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kazy
kazy asks:
Q:

Can I refuse to send my daughter to school because of consistent bullying?

my daughter is 14 and is bullied everyday for over the past year.she as now been bullied by lots of girls and boys from her school on facebook.she has gone through this for too long now and all the school will do is exclude these kids for a week then they come back and it will start again.can she not be given some kind of home tutoring ?
In Topics: School and Academics, Children and the internet, Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

TheMediatrician
Apr 20, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Kazy,

You can certainly keep your child home. It is the school’s job to educate and socialize your child in a safe, healthy, nurturing environment. It seems that you have made your concerns known to the school leadership and that they have responded as schools often do—by punishing the bullies, but not creating a long-term solution.  Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t change the culture of the school, which means that these situations will continue to develop. You can support your daughter and encourage such change within the school by taking the following steps:

1. Address the immediate problem by connecting with your daughter’s natural advocates. Her doctor, teacher, guidance counselor, school nurse, and coach are all mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect, which means that they must report even suspicion that she is in danger of abuse (by the kids) or neglect (by the school). Such reports are confidential, and they do not need to name possible perpetrators or locations—those are for the social services department to investigate.

2. Enlist even unlikely-seeming allies in creating a safer, happier, healthier school environment. A culture that allows bullying to occur is a problem for the whole community to address. Therefore, reach out to--and band together with--all kinds of parents, especially parents of one or more of the alleged bullies. They don’t want their children to be in trouble any more than you want your children to be victimized, and few parents want their kids to be subject in any way to a bullying culture. Think of how powerful it would be to have parents stand together to say, “We don’t want our children to be bullies, victims, or bystanders—we don’t want bullying in the lives of our children any more!”

3. Engage your local press. Bullying is international news right now, so your regional newspapers, radio, and TV outlets will be interested in a local connection to this epidemic.

4. Use electronic media to make your concerns known to the wider public. Although it might be helpful for your daughter to at least temporarily close her Facebook account and report the cyberbullying to Facebook (which does not want their service used for that purpose), there are ways of using media to improve her situation. For example, you could create, or join (http://bit.ly/cDmcbN), an anti-bullying parent group on Facebook. Or with the help of a trusted adult, your daughter could even create such a group for others her age. Taking leadership in this way can be wonderfully empowering, and that goes a long way toward reducing victimization.

Finally, you and your daughter could join with like-minded parents around the world who have become fans of the Center on Media and Child Health Facebook page (http://bit.ly/cTBMdp) where they get regular information and strategies for raising healthy, safe, and successful kids in the Media Age. There you can report how your efforts do, thus sharing what you’ve learned with other communities as well.

Enjoy your media and use them wisely,
Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®
 
This question was also answered on Ask the Mediatrician: http://cmch.typepad.com/mediatrician/2010/04/my-daughter-is-being-bullied-on-facebook.html

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Additional Answers (5)

eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
This is very sad. I feel for you and for your daughter...

No kid should go through such humiliation especially for a long period of time as your daughter does. There are certainly alternatives.

Find  some good practical ideas of how to deal with bullying
http://www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing/

I hope you'll be strong and assertive when comes to dealing with the system (Her school, the district and the bullies themselves)

I wish that things get resolved for your daughter as soon as possible.
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Hello,
Yes you can! This is America after all. We are not bound to one educational institution. However, to avoid getting into any legal problem. There are steps and measures to take before withdrawing her from the school she is at currently. Check out your state's homeschooling laws. Here is an excellent link and all kinds of information and good luck!
> 60 days ago

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education.com
education.com writes:
The Center on Media and Child Health posted Dr. Rich's answer to this question on its Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/centeronmediaandchildhealth

Here is some of the feedback that post generated...

Reporting Cyber Bullying to Facebook:
"To report a user for a message you have received, use the "report" link located next to the message in your Inbox. If you are noticing abusive behavior from a person who is currently on your Friend List, we recommend that you remove this user from your Friend List and report them using the "Report/Block this Person" link that appears at the bottom of their profile. If this doesn't resolve the issue, we further recommended that you block the abusive user by listing their name or email address in the "Block List" that appears at the bottom of the Privacy Settings page. You can read more about how to block someone here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=15644 Do all this from your child's account: all reports to FB remain anonymous; FB will notify offenders to cease and desist all harassment."

Parent Comments:

"I think at one time or another we all get bullied. I was and my daughters were also. It is how we react to the person bullying us. I let my daughters know after school they could talk to me. Than they have someone to talk to. If it is really bad I would go to the school counselor."

"It seems as though a child that IS a bully is taking out their problems on other kids. Usually the bully has someone that bullies them. I've explained this to my kids. My son deals with kids out at the playground every day that tell him he's fat, and even goes so far as to make fun of him because his mom, me, is overweight. It is horrible! Yesterday, he told me that he's put up with it for a long time, and he just can't do it anymore (10 year old). I emailed his teacher today, and they're going to talk to the principal as well. I also told my son yesterday that to fight back is exactly what they want, they want the reaction. BUT, how long do you let your kids just take it? I am not going to teach my child not to stand up for himself."
> 60 days ago

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New'New
New'New , Student writes:
You can try and Online School if you live in Ohio they have an Online school throughout Ohio no matter were you live it is called ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) The website is www.ecotohio.org it is FREE enrollment the number is #1-888-326-8395 everything is online classes, homework, school work, Elluminate Sessions are where is can speak to the teachers if she needs help with anything very nice and the curriculum is very nice as well check it out it might be just what she needs. And the best part is that IT IS IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME completely BULLY FREE!!!

Hope I helped!

New'New Turner
> 60 days ago

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BehaviorSpecialist
BehaviorSpe... writes:
Hi, Kazy I am a behavior specialists for a large school district. I deal with cases like this everyday. I am not sure if your school has a behavior specialist like myself, but I am sure they have a guidance counselor. If you feel this counselor will not listen or help correct the problem, I would suggest maybe enrolling your daughter in a online school, AKA "Virtual Learning", where she would still get an education that would meet the state standards and be able to achieve academic excellence, in a more safer and better environment for her needs. This reminds me of a particular time when a child at an old school I used to work at reported to me a major bullying incident. (I changed the names for safety reasons, of course)
       "Back in 1977 when I was a first year teacher at a rural elementary school there was a 2nd grade student who came up to me (I didn't have him) with a bloody nose everytime he came in from recess. As I was not on duty, I would ask Mr. Apple (who was on duty) if he knew anything about Johnny's nose bleeding, he told me "I asked him frequently and he told me that his nose bleeds often when he runs" But then one day Mr. Apple was absent and I did his duty. I paid much attention to Johnny in particular. I thought Bobby was playing with Johnny, but then I saw Bobby shoving Johnny very hard and then trying to beat him up for lunch money (good thing that has changed!) So, I asked Johnny about it as well as Bobby and 2 weeks later Bobby transfered to another local school." Luckily, your daughter must feel able to discuss to you what happens. This is difficult for some children, (especially teens) **I hope your daughter is having a much better year this time around, whether that is at her same school, home schooled, or at a different school.**
> 60 days ago

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