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princessbrandy
princessbra... asks:
Q:

Assault at school

My 13 year old daughter was assaulted at school and injured. she did not fight back at all and now has scratches bumps and bruises on her face and head. The 13 year old girl who assaulted her was arrested and I'm pressing charges. but she is only kicked out for 10 days and then gets to return to school. i am extremely concerned for my daughters safety and think the girl should be removed permanently. it was a violent attack and now i believe the girl will retaliate because she was arrested. Is there anything i can do?
In Topics: School safety (not bullying), Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
Dec 7, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I am sorry to hear that your daughter was a victim of bullying and was injured.  I am glad to hear that you pressed charges against the bully.  Everyone, including those not involved need to understand that their actions have consequences and you have helped to bring that to the everyone's attention.  

Chance are the school can only suspend a student for up to 10 days (in a school year).  If that is the case, then the school is taking the situation seriously.  However, you may want to find out what will happen if this same girl is implicated in another incident against your daughter or someone else.  While talking to the school I would also ask some additional questions like:
How is the school going to make sure my daughter is safe?
Who should my daughter go to immediately if there is a problem?
What else is the school doing to help prevent bullying in the first place?
Are teachers and staff being trained in how to handle a bullying situation?

If there is a resource officer at the school, you may want to get him/her involved.  Checking in with both girls (separately of course) as well as other students to see what they know is going on.  This is probably more important in the first few days, but should continue throughout the year.

I don't know how much control you have over getting a court date before the girl is suppose to return, but...  Standing in front of the judge might be all this girl needs to realize what she has done and to straighten out.

I would have some discussions with your daughter as to what she should do when she see the girl again.  What to do and not to do.  Keeping the lines of communication is so important.  Give her lots of hugs to reassure her that you are watching out for her.  It is also a good time to explain to her what she can do when she sees someone else being bullied.  The bystanders can be a lot more influential than they think.  They can often stop the bully in his/her tracks.

Let's hope that the other girl has learned her lesson and will be able to move on in a positive way.

If you have another question, please don't hesitate to pose another question.

Barb K
www.LessonPop.com

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