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karimck
karimck asks:
Q:

My son threatened to shoot another child in his class. Help! LOOOONNNG!

I am horrified that I am here, posting this, at this moment. We are not the "kind of family" in which I imagined this type of thing occurring. We have always talked to our two young children about the danger of guns and we do not have guns in our home. We are very involved, communicative parents and, I feel, extremely aware of what our children do.

Imagine my shock when my husband and I received a call from his first grade teacher informing us that he said to a girl in his class, "I am going to bring a bullet to school and kill you."

His teacher tells me on a weekly basis that she "adores" or "loves" my son immensely and says that he is the most "polite student she's ever had" (She has been teaching for 20+ years). She has told me that whenever she has to reprimand my son, he looks at her with an ashamed look on his face and says, "I'm sorry, Mrs. ____." In fact, the morning before the threat and the morning of the day the threat occurred, I was helping in my son's classroom. I, of course, always pay attention to my son and thought to myself, "I am so lucky to have a son that is so nice, such a good student, and well-liked by his classmates." Ironic, huh? (Maybe I was getting a little to conceited and needed to be brought back to earth!)

Okay--so here's the rest of the story:

When my son's teacher called and told us what had occurred, she kind of chuckled and said that she truly didn't think he knew the implications of what he was saying and that she felt comfortable in handling the situation by herself and with us alone. She said that if she reported the situation to the school principal, the principal, whom also knows my son and likes him, would have no choice but to follow protocol and suspend him for a few days. I'm relieved at this but also worry that he will not have to experience deep enough consequences for his actions.

Since being informed by the teacher, I have tried extremely hard to take this situation very seriously and to handle it correctly. First, I immediately called the mother of the girl that my son threatened. I told her exactly what happened, offered my deep apology and assured her that the situation would not be taken lightly at home and that my son will be receiving some serious consequences in an effort to make him understand the depth of this situation. I also informed her that we are not a "gun family" and that my son has absolutely NO ACCESS to guns. I promised her that my son would be writing a sincere apology to her daughter and that we would be willing to do anything to make sure her daughter is okay after all of this.

Next, I called the mother of one of my son's closest friends, explained the situation and canceled the sleepover that we'd scheduled for that night. We took this opportunity to talk about guns and assured each other that there are no guns in our homes. She was shocked to hear what my son had said and also felt that it was completely out of character for him. She feels, as does everyone else I've told, that my son is a very good boy and spoke on impulse, without thinking about it.

When I picked up my son from school, I ran into the little girl (victim) in the hall and asked her if she was okay. I apologized for my son and assured her that he would be receiving a strong punishment for what he had said. She said she was okay and truly did seem so. I was surprised that, upon seeing my son then too, he seemed happy and had completely forgotten about the incident. It bothered me. I whispered to him that we were going to have a "serious talk" about what he had said to "girl". At this, he started to cry.

I stayed until all the kids had left and talked to the teacher. She was still very lighthearted about the situation and told me that when she called my son to her desk immediately after "the incident" he had burst into tears and sobbed and sobbed about what he had said. I need to mention that he is a very heavy-hearted boy (just like me, obviously) and absolutely hates to disappoint anyone.

When we got home I asked him to tell me exactly what had happened. He said that the little girl had been annoying him by grabbing his hand (so that he couldn't write) while he was trying to copy state facts from an overhead projector onto a worksheet. He said that the boy sitting on the other side of him (their desks are pushed together) told him that he could bring in a Nerf gun, put a real bullet in it and shoot her and the principal(!). According to my son, he then turned to the girl and made his lovely "statement". Another little girl at the table of desks ran to the teacher and told her what had happened. The teacher immediately called my son to her desk.

As for consequences, my husband and I have taken away all video game priveleges that involve fighting and or weapons. We do not allow much of this as a rule but had, after he played the game at several friends' homes, purchased the Lego Star Wars game for him. I guess we felt that, although, there is shooting and weapons in the game, the fact that there is no blood and gore and only broken Lego guys made it acceptable. We also monitor all movies and TV our kids watch but had allowed him to see the Star Wars movies (with us, at home) after he saw one at a friend's house (without our permission) and loved it. We have always tried to limit TV time and video game time to an hour or less per day but, admittedly, have slackened on this from time to time--mostly due to our need for time to get things done. I am ashamed of myself for this.

