Bullying - How to get the school to help?

Karen - posted on 03/05/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have any advice/success stories on how their school assisted them with a frequent bullying problem? Our school has only been open for just over a year and I was surprised by the amount of parents who had similiar stories to mine about their children being bullied and the staff's lack of interest.

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Keleigh - posted on 03/10/2010

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Wanda,
Your child's school sounds as if they are taking a good stand against bullying . . . Awesome!

Ashie,
I also teach school, and I have for 21 years. I cannot believe that the teacher or principal will not help you out.
I do not care if the child being picked on is 5 or 15; it is still bullying. I would suggest that you call a meeting with the teacher AND the principal at the same time, and tell them in no certain terms that if they cannot take care of this problem that you will be force to take other actions. Let them know that you will write a letter to the editor of the local paper to inform the public of how they will not help out a student of their own. I would also let them know I would be going to the next school board meeting and letting them know what is going on. (Call before to make sure you don't have to be put on their agenda.) I would also let them know that I would be contacting the police.
Be prepared to follow through on these items listed or do not say it. Only say what you intend to do.

As far as the bully's father being a single parent . . . What exactly does that have to do with anything??? I would ask them that very directly. I have been a single parent since my two children were 1 and 3. I don't care if you are the only parent - male or female - it is your responsiblity to make your child understand that bullying will NOT be tolerated.

Shame on that school for not having a policy about this to enforce.

I would NOT let them get away with this. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

Haley - posted on 03/10/2010

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That is BS. I would first talk to the superintendent of schools, and if that doesn't work, I'd threaten to sue the school district if they don't take care of it. That is just ludicrous. And a single dad shouldn't get special privileges for teaching his son to abuse women - no wonder he's a single dad.

Wanda - posted on 03/10/2010

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If the child is being touched by the bully, that can be considered assalt, and mother may need to contact the police if the school doesn't want to handle it...

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Annette - posted on 03/30/2011

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ok sorry but the stuff Theresa Jaeger said is crap! Have been through this myself. My oldest daughter was being bullied and then this same group started on my youngest daughter. After numerous meeting with the superintendent (recorded conversations) we could get nothing done through them. Not only was there bullying going on, My oldest was being sexually harrassed as well, the superintendent told us we could report that to the sheriffs office and file a complaint. Nothing was done, I am 40 years old and could not imagine these boys saying and doing some of the things they were and nothing being done. So between the girls torturing my girls everyday and the boys as well it was mentally affecting them. Mental Bullying can cause more damage to a kid than physical can. No child should have to endure any of it. If you cannot get the school to do anything go to your regional superintendent. Document everything that happens, everyday, every time and I cannot stress enough to RECORD every meeting you have with anyone who is in a position of power. If you cannot get anything done through the Regional Office of Educationthen I will tell you to hire a lawyer and sue their pants off!!!Fortunately ours didn't get that far, the R.O.E. set up a hearing and we were annexed out of the school district and into one that our property is adjoined to. We are a rare occassion to have this done, but youcan get your child into another school tuition free as long as both the superintendent from your school and the one you want to go to agree to let it happen.

Marie - posted on 03/11/2010

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First of all...Yes I've dealt with that issue when my son first started kindergarten! It started on the school bus. Demand that the school take appropriate measures in consequences for the bully, and not for your child; ex: suggesting your child see the school psychologist. Yes, they actually referred me saying that my child must be a target for bullying and needs to learn techniques and use 'power words' !!! If you aren't satisfied with their consequences or lack of, then Make a complaint, in writing, to the Superintendent of the school with cc: to the Board of Directors. If, still you have unresolved issues call Advocacy for your town/county that represents your school. It should definitely work.

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READ THIS:i am talking about five year old children :my child's friend is a shy and weary type of girl and shes being bullied by this boy who spits on her,hits her,kicks her puts his lunch,drink and yogurts all over her bag.shes terrified to line up in the morning in fear of this young boy even my child told me this before the mother did.



After a number of times talking to the teacher about this child and the behaviour still happening she had a meeting with the school principle.she explained it all how she has to drag her child in tears to school,clean out his lunch etc from the school bag,has to listen to her child cry in her sleep having nightmares etc.

She was told her child who is five has to suck it up and get tough .she said if shes not coming home with marks on her its not serious.This boy has never been talked to nor his father.the principle told the mother hes a single parent and so is this mother herself and couldn't believe what the principle was saying to her.



I don't know what type of school or human being could deal with this like the way this principle did.we send our children there to be safe and educated not to be terrorized each and everyday.shame on the adults in this case the teacher and school principle.i think its disgusting.HOW hard is it to speak to the class on how important it is to not bully and talk to them about what bulling is.Its not that hard.

