Dad Gets Restraining Order Against Son's 4th Grade Bully

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on January 30, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When your kid comes home complaining of a bully, what do you do? Do you teach him to turn the other cheek? To throw a punch? Or do you request a bully restraining order?

Robert Casteel of southern California did the latter after his 10-year-old son Christopher came home last week frazzled. A classmate had pulled out a knife and threatened to "get [him] after school."

The bully's 5-day suspension wasn't enough, so Casteel obtained a restraining order.

That order is a temporary one, according to CBS. Casteel will be back in court next month and a judge will decide whether to make the order permanent.

It may not happen because there seem to be conflicting stories. When school officials ignored his son's complaint, Robert Casteel called police. They searched the boy and found a 2 1/2 inch pocket knife, reports the Press-Enterprise. But interviews with other children proved inconclusive.

Some said there was a threat, others said there was not.

But even if the judge does decide to grant the 20-foot perimeter, the bully restraining order may be difficult to enforce. As the school explains in the following video, it has little power:

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The school's observation is a good argument for why bully restraining orders are not a good idea. It's difficult to keep children away from one another, particularly while at school. Teachers and staff are already overburdened. Are they supposed to watch only two kids during recess?

Nevertheless, something had to be done to protect Robert Casteel's son. If the school isn't going to expel the other child, a bully restraining order might just chase the kid away.

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