Friday, October 08, 2010

Parents Dealing with School Bullies

With the recent media attention on the numerous tragic suicides related to school bullies, I have found parents, gay and straight, are more on edge about the affects of bullies on their children. I think this is a good thing because I want to live in a society where no one tolerates bullying on any level. A complete societal shift is the only way we will end this epidemic (think of the societal shift about smoking and how this has drastically decreased the number of smokers).

My 5 year old was recently the victim of a 7 year old bully who was physically harming her on the playground after school. Fortunately, I had witnessed these attacks, so I was able to get the school involved in stopping the behavior. It has stopped, and I think the school handled it well. Hopefully this will continue so my daughter can feel and be safe at her school.

I was talking to a parent about his 7 year old son who was getting bullied by a child in his class. In his case, the bully was physically harming the boy. When the parent talked with the school, the school reacted by sending the bully home and calling in his parents. Again, I am glad the school reacted to protect the child who was being bullied.

The other parent and I began talking about our situations and about what if the school had not reacted appropriately? This parent's approach was this: if it happens again, he will demand to sit in the class with his son. If he sees the bully hitting his son again, he will call the police on his own and have the child arrested for assault.

What do you think--would this work? Assuming the school let the parent into the classroom, would the police arrest a 7 year old for assault? Is this an effective way of dealing with a bully?

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