Wanda - posted on 03/10/2010

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At my son's elementary school, they have a large program to fight against bullying. We just had a family reading night, which was all about dealing with bullying. The school's resource officer spoke about how he was working to eleminate it. His speach was pretty much about how he deals with bullies and how to try to help them stop the bullying, but he didn't talk much about the victums. I ask him after the program what our children should do if they were the victum of a bully. He said that victums, or any child knowing about any bullying, should report it to the counselor, and she would contact him (he is the officier for more than one school, so he is not there every day). He or the counselor would then talk to the child / bully. He assured me the names of the reporting child would not be given, so the child / bully would not know who reported it. He talked about many laws that are in place to protect against bullying, and he said that any hand contact there would be a police report and trial to correct the problem. They do not play around with it, because he said the sooner they reach the child and see what is causing them to bully other children, the better the chances are to correct the problem and get the child / bully going in the right direction. He said that most of the time bullies are just reacting to not love at home or evening being bullied themselves. He also said that victums may become bullies themselves.
I hope and pray that you get the help you need to stop the bullying of your child, and in turn the bullying child will also get the help he needs.

Keleigh - posted on 03/09/2010

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Some of you are encouraging your own form of 'bulling' to get rid of the bully. I totaly disagree. Theresa Jaeger has the right idea of how to handle it.


Here are some things you can do to combat psychological and verbal bullying. They're also good tips to share with a friend as a way to show your support:

•Ignore the bully and walk away.
It's definitely not a coward's response — sometimes it can be harder than losing your temper. Bullies thrive on the reaction they get, and if you walk away, or ignore hurtful emails or instant messages, you're telling the bully that you just don't care. Sooner or later the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you. Walk tall and hold your head high. Using this type of body language sends a message that you're not vulnerable.

•Hold the anger.
Who doesn't want to get really upset with a bully? But that's exactly the response he or she is trying to get. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions. If you're in a situation where you have to deal with a bully and you can't walk away with poise, use humor — it can throw the bully off guard. Work out your anger in another way, such as through exercise or writing it down (make sure you tear up any letters or notes you write in anger).

•Don't get physical.
However you choose to deal with a bully, don't use physical force (like kicking, hitting, or pushing). Not only are you showing your anger, you can never be sure what the bully will do in response. You are more likely to be hurt and get in to trouble if you use violence against a bully. You can stand up for yourself in other ways, such as gaining control of the situation by walking away or by being assertive in your actions. Some adults believe that bullying is a part of growing up (even that it is character building) and that hitting back is the only way to tackle the problem. But that's not the case. Aggressive responses tend to lead to more violence and more bullying for the victims.

•Practice confidence.
Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. Practice feeling good about yourself (even if you have to fake it at first).

•Take charge of your life.
You can't control other people's actions, but you can stay true to yourself. Think about ways to feel your best — and your strongest — so that other kids may give up the teasing. Exercise is one way to feel strong and powerful. (It's a great mood lifter, too!) Learn a martial art or take a class like yoga. Another way to gain confidence is to hone your skills in something like chess, art, music, computers, or writing. Joining a class, club, or gym is a great way to make new friends and feel great about yourself. The confidence you gain will help you ignore the mean kids.

•Talk about it.
It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher, or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you're being bullied.

•Find your (true) friends.
If you've been bullied with rumors or gossip, all of the above tips (especially ignoring and not reacting) can apply. But take it one step further to help ease feelings of hurt and isolation. Find one or two true friends and confide how the gossip has hurt your feelings. Set the record straight by telling your friends quietly and confidently what's true and not true about you. Hearing a friend say, "I know the rumor's not true. I didn't pay attention to it," can help you realize that most of the time people see gossip for what it is — petty, rude, and immature.

All of us have to deal with a lot of difficult situations and emotions. For some people, when they're feeling stressed, angry, or frustrated, picking on someone else can be a quick escape — it takes the attention away from them and their problems. Some bullies learn from firsthand experience. Perhaps name-calling, putdowns, or physical force are the norms in their families. Whatever the reason, though, it's no excuse for being the bully.

If you find it hard to resist the temptation to bully, you might want to talk with someone you look up to. Try to think about how others feel when you tease or hurt them. If you have trouble figuring this out (many people who bully do), you might ask someone else to help you think of the other person's side.

Bullying behavior backfires and makes everyone feel miserable — even the bullies. People might feel intimidated by bullies, but they don't respect them. If you would rather that people see your strength and character — even look up to you as a leader — find a way to use your power for something positive rather than to put others down.

