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  • I was really angry when my 9 year old son Dem came home with a swollen lip. It broke my heart to see his face disfigured by with blues and browns and yellow bruising.
    I said what on earth happened to you?
    He said Brian did a karate kick on me.
    Well I could not believe it!
    That’s the problem with parents sending their children to martial arts classes. They become dangerous to everyone around them. I mean I can’t believe that a boy would deliberately maliciously kick someone else, unprovoked on the mouth.
    I sat him down and gave him an ice cube to put on his mouth and I phoned the school.
    The secretary told me I would have to wait until tomorrow to speak to the headmaster.
    Well I was furious. The headmaster said that it was not his responsibility because the incident happened outside the school grounds. In other words he didn’t give a damn.
    I found out what the boy’s name was and phoned his mother. I had talked to her before outside the school and in the swing park. She seemed like quite a nice person.
    When she answered the phone I explained what had happened politely and suggested that she should tell her son that he should only use karate kicks when he was in his karate lessons.
    Well I couldn’t believe the string of swear words that came out of that gentle looking woman’s mouth. I was quite shocked. Some parents will stand up for their children even if their child is in the wrong.
    I was in tears when my son sat down for breakfast with a bigger swelling on his upper lip and more bruising.
    There was only one thing left to do. I went down to the school at home time stood next to the gate and when Brian came past me I hissed in his ear.
    “Don’t you ever kick Dem again?”
    It was very effective. He went as white as a sheet and Dem hasn’t had any trouble from him again.
    You know it seems to me that it’s harder to be a boy in the school playground than it is to be a girl.
    Girls are just bitch or go into cliques that exclude others but they don’t fight physically. Well they didn’t when I was at school.
    Two months later my son came home in tears. An older boy, who had never spoken to him before, accosted him at the school gate insisting that he owed him five pounds to replace some batteries that had run out. Dem had no idea why this boy Philip had picked on him for the money.
    I found out his address from the phone book. Luckily he lived opposite us on the other side of the football ground. I and walked over there to talk to his parents. A sweet looking woman answered the door.
    “Yes?” she asked
    “Um well, me and Dem don’t understand why Philip keeps on telling him he owes him £5 every time he goes home from school. He’s getting very upset about it.”
    “His batteries?” She obviously knew why he needed new batteries. Leaving me at the door she walked down the hall and yelled into the front room.
    “I always worried that you were going to be bullied at school and said your brother would stick up for you and now you’re the bully. I can’t believe it.”
    She returned to the front door and apologised for her son.
    “Don’t worry as soon as his Dad gets home he’ll get the stick out to him.”
    “Oh I’m sorry I stuttered.
    “Goodbye,” she said and shut the door. I was shocked. I didn’t believe in mothers getting the father to dole out the punishment and I didn’t like kids being hit with a stick.
    I went home feeling very guilty.
    I hope Dem doesn’t get into any more trouble I thought to myself.
    My son was very easy going and it took a lot to make him angry. I had to explain that he needed to show his strength to stop the bullies.
    He took my advice and one day when this boy Richard started winding him up Dem picked him up and threw him backwards. After that he was left alone.
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