Young One is in a class in her little school that benefits from the reputation of being a "good group." As a teacher, I'm not a big fan of labels for kids, especially the label "good," but they do seem impossible to escape, across cultures even.
Even in the "good group" of 4B children are naughty from time-to-time. Just last month there was a bit of thievery. Mamma Mia. It created great drama and worry for our kiddo. It was one of those things that upset the teacher so much that recess was taken from everyone until it was resolved. The principal was called in. The stress. The drama. (So much for treating them as individuals!)
We support this, even though Young One was outraged that she had to be accountable for the actions of the culprit. Luckily, he confessed the following day, order was restored, and recess remained free. Young One was sworn to secrecy and I never learned the identity of the kiddo, though I am CERTAIN that most of the other mamma's know. This group of parents is involved.
Luckily, group consequences don't happen regularly.
In the same week, there was a regular brawl among the girls during PE, with reports of punching, kicking, name calling, and scratching. Luckily, Young One was in the restroom the entire time. Whew. She still has that nemesis who was a key player in the brawl. It could have been ugly.
I am here to tell you that these exact same things happened in my little elementary school in Louisiana all those years ago. Yes they did. I might have been in a brawl.
Lots of people like to make comparisons between these two cultures, and I've heard hundreds of statements like "American kids are...but Italian kids are..."
In the end, kids are kids.
I don't buy into any of the stereotypes that float around me. They are born of misinformation and misunderstandings, and, generally, ignorance and fear.
People are people.
We are more alike than we are different.
Disclaimer: I hate generalizations as much as you do, probably more. This is my limited experience at my fourth grader's tiny primary school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!