What can I do when the school isn’t doing enough to stop the bullying of my child?

Make sure to document the incidents of bullying, any complaints about the incidents made to the school, and the school’s responses.  The BULLY Project’s Parent Action Toolkit provides detailed guidance on what to do.  Here are some key steps for protecting your child’s rights:

Write down the basis for bullying your child is facing, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, appearance, etc.

Describe the nature of the bullying, such as verbal taunts, physical abuse, sexual harassment, social exclusion, online threats, rumors, etc.

Make a list of everyone who is doing the bullying.  Are they students, teachers, or other adults?

Describe where the bullying is occurring.  Is it on the bus, at school, during after-school activities, online, etc.?

Create a timeline to show how long this been going on.  

Write down the effects of the bullying on your child.

Write down the names of all people to whom you or your child have complained.

Make sure to notify school officials, including the principal.  It’s a good idea to notify the superintendent, too.

It helps to notify the school in writing, such as through e-mail or a letter, especially if your efforts to talk through the issues with school officials have failed.

Follow up phone conversations and meetings with an e-mail, so you have a paper trail.

Keep copies of all letters, e-mails and other documents, including any screenshots of relevant social media.

If your child has been physically assaulted, take pictures of the injuries and document when the assault occurred.

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