Do you really want people to think of you as unkind, abusive, and mean? It's never too late to change, although changing a pattern of bullying might seem difficult at first. Ask an adult you respect for some mentoring or coaching on how you could change.

Steps to Stop Bullying in Schools:
If the environment at your school supports bullying, working to change it can help. For example, there may be areas where bullies harass people, such as in stairwells or courtyards that are unobserved by staff. Because a lot of bullying takes part in the presence of peers (the bully wants to be recognized and feel powerful, after all), enlisting the help of friends or a group is a good way to change the culture and stand up to bullies.

You can try to talk to the bully.
If you don't feel comfortable in a face-to-face discussion, leave a note in the bully's locker. Try to point out that his or her behavior is serious and harmful. This can work well in group situations, such as if you notice that a member of your group has started to pick on or shun another member.

Most people hesitate to speak out because it can be hard. It takes confidence to stand up to a bully — especially if he or she is one of the established group leaders. But chances are the other students witnessing the bullying behavior feel as uncomfortable as you do. They may just not be speaking up. Perhaps they feel that they're not popular enough to take a stand or worry that they're vulnerable and the bully will turn on them. Staying quiet (even though they don't like the bully's behavior) is a way to distance themselves from the person who is the target.

When a group of people keeps quiet like this, the bully's reach is extending beyond just one person. He or she is managing to intimidate lots of people. But when one person speaks out against a bully, the reverse happens. It gives others license to add their support and take a stand, too.
Another way to combat bullying is to join your school's anti-violence program or, if your school doesn't have one, to start one of your own.

Kim - posted on 03/09/2010

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Hi Karen, First of all, sorry your child has to deal with this, altho is common any more. I have three children and my oldest graduated two years ago. She had a few incidents but with a call to the school it never happened again. For most cases that should be all it takes. But, my second child, my son who is in 7th grade, is having issues with an older child on the bus. Of course I'm upset and want to beat his parents, but only cause we want to protect our children. But I did document the incident and called the principle instantly. I waited two days and checked with my son daily to see if it stopped. It had.



I then took the next step and while picking my kids up one day from school, I stopped in the principles office to see what she did to correct this incident if anything. She let me know she talked with the bully and let him think more than one called in to complain and told him this was his only warning. That the Next call from anyone we would take serious action. That was last week. So far the bully isn't "T-bagging" my son or the other kids on the bus.



By the way, my son told the bus driver in past and as you see, nothing stopped him from bullying other kids. I talked with the bus driver yesterday in town (happen to cross paths) and let her know what is going on and since she doesn't happen to see what is going on on her bus, I went to the Principle. She of course appoligised and said she will watch the BULLY from now on.



If it happens again, after praying to stay calm, I plan on calling the paper and letting them know the "Zero Tolerance Policy" the school has is only for show and not enforced to protect our children. Good Luck and God Bless

Crystal - posted on 03/09/2010

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At my son's school there is zero hands on and my son comes home and tells me words that they can't say at school.

Before my son even started JK this past Sept. I asked the JK teacher that my son not be in the same class as 2 twin girls as they bothered him in playschool. And they aren't.

My son (Keagin) has this kid he went to playschool with in his class. On night Keagin had a breakdown before going to bed (next day was school) and we sat & talked about it. He said this other boy hits him every day. I asked him where on his body and when. I then asked if he told a teacher, which he did if it was his, but he didn't if it was a different one outside (cuz he didn't know their name). I told him to tell no matter what. I also told him I'd call the school after I put him on the bus. He was happy about that and felt better. I called the teacher, she said she'd talk to both of them and thanked me for calling and Keagin hasn't been bugged/hit by that kid since.

I wish the zero tolerance rule was out there when I went to school cuz I was one that always got picked on. I'm not going to let that happen to my kids. I will alwasy be there with open ears and arms and then be doing something about it if it ever happens again.

Roslyn - posted on 03/09/2010

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get to know the principal and let them know that it is unacceptable also try to teach your child that it is not them and that the person bullying them has the problem resilience is the key but let the school know that you arnt happy and thier duty of care is being breached if they do nothing

Dianne - posted on 03/08/2010

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Karen, I am also going through the same issue with my daughter at her school. She is 17, last year at high school. Have been to the principle with no luck. And now this girl and her friends thinks it is funny to attack our house with eggs and toilet paper, and then the cops say...sorry not enough evidence...grrrr makes me so mad. Twice she has done it to our house and then goes to school and brags about it...but none of her friends want to go against her, scared.
Dont know what the world is coming too.

