If you are a Twitter follower of ours, you would be aware that my son has been going through a bullying phase at school. Kids do not like to tell their parents they are being bullied. Fear of action by the school and more bullying is usually the underlying reason eg, bully says,” You dob on me/us and we’ll ( some threat) you”. I became aware of my son’s plight when his grades dropped drastically, a common symptom of bullying. The protocol to address bullying is to report it to the teacher and the school takes over, keeping parents up to date with developments. I was advised it was ‘agreed banter’ and had been sorted out internally. Three months later my son did not return from sport training until after 7pm and was not answering his phone. He told me that he had spend 2 hours sitting on the side of a busy intersection considering throwing himself in front of a car, can you imagine? Apparently the ‘agreed banter’ had excelled over the last few months to an unbearable level. I have lost all faith in our school and we are moving on, the financial crisis has compromised the schools zero tolerance policy.
If you think your child is being bullied the following may be of assistance.
Bullying may be defined as a student being exposed, repeatedly and over time, to intentional injury inflicted by one or more other students (Olweus, 1993).
Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours or in the workplace.
Bullying behaviour can be:
Ask the school to provide you with the school’s policy on bullying.
If your child becomes a victim of bullying you have a hard road ahead and much patience and restraint needs to be exercised in order to get the best result out of your school, document everything, all correspondence always send an email clarifying the points discussed at any meetings you may have with the school
Don’t talk about it with other parents, Chinese whispers can make life even harder for your child..
Don’t advise your child to fight back, no matter how furious you become.
Request for your child to meet with the school councillor.
Give it time, try all the suggestions the school makes and if at the end it becomes life and death,change schools.