“I Will Kill You” – Behaviour Problem in Primary School

Vignette #21


In the centre of the problem there is a young boy with very good abilities who avoids physical contact both in the classroom and in case of games on the schoolyard. Since in the first year of elementary school there are a lot of catching and running games, problems appeared from the beginning. He shows more and more stress, aggression during the catching games. When others catch him and gently „hit” him to show that it is his turn to catch, he always gets stressed and nervous. So much that in a short time he flips out shouting bad words and running after the one who caught him. When he reaches the child, who is running away from him, he hits his/her head and back with his fist and shouts: „I will kill you!”. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to separate him from the others in these situations because he hangs on the other child and does not stop beating. 

The other children start to be afraid of him. They prefer to avoid playing catch with him, although he wants to play again and again. He also likes to play football with the boys but if he is fouled or accidentally falls, the same situation will happen as in the other games. Parents also start to complain teacher and other teachers know that there is a problem with this child. He causes more and more serious injuries.

During lessons it’s noticeable that if the teacher makes a sudden move, the boy tries to protect himself. Teachers suspect that he receives corporal punishment at home. The principal asks his parents to come into the school: his mother is very reserved, speaks quietly and is always almost crying. His father is strong-minded. Both the child and his parents avoid to talk about this sensitive issue, they deny that there would be a problem, they shift the reason of the problem on to the teachers and classmates. His parents feel like they are cornered so they became offensive and dismissive.


How can I effectively involve parents and make them partners in tackling the situation?


  • Improving the effectiveness of communication with parents (tool 8)
  • try to understand the situation better and come up with creative ideas (tool 36 and 37)
  • reflect on the situation (tool 24 and  34)
  • consult a school psychologist