I had such a great, heart-to-heart talk with my son after school. He was very remorseful, embarrassed and ashamed of himself. He is worried that everyone will "hate" him now. He called himself, "the stupidest kid in the world". I told him that it was not the end of the world and that he had simply said a very stupid thing. Normally, we don't allow the word "stupid" in our home. I felt that saying it now might help emphasize the seriousness of the situation. I told him that he had basically said to his classmate, "I want to make you die." This made him cry more. I asked him if he really hoped she would die and he cried an said, "no".  I deeply feel that he did not mean what he said.

I asked him if he would like me to take him to meet a police officer so that he could learn how serious what he had said was. He got hysterical and said, "No." We talked about a recent school shooting that started exactly the same way as his situation had: A six-year-old boy threatened to kill a little girl and brought a gun to school the next day and killed her. We talked about that girls' family and what was now happening to the little boy. We talked about how her parents would never be able to feel happy again and that the boy who shot her could never have a happy life. I told him the boy would have to leave his mommy and daddy's home and live in a jail for kids that was full of mean kids and, as a result, he would probably grow up to be a mean and bad person. We both thought the story was very sad for everyone involved but especially for everyone the girl knew. I explained the impact of the girl being "gone" forever.

Being the "solve my problems by committee" person that I am, I called the rest of my son's friends mother's and told them what happened. All were very shocked and did not believe that he could possibly have meant it. In addition, I called the parents of the boy that had suggested (according to my son) that Dallas get a bullet for a Nerf gun and shoot the girl and the principal. I felt terrible making this call but felt that it was the right thing to do. They may have been offended which is unfortunate as I like them very much and do not believe that their son meant anything by what he said, either.

I have been all over the internet looking for advice on how to handle this. I'm so worried that I am not doing enough to allow myself and others to "forgive" my son for his actions and to remove all worries that my son is a "bad kid". Every site I come upon, however, is full of appalled parents reacting to exactly the same situation from the victim's perspective. It scares me to death.

I was thinking of asking the first grade teachers if I could arrange for a police officer to their classes and talk about gun threats and violence to the group as a whole.

Please advise--am I handling this correctly? Should I do more? Does my son need more treatment?

Thank you for your time--I'm so sorry for writing "a novel". I just wanted to include all of my facts.
In Topics: School safety (not bullying)
> 60 days ago

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kelasue
kelasue writes:
Dear Karimck,  I am sending you peace.  I am sorry that you are in the middle of this whirlwind.  You are doing the best you can, and more, that is all that is expected out of us as parents- you are doing what is right for you.  I have 3 children above your childs' age.  That doesn't make me an expert, just one with perspective.  My first child (daughter) was found in her bedroom kissing her girlfriend (when she was your son's age).  I went down the same road you did. CLEARLY pointed out that this behavior was NOT ok.  I talked to both girls (probably clearly shamed them), told the other girls mother, set up systems that my daughter was not left alone, etc.  In hindsight i was overboard with making sure that this situation didn't happen again... and in the meantime I used shame and so much overkill to get my message across, that (again, the beauty of hindsight) I think I BECAME the problem.  You really have done enough.  Children have behaviors, some of them bad- which is a good time to learn, or relearn, and then they get to go out and behave again (either good or bad)... This statement WAS NOT your fault or your wrongdoing.  I can read by your letter that you are a thoughtful, caring mother.... You will do right by your son.  Let yourself have peace, and know that your son was just being HUMAN (we all do make mistakes)!
> 60 days ago

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lkauffman
lkauffman writes:
Dear Karimck,

I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling with such a difficult and challenging experience. I commend you on your swift and thoughtful response to this situation. You took a very firm, thoughtful, AND loving approach to this event, which provided an opportunity for you, your son, your son's peers and their parents to all learn from the moment. I believe that have handled this situation beautifully and you do not need to do anything more at the moment.

