No parent wants to think about their child being treated unfairly or even bullied. However, the reality is that bullying is a very serious problem. It may be most commonly associated with being picked on or even threatened by other children or teens. However, bullying can also occur when teachers, school administrators and other parents are aggressive or intimidating to your child. Understanding how to handle the situation may help you to give your child the support and relief that is needed.
Understand the Situation
Before you take any action, it is important to learn as much as possible about the situation. Some children unfortunately exaggerate, and in some cases, a child’s vision of what happened may be skewed from the factual evidence. It is important to determine if what your child is telling you truthful and if it can be corroborated by others. Gather evidence and witnesses as a first step.
Speak With Teachers or Coaches
When you have evidence against a person who you believe has been bullying your child, you should begin by addressing the teachers, administration, coaches or others who are responsible for keeping your child safe in a specific situation or environment. Remind these individuals that they have an obligation to provide a safe environment for your child and to take action now that they are aware of the situation. Remain in communication with these individuals until the matter is properly resolved.
Talk to Parents
Another idea is to talk to the parents of the child. Some parents may grow defensive when this happens, but others may be open to listening to your side of the story. They may also take disciplinary action at home to address the issue. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the parents directly, you may ask acquaintances to let the bully’s parents know what is happening.
Explore Your Legal Options
In some cases, bullying is a form of discrimination. For example, classroom bullying based on your child’s gender may be a form of Title IX discrimination, and you may be able to seek justice for this type of issue through the courts. Consult with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law to learn more about the options available to you.
While bullying is common, many issues are resolved without fanfare. Other issues, however, escalate to the point of having long-term or even fatal consequences. It is best to take action as soon as possible to enjoy the best possible outcome.