Gage was pushed to the ground by a 5th grade bully who has been in trouble this year for bullying someone else already. I am curious what steps other parents think should be taken? Do you think a referral and a phone call home with the loss of a weeks worth of recess is enough? Or, do you think he should have been suspended? Let me know.

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Melinda - posted on 01/12/2009

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I understand that policys and procedures are in place in the schools. This is their way of checks and balances. However that being said, as a Mom, I was upset when my then 8 year old daughter was physically pushed and verbally teased by some 6th grade boys. The principal gave me a pathetic run around. Needless to say, she no longer attends that school. There are lots of options for schooling. I think sometimes public school officials don't realize that. Oh, and by the way my daughter is thriving now that she no longer has to worry about being bullied. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 01/12/2009

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My son is gifted, intelligent, and very small for his age.  At 12, he only weighs 70 lbs and stands at 4'8''.  His classmates in the 7th grade all tower above him and outweigh him considerably.  He has been bullied since the first grade.  I have had to change his schools three times (in first, second and this year) due to the lack of support from the administrations and these schools as well as no support from the School Board or the Superintendent's Office.  I finally had to threaten pressing assault and battery charges, which is well within your rights, to get the school to do anything about it.  The first month of 6th grade my son was beaten bu three boys and thrown like a potato sack ON SCHOOL GROUNDS and until I hollered "Lawsuit" nothing happened.  It is the job of the school (and it is law, by the way) to keep your children safe from ANY harm while they go from door to door daily.  If no one is helping you, then you need to help your child.  My child begged to be home-schooled, but that is not an option for us.  He finally got suspended for fighting back, and I was okay with that because he was defending himself after the teachers did nothing to help him.  Children can be charged with assault and battery, and should be held accountable for those kinds of behavior.  Check into the laws of your city and state regarding assault and battery.  Ride the administration of your child's school until they implement a "No Bullies" policy school-wide.  No child should have to attend an environment that is not only hostile but completely non-conducive to learning.

Jami - posted on 01/09/2009

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Hello, I am a mother of five. I have a fith grade daughter who has been bullied this year because she is at a new school. I feel that vebal abuse is often more hurtful then physical. The way a school deals with it is up to the Pricipal. At our school the pricipal has a no tolerance policy for ANY kind of bulling. When a boy was calling her stupid and ugly and all kinds of other stuff, the pricipal had the boy in his office within 3 minutes and told him if he did it again he would be suspended. He did it again and he suspended him for 2 days. He has not been mean to my daughter for a month. Children need to learn that they have no right to violate another child in any way. It is so important that every child feel safe at school and comfortable to learn. When it got stressful in a social way for my daughter her grades went down and she stopped wanting to go to school. Your child has rights!

Jacqueline - posted on 01/07/2009

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Quoting Christi:

Gage was pushed to the ground by a 5th grade bully who has been in trouble this year for bullying someone else already. I am curious what steps other parents think should be taken? Do you think a referral and a phone call home with the loss of a weeks worth of recess is enough? Or, do you think he should have been suspended? Let me know.




FIRST OF ALL, BULLING IS AGAINST THE LAW. TALK TO THE SCHOOL AND SET UP A MEETING WITH THE PARENTS. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, MAKE A REPORT TO THE POLICE.



                               JACQUE

Kristie - posted on 01/07/2009

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I happen to be a 5th grade teacher and unfortunately, the school administration has strict guidelines they have to follow regarding behavior issues. As long as Gage was not physically hurt, he got a lot of punishments. Maybe if it continues to happen suspension may be their next step.

Christi - posted on 01/06/2009

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I would like to thank all of you who have given words of encouragement as well as ideas on how to put a stop to this. I was contacted by the Scool Resource Officer and she will review the tape and see if anything can be done on her end. I am sick and tired of people making excuses for those who do wrong. I believe everyone who is not mentally handicaped knows right from wrong and we all need to start holding these children accountable. If an authority figure is scared to discipline a child for fear of what might happen at home then they need to contact proper authorities. I feel confident that our issues with Gage will subside. We are transferring our children to another school but, this will not be the end of my pursuit to do the right thing by my son. I can not express to all of you how heartbroken I was when I saw my son sitting there eating his snack and watched him be pushed to the ground by this sad child.



