Preventing Schoolyard Bullying
How to Stop a Bully: Tips on Reporting a School Bully
Preventing Schoolyard Bullying – Being bullied in school is one of the most demoralizing experiences your child can face. Bullying can include any number of behaviors but is most commonly exhibited through teasing or excluding, name-calling, threatening or hazing, stealing or demanding money, or sexually harassing another student.
As a parent, we want to protect our children from all harms, especially from ones as severe as bullying. School bullying can lead to injuries, including low-self esteem. The two main reasons children are bullied is for their appearance or social status. Bullies pick on people who do not conform to “the norm,” maybe because of how they act, look, or their sexual orientation. This causes the victimized child to feel bad about him or herself. Sadly, many children believe that the reason they are bullied means that something’s wrong with them. Some children become increasingly withdrawn and some even attempt suicide.
So, what can you do when your child is being bullied?
Ignoring the bully is bad advice. A bully feeds off of reactions. If the victimized child reacts adversely to the bullying, the bully will see this as a “victory” and continue the behavior. If the victimized child doesn’t react at all, the bully will treat this as an invitation to continue the aggressive behavior.
Here is better advice. First, report the behavior to teachers and the school principal immediately. Make sure to document times, witnesses, and places where your child was bullied. You will want to report the instance(s) both verbally as well as send a written report (for your personal records) to the teacher and the principal. If your child has suffered any physical injuries from the bullying, take pictures as evidence and shortly after you notice the injury, have your child write a detailed description of how he or she got it to insure accuracy.
School bullying is against the law in California. After the notorious shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, which was believed to have been the result of schoolyard bullying, forty-four states expressly banned it. So, if your child’s teacher and principal do not take action against the bully within a reasonable time, report the bullying to the school district superintendent in writing. In your letter, outline all instances of bullying and include any other documentation (such as photos) to help prove the bullying exists. If the school district fails to act, they can be liable for your child’s injury as a result of the school bullying.
Of course, if your child has been physically assaulted, call the police right away. Depending on the severity of the physical assault, the bully may end up in juvenile detention for inflicting harm on your child. The police also have the power to mitigate the chances that this will happen again by administering a restraining order against the bully so he or she must keep a safe distance away from your child.
If your child has been physically or sexually assaulted by a bully, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at York Law Firm. We will help you obtain justice and protect your child against future instances of bullying.