Taking Action Against Bullying and Other Harm
- If you are concerned that a school staff person’s behavior or the negligence of the staff is endangering a child, call the Student Maltreatment Program, Division of Compliance & Assistance at 651-582-8200.
- To help your child you can:
- Contact the teacher, then principal or counselor, finally district administrators with your concerns, going up the line of supervisors, which may take you to the school board.
- Take your child to a pediatrician or family doctor, if the child reports injury or is exhibiting signs of school aversion: hates going to school, scared to go to school, crying excessively about school or events at schools, extreme drop in grades or has decided to not go to the bathroom during the school day. A doctor may in some cases recommend mental health services, or may be able to recommend how to broach the problem with the school.
- Support the child academically, ensuring that the child takes time to do his/her work, giving help if you can and checking to see that the homework is complete.
- Support the child in non-violent problem solving.
- Repeat family expectations for honesty, responsibility and kindness.
- When a child has harmed another person, work with the school to help the child change his /her behavior and make amends.
- Outside resources: a family member can also contact other resources for help:
- Local law enforcement
- Legal Resources for Attorneys
- The Minnesota School Boards Association
1900 West Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082 507-931-2450
- The Minnesota Board of School Administrators. (The MN Legislature has established a code of ethics for school administrators to follow.) Marc Boehlke – Executive Director Minnesota School Boards’ Association,
Suite B100, Ties Building,
1667 Snelling Avenue North ,
Falcon Heights, MN 55108 651-999-7387
- The Minnesota Board of Teaching, for concerns about the ethical behavior of an individual teacher.
Executive Director, Dr. George Maurer
Teacher Ethics Specialist, Nancy Triplett
Program Administrator, Sandra Needham,
1500 Highway 36 West,
Roseville, MN 55113-4266;
Phone number: 651/582-8833,
Fax number: 651/582-8872
- fMDE’s Choice and Innovation Unit, for information on school choice.
- For discrimination issues, parents can file a complaint with the Minnesota Office of Human Rights (651-296-5663) or with the Office of Civil Rights. The OCR regional office is in Chicago. (US. Department of Education 111 No. Canal Street, Suite 1053 Chicago, Illinois, 60606-7204; 312-886-8434.
- In bullying cases or cases of suspensions for rule violations: consider a restorative process to address the harm, and to work with all parties affected by the harm to determine a plan for behavior change, making amends and getting help if needed. For recommendations for restorative process facilitators, contact the Minnesota Restorative Services Coalition, at www.mnmrsc.org. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page for a link to the MRSC Regional Contacts.
Next Article: School Safety: Three Steps To Keep The Peace
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