My child is being bullied. What steps can I take with the school to put a stop to it?
As the parent, you are be your child's best advocate, and your strongest defense against bullying is a strong offense. Start by doing your homework:
Each state has specific rules, regulations and procedures about bullying that many parents are not aware of. Research the guidelines, expectations for your school district and responsibilities of the school administrators. To hold school personnel accountable, you will need to know their responsibilities. Don't be surprised if your district gives you the runaround. A good place to begin your search is your state's Department of Education Web site. Then try your local school district's Web site.
The school does have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe learning environment. Here is a step-by-step way to approach the school:
- Document each bullying incident.
- Contact your child's teacher and the school's administrative office in writing to request a meeting.
- In the meeting, discuss the incidents and give copies of your documentation to the administration.
- Ask about what action would be done according to the school's policy and get a time frame for taking action.
- Take notes and ask for a written copy of what was discussed.
- Follow up to make sure the actions are followed through with.
- If the issue still isn't resolved, be prepared to keep going up the ladder to the superintendent, the school board, the police or an attorney if the bullying continues.
Partnering with your child's school as early as possible can help resolve the issue quickly and effectively to ensure your child's safety.