do it, or that he feels there were other options to keep Chris safe.

Oh yeah - we'll also have a talk about gay safe sex.


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Iconoclast


Trailboss
Jack wrote:I'd say that next is, 'after we get the finger set', I contact the assistant principal, point out that John moved to defend Chris, and that if they don't reverse the suspension, I'll be urging Chris' parents to file criminal charges against all the students involved, and I'll pursue civil action against the school and the VP for aiding and abetting bullying.

You took the words right out of my mouth, Jack!!

Iconoclast

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I find myself agreeing an awful lot with Jack today!!

This isn't 'fighting'-it's defending the weak, and that is an heroic deed in my book! There will be no at home reinforcement of the lesson and there's no doubt whatever that I'd have already 'raised the roof' with the school personnel! He should be congratulated, not punished for this.

Obviously my son already knows I'm ok with 'alternative lifestyles' and I'd hope that I've already made that abundantly clear when we first had "the talk", though I'll reiterate/reinforce the message while we're en route to the ER for his injuries and if he wants to, we'll continue our talk over milkshakes or ice cream on the way home.

Also, since I'm aware of Chris' situation with regard to the material things, I'm sure that we can discretely help out on that front as well.

AFinch


Sherrif
I also am in agreement with Jack. And even if he hadn't outed himself, or if being gay weren't an issue, the school ought to be responsible to keep its students safe and not look the other way at bullying--this isn't a new problem per the scenario (and it's an age old one in reality).

John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:I'd say that next is, 'after we get the finger set', I contact the assistant principal, point out that John moved to defend Chris, and that if they don't reverse the suspension, I'll be urging Chris' parents to file criminal charges against all the students involved, and I'll pursue civil action against the school and the VP for aiding and abetting bullying.

The only thing that will strongly effect my decision about this would be John not wanting to do it, or that he feels there were other options to keep Chris safe.

Oh yeah - we'll also have a talk about gay safe sex.
Ditto

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Stone Man


Marshall
Show me on the Jack bandwagon today. By experience, I've found too many schools with zero tolerance towards fighting and seemingly never take into account the need to physically defend oneself or another.

David M. Katz


Marshall
I agree with Jack and those who agree with him.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm going to join Padraig's camp and disagree with almost everybody else.

Once John's finger has been set, we'll have a discussion on where, if anywhere, to go next.

Although John has come out to me he will doubtless wish his relationship with Chris to remain discreet, if only for Chris's sake.

John has likely settled the bullying issue single-handedly anyway and one thing I am NOT going to do is to invoke the "Law of Unintended Consequences" by jumping into an overreaction which may draw public attention to the fracas with the attendant danger of press intrusion.

I have "noticed" Johns friendship with Chris and possibly others have too.  If the press start poking around there is a distinct possibility of the appearance some lurid headlines.



Last edited by MemoryMan on Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:12 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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squarecutter


Sherrif
We can deal with the coming out and the finger. If its his writing hand school would be a problem anyway. I don't think John really needs me to jump in feet first at school. It seems to me the school has already successfuly differentiated between the protaganists in the length of suspensions and I'm not sure I would get anywhere going in guns blazing. At this age I imagine John has school projects he can work on at home anyway. Obviously there will be no form of home retribution

mahoover


Cowboy
I'm in the Padraig/MemoryMan/squarecutter camp. I agree that he did the right thing defending others, and will tell him so. But I am not going to fight with the school since I think that will just add more fuel to the fire.
I will make sure that I am available to him to talk to, and will be sure to spend some time extra time with him in the near future. I want to make sure that he understands I love him and don't care who he dates as long as he is happy.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm with Padraig. I don't see any point in getting into a wrangle with the school administration. I don't blame John for what he did, but I also see that from the school's point of view, the better course of action would have been to get school personnel or the school's SRO alerted to deal with the fight.

Kat

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Kat wrote:I'm with Padraig. I don't see any point in getting into a wrangle with the school administration. I don't blame John for what he did, but I also see that from the school's point of view, the better course of action would have been to get school personnel or the school's SRO alerted to deal with the fight.

Kat


While certainly true enough as others have pointed out, my 'war with those in authority' could indeed have impact on my son's later time here. I'm perfectly willing to stand up for him and HIS stance on this. Even if it means we have to 'home school' him after this episode, I'm going to stand by him because he 'did the right thing' by defending the defenseless-I know that I've raised a 'good man'!!

talebearer


Cowboy
Agree with Padraig and MemoryMan. Filing a civil complaint means a case in court, which will make the dispute public and more difficult to settle. However, I would have a quiet talk with the vice principal, since a civil complaint's remedies might include a court order to do the right thing, so maybe now's the time deal with this, administratively, before it festers. Many states require schools to provide safe and secure places of learning, and Chris' right to this wasn't met. Also, John got the minimum, which suggests the administrators do have a sense of justice, so you might want to work with them.

Also, since all the parties were with the team, the VP needs to work with the coach to get a handle on the situation. The kids can make up or simply observe a truce, but the incidents have to stop. It won't make for a good season, certainly, if they don't.



Last edited by talebearer on Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)

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Jack


Admin
The reason I went the way I did is because John's school transcript now shows he has a suspension for fighting, and the transcript won't have little details like 'protecting a friend' on there. While there may have been better options, I don't feel like what John did was bad, just not optimal, and that's assuming that a teacher or SRO could have been found and arrived before things went further.

To end, I'll just point at Dmitri's signature.


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