As you have pointed out, there is very little research available to guide parents on this topic. There is, however, some information on the topic of boys and gun play. In general, experts believe gun play is normative and productive for certain learning experiences. What is most important, however, is for parents to communicate values and rules for violence and guns. For more, please see: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Boys_Guns_Okay_Play/. In this context, I believe that you have more than adequately shared your values and taught your son the true meaning of his words.

You should be proud of your actions in a very stressful situation. You have allowed your son and others to learn a great deal from this experience. Best of luck to you.

Sincerely,

Laura Compian, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychologist
Education.com Expert
> 60 days ago

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fdumont
fdumont writes:
This just happened to one of my neighbor's sons.  A boys said to him.  "I wish I had a gun so I could blow your head off".  He is in 3rd grade.  We'll see if the school does anything about it.  Our Principal is kind of a lovey dovey, let's get in touch with our feelings type of person so I think she won't do anything.  But I think you handled it perfectly.  If it were me I'd make absolutely sure my son knew it was OK to be angry and frustrated but it is never OK to threaten someone with violence.  If he gets that message unequivocally then I think you are done.
> 60 days ago

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concernedmom55
concernedmo... writes:
I'm wondering how your son is doing now?  My son was suspended today for mentioning the word gun at school.  Two kids took it as a threat (though knowing my son he was just being silly...he is awkward in social situations though he has many friends).  He just turned 9 and feels horribly about the situation.  The kids that reported him aren't in his same classroom though they share another 1/2 hour class each day.  He doesn't even know their names and is mortified that they could think he was threatening them in any way.  He just didn't understand (at the time of the incident)  that what he said was inappropriate.  He does have issues with impulse control that we've been trying to work on with him.  We don't have guns in our home and have explained the gravity of the situation.  He understands but I'm worried about the long term effects of this.  When I read your letter, I felt like I could have written it.  My son also feels stupid and ashamed and horribly embarassed.  He's now worried that they won't want him back at his school that he absolutely loves.  

We won't find out until next week what the outcome will be from this, and he's just sick about the whole thing.  We've been role playing with him to help him learn what appropriate responses are to different situations.  I'm sorry if I'm rambling.  I just want to help my son in the best way I can.  We cancelled play dates with friends and have taken away video games.  He knows he's grounded but we've also explained that we love him very much and we know that he didn't mean to say what he did.  

We're also trying to find a counselor for him to talk with.  We've had a lot of changes in our lives the last year.  We had to move after my husband was laid off and found another job in a different state.  We've had trouble finding a school with a gifted program for my son and finally after trying out two different schools found one that could handle his needs.  We're hoping that talking with a professional could help with some of the impulse controls and just blurting out random thoughts.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks for your time.
> 60 days ago

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captbilly
captbilly writes:
I hope this is a satirical piece, ment to show how crazy the whole education system has become about silly things that kids say.  If not them my simple answer to the question about what you should do about this is, lighten up.  Kids say all sorts of things they do not mean.  Kids speak without fully considering the repercussions, because they are kids.  If we apply a zero tolerance standard to speach we are setting our kids up for failure.  For avery kid who actually shoots someone there are a million kids who have, at one time or another, made a silly comment about shooting, or wishing someone was dead, or drawn a picture in which someone was being shot, etc.  

I certainly understand the desire to end violence in schools, but it serves little purpose to punish normal children for repeating things they see on tv.  It is surely important to advise children to consider consequences, but if those consequences are purely artificial (you didn't actually do anything serious but our society is presently reacting irrationally to school violence), the only lesson a child learns is that rules are arbitrary.  I'll give you an example;  in my children's school they have a zero tolerance policy on gun in school.  They have gone so far as to extend the definition of a gun to mean anything that even looks like a gun, or has gun in the name.  So a friend of my son was going to a church sponsored paintball gun event immediately after school one day.  Because the church was picking the kids up at school the kids needed to have their equipment with them.  So this child had a paintball gun packed away in his locker and someone at the school found out, and therefor this child had to be expelled from school.  To be clear, this boy was as nice a kid as one could imagine (much like your son it would seem).  He had zero history of any behavior problems, he was a perfect student, he was well liked by other students, teachers,and the parents of his friends.  In other words, an ideal student was expelled from school, not for doing anything threatening to anyone, but because he didn't consider the fact that his school district would ignore who he was or what he was doing, and simply follow the letter of an arbitrary  rule.