Thanks again to all of you



Christi

Jennie - posted on 01/06/2009

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there is a no tolerance policy at our school.. which means no self defense.. it's tough when your kids are being bullied and there's really nothing you can do about it.. cameras on a playground i think is a great idea.. i wish our school had them.. my son is in 1st grade and he comes home at times and tells me how he and his friend get bullied by the bigger kids.. i hate it.. i tell him that he needs to try to stay away from them and not talk to them.. it might go good for a couple of days but after a few, it will happen again.. my son shoved this boy and i got the phone call that caleb is not keeping his hands to himself and that it's not "tolerated" for one child to touch another.. what in the world do you do? you try to defend them and i end up feeling like the bad mother cause my child "touched" another child (even though the boy who's causing the trouble is in either second or third grade).. i understand that kids have bad home lives, i work at a pediatric doctors office, i see a lot of it but how much does one have to put up with and who draws the line as to how much is tolerated? there should not be any exceptions regardless of who it is.. just causes more problems in the long run.. these kids have to go to school together for many more years, how is it going to be when they are in jr/sr high school?? for both parties... hopefully they will "outgrow" it but bullies are usually just that and it lasts a lot longer than elementary school.. unfortuantely..

Jennifer - posted on 01/06/2009

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As a teacher I know there are such things as "no tolerance" policy for bullying, but I also know those are hard to really enforce. 



My daughter was bullied back in 3rd grade (now in 7th).  She finally had enough one day and threw a rock at the boy and hit him in the head.  Not the way I would have wanted her to handle it but it worked.  I had just gotten home from a major surgery and get a call that she is in the office.  According to policy she was to have had a week of in school suspension but the only area they had for that was at the high school.  I REFUSED to send my 8yr old daughter to ISS with 15-18yr olds.  The teacher who caught her is a friend and she said she hated to even turn her in because she had seen that she was not the "bullying" type, but policy said she had to.  Luckily the kid didn't bleed or anything from the rock.  BUt after the whole ordeal she was never bullied again.  The principal and I agreed she would have one week of recess in the office and she had to write a sorry note to the boy. A few weeks later she came to my husband (her step-dad) and asked what she could do to "make him hurt and not get in trouble".  I had to laugh even though it wasn't funny.  He told her to walk away and if that doesn't work then a nice handshake and an kick in the groin should do the trick.  Ah men ...what would we do without them.

Adrienne - posted on 01/06/2009

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I know this is gonna sound like going backwards in time but here's my thoughts on it.  I do believe in fairness for kids, I do believe in anti bullying however, I agree with Melissa that sometimes (most times it seems) the bully gets the basic "slap on the wrist"  We have told our kids that yes, you try to walk away and tell a teacher.  Yes starting it is wrong...but if one of them or a friend of theirs is getting picked on...it's not wrong to stand up for themselves or for others being bullied.  I believe a few years ago it was put that everyone walks away from the bully and it makes a big "protective" circle. If that were to happen now I wonder would the bully get suspended??   Our nephew got suspended for sticking up for someone weaker than the bully that was bullying him...that's fair...NOT I think in a lot of respects the schools have unwittingly given the power back to the bullies by not allowing those who are picked on to stick up for them selves...Yet they turn 18 and they should be standing up for what is right and standing up for their country?????hmmmmm



So we tell our kids:  We will back you up.  Don't start it, try to walk away, say no once and if they keep on give it back.

