Responding to Bullying Situations

  • When your child is the victim…

    • Encourage your child to report any problems to you, their school counselor, a teacher, an SRO, their school principal, or any other trusted adult
    • When possible, document incidents that demonstrate the extent of the problem
    • Play an active role in guiding your child through the reporting process, and empower them to take the appropriate steps required to address the issue
    • Notify the school administration immediately if your child is physically threatened
    • Do not try to fix the problem by confronting the bully or the bully’s parents

    Tip:  Do not encourage your child to retaliate or “counter-bully” their aggressor.  While this may seem like a rational response, such behavior complicates the investigation for administrators and/or law enforcement.  In many cases, this actually prevents the authorities from determining which student is the victim.

    When your child is a bystander…

    • Encourage your child to report the incident to school officials immediately
    • Make sure your child supports the victim by including him/her in social activities

    When cyberbullying is the problem…

    • Document any messages or posts
    • Avoid interaction by “blocking” future messages or emails and avoiding problem websites, until the incident can be reported and investigated
    • Report the situation to someone at your child’s school. Generally, the problems extend from home to school, or vice versa

    When bullying doesn’t stop…

    • If you’re not satisfied with the school’s response, reach out to the school district office and file a formal grievance
    • If you believe that a crime has occurred, report the incident to a local law enforcement agency