How do you deal with a school bully?

It has been Ethan’s dream to attend preschool since he found out his other friends are also attending it. We had no choice but to give in and let him experience what Kindergarten is all about. I thought since Ethan is already doing well academically, the more important factor of preschool is to socialize hence I did not bother to go for any ‘branded franchise’ kind of Kindy but to just enroll him into the neighborhood kindergarten. This kindergarten is in a Church so I thought how bad could it be but boy am I wrong, BIG TIME!

From the first day of school Ethan has been bullied by two boys. They punched and take away his belongings. They threw away his school bag. Read about his ordeal here. We did not want to interfere as we thought this is just part and parcel of going to school experience but day after day the bullying got more intense. Ethan got kicked in the stomach and when he tried to defend himself, the boy slapped him on the face! 

I noticed Ethan is acting kind of aggressive at home these days. Simple little things annoyed him. He tries to pick a fight with his Dad for no apparent reason at all. Then yesterday, after shower he went to sit on the couch alone. As I was walking out of the kitchen, I saw Ethan shivering and punching his fist against the sofa! I hurried towards him, grabbed hold of his shoulder and called out to him. He wasn’t looking at me. I shook him and then he looked at me. I told him it was ME, it is ME, his mother! He stopped and hugged me, he hugged me so tight! I tried hard to hold back my tears. I combed his hair and Darling and I sent him to BaoBei for his Mandarin class. He loves going to BaoBei. The teachers there love him.

I felt uneasy and contacted the Pastor’s wife and was given the teacher’s contact number. Darling called her but what came out of the conversation crushed my heart even more. The teacher simply said that the bully is a ‘special’ kid, a hyper-active kid. She insisted that Ethan is equally active and he initiated the ‘friendship’ on Day 1 of Kindy by playing with that boy. The teacher said that they have told Ethan to ignore and stay away from the boy. Darling answered, “It was Ethan’s first day. It is good enough he took the initiative to make friends with others! How should he know that the boy is hyperactive and even so, is that your way of handling ‘special’ kids – by telling other kids to ignore him?!’ Do you think that is fair to that boy?!”

The conversation got from bad to worse as the teacher said that she understands our situation that Ethan was home-schooled hence his inability to adapt to all these. Darling wanted to slam the phone right then as instead of showing some concern she is trying to push the blame back to us. She kept saying that Ethan did not report the matter to her and Darling told her that Ethan reported each incident to the teachers that is in the class AT THE MOMENT OF BULLY. How does she expect Ethan, a 5+ kid to run out of class to FIND HER to report the case to her? It is good enough he is able to report the matter to the respective teachers on duty. That also shows that the teachers are not cooperative as they did not inform the class teacher about it! Darling also reminded her that HE himself have told her ONCE but nothing is being done about it!

We asked about the boy’s background but the teacher vehemently told Darling that she wont allow us to meet the boy nor the parents to discuss this matter. I was a former preschool teacher. I handled much more complicated case before. When things become out of control I’ll call the parents of both parties to meet up in the school office. I’ll act as the mediator but here, the teacher is not willing to do that. She won’t let us meet the parents and the only one we can speak to is HER who is not even trying to help us in any way at all!

I hid in the corner of the bookstore trying to hold back my tears. I felt that I’ve made the worst decision ever by sending Ethan there. I’ve caused him to be traumatized. I wasn’t able to hold back my tears anymore. I ran towards the washroom and hid in the cubicle crying my heart out. 

How do you deal with a school bully when the REAL bully are the TEACHERS themselves? :'(

P/S: Last night we asked Ethan how he wants to handle this. He requested to change school. He said he can’t stand those bullies anymore. We agreed and told him next week will be the last schooling week for March and asked if he still wants to attend. After giving it some thought he said, “OK because I have Sports Day on Saturday” I am reluctant to let him go to class this morning. But he made me calculate that today, next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday will be the last days. He’ll skip school on Thursday as he’ll need to go to KL for an outdoor TV recording. I’ll see how today goes. If the bullying continues then I’ll make him skip the entire of next week and just attend the Sports Day on Saturday :(

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

40 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Are his friends in this same preschool? Send him to the same one…or just go to another one.

    My girl was in one (English) that was like a zoo for a month or so…and then we moved to another one – Chinese.

    She did not want, we did not want either…but that was the only English one in town and it sucked big time. Her things all stolen, food all eaten by the other kids…and she would come home with bruises and bumps all over. The last straw was when she had a BIG one close to the eye – imagine if it had hit her eye!

    We promised her she would NOT go to a Chinese primary school, just kindy, and in the end, she agreed to go. This one was all right.

