What to do if your child is being
bullied at school.
by Melanie Vernon Sinclair
If your child is being bullied, the best place to begin addressing the problem is with your school principal. Before you go in to the meeting, write down what your child has been experiencing. If your child has talked to their teacher or any lunch monitors, put that in your document. Be clear and direct about the bullying behavior and ask what the school will do to stop that behavior.
While there are many anti-bullying policies in place which have been instituted by single schools or school districts, there is no California statewide anti-bully legislation. However, in the California State constitution it states that children are entitled to a calm and peaceful learning environment. This is binding, and bullying falls inside this description. So when you meet with the principal, please understand that your child has the legal right to be in a safe learning environment.
Ask what measures will be taken to address the bullying, and ask how long it will take to put those measures into practice. Document every part of the meeting, especially what the principal tells you will be done in support of your child. Documentation needs to include the date of the meeting and notes of what was said.
There is a chain of command to follow if you do not receive satisfaction from your meeting with the principal.
- The next place to contact is the District Office.
- After that you take your complaint to the School Board.
- Often your local State Assembly person will be willing to step in and help you in protecting your child.
- You can also go to your local media to put pressure on your School District if you do not see any change in the school
It can be intimidating to confront school officials over bullying issues. It certainly isn't something that we do on a daily basis. But it is very important to start this process. Part of teaching your child how to defend themselves is to let them see you taking the necessary steps with local officials to defend their safety. Beyond that, well documented bullying cases are often resolved on a State level. Protecting our children is the right thing to do, not just for the child being bullied, but also for the children who witness the bullying and for the bully his or herself. It is statistically more likely that unchecked bullies will continue their anti social behavior into adulthood.
If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact us at American Tiger Martial Arts & Fitness 714 899-2040