Kristen - posted on 03/08/2010

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my husband, who works in a school, says...
if the school does not handle it to your liking, document it for yourself and then if/when it continues, and file a report with the police... ESPECIALLY if it is physical ~ that is an easy one.

Emma - posted on 03/06/2010

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my daughters school had a recent bullying incident in her year which was persistant. the result was the teacher standing the 2 bullies up in front of the whole year and naming them as bullies, the other children in the year were told if they saw an bullying taking place they were to report them straight away. so basically saying it was the whole class standing up to the bullies. as a result the bullies was so embrassed the bullying has stopped. but i know the bullied pupils parents also went directly to the parents, so the issue was addressed at home also. hope this helps.

Firebird - posted on 03/05/2010

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If the school won't do anything, take it to the newspaper. Shame the school into enforcing a no bullying policy.

Shelley - posted on 03/05/2010

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keep detailed notes of everything & go to the school board above them that will make them pay attention

Tah - posted on 03/05/2010

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how old were these kids..i have to WUSAIIIII.......did you say that some little boys were kicking her......ok..jhow old are the kids and where do you live..i will bring some of my git right crew down there to wax on and wax off these kids....in addtion to the teacher you should absolutely have gone to their parents in your boxing rob that said lady killer and told them if there rude behind, no home training future wife beating sons even so much as looked at your daughter in the hallway it was would be taken out out of their(the parents) asses...some parents genuinely don't know..but it doesn't make it any less their responsibility and the schools either....if i have to live at school then pass me my long division because i will....i talk to parents, aunts, cousins, whoever i can find to get the crap nipped in the bud because those are my babies and after 4 days total in labor(all pregnancies) and a crash c-section, 2 million diapers and 500 dr's and er visits(asthma)....if anybody is going to do anything to my children it will be me, and i don't so you can't either..i become a lioness when it comes to my kids..



@keeley..good, if she is letting kids in her class get away with things they shouldn't then you should be there often...and doing what it takes and if she needs her mommy there to help then fine..call her to supervise...Some of these teachers are baies themselves and some are on the way to retirement...you have to advocate...i think everyone of my son's teachers have been 12 year old females...one called me and sais..he rolled his eyes at me, he was 8..i said, well, is this the first time a 3rd grader has rolled his eyes...no...ok...well i can talk to him...but i'm sure somewhere someone else will roll their eyes at you.....wth.....i still role my eyes at my sociology teacher..she is like a lady who got cheated on too much..she trust noone so everything you do has to be triple checked in computer programs for plagarism...(i digress)...stand up for your kids and when you feel you aren't tall enough or being heard, stand on a box and get a bullhorn....

Theresa - posted on 03/05/2010

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You can let the school know that you will start reporting the bullying to the police each time something happens also. The school has a responsibility to do something about bullying. It is illegal. Who are you talking to at the school? If the teacher isn't doing anything about it go to the principal, if the principal won't do anything go to the superintendant, if the superintendant won't do anything go to the school board. Record on paper at home each incident in as much detail as you can: the date and time, what the bullying was, what child did it, where it took place in the school, who your daughter reported it to, what reaction your daughter got from that person, who you reported it to, the reaction you got, etc. It will help when you go to someone higher up to have specific dates with very specific incidents all written down. If the school has a policy in the hand book, then they have an obligation to follow that. There should not be exceptions. If all else fails, threaten to talk to a lawyer about the schools lack of help in stopping the bullying. If you end up trying to go to the school board it would also help if several parents who are experiencing the same thing all got together and went. That way it's not just one person's word. Those parents should also start keeping detailed records. I hope that helps.



We had issues with a few certain boys bullying my son on the bus. He was coming home at least once a week crying. I talked to the principal over the phone. At first it seemed to do no good. So I went in and talked to her, asking what was going to be done. I explained that my son is usually a good hearted kid, but if pushed he could really hurt someone (he has PDD which is in the Autism Spectrum disorder). It takes a long time for him to get to his "melting point", but when he does watch out. He lashes out and doesn't know what he's doing, even after he won't remember what he did, just that he got mad. I explained that it would be a snap thing and he would really hurt one of those boys and I would not let them hold me or my son responsible if the school did nothing and let it get to that point. Finally the principal did something about it and he hasn't been bullied again since the beginning of the year.

