Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/8/2009 (4694 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg mother has sent her bullied son to learn kick-boxing and given him a green light to "kick the snot out of" his alleged tormentor when school starts next month.
The mother, who asked not to be named, said a bully has been tormenting her son for years.
"He's now taking kick-boxing and feeling very good about himself. It's about time he took a stand and stood up for himself," said the boy's mother.
"He has my full permission to kick the snot out of (the other boy) if he comes up to him."
Both boys are in their early teens, and have attended the same school in Louis Riel School Division.
The mother said she has met for years with school officials to try to stop the 'tormenting', and even went to the bully's house and threatened his parents that she would get a restraining order if the bullying didn't stop.
She has not yet done so, said the mother, who came forward after reading that another mother, Deborah LeBlanc, had filed what could be a precedent-setting lawsuit against St. James-Assiniboia School Division over the alleged bullying of her own son.
The mother of the victim in Louis Riel S.D. said the bullying has included physical abuse, humiliation such as pulling down her son's gym shorts and underwear in front of the entire class, and more recently, anti-Semitism.
"His parents don't give a crap," she said. Her son is not athletic, he's smart, but quiet, which doesn't give someone else the right to pick on him, the mother said.
"The kids that are being bullied should have some kind of retribution. They need to know along with the parents that something is actually being done. It seems that everyone is afraid of actually giving these kids a consequence," she said.
Louis Riel School Division superintendent Terry Borys said that the school has been working with both families to try to resolve a difficult situation.
Borys said school divisions have to discipline those who take revenge, just as they have to discipline bullies and try to change their behaviour.
"That's not necessarily the popular view of some parents," Borys said. "Unfortunately, some parents choose to do this.
"When parents work with the school, the schools generally do a good job of dealing with the problems," said Borys.
The owner of the gym that the mother said her son attends said "I don't teach my kids to go and pick fights," and threatened to sue The Free Press if any story is published.
This isn't the first parent to enrol a child in martial arts to learn to fight back, but the school system doesn't encourage 'Wild West' tactics, said Keith Thomas, risk manager for the Manitoba School Boards Association.
"As far as this Wild West scenario, toughen the kid up, take karate or whatever, that's not what we want," Thomas said. "The kid is going into those courses for all the wrong reasons."
A parent should never go to someone's house to confront other parents over alleged bullying, said Thomas -- deal with it within the school.
"We have trained people in the schools, and they usually know how to defuse it," Thomas said.