The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54172 Message #837464
Posted By: Mary in Kentucky
29-Nov-02 - 07:32 PM
Thread Name: BS: bullying advice
Subject: RE: BS: bullying advice
Ireland, you've received some good advice throughout this thread. I think all of us have some kind of experience with bullying...receiving it, witnessessing it, trying to prevent it, etc. As a parent, the hardest thing I ever did was to "not get involved" when my children begged me to butt out because my involvement would make things worse for them. But then when things got bad, I jumped in like a Mama Tiger and did what I had to do...
As a former high school teacher in a rough school I totally understand Joe's statement. Usually every class has a kid that is always picked on. Seems he/she plays the role, actually instigates events, seems to miss not getting attention.
I spent a lot of time in classrooms and hallways, and I overheard verbal threats that really scared me. As a teacher, all I could do was try to arrange the seating in my classrooms so that contact was minimized, and to control my classroom and the space around me. (sounds authoritarian I know, but this population had some really rough characters... naive, wimpy teachers were eaten alive) I would make a very forceful statement anytime I heard or witnessed anything that could be construed as bullying, impoliteness, bad language, or just meaness. If I showed any favoritism to a student being picked on, their life would just be harder later when I wasn't around.
The issue of the teacher is one you can do something about. I definitely know what I'm talking about as a parent and as a teacher. There is usually a written grievance policy that can be very effective...just requires someone who can read and write and is committed to follow through.
You can also request a meeting with the teacher involved -- in the presence of a supervisor -- but this is more for your peace of mind than for solving any problems.
Your son knows that you are on his side. There are also many teachers and supervisors on his side who really want to help. The key is to communicate with your son and know when and what to do in order to help him. But he is, afterall, not the adult here, and is still learning. He's watching your responses, and even if he doesn't do what you would have him do, he may very well change his mind later.