My 6th grader is being bullied, and the school district is doing nothing to help. Who should I turn to for help?

Asked by Cassandra via Contact Us:

My 6th grader is being bullied at school and on the bus and the school district is doing nothing to help. Even the district police officer said its common. I am not able to afford an attorney to help so what do I do? My daughter has severe anxiety, is about 50" tall and 60lbs and one of the smallest kids in school making her an easy target since she is afraid of retaliation by talking. So Who do I get to help me? Where do I turn? Please help us before my daughter becomes another statistic.
In Topics: Working with school administrators, Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago



Oct 21, 2010
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

I am so sorry your daughter is being bullied.  First thing you need to do is hug her.  Tell her you are trying hard to get help and she needs to keep the lines of communication up.  Remind her that you are going to be there for her.  (Tell her often.)

Here are a few suggestions I have given other parents that seem to be helpful.

Set up a meeting with the administration - again. Find out what the anti-bullying plan for the school.   Ask lots of questions like:
What steps will you take to make sure my daughter is safe?
When my daughter reports a bullying incident, what happens?
What happens to the bully?
Are parents of the bully contacted?
When my daughter is bullied, do I need to fill out any forms reporting this situation?
Can I get a copy of the plan?
Where can I find a copy of the school's bullying policy?

Go to the PTA.  Get them involved.  Ask them how they can help keep all of the students safe.  Sometimes PTAs have money to spend on assembles, and there are plenty out there that deal with bullying.

If your daughter is attacked be sure the authorities are contacted and changes are filed.  Whether you go through with any legal action is up to you, but make sure you have a paper trail.  (This goes for the school decisions, too.)  You don't want it to come down to a he said, she said situation with nothing to back up your story.  You can also check with legal aide in your town.  If they feel the case is strong enough, they might take on the case for free.

Go to the newspaper.  Unfortunately this is a hot topic.  Suggest they write an article about what the schools in your town are doing to protect students from bullying.  

Start a journal.  Keeping track of these types of incidents. Record when, where and what happened. Jot down names of those involved.  Try to keep emotions out of it and just stick to the facts.

Talk with the other parents see if any of them will join you in protecting the students.  Get their stories - first hand accounts.  Then as a group go to the administration.  It will help if you go in their with proof and in numbers.  

I'm sorry this has happened to your daughter.  Keep after the school and make sure they follow through with their plan. has fantastic resources for you to access.

Hope this helps.  Now go hug your daughter!

Barb Kruger

Did you find this answer useful?
Oct 22, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Sorry to hear of your problems.  I think the advice already give to address the problem is good advice.  However, during your efforts to address the problem you may consider addressing your daughter's emotional state as a separate item.  I would first have your daughter talk to a someone such as a school counselor to help her deal with these situations.  Family or friends who have experience with your situation may be able to help.  There's a saying I believe "10% of life is what happens to you and 90% is how you react to it"  I've proven this to myself many times.  I have learned to take pity on people who try to hurt me.  I've seen many children and adults who feel that they need to tear others down to make themselves look good.

Sometimes ignoring the bully will work to resolve the situation, other times it may cause the situation to continue or worsen.  Responding incorrectly can also cause the situation to get worse.  I recommend parents to begin teaching their children how to respond to these situation.  

Most of the advice I have is good for diffusing a situation before it gets out of control, so it may or may not help with the current situation.  First, firing back with the same type of comments rarely helps, the bully is usually better at this game.  Also, making them look bad can often inflame the situation to another level as they try to retaliate against her.  If someone says something about her in a derogatory way, she can respond by saying "so", or "thanks", or "I appreciate your advice".  The idea with this response is to throw the other person off their game.  Often they will not know how to respond to her.  Look the person in the eye when they are speaking, often they just want attention and may stop or at least slow down if confronted.  Some will feel uncomfortable with this.  After they finish talking, she might say "Do you feel better now?"  Agree with the bully when you have a chance?  I remember staring at someone on day who said "You can stare at me as long as you want"  I responded "Yes I can".  They walked away.  If approriate, the repsonse "OK" might work well.  The response doesn't have to be clever, just effective.  She can try laughing to herself as she walks away.  The bully may just stand there, self-concious, trying to figure out what she is laughing at.  I was told by my father when I was very young, if you can laugh at yourself, then the other person cannot laugh at you, only with you.  She can also try becoming friends with the bully's friends.  They may lose support while she gains it.

More important than learning how to respond is learning what it actually happening.  Often a bully is attacking someone because they feel inferior themselves.  They are just a person with feelings.  They probably learned this because they were bullied themselves.  Often they look for someone easy to prey on.  Sometimes they are afraid of being bullied themselves and are trying to keep the attention away from themselves.  I have actually learned to enjoy messing with people who try to bully others even if they don't realize I'm doing it.  She can too.  Good luck.

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (11)

Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely