Dad Takes on School That Suspended His Son for Being a 'Bully'

Say What!? 54

Randy DukeOK, so picketing your kid's school after they get themselves suspended isn't what most parents would do. But Randy Duke doesn't sound like most parents. He's a Navy veteran who came home from Afghanistan to find out his 14-year-old was being bullied big time at school. And when the eighth grader finally had enough and fought back against his long-time bully, the school came down hard ... on Duke's son.

Suddenly a dad standing outside his son's school with a giant sign starts to sound less like crap parenting and more like the kind of chutzpah we all need to show for our kids, doesn't it?

According to Randy, his son Max has been a victim of bullying for quite some time. But it all came to a head recently when another kid took the paper airplane he'd crafted for a special needs child in art class and stomped on it. In true kid fashion, Max's response was "What the hell?" Which is when the bully got physical. And the frustrated Max got physical back.

Now the kid who was picked on has been treated to two days suspension, and he's been sent to an alternative school, which also means he can't take part in the extracurriculars he's involved in like the school marching band.

It sounds wildly unfair to this kid and incredibly frustrating for a parent.

No wonder Randy Duke's picketing the school with a sign that says, "Bullying victims are punished here."

We spend a lot of time in my house debating how to talk to our daughter about bullies, how she should respond. Usually I've told her to walk away, and it's worked for the most part. No one has gotten physical in second grade. Thank goodness!

But I don't know how much longer we can get by with the "walk away" response. It's not always possible to walk away. I remember being stuck on a bus, where I couldn't move, where I couldn't escape the bullies stealing my headbands and playing monkey in the middle with them (you can guess the identity of the monkey).

I felt helpless.

I don't want my kid to feel helpless.

Randy Duke doesn't want his son to feel helpless.

His decision to picket doesn't just come across as a support of his son's decision to fight back. To me it's a sign that this dad realizes you don't give up after one battle, you keep fighting until you win the war.

Pardon the military references here, but when you consider dad's background, how can you not look at it that way? This Navy vet is trying to show his son that there is honor in standing up for yourself and what you believe in, even when the odds are against you. Lesser parents might just throw up their hands, rant about the school at home, but ultimately let it lie. I'd rather parent like Randy Duke, wouldn't you?

What do you think of Duke's decision? Check him out in action:


 

Image via KHOU

bullies, discipline

54 Comments

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Zamaria Zamaria

Go dad! I always teach my kids that they are never to start a fight, but if they are defending themselves or someone else who can't defend themselves, they will NEVER get in trouble for that and I will stand behind them 100%. Sounds like this kid's dad is very supportive.

craft... craftycatVT

I hate to say it, but if it were my kid I might try to take legal action.

My daughter also had an incident on a bus. Abus older girl trapped her in a seat and pinched my daughter's arm black and blue. I notified the school and told my daughter if it happened again to either scream or punch the other girl in the nose and don't stop.

meg4763 meg4763

What a good dad and a great example to his son!  I completey understand telling your children to walk away and try to ignore bullies. But, there may come a time when enough is enough.  Children/kids that are bullied seem to never get help from teachers.  Why is it that the bullies usually get away with this crap for years before something happens!?!  This boy did the right thing by standing up for another kid who probably couldn't stick up for himself as well since he was special needs!  So now the good kid with compassion for others get expelled and sent to an alt school.....but what will happen to the bully? Probably nothing, right! Pathetic!

Tired... TiredbutHappy1

When my sister was in kindergarten she was bullied by a 12th grader on the bus. Mom kept telling the bus driver to move her. He refused. One day the bully grabbed her head and slammed in into the window. Bad move. My sister got pissed, drew her fist back and knocked him clear off the seat!! You should have seen the bully's face! Bright red and everyone was laughing at him. My sister was moved to another seat after that. lol  You didn't mess with my sister. It took a lot to make her mad, but when she was mad she let you have it.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

My parents always taught me to fight back if I was being bullied. But, I wasn't to ever initiate a fight. Only to defend myself if someone threw the first hit. I was bullied a lot when I was younger. I went to public school in a very uneducated area and I was tormented for being the smart white girl. I had to dumb myself down whenever I spoke so I wouldn't be picked on. When one of my bullies became physical I went home crying because I didn't know what the right thing to do was. My dad told me that the next time she put her hands on me I was to "knock her teeth down her throat". When I told her my parents fully supported me beating the crap out of her she stopped bothering me. I think a bully is only such when they think you won't fight back.

paren... parentalrights1

It sucks but bullying victims often get pegged as the bullies. Happened to me alot as a kid.


I want more punishment for bullies, but at the same time I know that also means that victims who are fighting back are going to get punished because noone will have seen the bullying going on.

dixie... dixiechick2

I've taught my children to fight back. I tell don't start no shit, but don't take none!

mrspease mrspease

My daughter's school has a zero-tolerance policy for violence. If a bully is hitting another student and that student fights back they get in just as much trouble as the bully. I think it's a load of shit. Schools always say they are trying to prepare students for the "real world." Well in the real world, the only person who gets charged with assault is the instigator.

Deb Giglio

I support this Dad but I would make darn sure that the school did something to the other kid as well.  Takes two to tango.  I am also surprised that the school didn't take into consideration that this kid has never (?) been a problem other times.....seems harsh for a first time.

Ashleigh Blackwell

Schools typically have a no tolerance policy in place with regards to physical altercations. It's often hard to tell who started it. When faced with bullying, it is encouraged for the bullied child to approach school administration. If my child is bullied, I will do whatever it takes to stop the bullying - I will call the bully's mother, talk to the teacher, principal, super, whatever is necessary. While I want my children to defend themselves, I also understand why there is no tolerance in place. There are a few questions here - did the bully also get suspended? Did Max approach his teacher for help or report the bully to anyone else? These are questions that need answering before we immediately blame the school for their actions.

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