My daughter says she's being bullied at school

Myra - posted on 02/24/2015 ( 12 moms have responded )

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She says that there are girls at her school who follow her around but she does not want to be hanging out w/ these children because they're 'dramatic' and once in a while there's always crying. She's in Grade 7 at a school where we live in Canada in a different district. They won't let her get away from them and one of them would pull her hand and drag her along. I've spoken to the teacher AND the school counselor but they say that it's kid business and that they should be learning to solve their own problems - but let the parents know if anything is physically hurting them - my daughter wounded up crying today.
They also do not let her hang out w/ younger/bigger kids because they say she needs to stay within girls her age and my daughter says she dislikes that. She asked me why we had to have her be at school everyday and me and my husband told her calmly that our government requires all the kids to go to school to get an education, and we cannot have her attend a school too far away. She seems to understand that and is not too upset
Something upset her today - she says that the girls 'judged' her by her social media accounts and that she can't interact w/ older kids on or off line because they are 'too old'. I told her that she has my permission to friend whomever she knows as long as the profile is appropriate but she says the kids force her along. She has only four more months before she goes into high school - in our school district, yes - and she is getting more excited about being in high school and meeting new people. She seems very bothered by these schoolmates and says they bully her but then it seems to me that they want her to stay within her peer group. They say that she's obsessed w/ kids that are more older than her and I do not have issues w/ her hanging out w/ other people but they seem to .... she's never been a big fan of the other Grade 7 girls in her school but has lots of friends outside of school and hangs out w/ our 16 y/o neighbor. She is very upset. Ideas?

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Trisha - posted on 02/25/2015

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I think what the school is trying to do is to encourage your daughter to say "NO" in no uncertain terms.
You may need to work on building her confidence, so that she feels comfortable saying no to these girls.
If they ignore her strong "NO" and physically drag her to hang out, that is physical assault. She at that point should approach a teacher, and let them know that they dragged her to somewhere she didn't want to be, and if she uses the words "Physical assault" to describe it, it should open the teacher's eyes. If her hand can be pulled away, and she can walk the other direction she should.
Is it the school, or the girls at your daughter's school who are giving her a hard time about hanging out with people her own age?

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Myra - posted on 03/02/2015

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Sorry for the late reply.
Kids who don't necessarily go to her school visits her school sometimes because it's a big elementary school w/ an auditorium, big field, extra classrooms no one uses, and buildings combined together so the school hosts programs for the children from other schools to come.
Post-secondary - university/college students use empty classes for all sorts of programs and high schoolers use them as well, as the school provides.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2015

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I'm not in the US either. I was just trying to clarify because you've been talking about her hanging out with 12th graders.

Myra - posted on 02/28/2015

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No.
K-7 is considered as 'elementary school' where we are from, and we don't attend school in the US.
I highly agree that she should not be using social media. I gave her a phonebook instead so she may contact with people she knows inside and outside of school. It's a lot safer way, and I'm always around when she's calling and she doesn't mind me knowing what their conversations are.
She's been hanging out w/ MUCH bigger kids since Grade 3 or so. I see w/ my own eyes that she pretty much isn't interested in being w/ any child her age even outside of school, I doubt she'll even try to talk to kids her age in Grade 8 when we she's going to high school.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2015

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Just out of interest, is your daughter in a school that caters for K-12? I guess I'm just a little confused as to how a 7th grader is hanging out with Grade 1 kids, as well as Grade 12 kids in a context where her friends even have a say in it.

But I agree with Trish, she needs to stick up for herself.

And with regard to the not encouraging her to use social media, and allowing her certain things.....she is still too young for social media and a smart phone because she is not of an age where she can interact with them appropriately - no matter how mature you think she is. Given her inability to stick up for herself in the situations described, I's say she isn't particularly mature. But your kid, your call.

Trisha - posted on 02/28/2015

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She should be sticking up for herself by replying with "Why does that matter?" type questions. Your daughter needs confidence. :)

Myra - posted on 02/28/2015

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I highly do not encourage her to use these online sites but I allow her to ask for phone numbers in PERSON instead.
My daughter said that she was talking to a Grade 1 kid outside the classroom and they just told her that they're too young to be friends w/ her. Their replies whenever they know she's gonna hang out w/ someone of a big age difference is ,"Yeah, but you're in grade seven. Not twelfth grade". Whatever grade it is.

Jodi - posted on 02/25/2015

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I was sure you had a post somewhere saying she was 12. But no matter....

12...13, my opinion still stands. 13 year olds are no better with social media than 12 year olds.

Sarah - posted on 02/25/2015

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Why are other children allowed to dictate who may be friends with whom? Ultimately, you are her mother so social media is your call. Just remember that you can't be sure the persons she's friending are actually who they claim to be, and even if you trust her, you never know what will be posted to her or about her online. I think it is dangerous territory for a child having such trouble already at school. Encourage her to dismiss the "rules" her classmates are creating and be friends with whomever she desires.

Myra - posted on 02/25/2015

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She is thirteen, to be exact. Her birthday is very early in the year, I've been checking her social media accounts and there is no inappropriateness. She's been bribing me for an account ever since the age of 9, but my answer was: When she is old enough. At 9? NO.
I trust her with it that she will not friend people she does not know. I always ask "who is this?" whenever I see someone talking to her and she will tell me who that person(s) is, how she knows them, and I sometimes view a bunch of conversations to make sure no inappropriateness. I'm around all the time when she's online, and she doesn't have a smartphone.
The Grade 7 girls do not let her be friends with anyone that are two years and over her age and that the least is one year older/younger. She comes home everyday upset and that the kids will not allow her hang out with the little kids or older kids.

Sarah - posted on 02/25/2015

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Jodi is correct. Close all of the social media accounts. If she has her own smartphone and computer, your have got to be vigilant that she does not reopen or create new accounts with fake names. Kids are remarkably savvy when it comes to manipulating internet accounts. Even if she thinks she knows who she is "friending" online, she may not know for sure. Jodi pointed out that kids, especially this age, will say and post the most horrible things. Better to just close off the source.
I work in public school in the US and for the administration to dismiss your daughter's problems as "kids business" is disgraceful. If you child wants to befriend a child a year older or a year younger, there is nothing wrong with that. To be forced to hang out with a group that she does not want to be with, is bullying. Look up your school handbook and find the bullying policy. Go to the teacher, guidance counselor, principal or even the superintendent of the district and get this nonsense stopped.
In the meantime, keep her busy with friends she does enjoy, and find some activities outside of school; sports, dance, or whatever she likes to keep her occupied.

Jodi - posted on 02/25/2015

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Your child is TWELVE. She is not old enough to use social media appropriately. Take that coming from a high school teacher who has seen the mental health issues that social media can create (including a suicide). I would NEVER allow my 12 year old to have free access to internet and social media (in fact, my daughter knows she won't have a smart phone until she is 15 and can pay for it herself, and she understands why I have issues with it, my son had the same rules).

Here's the thing - with social media, it is so easy for kids to become the bully. They are behind a keyboard and have the courage to say things that they would never say to someone's face. There is no "filter". I've seen kids make fake profiles specifically to bully others. But these "bullies" are not like the ones who bully in the schoolyard. They say and do things that you would never see in the schoolyard.

Get her off social media.

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