Even after the new standards set in place by governments to combat bullying in schools, it remains a national problem for children. Bullying and abuse in school forces many parents to homeschool their kids, says Michael Donnelly, attorney for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, on an episode of “Reform School”. He spoke of a teacher who supposedly grabbed a kindergartener’s face. Mary C. Tillotson for Human Events quotes him as saying:
“Frankly, that’s a reason that a lot of parents don’t want their kids in school and are looking for choices, and why a lot of parents homeschool their kids, because of bullying,” he said. “Usually it’s bullying from other kids, but there’s plenty of bullying that happens with teachers, too, and special needs kids.”
Donnelly said that he knows teaching is a “tough job” and that he did not want to be thought of as criticizing teachers in general.
In 2011, almost 28% of school children ages 12-18 said they were bullied at school throughout the school year. Almost 18% of those students also said that they were poked fun at or insulted, writes Michael D. Clark for The Enquirer.
A further 18% of students said that they were the topic of rumors, 5% claimed that they were threatened with harm and 3% stated that other students tried to force them do things they did not want to do, reports Clark.
Around 6% of pupils said that they were purposefully being discouraged from participating in activities, 3% claimed that their personal items were stolen or broken by other students intentionally, and 8% reported that they were pushed, shoved, tripped or spit on. About 21% of those students said they were hurt because of the incident.
Almost 9% of children said that they had been cyber-bullied. Of those, 4% said that a fellow student had put hurtful messages on the Internet and 4% claimed that they were sent hurtful text messages, reports Clark.
As a way to combat this bullying, parents may first encourage their kids to try and stand up for themselves and asking the bully to desist, says Kelly Wallace for CNN. The next stage, if that doesn’t work, would be moving up through the chain of command, starting with the adult that was nearby where the supposed bullying took happened. Examples include a teacher if the bullying happened in the classroom or a bus driver if it took place on a bus, and then going to the principal and the school district.
Unfortunately, several parents insist that schools are condoning bullying behaviors by telling kids things like “It wasn’t that big of a deal” or “You’re overreacting” or “Your kid needs to learn how to deal with it.”
Parents should document what takes place, what staff were in the vicinity and what they, if did anything, what the effect on their child was in terms of emotional harm, how the bully may be interfering with their child’s education and recreational activities and what the school has done about it, said Nancy Willard, director of the group Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, that works on fighting cyber bullying.