Parents & Teachers
What To Do if a Child is Being Bullied
The discovery that their child is being bullied opens a Pandora's box of emotions, ranging from protectiveness and outrage to feelings of helplessness in fighting for their child's safety and well-being. Under Federal law your child has the right to a safe educational environment. This page offers you support and suggestions in making that happen.
Important Steps For Parents
- When you first discover that your child is a victim of bullying-Don't intervene behind your child's back Broach the subject of bullying indirectly and give your child space to answer. Empathize with your child and reassure him or her of your love. Many children experience bullying. It is deeply humiliating and children are afraid to tell their parents for fear of embarrassment or being blamed by them. No victim is to ever be blamed for actions of a bully. Role play with your child on how to carry themselves with confidence and tell them to report the situation to a trusted adult. If your child is being cyber bullied, please refer to the information in #7 below.
- Don't confront the parents of the students targeting your child. More often than not, these confrontations are tainted with anger and can make your child's situation worse.
- Document all incidents with dates and approach your child's school as a potential ally, not your enemy. * Speak to your child's homeroom teacher, involve your child in the meeting; calmly lay out the facts, show documents, ask what they will do to resolve the problem and by what date. Follow up at that date. Ensure that your school has a written anti-bullying policy. Encourage the school to adopt an anti-bullying program that they maintain through the years. Refer them to a4kclub.org.
- *Additional STEPS TO TAKE IF NOT GETTING HELP/RESPONSE from the School:
After meeting with your child's homeroom teacher to discuss, document what transpires in the meeting, how the teacher will handle it and when, schedule a meeting for a follow up after that date. If the teacher does not take action, schedule a meeting with the school principle. Repeat the same steps above. If it is not resolved, schedule a meeting with the school Superintendent. If the situation does not get resolved at Superintendent level, contact the State Department of Education. Contact your local news media and ask for help.
- If You Feel Your Child's Life is in Danger:
Contact the local police and file a restraining order.
(Note: It is against the law to harass based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.)
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. And, these laws extend to state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, vocational schools, proprietary schools, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries, and museums that receive Department of Education funds.
- In addition, if you believe your child has been discriminated against because of any of the characteristics listed above; please contact the U.S. Department of Justice Educational Opportunities Section. justice.gov/crt/about/edu
- Help with Cyberbullying:
Request the bully to stop all online contact and postings going forward
Repeat the steps above with your school. Cyberbullying carries on the next day on school property; therefore you need to repeat steps 3, 4, and 5. Also document any further postings from the bully.
Report it to your service provider, Facebook,Twitter, etc.
All states have laws against electronic forms of stalking, harassment or cyberbullying.
Additional Ways to help your child outside of School:
Find activities for them outside their school peer group where they can be valued and succeed for who they are. Activities such as music, dance, art, athletics or other clubs which will help them to increase their self-confidence, build friendships outside of the school setting, and develop their talents.