Last week we got an incident report from Lily's school (her second one, her first was she got a bump on her forehead after bumping heads with someone in the bouncy castle), she was bitten by another kid. (I will call this kid "The Biter" to protect her/his privacy). The report was worded to share blame and said something along the lines of "Lily was being irritating to another student and the student bit her hand. Skin wasn't broken. Washed with soap and water and iced." The teacher handed it to me personally last week and gave me the explanation that Lily was pulling on The Biter's jacket and The Biter bit her hand. Lily told me that The Biter was chasing her (sounds like they were being mutually irritating, i mean, aren't all 2 and 3 year olds irritating?) and she later told us The Biter [she used the name] is a Jerk!... which made us giggle. I wasnt too upset about it, kids are kids and whatever. But Lily didnt let it go. That night she told her grandma and aunt that The Biter bit her, and she couldnt understand why she/he would do that. She said her hand hurt for days (though there wasnt much of a mark) and when we went on vacation for 4 days for Thanksgiving, she told her dad and our other friend all about it. She was really upset about it, she couldnt let it go. We explained that The Biter made a mistake and she had to give her/him another chance, etc. and not to say "jerk" to her/his face, that wouldnt be nice.
So Monday comes and Missy went in to pick Lily up (i waited in the car) and one of the teachers gave her another paper and said that Lily was bitten again, by the same student. Lily came running up holding her hand out with two red welts on it. Again, the form shared blame and said that Lily took The Biter's toy and so The Biter bit her. But in speaking to the teacher and the front desk person, the story we got was that they were in the sandbox outside and The Biter put down a shovel for a second and Lily picked it up... but The Biter wasn't done with it and just bit her hand immediately... there was no altercation or fight or words... just the instinct to bite first.
Missy explained it to me in the car, but i decided to go back in and talk with the administrator. I told her i wanted to understand what was going on. Is Lily being SO obnoxious that this kid loses her/his mind? She assured me that Lily did nothing wrong (and even if she did, biting isn't the answer) and that The Biter has the problem. I asked if they were sending letters home to The Biter's family (mine were accident reports because of the injury) and she assured me with an "oohhhh yeah" they were sending home letters and calling the parents in. The school and the forms dont actually name the child by name, but Lily told us The Biter's name. And i asked if anyone else was getting bitten, or is Lily somehoe targeted and/or unable to get along with this one kid? And she told me... ALL the kids have been bitten. While that makes me feel better on one hand (that it isnt anything to do with Lil specifically and she's not being singled out), it also disturbs me a little since there are a dozen kids in class - does that mean she/he has had 13+ biting incidents and still nothing has changed? She told me that if The Biter keeps it up, she/he may not be allowed to come to school anymore. And she said that they can't really prevent it, because The Biter bites with almost no provocation, there is no warning, no fight to break up, no yelling first... it just happens so fast.
I'm not sure what the solution is, but I worry about Lily - not so much the physical aspect of it, but emotionally. I dont want her to be afraid to go to school, she loves school so much. And i don't want The Biter provoking her to act out back, she's normally a really well behaved and timid girl - i don't want her to think violence is OK and to learn to bite/hit back. But i also don't want her to feel like a target or a victim, this is bullying at it's earliest stage. We're teaching her to tell him "that hurts, i don't like that" and to choose not to play with/near him if she doesnt want to, but kids are pretty unpredictable. I also hope that The Biter's parents are taking this seriously... i have no idea what the child is like other than this, but it's totally unfair to the rest of the class. I also imagine it's disruptive. Lily cries every time... i imagine a teacher has to hug her and get her ice, etc. So is that 15-25 minutes where one teacher is focussed on calming down ONE child and leaving the other to deal with nine other kids? And who is disiplining The Biter during this time? Lily is only there for 4 hours - so is 1/8 of the day spent dealing with biting and it's aftermath? Certainly unfair.
I don't know how the school will handle it, and i'm not the kind of person that will make any sort of demands... but i hope this stops. Today.
Anyone else deal with anything like this in school?