So my wife gets a call from the school principal yesterday saying my son will have to serve a three day in school suspension because he punched some kid. When he got home I spoke to him about it and he said that the other kid, who is bigger and a grade ahead of my son, was putting his hand behind his neck and his foot in front of his leg and pushing him face first into the ground while playing soccer. He did this to him two or three times, so my son stood up for himself and hit him. ( For the last two years he was picked on in school for being small and quiet, and was getting beat up and pushed around regularly by a big kid in grade six, my son was in grade three. He was afraid to go to school and would not get on the bus anymore. I told the principal last year that at some point my son was going to defend himself and that I would take the side of my son because I thought this was the right thing to do.)
I called the school this morning and spoke to the principal. I told her (new principal this year) that I disagreed with the punishment because he was defending himself. She said that the rules say no violence and that he has to learn that there are consequences to breaking the rules. I tried to explain that he was defending himself and that I told him I would stand behind him. She went so far as to say that if he was 15 and the police were involved that he would have to pay the price and would not listen to reason when I said " not if he was defending himself".
I am now torn on what to do. I have taught my kids that violence is wrong and should be avoided, but you have to stand up for yourself and protect yourself. I have to admit that as a parent, I am proud of my son for standing up to someone who was pushing him around, but I am disappointed in the system for punishing him for what I told him to do. I am worried as to how he will perceive this. I know I will have to talk to him when he gets home, but I am really not sure what to tell him. He is only ten years old. I have to either tell him what he did was wrong and that he has to accept the punishment or tell him that the system is wrong and…I am literally at a loss for words… If I go with the latter, and figure out something to say, I’m not sure how he will interpret that.
What do you guys think?
ETA: I am in a rush to get out the door so this is not as well written as it could be, but I think you get my point.