Dear Dr. Putrino. I will slap you.

Put your hands on a Chukumba and I will slap youMy letter:

Dr. Putrino,

I’m quite disturbed by what appears to be a disparity in treatment regarding an incident on the bus yesterday between my daughter Asha and 4th grader <name redacted for his safety>.

Asha inappropriately tapped <name redacted for his safety> on the head with a rolled up piece of paper when she got on the bus at the end of the school day. In response <name redacted for his safety> slapped her. She then slapped him back and then he slapped her again. When the bus aide intervened, she moved <name redacted for his safety> to a separate section of the bus, at which point <name redacted for his safety> also kicked her.

When my babysitter, who is also <name redacted for his safety>’s older sister, met the children at the bus stop, she told me about the incident and that Asha was written up but not <name redacted for his safety>.

<name redacted for his safety>’s response was completely disproportionate to Asha’s “provocation.” We find it totally unacceptable that this boy is putting his hands on girls. And while we wholeheartedly agree that the children should be written up for fighting on the bus in any fashion, I’m at a loss as to why Asha was the only one written up when <name redacted for his safety> is the one who actually escalated the incident by striking or otherwise putting his hands on her.

My son Stephen is good friends with <name redacted for his safety> and he witnessed the incident, so I am confident that we have a clear understanding of the event. He feels that she shouldn’t have bothered <name redacted for his safety> at all, but that <name redacted for his safety> overreacted by slapping her.

Ultimately, the result we are expecting is equitable treatment. If the driver is going to write up this incident, both students should have been written up, not simply Asha, especially in light of the facts. More importantly what kind of message does this send to <name redacted for his safety> about slapping girls in response to foolish, playful behavior?

Please give this incident your immediate attention.

Thank you.


His response:

Hi Stephen,

I was not able to address this today but will mediate this immediately on Tuesday morning.

Joseph A. Putrino Jr., Ed. D.
Northeast Elementary School


Put your hands on a Chukumba and you will get slapped.

I tell my kids: Don’t ever put your hands on other people. And don’t ever let another person put their hands on you.

The first time someone hits you, don’t hit them back. Tell a teacher, authority or any grown up bigger than you and the kid that hit you. They will address the situation appropriately.

If they don’t or if he or she does it again, hit them back as hard as you can.

This way they will think twice about hitting you again, because then they will know (1) you hit hard; (2) you know how to fight; and (3) you’re prepared fight them.

More importantly, they’ll know what kind of fight it’s going to be from how hard you hit them back.

If someone hits you, defend yourself. Never let anyone push you around, even by force. Fight back. No one will ever bully a Chukumba.

Mommy and Daddy will always defend you if we hear about a fight like that. And we’ll talk to that kid’s parents too, just so that everybody knows the consequences of messing with you.

This post is not meant to condone my daughter’s behavior.

She was definitely the “antagonist.”

It’s not even to vilify the other kid.

Although I question what kind of home training <name redacted for his safety> is (not) getting if he’s hitting girls.

He’s lucky he’s a little kid or I would have whupped his ass!

Nor is it to glorify violence.

Despite my previous statement a few lines ago.

The wise man knows to walk away from a fight, if a fight can be avoided.

But I’m not raising no punks.

Male or female.

Double negative above notwithstanding.

All you parents out there, pay attention and I’ll show you how it’s done – Chukumba style.

Steer clear of Chukumbas with all the BS.

Or you will get slapped.

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