I have several other examples I could give of similar extreme reactions to minor incidents, or even incidents similar to the one you describe, but the common thread was that no thought was given to the fact that nobody actually did anything dangerous or had any intention of doing anything dangerous.  When I spoke to other students at the schools where these incidents occured the common response was something to the effect that, "school rules are silly and arbitrary", or "kids regulary say and do actually dangerous or threatening things but they don't get caught".  Kids are being subtly taught the lesson that rules are often stupid, that rules are inconsistently enforced (even in your son's case, though I surely don't sugest that he should have been punished), and that little individual consideration is given.  Good kids are being punished for nothing while the really seriously disturbed kids slip through.


I constantly speak to y childern about considering other children's feelings, about the fact that the violence they see in movies and games is fantasy, about their responsibility to make the world a better place, but I still accept the fact that children are children, and they are going to say and do the things that kids say and do.
> 60 days ago

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Mellony
Mellony writes:
Boy, I landed on your page due to the fact that I got a simmilar call today about my 9 year old son!  So the search of "How do I appropriately talk with him?" and "How should I take this?", "How serious is this really?"  "How far should I go with this?" Etc...  So many questions have run through my mind since receiving this call from the Principal today.  My Son, is a very sweet, gentle and kind hearted soul.  He is a problem child though but not in the typical way that most think.  Problem because he often choses not to participate in class, wonders the halls or stay's in the bathroom for 40 minutes while traveling between class rooms.  So mostly just self awareness, and a threat to his own safety since he doesn't tend to let staff know where he is.  But NEVER an intentional threat to others.  In fact any time I tell him that he put other people at risk because of a personal action, Like running into the street, (as an example) He feels very bad and remorsefull for that!  With that said, I am very simmilar in the fact that My kids are not allowed to play Violent Games, my husband and I decided a year after having our first child 11 years ago to NOT subscribe to Television due to how distateful it has become.  We do allow movies but we monitor them, and very rarely do they ever get to watch violance in our home.  
  We are gun owners, but they are LOCKED and we take Guns very seriously and have raised our kids to know what a gun will do and how Un-Forgiving to Life they are!  I have talked to them about how people have killed themselves by accident by not being careful with their guns, about how bad people have killed, but also about how a gun can protect you from a bad person as well.   So this came as a HUGE disappointment and suprise to me today!  After all my children are very aware of the fact that I come from Eugene Oregon, and a family member of mine was at School the day that Kip Kinkle decided to start shooting kids, they know how Horrible that day was and how it affected EVERYONE!!! And innocent children died, and family's lives were changed forever.  So I take this possible "innocent play" very seriously because there is really nothing innocent about threatening guns on classmates or any human for that matter!  
  I do wonder though if telling my kids about the incodent in Springfield, Oregon at Thurston High was a mistake.  Because my son was upset yesterday when he did what he did.  And he made the comment "You know kids have brought Machine Guns to school and just started Killing other kids" then proceeded to pull a fake gun from his back pack and pretend to shoot other kids.  That doesn't seem like play to me, and for a child that does not have television, and doesn't watch violent movies the only place he would have heard anything remotely close to what he said was from me! YIKES... So this tells me that even when we as parents are trying to teach compassion and provoke thought,sympathy and knowledge in our children we may also very well be planting an un-desired seed.  One thing I have learned reading everyones comments here is that I need to be careful NOT to take this too far, but to deffinately deal with it!  I did think about having the police talk to him, but probably Not at school because that just might be too much to add to his already feeling picked on in that invironment.  Perhaps my cousin who is an officer would be very appropriate in uniform.   We were already considering a sychologist for him due to his lack or desire to learn in school, and we will deffinately be doing that I will be talking to him/her about this incident as well so that this person can proceed as they deem necisary too.  Any more advice from others would be appreciated.  And to the Mom who wrote the innitial letter, Thank you!
> 60 days ago

