As a school bullying survivor turned activist, who’s always talking with students inside schools, one of my priorities is to remain vigilant in my quest for information about new ways kids are using the internet to bully one another.
If one of your kids is dealing with this, here are some guidelines for parents:
- Document any incident of abuse or inappropriate behavior – keep a detailed record and include dates and other specifics.
- Find out if there are any other victims – chances are if your child is being bullied by a teacher, other kids are too. Reach out to parents of your kids’ classmates and form a parental coalition.
- Call to set up a meeting with the principal – but don’t go into detailed specifics about the reason for the meeting; simply explain that you have some concerns and would rather discuss them in person than over the phone.
- Be prepared for the meeting – bring your documentation of specific situations and examples.
- Make an effort to work collaboratively with administration – if you go in and start verbally attacking a specific teacher, administrators will be put on the defensive; rather, be reasonable, explain that your goal isn’t to get the teacher in trouble but to work with the school to ensure that your child and other kids aren’t negatively affected by continuing behaviors.
- Take the issue up the chain of command if necessary – if the school isn’t being cooperative, present concerns at the next school board meeting. Don’t give up or give in – fight for your child’s rights.
And try to remember, teachers are human too. They have good days and bad days just like the rest of us. Take things one step at a time, work productively with administration and set an example of compassion as well as determination.
For more information, please contact me at email@example.com.