Free to Report Bullying

In the handbook of the school system attended by my children and funded by my household, under the section about bullying (defined as overt, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal … communication … by a student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate or harm the other student) there is a point that states: Parents should feel free to report suspected acts of bullying to an appropriate school official.

We should feel free, shouldn’t we, to stand up for our children in any way we can, no matter how ineffectual in its discipline is a school system that retains coaches after they allowed sexual assault to occur on a team bus with no immediate consequence to their inaction?

We should feel free to advocate for our son who has endured ridicule for three years to the point where he, stretched beyond his attempts to remain tough and tolerant, finally breaks down in the kitchen after school and confides in his mother how a boy in gym class yelled at him, this smart, tender, artistic guy with a medical diagnosis that makes his long, spidery legs, clumsy and akimbo, run in an awkward, uneven stride, “Hey, Jack. RUN! Don’t SKIP!”

The mom should feel free to report how the boy, an athlete who is inexplicably “popular” (in spite of obnoxious interpersonal habits) punctuated this ridicule with, “FAGGOT!”

Why don’t I feel free?

Caveat: 25% of the school officials contacted in this matter have been compassionate and responsive. This school system has offered mostly premium educational opportunities and exceptional creative outlets for our children’s edification and enrichment.

Published by Beth Bates

Writer, writing coach, book editor, CNF instructor, connector, mom, wife, and lover of fresh air, grass, trees, birds, waves, sand, mountains, stories, and travel Let's be friends on Twitter @bethbates

3 thoughts on “Free to Report Bullying

  1. Believe it or not, my son was bullied and abused by a little boy in his daycare…they were both 2.5! We had a meeting with the school director, president and his teacher, but were not allowed to meet with the other parents. It turned out that the parents of this boy were never told about this when my husband, frustrated, questioned the boy’s mother! We couldn’t get him out of this school soon enough.

    It’s pretty scary when a school cannot resolve an issue like this with kids who are under three. We believe our son who used words that he hadn’t heard anywhere else, but I guess the school didn’t.

    I am sorry your child is going through this. My advice would be to try to build up his self esteem so these attacks don’t hurt as much. I was teased as a kid but I always knew that I was better than them!

    1. Thanks, Emily. That is awful about your son being abused at such a young age.

      As for my boy, I know it could be worse, and it’s not the individual cases that bother me as much as the accumulation of these incidents and the long-term affect those can have on a young person’s psyche. But he does have areas of victory in his life, and his self esteem is fairly intact even with the bullying that’s been going on since the fifth grade (he’s in eighth). My constant hope and prayer is that nothing snuffs out his light.

      Anyway, we do the best we can, don’t we?

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