How do you stop bullying when the school won't help? Your heart just breaks when your child is being bullied. My son experienced bullying in kindergarten, before we started homeschooling. One child liked to burp in his face and generally annoy him constantly. Another child pulled his pants down in the middle of the school yard at recess one day. I was bullied myself back in my elementary school days. I remember having retreated to the washroom to cry during recess one day and my tormentors followed me – they stood on the toilets in adjacent stalls and peered over to taunt at me. But he and I were lucky. Sometimes bullying can mean daily beatings after school, serious harm, or even death. What if your child has retaliated, and then been the only one who ended up in the principal's office? Perhaps the teachers have told your child to avoid the bully – to go down a different hallway or walk home a different way from school. What do you do if you've tried everything to stop bullying and the school just won't help? The Principal Write just one more letter to the principal, and this time send a copy to the school board as well as the school superintendent so they all know what's been going on in the school. Hopefully this will lead to a serious sit down meeting with the principal. Make sure a plan of action is put in place, with action steps for the school, the teachers, and a place your child can always retreat to when he's being bullied. The PTA Meet with other parents and/or teachers. Bring the issue to the next Parent Teacher Association meeting. Brainstorm together for ideas on how the school can help stop bullying. Volunteer to head up a committee dedicated to the issue. You can help real change come about for the whole school. The Police Call the police to notify them of an assault. If your child has been beaten, call the police. While some children grow out of bullying, for some this can be the start of a lifetime of bullying and criminal assault. The child may already be known to police and if not, they need to know. Sometimes it's the only way to stop bullying before it grows out of control. The Media It seems almost every day in the news is a story about a child who had been bullied and the parents have notified the media out of frustration. If you feel comfortable putting you and your child under the microscope of the local newspaper, this is a route you can take to stop bullying. New School or Homeschool If you've tried everything else, or you can no longer endure the bullying your child is going through, perhaps a new school – public school, private school, or homeschooling – is the answer. While we didn't homeschool due to the bullying our son experienced (I wanted to homeschool anyway), many parents have started because of bullying and it's been a real blessing for their child. Homeschooling is something you can even do short term, while you wait for the school to take action. If you decide to keep your child in school while the bullying is ongoing and you're trying to make things better, make sure he is safe. Ask him to sit with friends at lunch and make sure he had a ride to and from school or a buddy to walk with.
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