My son (4 1/2) attends a pre-school that we all like very much.
He's in a class of kids ranging from 3 to 5. He generally prefers to socialize with the older children. In this particular class, there are 5 boys who are roughly his age or a bit older. Two of those boys are very close with my son, and they all play very well together. My son gets along pretty well with one of the three remaining boys, but he's a bit too high strung for my son's tastes, so they don't play together too often. One of the remaining 2 we don't hear about very often.
Which leaves the last older boy, which is the root of the problem.
This boy (we'll call him "Cain"), clearly has some problems.
We first became aware of this when my son complained to us after school that he was upset because Cain pretended to urinate on him, and called him "dumb".
That incident was repeated about a week later, and we started to get reports from both my son and his teachers that Cain was involved in some incidents that resulted in Cain hitting my son.
Each time the teachers seemed to have responded appropriately.
We've had conversations with the mothers of the two boys my son is closest to, and they both shared that they had had reports of similar incidents between Cain and their sons.
We made the teacher aware of our concerns, and she responded by separating Cain and my son into different groups during the day.
However, they still all have outside play together, and Cain frequently wants to play with my son and his two friends. We've told our son that he should tell Cain that he doesn't want to play with him, because he isn't nice and he hits, but that's hard for my son, both because he likes to play with other kids, and because sometimes when he's playing with the other two boys, Cain joins in, and my son doesn't want to leave his friends just because Cain arrived (and nor do we want him to learn to deal with situations like this by constantly avoiding the situation).
All of this has built up to the situation we were told about late last week.
Apparently, the boys were playing outside, and Cain hit my son, and then reached down and grabbed my son's penis through his pants, and pinched it hard.
Teachers intervened quickly. Cain claimed that my son was chasing him, and that Cain had told my son to stop, but none of the teachers believe Cain's story (it seems like one or more of the teachers witnessed at least part of the situation).
The head teacher told us that Cain's parents were going to be notified, and asked to sit in class for a day to observe Cain's behavior. Furthermore, the school director was notified.
However, my son is very upset (rightfully so!). He's talked about Cain leaving school, but he's also talked about leaving school himself so that he doesn't have to see Cain.
Again, we don't want to teach my son that running away is a valid way to solve all difficulties (although running away is sometimes the correct response).
While we give the school a chance to resolve this problem, what should we do to help my son keep from being bullied by this child? I want him to feel comfortable defending himself in whatever fashion is most appropriate, but I also don't want to teach him that physical violence is a means of anything but defense.