Did you talk to the principal about the bullying incident? If not, I would definitely go back and address it, in a non-confrontational way. There are things that the principal can do about, even if she is not able to observe any specific incident.
While my daughter's school--as far as I know--hasn't had any serious bullying issues, the have dedicated all language arts classes this week to an anti-bullying curriculum for all students. The first day they discussed what a community is, the second day what a bully is (what they might say and do), and did that exercise that a lot of people on FB have been talking about recently where each student gets a paper shaped heart, balls it up, stamps on it, then tries to smooth it out again (with the conclusion that once you hurt a heart, no matter how you try to fix it later, the scars remain). I'm not sure what else they have done, but the kids seem very engaged in the discussion.
The second thing they have done is select kids for "Friendship Groups" for which they get pulled out of class for about 20 minutes each week to talk about things like what makes a good friend, how to make and keep friends, how to communicate better with teachers and other children. They do mostly games and role plays, I think, and the groups are for both the kids who get a little rough with other kids, as well as those who tend to get picked on or who are shy (although I think they are in separate groups). If your school has a counselor, that person could run the sessions (in our school it's a parent volunteer with a background in educational counseling).
Perhaps these are things you could suggest to the principal? Hopefully your principal is sympathetic with the issue, but even if she's not, the potential for lawsuits from the parents of bullied children should provide some motivation to take action against school bullying.
Maybe-- or maybe you could bring up the fact that since this was done to your daughter, there is no other choice. Wouldn't that be cheaper for them than a lawsuit?
The little girl who was 10 and committed suicide recently is weighing heavily on my mind. It's bad enough when children bully . . .but when a teacher sanctions it, there is no hope. How can your daughter trust that school is a safe place now? If her behavior is such a concern, then formal testing/evaluation needs to be done to get her HELP, not punishment.
Yes, and if the school cannot meet her needs then they are obligated to offer a school that can at their expense.
Thanks for all of your advice. The situation with my daughter and the playground and friends is continuing to deteriorate. I will work with her about specific actions she can take.
She is also gifted and I found that these 2 articles really resonate with what is going on with her.
I don't know if we should try going to private school or not. It just doesn't seem like there is much that the school can do, but on the other hand, I feel like her problems will just follow her to a new school.
The school is not providing a safe, appropriate education for your child. She is being bullied by a child, and the teacher won't correct it. She's being bullied by the teacher, and the principal won't correct it. Honestly, I'd document everything you can remember. I'd make an appointment ASAP with the principal and lay your documents out for him/her. Then I would say "what are you going to do to make school safe for my child? If you cannot make this school a safe place, then you must find us an alternative where our daughter can get a safe, appropriate education. If you cannot do that, then the school district will need to pony up for private school tuition." Then I'd contact a lawyer well versed in discrimination. The school is hoping you'll go away rather than fixing it.
You don't have to answer this, but you will be able to get them to jump faster if your daughter belongs to a group that is considered a minority nationwide. (So my kids are white, but are in a school with a high population of minorities, as defined by the federal government. In our school, my kids are a minority, but they're not in society at large. So, if I were seeing what you were seeing, I would call them on the racism they're exhibiting, but it'd be a harder sell.)
To give you an alternative perspective: My kids, as I mentioned, go to a school where they're in the minority. We have had 1 incident in the 5 years that we've been there of ds being bullied. Ds is somewhat shy, is highly reactive and so responded really actively to being teased (he's got a lot of overexcitabilities too). Ds came home from school one day in 2nd grade and said "I don't like doing group work in math, G is making fun of me." I contacted the teacher. We set up a meeting within 2 days. The teacher was there, the school counselor was there, I was there. The teacher had already talked to ds and asked him who he'd rather work with than G. Ds gave her a name and she switched the pairings before the meeting ever took place. When we met, she explained to me that she'd paired the stronger math students (like ds) with some of the weaker kids (G), and that ds was having trouble explaining his understanding to G. The counselor suggested a friendship group for ds. He went to a friendship group in 2nd grade, and again in 4th grade when I asked his teacher how his social skills were, and she offered to talk to the counselor about a group. I have no idea what ds got out of those groups, but I think it did help.
My point here is: We've got a school with a 'difficult' population (many kids who are learning English in school, extremely high poverty rate). The school is absolutely wonderful about proactively teaching social skills, monitoring kids' behavior for bullying and intervening when appropriate. (The system they use is called PBIS, by the way, you might google it.) A school absolutely can and should help your daughter deal with these issues. The fact that they are not makes me really really angry for your daughter.
OMG! WOW. Your child is being bullied by a student, and the teacher has them working together....AND did not IMMEDIATELY intervene when there was an issue? It had to come to physical injury?! And the vote? I would be furious if my child even told me that took place at his school---even if he was NOT the one "voted off the island!" I would be visiting with the principal about my child participating as a voter! It's just WRONG. Just the fact that the teacher had them doing that is condoning it as OK and obviously it is NOT. If there is a problem with your DD, the teacher needs to find a way to facilitate the students dealing with the issue. Things like teaching the students how to respectfully stand up for themselves and helping your DD to change the behavior that is a problem. Heck, even determining there truly IS a problem, not just that the other kids don't like that she tells and gets them in trouble!
I think your district owes it to you to send her to another school. You have plenty of proof that this one is not meeting her need to feel safe and to trust the adults in charge. As a kid who went to a school that was like that for me, I say CHANGE HER SCHOOL. I *still* have social anxiety problems, maybe I always did and that was part of the issue, but being bullied daily certainly did nothing to cure it. Trust me, they don't want to be the next school on the news where a kid committed suicide. I'm not saying your DD would. Just that if you make them think that way, they will not want that.
lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
My child was bullied in K. Went on for 4 months.At first the school was sympathic,but the longer I complained the less helpful they were.In the end the school would either deny incidents or try to blame my child. In the end I had to decide if I would support my child or the school. I chose my child.
There are all kinds of laws and rules in place.A multitude of adults at all levels who are SUPPOSED to protect all the children and rectify *issues*. Unfortunately adults we entrust our children with do not always care enough to make things right. My suggestion is to move on when the school fails your child. To many kids are killing themselves these days when they know they have to go to school daily and suffer. There are MANY educational options avaliable for you to choose from. In the least I would suggest an online public school,and activities with a local homeschool group. If possible move soon. Your children are worth anything that needs to do done. If the school is failing your child move on to a better one.
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