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My daughter FIVE is in kung fu or should i say was......she was being dragged from her group of friends by her older friend SEVEN who lives in the same place as us to her group of friends.this girl was saying to the older boys i am assuming SEVEN also not sure if older, she does kung fu fight.my daughter didn't and isn't a fighting type like that but the boys were hitting her and she just stood there.she started to cry each time her kung fu class was on ans even kicked me and pushed me because she didn't want to go.i didn't understand until i sat her down and spoke to her as this behavior was shocking to me.When i found out i spoke to her teacher and it stopped only after i told my child to tell the teacher and she did nothing.i made it clear i don't send her to school to be bullied.this was the second time she was bullied the first time it was a by a girl her age and i spoke to the child because i know her and her family.that put a stop to that.Shes doesnt do kung fu anymore because she sees it as a bad thing now and i cant make her understand that its not.she won lots of medals and student of the year but something like this (bullying)has an affect on our children, its sad.

Tah - posted on 03/05/2010

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I would say but seriously thoguh..but i was so serious in that last post..so i'll say..in addition to that....I have told my children that words are one thing and yes they hurt, let the teacher know and yes of of course let me know, I am your advocate...if the teacher can't get it done, i will be up there so much somebody will be bringing ME a apple. My son got in a fight last year,..he is a good child, and i know my son....now when i got a call he that said his teacher was a religious farmgirl(some things she said and was trying to impose on them..not to her but while walking away and she heard it..no excuse i ripped him a new one) i knew that my son said it because he can have a mouth that is quite creative at times...wonder where that came from..anywho...when i got the call he was in a fight, i knew he was defending himself..and the principal told me as much



Apparently one of these bullies thought my son would just allow him to dump my son out of his seat..so when my son got up and turned the class into the thrilla in manilla..don't look surprised because he already told you this kid was cruising for a bruising...so don't get upset when he makes a left and my son is at the dead end waiting.



I told her right then and there that if my son did not start it and he was defending himself against a known bully then he was in no trouble with me, i suggest the nurse patch the kid up and hopefully he take it as a lesson learned, they gave him a 1 day suspension because he was in a fight but the bully received the maximum and the pricncipal agreed completely with me but couldnt ignore that he did "duff the kid out" as my husband put it.



I don't encourage fighting by any means but i am not going to send my kids in to the slaughter because kids now a days are wolves and it's crazy..Then when you tell their parents they look at you with a blank stare and say "not billy he's an angel",,yeah hell's angel....

Iridescent - posted on 03/05/2010

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Bullying is actually a crime, and if the school is not willing to do anything about it file a report with the police. They will hold both the school and the parents of the child doing the bullying responsible.

Keeley - posted on 03/05/2010

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that is awesome, my son's teacher is afraid of me. she says i'm too in your face about things. i've never even yelled at her, yet.i had to have a supervised parent teacher interview.oh well someone has to look out for my kids.

Tah - posted on 03/05/2010

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How about this..put your daughter in karate or self defense classes and when she starts molly whopping these bullies in their throats and the principal calls and says as much, say o really..well since you wouldn't do anything my husband and i decided to reunite amid all the problems at home to help our whiny and sensitive daughter show these bullies how it's really done and if you ignore my child again i take the adult version of the class so there is enough to go around."git some"...of course this may not solve the problem and you may have to find another school, but it will be sooooooo worth it.....and next time maybe they will pay attention..

Keeley - posted on 03/05/2010

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i'm just really pushy with the principal, i call and show up constantly so she has to do something, but that's just my personality.

Michelle - posted on 03/05/2010

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I think its also important to talk to your daughter about this. I was called names in grade school as well. Even though this wont seem like good advice to your daughter now...eventually she will see how true it really is. Tell her to ignore them. Tell her that if she ignores their bullying and rude name calling...then they will stop. These bullies just want to see how upset they can make her...and if they see that its not working...they will eventually stop.

Also, let your daughter know that she is doing the right thing by telling an adult. There is nothing wrong with reporting a bully. If it were MY child and the school wouldnt help me fix this issue...I would talk to these kids parents. That may be a bit old fashioned but it couldnt hurt. I hope everything works out for you and your little girl. This situation will only make her stronger. When she is our age..she will look back and laugh. I do.

Karen - posted on 03/05/2010

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Thanks Jessica. Our school appears to have a great policy on paper, they lack the enforcement. We have made a point of having our 7 year report all incidents; however, she has now just become known as a "whiner", "too sensitive" and has even been asked if there are problems at home and if her parents are still together.

Jessica - posted on 03/05/2010

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Bullying- a tough issue. I think that it is handled most successfully when the school starts early with zero tolerance for name calling, etc. . If it is not a way of life in grade school, most kids will not report it, for fear of more teasing, and suffer in silence. There has to be a policy in the school of complete anonymity. My kids attend such a school and have had workshops and have created a culture that discourages such behavior to the degree that a child will report the teasing of another child to the administration. Names do not get out. This is so important.

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