A few months ago a new student was welcomed in Robby's classroom. Initially my little guy was excited about the prospect of a new friend. Unfortunately, this child has not been amicable to forming friendships with his classmates and has developed a reputation of being a bit of a bully. This child, let's call him Chris to protect his identity, has a propensity for pinching and punching when he does not get his way. Robby had several run-ins with Chris, resulting in his coming home covered with pinch marks. A conference with the Principal and his teacher stopped the aggression towards Robby, but I only assume that the other students are not faring as well.
After my conference to discuss the pinching, Scott and I brainstormed with Robby ways to deal with the situation should it arise again. We came up with several ideas, none of which involved physical retaliation. Although I don't mind Robby defending himself, we would prefer that he always use force as a last resort. The past few weeks have been calm, so we have assumed that the bullying was behind us.
Yesterday afternoon Robby met me at his classroom door with a mischievous smile. When I asked him about his day, he proudly informed me that he had taught Chris how to climb a tree. I was intrigued because I didn't know that he had resumed a friendship with the child. I began to ask some probing questions, hoping to get more information.
I was disappointed to learn that Chris's bullying mentality had not waned. He was continuing to pinch other classmates but, according to Robby, had only become sneakier so that he doesn't get caught. Robby also revealed that Chris has taken to taunting and laughing at other classmates, mocking perceived flaws and just being mean. Although he denied being pinched recently, I suspect that Robby has been the recipient on a few occasions. After listening to Robby complain about Chris, I asked him why he taught him to climb the tree. It seemed odd and out of character for him to socialize with a child who is picking on others.
His smile broadened and he coyly responded, "Well, Momom. I do have to tell you something. I taught him how to climb really high, but I didn't show him how to get down. You should have seen him wailing and screaming up there. Miss Abeer had to get Mr. Jordan to get him down. You know what Momom? I don't think he is going to make fun of my friends anymore because we saw him stuck in a tree."
I should have known that Robby would figure out a way to school a bully in a non-violent way. Instead of battling with words or fists, my little Koopa devised a better method. He tricked the bully into becoming stranded in a tree.