Valarie - posted on 01/06/2009

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WELL WELL A TOUCHY SUBJECT FOR SOME I  HAVE THREE GIRLS AND MY MIDDLE CHILD WAS  BULLIED BY THREE GIRLS SAME AGE ONE GRABBED HER COAT AND RIPPED IT WHILE THE OTHER HELD HER HAIR AND THE OTHER HAD HER HAND ON HER MOUTH BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO A BOY AND WAS GOING TO TELL THE TEACHER .... THE GILRS HAD NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE BEFORE AND THEY HAD APHONE CALL HOME AS WELL AS I WEEK DET FROM RECESS AND HAD TO WRITE A PERSONAL APOLOGY LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER THEY ALSO HAD TO SIT IN THE OFFICE WITH MY DAUGHTER SO SHE HAD A CHANCE TO LET THEM KNOW HOW IT MADE HER FEEL!! LOOKING BACK I THINK IT WAS HANDLED WELL BUT UNFORTUNATLY IT DOESN'T ALWAYS HAPPEN THAT WAY.. IF YOU FEEL LIKE SOMETHING ELSE NEEDS TO BE DONE HOPEFULLY THE PRICIPAL IS UNDERSTANDING AND THEY SHOULD HAVE "0" TOLERANCE AND HELP YOU IN THIS ISSUE IF THIS BOY IS A "BULLY" THEN I BELIEVE SOMETHING ELSE SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEBER NOT EVER CHILD IS RAISED IN THE SAME HOME AND ALOT OF THE ONIS IS ON THE PARENTING OF THESE CHILDREN!!! NEVER SETTLE FOR SOMETHING WHEN YOU THINK ITS NOT ENOUGH EVERYONE HAS AVOICE AND IF YOU DON'T SPEAK UP AND OTHER SON'T ASWELL  ARE WE REALLY PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN???  GOOD LUCK !!!!!

Laura - posted on 01/06/2009

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Unfortunately it is also a problem with parents of children who bully others. I have a son that is constantly on the receiving end of bullies and the principal knows that I will discipline my son but he also knows that the parents of the bully will not do anything to prevent future incidents so I am in a win lose situation which doesn't help my son become anymore sociable. About the only time that he doesn't get bullied is when his older brother is around, some the the neighborhood kids that are around will also keep watch over my son so there are some protections for him but it is still not right when a parent will not stop something even when they are aware of it.

Pamela - posted on 01/06/2009

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I went through this last year with my son.  He and two other kids were being bullied by a kid who was three years older than them on the school bus.  I called the school and spoke with the bus driver and all they did was say that they would "monitor the situation".  Things didn't improve.  I ended up going to the kid's mother and telling her what happened.  She disciplined her son but it happened again.  I tell my son that fighting isn't ok. I tell him to talk to an adult and they will take care of the situation.  He didn't listen though after nothing been done about the situation and ended up hitting the kid back knocking out his front teeth. The kid stopped bullying him after that.  This was not how I wanted the situation resolved! He came home that day and told me what happened and that whatever discipline he had to have he would accept because he was tired of the bullying.  I think schools should suspend children for bullying.  If that doesn't work they should require psychological counseling.  If not, unfortunately, kids are going to think the only way to stop bullying is to fight back.

Paulette - posted on 01/06/2009

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Hi Christi,



I agree with Delorese. You need to focus on your son. Because the bully will only find a new way to take revenge if he is made the focus. It is hard not to react. As a mom we are like mother bears...wanting to protect our cubs. Your son does need to know how to protect himself but I believe one should only fight as a last resort.  If the bullying continues maybe you need to report it but consider changing where he is educated. Like the other mother did and then when he is older return him to the school. By that time circustances may have changed. Just a thought.

Linda - posted on 01/06/2009

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unfortunately, those ar the things principals do now a days...if the child gets suspended, they will send him to another school...discipline is not what it used to be...my daughter was forever getting picked on until she started picking on the other girl.. then the girl stopped...

Lynda - posted on 01/06/2009

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I agree with what Dolorese did to help her son. I went through that type of abuse and even though my mother would tell me to fight back and defend myself, I was too scared to do so. It ruined my middle school and high school years, even though the bullying lasted one year. My parents went to the school to put an end to it and they were told they couldn't do anything to help. As a result, I went from being an extroverted child to being very shy and insecure. It took many years to build up the self-esteem on my own and to learn to stand up for myself. I now have a 5 year old boy who has a bit of a problem defending himself when another child takes a toy away from him. I tell him it's not right to pick a fight but that if someone is bothering him, that he has the right to stand up for himself and that he will not be punished for doing so. I am also looking into placing him in some type of martial arts course (he is now interested in doing so). These courses, if taught right, teach kids to respect others and themselves, they teach concentration, discipline, boosts their self-esteem. It teaches them not only to step away from fights but also how to defend themselves if need be. And ultimately, I would never let my kid go through years of harassment just because the bully has no one to take care of him. It is not a risk I am willing to take especially nowadays when even elementary kids have at times become dangerously violent. It is our responsibility as parents to protect, guide and discipline our children until they are capable of doing so themselves.

