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

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

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My daughter was recently bullied again. The ironic thing is that when I reported the situation for the first time to school counselor, I was told or made me believe that she was going to do something about it.. my daughter stood up and got hurt. I went to talk to the principal and counselor and said part of it was their fault for not doing anything. They did intervene after. Now, it’s happening again, different kids, same school. I requested all of my daughters teachers to be present. Some of them, didn’t show up. The ones present, said they didn’t know about the situation. When I asked the counselor the reason teachers were not informed, they said it was a matter of confidentiality. I didn’t believe it. We must stand up and speak up till something is done to stop bullying at schools.

Our school is bullying our family out. My son is smart with a GIEP and when we ask to have a meeting with the teacher because we have questions. They have administration there to intimidate and only allow 1/2 hour. My son feels targeted and he is being treated differently because we advocated for more instruction as required by the GIEP in PA. I think it is Administration including the Superintendent.

While bullying is considered a crime in Michigan, my school takes it just as seriously as the school aforementioned I’m a student who has depression set on from school bullying since kindergarten. Recently, the way bullying is treated here has made my blood boil. As a result, I formed a petition to bring this to the principal’s attention. I feel that saying “ignore them” is a cop out so don’t have to go deeper than telling the bullies “don’t do that”, and this is a HIGH SCHOOL principal, I might add. And these kids (they don’t deserve to even be called high schoolers) are constantly harassing others. I can’t even go a week without my friends or myself being harassed at least once. And I needed to call the crisis hotline twice, and could not get a safe,private place to call. It’s ridiculous

When school officials are complicit or negligent when it comes to bullying, it serves them right to get sued and hopefully defeated in court. I hate it when school officials treat or appear to treat all bullies as the victims and all bullied victims as the villains or aggressors or instigators. Shame on these school officials!

This is exactly what I am going through. My son was physically assaulted 2 times by another boy. The boy harasses him and until it was caught on a bus camera and we call the sheriff the school was going to do nothing about it. Now we are to have a meeting today and I am at a loss as what to do except protect my son at all costs.

Parents have to be aware that some of the “bullies” are protected by case workers, court systems, social workers, advocates and may even be in foster care–so they have a whole CARE team. Principals will ACCOMMODATE those care teams quickly to make their jobs easier. I have seen this. One strategy is to document and call child care services in your state as abuse is abuse. It is not going to get any better unless the administrators know you will act. Otherwise they will ACCOMMODATE those other parties. You have to become one of those OTHER parties and involve others to protect your child. In some school districts where administrators are torn, that is what parents have to do to protect their kids, and start going to ALL the BOE meetings, that will make them listen as you are now INVOLVED.

I have discovered the same thing. It must be much easier on administration to blame the victim! They even turned the tables and tried to punish my child for a story the bullies concocted together, which was proven to be false. I won’t let this go anymore. I am so upset at how the school has treated my child! They should be ashamed.

We learn that when a teacher bullies your child and you go to the school to talk to the principal to help your child, they will call child protective services on *you*. This is what happen to my son when his wife went to the school to talk to the principal about their daughter being bullied by a teacher. That same evening a social worker showed up at their home. The social worker spoke to the child alone and said “we can,t say who, but someone at the school called”. Nothing was done to about the teacher..it was not investigated and Child Protective Services said that there was nothing that can be done about someone calling in and giving a false report out of retaliation.

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