SCHOOL / Carletto, the bully and two teachers in a world of wolves

Primary school in the province of Milan, one of those that to hear the Invalsi results it is above the national average. A little old and shabby, but with all the rainbow flags and the words peace on all the windows. There is a beautiful garden that surrounds it and the kids play there when it is not raining and the wind is blowing. And they do sports there, if it’s still called that. Even those in first class. And it is to the mother of one of these children that one April morning – the cruelest of months – the teacher at the entrance to the start of classes approaches quite cautiously and asks if it is not possible to chat. Fortunately, it happens that the teachers are not so strict with the protocol and that they do not wait for the canonical meetings with the parents to provide some information about the students.

The mother is pulled aside and begins to worry: has anything happened that Carletto did not tell her? What has he done? Usually he is always good and at the end of the day he tells his mother everything that happens. “No, nothing serious,” says the teacher, who seems to have seen a shadow of worry pass over her mother’s face. “No, don’t worry. Except that Carletto, you see, is …too good. And it just should not ”.

The worry disappears from the mother’s face and a certain astonished curiosity emerges.

“Let me explain better” – says the teacher. “Yesterday, while we were playing in the garden, Carletto was targeted by Francesco for ten minutes with some twigs they had picked up from the ground. Francesco pulled these pieces of wood himself by force. And Carletto nothing. Not a bad word, a blow even just shown to convince the partner to stop beating him. He stood there well, well and said with grace and calm “hold on then, now that’s enough”. But that did not stop, and perhaps Carletto would have done well to get a little angry, go close to him and scold him harder, run to the teachers to ask for an intervention. Nothing. So… I intervened ”.

Mom, who told me the story, what could she say? I felt like saying, “Oh, where was the teacher who intervened after ten minutes!”

Her mother did nothing but confirm: “Of course Carletto is good. And I’m really proud of that. And your teachers should probably be too, don’t you think? “After which the teacher returned to the attack:” Yes, yes, of course. But it is not too good? So he will end up letting everyone put their feet on his head ”.

Then Mom smiled and said, “That’s good. It is not too good“And it was not to dive into the whole series of problems that bubbled up in her. She said goodbye to Carletto and got in the car to go to his school. Because Carletto’s mother is a teacher. And like her son’s teacher, she’s done dozens of refresher courses on bullying, cyberbullying, and fiction in recent years, but in none of those courses had they suggested enrolling their children in judo or karate classes to defend themselves against bullying. but it makes me think that the world is turning the other way: Now parents should be worried about having well-educated and sensible children. You who have intolerant, rude and violent children, rest assured: they are in the norm, they are the real world. The teacher will never call you aside to tell you what they have done during recess: kicking, spitting, pushing is the order of the day. I still have to think, though: and could not the teacher have intervened earlier? Was it a form of “pedagogical supervision” to let Francesco throw sticks at his partner for ten minutes? Did he want to see how far Francesco went? Or Carletto? Or maybe it’s me who’s thinking wrong: maybe the teacher has a son too too good and he would warn Carletto’s mother: “This is a world of wolves, dear lady. And, as you know, we who do the same work as me can do nothing about it. Children must learn to defend themselves ”.

It may even be that the teacher said what she said with a good purpose. But it seems to me that if the world and the school travel like this, children should also start defending themselves against the teachers. But how is it done? A judo, karate or law course? Is there really a way to defend oneself?

Meanwhile, Carletto entered the school the next day and greeted Francesco. He told his mother that Francesco plays lads every now and then. But it’s not always bad.

He has more common sense than journalists and teachers: What courses did he attend? Maybe he can recommend them to us. Or is it alone too good?

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