What can you do as a parent?
Few things are are heart-wrenching as knowing that your child may be a victim of bullying and feeling like your school is not doing enough to counter the problem.
The following are a few tips for parents — knowing how to best respond:
Do not try to fight violence with violence. Taking matters into your own hands could lead to more severe problems for you and your child.
Where bullying exisits, the most important thing is documentation. Document who, what, where, when. Try to get the testimony of other people who witnessed the conflicts. Often when two or more people confront the bully directly, for instance a school administrator or teacher and witnesses, it can make a difference. When one person speaks up with courage, often others will step forward.
- If your child is sexually harassed or bullied, it is best to take action right away.
- Certainly if there is a physical contact of any kind call the police. This includes shoving, hitting, slapping, tripping, punching and so forth.
- Talk to the teachers and the school principal immediately and as soon as you find out the facts. It is important to document the times places or witnesses carefully so you can give detailed information to the school; if there are injuries take photographs.
- If you do not get results within a couple of days, write the school district and demand an immediate response to the problem.
- If there is violence, the police should be called and the school should be notified immediately.
- Once you have resolved the particular bullying situation you are concerned about, consider lobbying for and supporting laws to punish school bullies in your state.
- Many public school districts have adopted a “Zero Tolerance Policy” against bullying of any kind. Schools have a duty to provide safe premises and maintain reasonable supervision and discipline in the interest of all students.
October 25-26 Conference on Bullying — Waterfront Place, Morgantown, WV — The Schools Care:
The West Virginia Regional Conference on Bullying,hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council and co-hosted by RESA 7, will be held Oct. 25-26, at Waterfront Place Hotel.
The conference will feature national speakers, including Curtis Lavarello, the nation’s leading authority on school safety and schoolbased policing; Lt. Sean Burke, former chairman of the School Safety Technical Working Group for the U.S. Department of Justice; Vanessa Snow, general counsel for the School Safety Advocacy Council; Lt. Tim Enos, Sarasota County (Fla.) Sheriff ’s Office; and Dr. Dawn LeBlanc, a nationally recognized expert and presenter in the area of school violence offender recognition.
Maureen Underwood, a clinical social worker and certified group psychotherapist, will speak on suicide, grief, trauma and crisis resolution for children and families.
More than 250 people have registered to take part.
Info: Jeovanna Lacaria, RESA 7, 304-624-6554 ext. 222 .
Tips provided by Robinette Legal Group, PLLC: Morgantown, WV Catastrophic Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys. We generally do not take bullying cases, but as parents we care about kids and their families. http://www.robinettelaw.com