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livetight200
livetight200 writes:
well i would take him to the police so they can tell him by his self and not a whole group
> 60 days ago

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jpsscribe
jpsscribe writes:
Thank you so much for sharing this. It has helped me keep perspective. It sounds like you did everything exactly right, and I believe your son is going to be fine. Sometimes it takes something like this for kids to realize that what they say matters more than they think -- a lesson many adults need to take to heart as well! (The Bible says we'll be held accountable for every careless word, so we're probably all in trouble.)
My daughter had a little boy threaten her and her friend two days ago -- he said "I'm going to kill you" and "I have a knife," and he even drew a picture of himself stabbing the other little girl. I reacted pretty much like you might expect (I'm on the Internet, obviously, searching about this type of thing) -- but after talking to the assistant principal, I calmed down quite a bit. The little boy has been suspended and may be expelled -- which might not be in his best interest as they are all in 2nd grade. In my daughter's case, the girls were frightened enough to tell their teacher immediately, and the boy denied it at first but then admitted it, and said he didn't mean it. This is not the first time he has threatened to "kill" someone, and I'm afraid he comes from an environment where the word gets thrown around a lot. I think drawing the picture is really what got him in serious trouble. They told me otherwise, it would have simply been a verbal threat and a lower category of offense. That's what your son did -- a verbal threat. Judging by his response afterward, I think that's all it was but you are right to take it seriously and come down on him exactly the way you did.
As for the video games -- one comment you made really hit home. There is violence in the game but no blood and gore -- no real consequences. Of course, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner had violence and no consequences, and I watched them and did not grow up to be a serial killer. I doubt if the game had anything to do with your kid's comment -- but I do think there is too much violence and mayhem on TV and in a lot of those games. I'm not into that sort of thing at all, so I'm probably biased.
As for the person who said they hope this is satire about how the schools and parents overreact -- do you read the news??? Yes, kids say all kinds of things. They also DO all kinds of things, and if they aren't corrected at a young age, no telling where they will end up or what kind of tragedies they will wreak. If threats of violence are commonplace and overlooked in your family, I'm sorry for your children.
> 60 days ago

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Bonoboc
Bonoboc writes:
Lady, I don't wanna burst your bubble, but you REALLY should not have called his friends mothers and told them what he did. He may be a little boy, but as parents of little kids just as young as your son that they feel the need to protect, they will talk and judge you and your son from now on, whether you want that or not. The best way for someone like your son to lead a happy, healthy life in the future instead of a life of guns is for him to not face isolation. You made the mistake of isolating him from friends by giving his friends parents information against your son. Isolation over time can lead to pent up anger. Furthermore, I don't think banning guns is good for kids. I think the problem that needs to be addressed is why did your son start crying when he got into trouble? It was like the news that he would be in trouble for what he did bothered him more than the fact that he threatened harm on someone. If he doesn't develop empathy towards other human lives and faces isolation from this incident, there could be significantly more serious consequences in the long run.
> 60 days ago

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Justin688
Justin688 writes:
I just had this experience this week. Apparently my 10 year old daughter has been threatening a boy in her class that she was going to bring a knife and stab him and hat she had a big knife collection ( which we don't) I was horrified! She claimed to have a crush on this boy and they both liked scary movies. I have not let her watch the slasher movies, but her and her older sister sneak and watch them with her friends. I actually had to yell at them to shut the movie off from cable one day.

