When we find out our child is being bullied, it is really hard not to let the mama (or papa!) bear come out. You might want to approach the bully or the bully’s parents on your own, but this isn’t a good idea for several reasons. One of them being that the bully might come from an abusive background.
Here are ways you can better handle the situation:
Talk to Your Child
Find out more details about what has been going on. Find out where it happened, how it happened and who was involved. You should also find out if your child has been threatened in any way.
Get as many details as possible and document everything.
Make an Appointment
After you have gathered all needed information, contact your child’s school and make an appointment to speak with the Principal. If something happened outside the school, you will need to contact the police instead.
It is also a good idea to read and print out the school’s policy on bullying to see if the bully violated any school policies.
Come Up with a Plan
When you meet with the Principal, try to leave emotion out of it. Stick to the facts and be calm. Talk together and come up with a plan, and be sure to take notes and follow any steps addressed.
After you’ve spoken with the Principal, be sure to send a follow-up letter thanking him or her for their help. You can even enclose this Bullying Prevention Bill of Rights to show the Principal that you are dedicated to making sure that your child will no longer be bullied.
Make sure that you stay involved with your child, and find out if the bullying continues. You can also follow-up with the Principal to see what steps they may have taken, and if they’ve noticed any improvement.
If your child is continuing to be harassed, you can consider filing a Notice of Harassment. You can even escalate the situation to the superintendent of schools. The board of education or state and federal authorities can also be involved if need be.
The most important thing you can do is speak to your child about bullies and how to best handle them. You can also teach them how to walk away or de-escalate situations before they become worse.
Make sure your child knows that they can talk to you any time, and that they can also talk to their teacher or Principal to report any continuing problems.