Christi - posted on 01/06/2009

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Thanks ladies for you suggestions, I have taken in what you all have said and all of you have made great suggestions and opened my eyes a little bit more. I think the problem I am having is that I want revenge for my son. I know this is not the "right" thing to do but, someone messed with my kid and lied about it. He only told the truth after the principal tol him it was tape. They actually have cameras on the playground. And I don't think I would be so mad if I hadn't seen the tape. Gage didn't give this kid the snack I sent t school for him....therefore he thought it was ok to take my son who is much smaller than he is and push him to the ground. I also found out it wasn't the kids 1st experiance bulling someone this year. I also understand that the schools look at the home life, but, the incident didn't take place at home, I just think it's time for some tough love and to hold children responsible for their actions. They do know the differance between right and wrong. I asked the principal if I were to shove someone to the ground am I going to get a citation and go home or am I going to land my behind in jail?

Dolorese - posted on 01/06/2009

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Christi,



It's sad to say that any punishment will only anger the bully to commit another "crime" when no one is looking. So Gage is going to be constantly aware of this bully's presence. Instead of focusing on the bully's punishment, I say focus on your son.  Teach him how to deal with bully's, to stand up for himself. My son was the target of a bully in grade 6, it was terrible for him, it followed him right into middle school. I ended up taking him out of that school and home-schooling him until we got him in a private smaller school.  He excelled there, his confidence grew. When it was time to re-enter public school for high school, he had grown to be 6'4" and 200 lbs. The bully's never bugged him again. My point is, focus on Gage, how can you help him not be subject to bullying and feel safe at school. Some schools have programs to teach kids those skills. But focusing on the bully's punishment will not fix the problem.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2009

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I'm a teacher at a middle school, and we do have a system of steps that are followed...but it tends to be taken on a case by case basis. The administrators don't see it as black and white and they try to take into account the sides of both kids and the history and family background. A lot of times, kids who bully have less-than-great home situations. Principals sometimes take longer to actually suspend a kid who probably deserves it if they know the kid will have no supervision at home (or worse, will encounter "bullying" from his parents). While that may not be what you want to hear and it isn't fair to your kid...I know it happens. I end up with kids stuck back in my class when I really don't think they belong there. And I'm the first to say their home life isn't more important than my classroom environment or all the other kids who have to put up with them. Also, parents who make a bigger deal out of it tend to get their way faster (just FYI). Of course, this is our school. Your son's school might be more proactive (or re-active...whichever). I'd just say, if it continues to happen, definitely call the teacher to find out more info. Unfortunately, the teachers have no say (or at least very little) in whether a kid is suspended or not. So, setting up a meeting with the principal might help. I agree with Heather, though...kids do need to try to deal with it themselves if they can...bullying can increase (and can even start coming from other kids besides the original bully) if a kid is perceived as being weak or a tattle tale. But, if the bullying is extensive enough...that perception becomes way less important (esp. to a parent). He can rebuild his reputation...his nose isn't as easy. Good luck...social interactions among the young are an awfully slippery thing...very intense and quite irrational. You might ask your son what he wants you to do. I usually do that with students who come to me with complaints. "Do you want me to talk to the other kid? Should we all meet together? Or do you want me to send a referral to the office?" That way they have a bit of control over the decision. Sometimes they just want me to know and be watchful. I follow their lead until I think it unwise.

Heather - posted on 01/06/2009

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I'm sure that the school was just going through the steps that they are supposed to take.  If the bullying continues then I am sure that actions the school takes will be worse.  If the bullying does continue then he definately should be suspended and if that doesn't work then he needs to be moved to a different school.  If your son was hit by the boy then he should have been suspended but I think that the steps the school took were fine for right now.  I'm the mother of a 4th grader who is hyper so he gets picked on by the bullies and I have realized that there are times when you have to let your child stick up for himself or he will end up being called a "baby" or other things, especially as they get older.  Physically touching another child though does call for some action.      

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