This is the first time she ever used violence as an attention getter. She does not have many friends at school and the one she did have has changed schools for financial reasons. She always is concerned about what others are doing and tattles on them. We have had this discussion several times. She is not to concern herself with others. She has regularly seen the social worker at school and we are going to see a therapist outside of school. I am so scared, embarrassed, and confused where all this has come from. We are both professionals, they attend a parochial school, have a nice home, etc. So where this has come from is a mystery. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
> 60 days ago

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jade3423
jade3423 writes:
Hi kamick sorry to hear that.
The first thing to do is to report it to the police and take him for counseling to see if anything is bothering him. Then get rid of any violent movies; parents don't know that these movies play a role in kids behavior. That's the first step. Hope this helps?
> 60 days ago

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MissShort
MissShort writes:
I feel that you are doing a fine job handling this situation. I understand that this IS an extremely important subject, but as sad as it is to say, this is what kids are seeing and hearing everyday through TV, video games, music, and the media. I feel as though your son may not have fully understood how much his words could really scare people. My advice to you is to make sure you know what your son is doing with his friends when he is at their house. Do any of their parents have any guns? Also find out how the NERF gun is being used by the boys-what are they playing? A lot of times with video games, children do not put together how when they shoot or hurt the opponent, they are dead/injured because he or she can usually just start over or take some special medicine so everything is just fine. I think inviting a police officer into the school is a FANTASTIC idea. This will hopefully show just how important gun safety is. (Make sure to inform the officer prior to his presentation as to why you have called him into the classroom). I hope this helps! Let me know if you're in need of more support-----OH and one more thing, if your school is a larger one with multiple first grade classrooms-make sure to include them in on this officer's presentation!
> 60 days ago

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Motherof2greatkids
Motherof2gr... writes:
I JUST received the same exact phone call from my 1st grade, son's principal and immediately searched the internet to find advice as to how to handle this.  Your story sounds as if I had written it!  Thank you, as you've helped to comfort me in how I plan to handle this situation.
> 60 days ago

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miriamwoad
miriamwoad writes:
Hi,
From what i have read you are doing an amazing job handling this situation.  I have a 8 year old son, who just yesterday threatened 2 little girl that he was going to bring a knife to school and kill them.  I'm not sure why he said that but i'am very concerned.  My son does have ADHD and ODD.  So im not really sure what i will do about this, but i'am very scared for him.  I will talk to him when he gets home from school.  He did also apologize to the little girls.  And I will find out why he had said that.  My son was in the hospital this summer but nothing really got resolved.  So i called his Dr again this morning and she said for me to bring him in on Friday and he might have to be admitted to the hospital again.  And he might be admitted to the hospital here in Moncton, NB, that is a special hospital for children like him.  I'm not sure if I can handel this.....This is just soooo much.  I love my son sooo much and that is why i'am getting him the help he needs.  I hope this helped a bit.  chat with you soon....
> 60 days ago

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gnowit
gnowit writes:
You seem to be a great parent and it is not your fault or your son's. It is the outside communication with other children. His guidance was not there to  give him the knowledge to make the right decision. Sometimes when another child annoys you and you're busy trying to do something. A child needs help to think, for ex: you stand up and politely move or ask the teacher to help you with a problem with this child. The other child that refer to in a negative response was wrong because his guidance was wrong. Negative behavior form a child is asking for attention and needs to be supervise more by an adult. Supervise your child on all his decisions. Allow him to make his own decision with Guidance and Supervise. He still has a mind of a child.
> 60 days ago

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shadley55
shadley55 writes:
I had a similar incident happen to me. A boy felt threatened by my son and actually brought a knife to school to threaten my son. Unfortunately at that time I made the mistake of only discussing it with his mother and never reported it to the school. Since then the boy has been harassing and bullying my son every other day and even though the school has warned him now to stop the bullying, there is no respite.

What do you suggest I do, the school keeps warning to suspend him but never really do, it is more than 6 months of torture so far.
> 60 days ago

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smz2376
smz2376 writes:
To Shadley...First of all, I hope you've kept a paper trail. ie: corresponded via email and saved everything. My advice is call the police and let them know that your child has been threatened with a knife at school and continues to be harrassed and the administration seems to stand by and watch with their own idle threats to the perpetrator. Your child's situation does not fit the rest of these stories...You need to be aggressive now before something else happens.

As for karminck, you seemed to have handled every aspect of this as thoroughly as possible. My son was on the receiving end of a similar situation last year. His "best friend" got frustrated because my son wouldn't let him in front of him in line so he said he was going to "kill him". He was going to 'borrow his dad's gun and shoot him'.

