Never approach the bully’s parents, as this is a job for either the school, or the police (if outside of school).
Parents often can get offended when they hear bad things about their child, and it needs to take place in a neutral environment. And going to their home could be considered trespassing and you could be arrested. And if the offending children come from backgrounds of abuse, a physical altercation could take place.
If you find that your child has been bullied:
- Find out pertinent and detailed information about what the bullies are doing, dates, times, places, actions, etc. Document everything.
- Find out any threats that have been made toward your child, and if it pertains to outside of school; contact the police.
- Contact the school during hours of operation and make an appointment with the principal for a face to face meeting.
- Outline the details, not in an angry rant, but as if you were telling a friend what occurred.
- Obtain a copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy to determine if the bully violated a school policy.
- When you meet with the school principal, tell your child’s story and ask for help.
- Relate the facts and leave your emotions out of it. If you feel the bully has violated the school’s anti-bullying policy, bring this up calmly into the conversation.
- Ask what you can do together to stop the bullying. Write down everything he said and agreed to do, because you are going to hold him accountable for it.
- Send a thank-you letter to the principal, recapping what he or she said and agreed to do along with our Bullying Prevention Bill Of Rights For Parents and Students which you can copy and paste onto your own letterhead. This will put the principal on notice and on the alert that you are watching for a resolution to the problem.
- Follow up with your child to see if the bullying stops, and follow up with the principal.
- If the harassment continues, document it and file a Notice of Harassment. You may need to move up the chain of command, contacting the superintendent of schools, board of education, or possibly even state and federal authorities.
- If your child has been threatened contact law enforcement immediately.
- If your child has been cyberbullied, check the school’s anti-bullying policy as well as your state anti-bullying legislation to see if cyberbulling is covered under the aegis of the school. If it is, report that to the school as well. Absolutely report it to the police, as well as the ISP provider, the social media web site, wherever it is taking place.
- If the bullying does not stop you should file charges with the school board and law enforcement if appropriate.
Please note that most schools only file one simple charge on the student(s) so, your best bet is to file the charges yourself, and let the school know what charges you have filed to keep track of.
Why is it good to file charges?
This is a track record for the child that follows them into more serious offenses later on. Children often don't think about how this will affect them, or how judges or the legal system review these records.
As a parent, it is important to know that you have to:
- Become the expert on bullying.
- Document everything!!
- Use a recorder at meetings in the schools, and school board meetings.
- Contact a mental health counselor and get your child help.
- Obtain copies of any and all documents from the school on incidents, as the principal is required to make reports.
- File a complaint with the school.
- If you have taken these steps and cannot come to any resolution, contact the US Department of Education who will investigate the matter.
- Be persistent
- You may also wish to contact an educational consultant and an attorney.
Private Phone Consultations with Teen Expert Dr. Michael Bradley
School Psychology Resources for Psychologists, Parents and Educators
Complaints Against Schools
Please contact the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights only if your complaint is serious and/or life threatening and you have exhausted all possibilities with your school and school district.
While name calling is wrong and upsetting to students this is not an issue that would fall under investigation.
When making a complaint against any school, be sure you understand the true meaning of bullying, as the word "bully" and "bullying" is very overused.