I was watching my students play yesterday at recess. I watched an encounter between two students. I saw the whole thing!
GIRL STUDENT comes over to me crying and holding her shoulder. I mean she really had the tears going. She said BOY STUDENT pushed her down while rubbing and crying even more.
I call BOY STUDENT over. I asked him what happened. He said he fell over.
Give yourself a moment to process this scene.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
What does it look like?
This is what happened. BOY STUDENT is very clumsy. He struggles with gross motor skills. I saw the whole encounter. They were both going for a ball and to his true form BOY STUDENT fell over something…a blade of grass…an air pocket…an ant…who knows? But he did fall. When he fell he landed on GIRL STUDENT. BOY STUDENT promptly got up and tried to shake off his embarrassment. GIRL STUDENT instantly starts to cry and comes running over to me.
I told GIRL STUDENT I saw the whole thing and he did, in fact, fall over as she knew. I also told her not to create drama. She was bumped not injured. When she saw I was not going to put BOY STUDENT in time out or anything her tears stopped and she was instantly fine.
Why is this important? In the light of the #metoo movement, I think we are looking for evil in every male. Not all boys are evil and grow up to predators. Not all men are sitting across the alley with a box of donuts and a telescope. Are there predators. Yes. Are there men (and women) who have crossed a well-defined line…YES! Please… let’s not program our young boys into thinking they are always at fault. I don’t have any answers as to how to deal with this on a global level but I just wanted to share that often times there are two sides to every story.
To conclude this story I also spoke to BOY STUDENT that when someone gets knocked over, boy or girl, it is always kind to offer a hand to help them up. If they are hurt or upset walk them to an adult to be a friend. Don’t run away thinking you will be in trouble. Common courtesy is always a good thing.