My son came home very upset. Deep down he knew nothing was going to happen, but he was unsettled because he understood that there was something really wrong with that. But, for 1st Graders, they can't always wrap their little minds around what it is that makes it so wrong.

What baffled me was, immediately after that kid said it, my son walked out of the school and sat next to him on the bus ride home as if he wasn't just threatened. He told me it was because his friend said sorry. Wow! I wish that I could crawl into their little, uncomplicated minds!

I know that little boy. And I know my son has the ability to get you pretty mad because he can be very stubborn when he doesn't want to do something. So, I'll bet he really got his friend ticked off. However, his friend needed to learn NOW of the severity of his words. And my son needed to understand that he can't allow anyone to treat him like that and then get away with a simple "sorry".

I thought it was important for the teacher to know, so I sent her an email that night, stressing that I did not want the little guy to get into trouble, rather I wanted it to be a teachable moment for him - and the whole class - about the importance of their words and how to express their frustration in more productive ways. And I continue to work on the delicate balance of building my son's confidence so that he does not bare the scars of the bullied.

My actions show that I apparently disagree with a previous commentor who thought it was terrible to notify your "committee" because you have now tainted the waters essentially. I think that most level headed adults know that there are multitudes of reasons why kids say these things, most of which begin with adults, and without a multitude of adults there is no way to properly correct the path.

Best of luck to you and everyone else who comes here because you found yourself in search of the same answers...
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colek91
colek91 writes:
I think that what you are doing by explaining to him that his statement is not something to be taken lightly is great. He does need to realize that he can't say things like this. However, from what you wrote, it really seems it was just an "innocent" childhood comment.

Think back to when we were kids, the things boys used to say to each other. I remember all the time hearing things like "if you tell her I like her I will kill you", "if my dad and your dad got into a fight my dad would kill your dad". Did it happen? Of course not, it was just "boys being boys". These days there is no "grey area" everything is either black or white, and sometimes, I think, as adults we need to look at that grey area. That's not to say that some kids wouldn't say that and mean it, obviously we have seen that happen, but I think your son was just trying to get this girl from bothering him.  
Several yrs ago, there was a 6 or 7 yr old boy who ran up to a little girl at school and gave her a kiss. Some who think, how cute, others maybe look back at when they experienced the same, but no not here. The law says forcing yourself onto another is a crime, and instead of looking at that grey area and seeing this as a little boy expressing his feeling for this little girl they wanted to charge him and put him on the sex offenders list. That just sounds crazy to me, like where is the common sence. Should you talk with the boy, of course, but this was just an innocent childhood experience. I think we have all been on one side of that at one point.        
I think what your son did was the same thing. He sounds like a good kid, but he is a kid they make mistakes, as we all do. Does this mean he is going to be the next "trench coat kid" I don't think so. Therefore, while you should press upon him the seriousness of his statement, don't go too overboard. He is only a first grader, he doesn't have the ability to connect it all. You mentioned why did he look happy, as if nothing happened, because for him it was over. He said what he said, the teacher talked to him, he was remorseful, and now it's time to move on.

Well, I wish you the best of luck, but sounds like you are doing a good job, and don't get yourself to worked up about it.
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Jiff
Jiff , Student writes:
I feel for your situation. You should probably talk to him more. The Connecticut incident might help.
P.s. No prob for the 'novel', you got some stress on your shoulders.
> 60 days ago

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jsperling617
jsperling617 writes:
Well i think you did the right thing, as your not the only one has this happened to. My son has not done and or said anything but what i take away from the other comments is that this is usual at this age. I say your child is growing and he feels he needs to become part of the "gun and violence" world. I think your child gets that he did something wrong. I think that now (because of this inncedent) you should praise him more when he gets and or does things right (even if it is something small) because eventually, your son will not think he is a bad kid. I did that with my daughter when she told me she hated herself, we slowly went through that process and now she loves herself, the world and everyone around her.Do not be worriedif him adjusting (to what he thinks is a ) "new world". He just needs time to settle in. Possibly even if another kid does something wrong, it will make him feel as though he is not the only one (which he is not, as you can see from the other comments)
    I hope this helped you, or made you fell better.
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