Last Friday while I was off at Wood Badge, Daniel got in trouble at school for biting another child. They were playing a game where Daniel was a dog and the other boy was a WWII soldier. The other boy entered Daniel's territory and Daniel lunged at him and bit him on the shoulder. Since the teacher knew we were out of town, she sent home a note letting us know what happened and that Daniel would lose recess on Monday. Talking to Daniel, I got a completely different story so I wrote a note back to the teacher with the version I had been given and requesting a conference. I also let her know that I do not agree with losing recess because the children need activity, especially since they do not get PE in their curriculum at the charter school. I suggested that Daniel write a report on the dangers of human bites so that he could learn that biting is not just mean, but has other consequences.
I got a call from the principal who had also been present during the altercation and I got the full story. She agreed about Daniel needing the physical activity but felt that he need to not be allowed to play during recess. Instead, she suggested he run laps. I thought that was a great idea and told her that we should extend it for the entire week. Daniel was not happy with this arrangement and refused to run the laps so I got another phone call. I informed both him and the principal that for every recess (15 minutes) he refused to run, he would have to run for an hour at home. When he got home on Monday, he had a note indicating that he had refused to run for one of the recesses. So he changed into play clothes (they wear a uniform for school which I absolutely love) and he ran around our cul-de-sac for an hour. Sometimes it was a jog, sometimes he slowed to a walk, but he kept moving. And he decided that he would rather run at recess for the remainder of the week than run at home.