Re: child being harassed at school
I applaud you for being such a strong advocate for your son.
You need to insist that the principal take what is happening to your son more seriously. Have you had a meeting with the principal yet? If he/she won't see you, bang down the door. Have your son tell the principal in his own words what is happening to him. You should also try talking to the individual teachers and ask if they can look out for him. NO, he should not have adults fight his battles for him but in cases where he is being beaten up, the teachers need to be aware and step in.
Moving should be a last resort. Your son has the right to an education and he has the right not to be abused when he goes to school. You should not have to move around just to find a school where he will be treated with respect.
I am not a parent but I am an elementary school teacher. I can tell you from experience that this principal does not seem to be taking the appropriate actions. This kind of behaviour should not be tolerated. It's just disgusting. If adults beat someone up, they get arrested. But because they are children some people tend to look the other way. Just showing a video about bullying is not going to help. There needs to be a schoolwide effort to stop bullying, starting with the principal and the teachers regularly speaking to the entire student body about this and showing zero tolerance for students who bully others. It should not be tolerated. Your son is being bullied, plain and simple.
The students who beat up your son should have been immediately suspended. In my school, not only would they have been suspended, but the police would have been called as soon as the incident occurred, if the child was injured in any way. It is very possible that the parents of the other kids have absolutely no clue what their children are doing when they are not with them. They need to get a wake-up call. Maybe if they were to be told, they would want to put a stop to it. This principal has got to get off of his/her butt and do something about it! Not only is it harmful to your son, but the lack of action by school authorities is only teaching the other children that it is OK to harrass and injure other students. Nobody can tell the other kids that they have to *like* or be friends with your son, but it is inexcusable for them to beat him up or pick on him.
He also needs to make sure that *every* time another student puts their hands on him in any way, he reports it immediately to the teacher. Reporting every time someone calls him a name or is nasty to him will make him be looked at as a tattletale and the other kids will only harrass him even more. So tell him that as painful and hard as it is, if someone calls him fat, or stupid he's got to try and brush it off. If he tells the teacher every time someone calls him a name like stupid or fat, they aren't going to take him seriously. But if they are making extremely hurtful or particularly terrible, that should be reported as well. And any sort of comment of a sexual nature needs to be reported as soon as it happens because this can be considered sexual harrassment. That way if he reports this to his teacher(s), nobody can say that they don't know it's happening to him. You should also make sure that you keep your own records of what happens to him that way you can show it to the principal. If you don't get anywhere with the principal, go to the school board/district. But you want to have anecdotal records (basically an explicit list of what happened to him, who did it, when it happened, and who he told about it) to prove to them that this all really happened and as evidence that you are serious.
I also think that if the teachers don't see this happening, they are blind and deaf.
There are also things you can do to empower your son and make him feel better about himself. Encourage him to find a friend, maybe somebody who is not harrassing him. Or you can help him find friends outside of school. A self defense class for children might be a good place to start.
Last edited by purple2067; 02-23-2006 at 03:20 PM.