My granddaughter has been bullied at her parochial school since the beginning of the semester. Where do we turn, who do we turn to for help?
My granddaughter is in the 3rd grade. An honor row student and nominated to take violin lessons. Her father is over 6 1/2' tall which her body frame takes after. She is highly sensitive and innocent, yet she is picked on and refuses to retaliate. She fears getting expelled with the zero tolerance rule at her school, yet she is the one they are making out to be the bully. The student who bullies my granddaughter is getting away with it and denies it. She threatens my granddaughter by telling her if she says anything her brother will beat her up or she will hit her harder. This is causing immense inner turmoil for both my granddaughter and her mother. I've called the school speaking to the Principle and requested her to file "a formal complaint" against that student to create a paper trail and really don't know the outcome. The Principle has not returned any of my calls nor my daughter and her husbands. Please advise me as to what recourse we have. This can not continue especially at a private school.
I'm sorry to hear that your granddaughter is being bullied. There are some steps you can take to get the attention of the school.
1. Put a timeline together of the bullying events. Include the exact dates and time if possible. Record the facts of what happened. Try to keep emotions out of it, which is hard.
2. Have your daughter make an appointment to meet with school administrators and staff. Ask that the principal or AP, guidance counselor, and resource officer (if the school has one) to be present.
3. During the meeting ask specific questions like:
What is the school's anti-bullying policy?
Where can I find a copy of the plan?
What happens when the school see or is presented with evidence of bullying?
How does the school keep students safe?
What has the school done since you filed the complaint about the girl who was doing the bullying?
Were the parents of the bully contacted? Why not?
What specific steps is the school taking to stop the bullying?
Have your questions prepared before going in the meeting.
Also during this meeting, present the timeline and any other evidence you might have such as threatening text messages, emails, or notes.
Try to stay calm and present the facts - once again this is hard. Tell the school you want to work with them to come up with a plan to make sure the bullying stops.
If the school says they will look into the matter again, ask them for a date of when they will be in touch with your daughter to give her an update on the situation. If your daughter leaves with a plan, make sure she call the school to follow up on what's happen and if adjustments need to be made.
3. If after all of this your family is not getting any cooperation, they can always file a police report especially if there any physical damage.
4. Talk with the other parents see if any of them have trouble with bullying. I won't mention any names just investigate to see if they see a bullying problem. If there is a problem 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.
4. As a last resort, you can always contact a lawyer and press charges. However, I'm hoping it won't have to get that far.