  • //

    oh dear. Hang on there. Even change kindy is not the option you would think right now, but I would recommend that if that is the last option.
    My case is little similar to you but in my case, my Carol is literally been ‘rejected’.
    The kindy is in a church too. I tell yiu, the teachers are NOT well trained at all. From aunty who throw books to children, to young girl hired as assistant teachers. Not allowed to bring their own snacks to school, but all were only given bun with different favour everyday. Never ask or dun bother to call if your child didn’t turn up for school. They complained my child hyper, and hard to handle, yet they able to accept an epilepsy boy and an autistic child, with the condition, they’ll be under assessment (even now for 2 freaking months and still under assessment). If teachers found them hard to handle, perhaps both will be kicked out. Their church brochure claimed they provide facilities to handle special needs children, but that’s not true. Giving me 1001 reasons. Idiotic principal. Returned me only 1 1/2 months of deposit instead of 2 months. My Carol is suspected of Asperger, but she’s not that hard to handle. I asked the mrs principal, pls give her some time to adapt. She said No to my face. Merryn, you are ex pre school teacher, I believe you able to to judge better what kind of kindy that I sent Carol to. I regret until now. Carol is now doing happily at tumbletots.
    Several mothers too complained to me about that kindy. They send their children there, believing it’s in church, somehow can enforce/teach the kids about moral values, but at the end, everyone regret their choices. No compliment at the kid, but when any child did something wrong (a girl playfully pull out the toilet roll and dump into the toilet bowl), the teacher would go to the mother and complain first hand.

  • //

    Let me to bitch slap whoever that is bullying my favourite boy!

  • //

    This is really bad. I’d change kindergarden, or continue homeschooling if Ethan agrees. A lot of people thought that going into kindergarden can enhance a child’s social skills, but there are already researches done that show a homeschooling kid is equally good or better when it comes to socializing. All the best to you and Ethan :)

  • //

    Poor boy….why don’t talk to the school principal since the teacher can’t handle this case well. Another alternative is to move to another kindy, I believe there is other kindy that do better than the one that Ethan attending now.

  • //

    “she understands our situation that Ethan was home-schooled hence his inability to adapt to all these.”

    Hah! That is a very defensive remark. I don’t understand why kids have to be sent to kindy earlier and earlier. I sent mine at age 6 and age 5 and everyone, even the old grandmother on the street thought I was quite mad. I didn’t “homeschool” them. They just stayed at home with me having fun.

    Perhaps you could consider changing kindy. Talk to Ethan and about his feelings. At this age, it is hard for them to put their feelings into words so you would have to ask very specific questions.

  • //

    oh dear.. nowadays maybe the kids are different from my kids’ days… so far, the nurseries/kindies I sent them to, they were not bullied at all..Thank God…if they were, I think I would change if it gets too out of control… Hope Ethan will settle down in one nice kindie soon..

  • //

    HYE! I know this is my first time commenting on your blog. But hear out what I want to say la. When I was young around the age of 9. I got verbally abuse from a boy who had a same tuition with me. As far as I know la, He keep scolding me with bad/terrible vulgar words and throw temper for no apparent reasons. To one extend I couldn’t stand it anymore, I told my parents about it. My parents went to the tuition and confronted the boy and scolded for being ill mannered towards me. I think that is how my parents save me from bullying. I know that this is minor issues but then back then was a crucial period for me. I was depressed and emotionally exhausted back then. I remember I constantly crying after the tuition ends. :X

    So right, If you want to, You can personally confronted the boy yourself. I know that we shouldn’t interfere this children issues but hey, if things come to this extend..I think you really should do smtg before the school officially ends for Ethan. Not only for Ethan, but as well for the other children too.

    And Merryn, I don’t know what to say to comfort you. But stay strong ya. You will overcome this, together with your husband. :)

  • //

    WTF IS THIS?! What kind of teacher is that?! If she don’t have the experience to handle it, then just quit from this job! Bully case is really bad especially when it happened at child time. Last time my lil brother kena before and my dad straight go meet the principal of the kindergarten. So stupid!

  • //

    I think the teacher is not suited to be a teacher at all. Such irresponsible words.

  • //

    Easy. You stay with Ethan for the entire time for the remaining period. Or ask Ethan to record anything. Threaten the school that you will bring this to the media. There is nothing better than this to make the school shat their pants and call the boy’s parents for it. Now election coming soon, thousands of people will be more than willing to help. There is a misconduct going on with the teachers and schools. I assume the kid’s parents might be filthy rich or powerful.

    • //

      i agree with eric’s idea

  • //

    Just change his kindy… Not running away from problems but, really…there’s nothing good Ethan will learn from this kind of teacher and this kind of school…

  • //

    *Hugs for both u & Ethan*
    When the teacher not even care about the bully case in class, it’s time to re-consider is this school suitable for Ethan.

  • //

    Aiyo he is just a 5 year old boy..this kind of bullying is way too much already. Yes, change kindy! What kind of teacher is this..talking crap. If I see Gwen keep being bullied, I will talk to the teacher straight away.

  • //

    Special kid is not a reason to misbehave. Recipe for disaster. I don’t think the teacher knows how to deal with special children.

  • //

    Before you change school, talk to the bully. Maybe being honest to this boy will help a little. Tell him that if he continues bullying he has no friends, no friends right now either. And it’s good enough Ethan tried to befriend him. Then change school.

