My Child is Being Bullied

Overview |  My Child is Being Bullied | My Child is Bullying | Helping Your Child With…

Your child needs you now.

If you are concerned because your child is being repeatedly threatened or injured by another child it is important that you get involved and take action. Bullying rarely stops when victims are left to deal with it themselves. Bullying often happens while others watch, but unfortunately most bystanders, even adults, don’t intervene.

If your child is being bullied, it is very important that you address it adequately and safely. Your child may be nervous about involving you in the problem for fear it might make things worse. Talk to your son or daughter about finding a friend in whom they can trust. Talk to the school. Make a plan together that safely addresses the problem. Solicit the help of a classroom teacher or school administrator. They often have a different perspective on what is happening. Through changes in seating and encouragement to join extra curricular activities, the teacher can support your child as they develop friendships. With issues of bullying they can ensure your child is safe and deal immediately with any problems that occur.

There are some key questions you’ll need to answer before speaking with your child’s school:

 1. How severe has the bullying behaviour been? (Violence continuum- check one)1 → → → → 2 → → → 3 → → →  4 → → → → 5 → → → 6 → → → →7 → → → 8 → → → →9 → → → → 10(Considerate→ Critical→ Sarcastic→ Controlling → Verbal→ Threatening→ Hitting→ Intimidating→ Beating→ Assault)
 2. How frequently does it occur?___  Several times a day
___  Once a day
___  3-4 times a week
___  Once a week
___  Occasionally
 3. Who is bullying your child?___  A classmate or peer
___  Several classmates or peers
___  An older student
___  Several older students
 4. Where does the bullying take place?___  To or from school
___  On school grounds (outside)
___  In the washroom
___  In the hallways
___  In the classroom
___  In the gym or change room
___  Over the telephone
___  Over the internet
___  At another student’s home
 5. Who witnesses the bullying?___  One other student
___  Several students
___  Adults/supervisors
 6. What actions have you or your child taken to address the problem?___  Your child has told you
___  Your child has spoken to the teacher (or some other supervising adult) at school
___  You have spoken to the teacher (or some other supervising adult) at school
___  Other

In answering these questions, you have already taken some important steps toward solving the problem!

 • You have listened supportively to your child.
 • You have a clear understanding of what’s going on.
 • You have shared your concerns with your child’s teacher or supervisor.

Now it’s time to speak with your child’s school. Be sure to clearly describe:

 • Exactly what happened
 • When and how often it happened
 • Where the incident occurred
 • Who was involved
 • Who else saw it happen
 • What action you have taken, if any

If the bullying persists and you’re having trouble getting help from the school, try the following:

 • Write down what happened (e.g. the bullying episodes and what action you have taken with your child’s school) and share this with the school administrator. Sometimes written reports are taken more seriously or make it easier for your child’s school to give you the help you need.
 • Ask for a copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy or code of conduct. It should include guidelines for appropriate student behaviour and a range of limits or consequences that will be applied if a child’s behaviour is inappropriate.
 • Make an appointment with the school administrator and discuss your concerns. Work in partnership with the school authorities by watching for signs that the bullying is continuing or if things are improving.
 • If the situation is not resolved within the agreed upon time frame, continue to keep a detailed record of each incident and include this information in a letter to the school administrator who has responsibility for maintaining safe schools in your school board.
 • You are your child’s most important advocate. Keep asking until you get the help your child needs.

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