I am quite strict and it never occured to me that I wouldnt punish her at home for bad behaviour at school (although I have never been in that position - yet).
Now, I am thinking that a double punishment isn't fair. The schoool believes the punishment is appropriate. And, as mentioned earlier, school doesnt punish her for bad behaviour at home.
I can see where people are coming from here and it has got me thinking too.
However, the school have no legal authority to punish for bad/poor/inappropriate behaviour elsewhere and can only deal with the issues that happen in school. Morally and legally we, as parents, can deal with the bad behaviour wherever it happens.
My personal view is that if I believe the behaviour was worth a punishment then I will endorse my beliefs with my own punishments too, thus confirming to my son that whatever he did was not right and hope he learns from it. I think that if I didn't back the school up on certain issues then it wouldn't give him a clear message and he could be left in a bit of limbo whether it was acceptable or not or just the school over reacting.
If he was to get arrested and cautioned for something he would still get another punishment at home too (or even possibly be hung, drawn and quartered!
I'm all in favour of him sticking up for himself if being picked on, but have to draw the line at knocking seven bells out of someone for a bit of name calling, even though I know how unpleasant that can be. If he's hit, I don't mind him hitting back, but told him to do it once and do it hard! That was how he knocked a lad out last year with one punch (but that was over unpleasant verbal stuff and not something I condone being dealt with by violence) but that lad has never picked on or said anything unpleasant to him again, so in my view - job done!
My concerns are - where is the cut off age if we condone violence for sorting out verbal bullying? How can we say to our kids "it's okay to hit someone if they call you names until you are x years old, but after that you have to find another way to deal with it?"
If someone verbally abused me now, insulted me, swore at me etc and I retaliated by using violence then I would be dealt with for assault and if I was lucky, they would be dealt with for a public order offence. However, in reality, I would probably be dealt with for assault and they would be 'the victim'. I may get a lesser punishment for provocation, but the legal system would have expected me to either walk away and ignore it or deal with it by reporting their abuse to someone myself. I would then have all the implications that come with having a criminal caution or conviction. This is something I'm very mindful of with my son. At 11 years old he can be arrested and dealt with for assault if another kids' parent was insistent and that would be something that would stick with him forever. Believe me, that is happening quite a lot and there are many parents who won't tolerate their kids being bullied (understandably) and are using the police to deal with it rather than the schools. That's why I'm trying my best to get him to understand that one punch/kick back is self defence, anything more may not be seen that way. Once the police get involved it's all out of our hands from thereon