  • //

    My take is to change kindy if everything necessary has been done. Ian went to kindy at the age of 3, yes, you hear me right, 3! I was working then and my job required me to travel so I sent him there with a heavy heart. A boy in the kindy liked to poke my boy’s hands with pencils until it bruised. We told the teacher in charge about it but the drama din stop from there, he still came home with bruises until one day he couldn’t stand it and fought back. He hit the bully’s head with his tumbler and it bled a little. The mom din complain but stared at me every time she bumped into me during pickup. Miracle happened from there on as this bully volunteered to carry my boy’s school bag and tumbler for him whe I went to pick him up from the kindy and the bullying stopped. As much as I wanted to teach my boy not to fight back when a bully attacks, but at least defend ourselves and be tough and firm.

  • //

    Poor Ethan. Hope he recovered and enjoy his schooling days.No worries, lots of options for you guys. Can change kindy and move on or change class.

  • //

    Oh dear I feel so sad reading this. Why a young child need to handle and go through all these bully things. At first thought you can meet the parent and talk about this. But can’t believe the principle stop you of doing it. Last time whenever kid disturb my children, principal will purposely ask the notty kid came and apologies to me. Let them know aunty is not happy of what you did. After that they stop disturb my children. I agreed you to change Ethan’s school. Can see he is in traumatic and getting violence after bullied by notty kids at school.

  • //

    you don’t need to cry, and what’s there to blame yourself?? stay strong and face the problem.. the teacher isn’t helping, then talk to the person in charge.. but if you are meeting the parents of that bully boy, it doesn’t guarantee problem will be solved, you are not sure how open-minded the parents are.. well, changing school is a good option though.. :)

  • //

    Oh dear! Sorry to hear about this, poor Ethan :(

    Hope he’ll get over this stage and be his happy self soon!

  • //

    The teacher is simply irresponsible. Is it possible for you to meet up with the bully ? Wait for him in the kindy and give him a stern warning. At least to tell that bully that you as a mother are not happy with all those incidents. Change Ethan to a new school is still a must, but just hope there is no bully in that new school. Hope Ethan had calmed down by now. Poor boy.

  • //

    Poor boy. He must be very stress and kept this in his heart… Hope this would get better as he change school.

  • //

    how about the headmaster/mistress? should let her know…

  • //

    feel sad for Ethan :(

  • //

    so sorry to hear about Ethan’s case.

    i think the teacher is being irresponsible here. maybe you should talk straight to the principal of the kindy?

  • //

    Tell the principal about the teacher’s irresponsibility act before you changed the school, at least give him/her some feed backs/ reasons why you are changing school for Ethan. You don’t have to feel sorry, no one will expect such bad incident will happen right?

  • //

    Merryn, every school may has special kids, every school may also has hyperactive kids too, BUT not every school has this type of uncooperative teacher.

  • //

    Last year my daughter complained her class teacher always beat her hand for not writing in class. Till she was scared to go kindy. Then the principal changed her into another class and problem solved. She’s happy now. Sometimes principal’s role is important.

    We are in Subang2 too. We din go neighborhood kindies, travel bit further to Ara Dsara (Tadika Little Footprints under Fungates system). If you want to know more, can always message me.

    • //

      Hi Ann Khee,

      How do you find Fungates system and Tadika Little Footprints so far?

      I am looking for a kindy/day care for my 2-year-old and found good comments on Fungates system. However, there are some not so good comments on certain centers as well.

      Tadika Little Footprints and Tadika Pintar Ria are 2 Fungates kindy which near our house.

      Thanks in advance for any info!

    • //

      Hi Ann Khee

      My son had the same problem with tadika little footprints, he doesn’t want to talk because “teacher doesn’t like me becos I don’t know how to write”; this is what he told me.

      But he is happy now after we change his class.

      • //

        Hi, wonder the teacher that beat your child hand is still working there?

        i intend to send my daughter there, hope to avoid this kind of teacher which hit children.

        I do not agree with the concept of teacher hitting children will helps the development of the children.

        • //

          I wont send my child there (PCS2) ever. Period. Even after all the commotion, they did not want to return our deposits even though my son was there for less than two weeks. They did not listen to your feedback, did not take action and only call you back once I threatened to report this matter to the MOE. Most horrible place on Earth. Never ever send your child there. Ever!

        • //

          Were you referring to Little Footprint? May I ask what was the commotion?

    • //

      Hello, can I know more about tadika little footprint.. intention to send my 3 yrs old daughter…? Thanks and appreciate your kind advice

  • //

    Oh man, once I read from your FB status. I really felt angry to that irresponsible teacher. What is a teacher duty? When we parents send kids to school, that means they are their parents at school. How can she deal things like that? She just ignored and handle the incidence unprofessionally.

  • //

    I think it’s better to find a better quality kindy. There are so many kindy in housing areas nowadays so the quality might not be good :(

  • //

    I read on fb and I am furious to know such things still happens and the teacher won’t take responsibility for it. Hope you can find a good solution for Ethan.

    • //

      The MOE did not control the headmaster/school operation qualification.

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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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