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Protecting Bullies, Not the Bullied, Seems to be the Rule in Our Schools

02/08/10
by Wrightslaw

In Mass, parents are reporting that their children are refusing to go to class, have dropped out of sports, stopped trying to socialize, refused to go to class and in some cases had to change schools – all because they are being bullied.

Allegedly girls with special needs are being photographed in the bathroom, then pictures posted on FB. Parents report kids are being attacked on the bus or beaten up at elementary school.

Even worse, some bullied children have attempted or threatened suicide. On Jan. 14, Phoebe Prince died of an apparent suicide after incessant bullying by classmates.

Who is investigating? It appears that the school system is investigating itself and… they “apologize for the delay.”

The school says, “There have been in our investigation some kids on their family’s – or family’s lawyer’s – recommendation that have not spoken to us,” Edward Boisselle, chairman of the South Hadley School Committee, told the Herald yesterday … But a determined Boisselle vowed that lawyers won’t keep school officials from completing their investigation by week’s end and meting out ‘severe’ punishment… I apologize for what appears to be delays, sweeping this under the rug. It’s a process. It’s not an easy investigation.”

“Separately, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel is leading a criminal investigation into Prince’s death. Charges have not been brought.”

Last we heard, school officials aren’t law enforcement agents, nor are they trained investigators. Are chairmen of school districts and committees trained investigators?

The school did not protect this girl. The school is on notice about many other kids who are being bullied, yet they did nothing until news of the girl’s suicide broke.

“The state  Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester is “calling on every school to ‘be clear’ about the ‘conduct and consequences’ of  bullying …  “We encourage schools to take this on.”

“To be clear about the conduct and consequences of bullying?” Consequences? There are no consequences when schools don’t protect kids.

“We ENCOURAGE schools to take this on?” If they feel like it? The state Education Commissioner doesn’t ORDER them to change their ways?

Sickening. We hate to think what Phoebe Prince’s parents are going through now, and for the rest of their lives. We don’t have a sense that the Education commission, Chairman, or other administrators understand or care what this does to defenseless kids.

As of September 2009, HRSA reports that Massachusetts is one of ten states that has no laws on bullying.  Check to see if your state has laws on bullying here.

From Bullied Kids Helpless Against Attacks from the Boston Herald at http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20100204bullied_kids_helpless_against_attacks/srvc=home&position=also

Many parents also report that when they informed the school their children were being bullied, the school did nothing. “One struggling mother turned in her own son, a bully, hoping the school would do something. It didn’t.”  Read Parents’ Pleas Fall on Deaf Ears from the Boston Herald at http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/2010/02/parents%E2%80%99_pleas_fall_deaf_ears

Teen Suicide Prompts Look at Bullying from the Boston Globe at http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2010/01/24/teens_suicide_prompts_a_look_at_bullying/

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42 Comments on "Protecting Bullies, Not the Bullied, Seems to be the Rule in Our Schools"


Caroline
01/11/2015

I have done all the proactive things regarding my daughter getting bullied yet it has gotten worse. My daughter is 7th grade regular education and was recently assaulted. The local police will not press charges and it is the 2nd police report. We need help

Al
10/18/2014

Jamie, you’re absolutely right. Status Quo is NOT working! Parents must demand the schools comply with the laws. Go to the school board meetings and let the elected officials know what’s going on and how you feel about it. Parents have power to make change!

Al
10/18/2014

If the Bully has an IEP, they have protection to continue bullying, and the school has more excuses!

X-Victim
05/05/2015

Most bullies don’t have IEP’s. In fact many children in IEP’s are the victims – not the bullies.

Donna
11/05/2013

We experienced a teacher who bullied my son horribly in 4th grade. This teacher would use class time to ask the other students if my son (who is dyslexic and has memory issues) was “behaving” in another teachers room. If the teacher’s “pet” reported anything then the teacher was punishing my son for behavior in another class. This is so mind boggling that a teacher could punish my son for behavior while he was in the care of another certified teacher’s care. My son took months to report this to me because of her intimidation. Many teachers are complicite in bullying and instead of stopping it they actually start it and encourage it. We eventually had to remove our son from public schools and are now homeschooling. Looking back I wish we would have done this sooner, the emotional toll public schools had on him has been devestating.

Dora
10/25/2011

When I, a concerned parent, tried to get an anti-bullying program into my son’s middle school, I was ignored.
There were many federally approved anti-bullying programs available for a reasonable price, especially after school shootings were in the news and public awareness of bullying began to include concern for everyone (even teachers and administrators,) not “just” the victims of bullying.
In addition, there was a veritable army of parents who were willing to help, or even make our own anti-bullying campaign, for free. Parents who had been involved the year before were told that “the kids don’t want you at school now because they want to feel more grown up.”
For whatever reason, to date (it’s been 10 years since then) they still do not have a plan or program against bullying there. But the doors are locked. Safe ?