20 answers

Bullying in CMS School

Hi -

My son has been continually picked on at this school year. His teachers seem to care about him, but I'm guessing they can only do so much. Although I've reported numerous incidents, it's still happening and something needs to be done.

I'm very proud of him for dealing with the situations as well as he has. Can always use new ideas for ways for a 10 yr old to deal with bullying, though, and for ways for me to help.

His teachers and the school social worker have been involved all along, and a meeting with the principal is planned. I'm waiting for a call from my area's "Learning Community" and from the Transportation Dept's supervisor, as many of the incidents occur on his bus.

I'm new to this area and so don't know the CMS system yet. Before I have another meeting at my son's school, can anyone share with me what has worked for them when advocating for their children within the school system?

Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi everyone - thank you for all of your advice, suggestions, book titles, etc. I was interested to find that in most cases, we already have your suggestions in place. It helps to have people share that in the long run these things worked for them - we all know that's a good feeling. :-)

I purposely left many of the details vague "to protect the identity of the innocent"! I do apologize however that I've obviously touched on painful emotions about a subject that can do a lot of damage. Again, I appreciate the time and effort you've taken to share your experiences, and for those still trying to deal with the fall-out of bullying, I hope that you can find the help to heal. You've helped me to be more sensitive to what my son, and others are going through. Isn't it sad that in all of these years (I'm thinking of incidents in my own early education), we still struggle to get along with each other? Sigh. But I digress.

For those who've wondered, yes, my son does have some of the physical characteristics that make him a "target" for bullying - but the very fact that physical characteristics *are* a target for bullying is partially what I wanted the school to be more pro-active in addressing. My son, to his credit, has come tremendously far behaviorally-wise, and sometimes, part of what so upsets him is his frustration in trying to stand up for others who are being bullied. He's learning all of those difficult lessons - about self-confidence, about when to intervene, when to ignore, when to seek the help of an adult, when to use humor to diffuse a situation.....phew! Growing up is hard work! (I hope I get better at it myself one of these days, lol.)

Being new in town, I was trying to give the staff the benefit of the doubt, and yet I was too naive in assuming the administration would have in place lines of communication for its teachers. Seems a big part of the problem is that the incidents the teachers were trying to help my son and me with never got the attention of the admin. because they weren't being reported on a certain form. Bureaucracies! Now, I think this incident (and the "big stink" we made)has already started a renewed awareness in the school that there is a problem to be addressed, and here are the ways we can begin to deal with it.

That is what I wanted in the first place.....I'm just sorry it took so long to come to this point. Again, part of our frustration was that we knew if this was happening to my son, it surely was happening to other children who may not have a loud-mouthed family to draw attention to the problem, and that obviously, the children who are doing the bullying have some needs that aren't getting met as well.

It was very nice to hear my son's teachers exclaim to the administration about how much they enjoy working with him, how far he's come, how hard he tries. I already knew all of that....but it does "make a mom proud". :-) My son said that during the day's announcements, it was brought to the attention of the whole school that, "We have a problem with bullying, and it will stop.", or something like that. I hope you all can share in our relief that it is now at least being acknowledged.

Okay, I'll stop crowing about my son and get off my soapbox! Thanks again, very much. I look forward to reading more of your replies.

Featured Answers

Call TV News stations and let them know what's going. I promise you that the news stations will get results for you. Also, call the newspapers and report everything to them.

My son is 15 years old now. He does go to a charter school which is a lot better than CMS schools. It is a smaller school and has a lot more control over situations. Anyway, when he was in 4th grade he was very distant from others. Always friendly and happy but he was picked on mainly because he was an easy target. I actually put him into karate. He became more confidant and his self esteem was lifted dramatically. He realized who he was and how to handle different situations. I really hope you find the answers, I would look into a charter school as well. I love Union Academy

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Not sure where you live, but here in the county in NC I live in, there is a 0% bullying policy. That means an automatic suspension if it is ruled that it was a bullying incident. If your not sure, find out and then ask the school admin why these children are being allowed to stay in school when they continue to bully your son. He has just as much right, more, to be in school learning since he is doing nothing wrong. I went through this with my now 15 year old when he was in middle school. I have to say the staff was right on top of it and after the kids saw so many kids getting suspended, they kind of rethought whether it was a good idea or not. I am not saying that kids still don't pick on my son. A teacher once told me he was a "triple threat" to the other students. I said as far as I know, he has never threatened anyone. He said no, it is because he is small for his age, he wears glasses and is very smart. He said that just makes him a target. So I told my son not to worry about it, one day he will be the CEO of some company and they will still be working at a fast food chain making minimum wage. Tell your son that everyone grows up and for him to be determined that what they are doing to him is not going to define who he becomes. Only he can decide what his future holds.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is 15 years old now. He does go to a charter school which is a lot better than CMS schools. It is a smaller school and has a lot more control over situations. Anyway, when he was in 4th grade he was very distant from others. Always friendly and happy but he was picked on mainly because he was an easy target. I actually put him into karate. He became more confidant and his self esteem was lifted dramatically. He realized who he was and how to handle different situations. I really hope you find the answers, I would look into a charter school as well. I love Union Academy

Our best friends had the same problem. Their son was bullied in middle school. They met with teachers, met with Guidance, met with the principal--nothing worked. Eventually they switched to a private Christian school and no bullying. He is now on the football team, basketball team, baseball team, and one of the most popular teenagers in high school. My children are in magnet schools and there is zero tolerance for that behavior. In a magnet school they kick the bullies out of school and send them back to their zoned schools. I would encourage you to remove your child from that environment--move to switch schools or petition the school district to switch schools or apply for a magnet school or change to a private school. Your child deserves to be safe in school.

I teach in school and I know that children can be very cruel to one another and adults won't always catch it. I try to find out what is causing the bullying. How does your child respond to other children picking on him? Many times based on how a child reacts will dictate if it continues. If a bully can push buttons, they will. If a child who has been victimized by a bully can learn how to be humorous to diffuse the situation that is great. For instance, when someone insults him, have your child agree with them saying, "yeah, right" and basically blowing it off. If that approach does not work or ignoring it does not work, you might try identifying who the children are and having a discussion with their parents, maybe getting the kids together.
Bullying is a problem in school. The children want to be popular or thought of as "cool" by their peers. Otherwise, the parent who is at the school and talking gets attention. Keep your child's concerns in the focus of the teachers and administrators and remind them periodically. Good luck.

I don't know about NC but in TN there is a bullying law. If you bully they in school suspend you. Do it again and you are suspended. Again and you are out of school. PERIOD!

My little sister was bullied tremendously when she was little and in school. They were jealous kids and nobody would do anything or could do anything. It messed her up badly. She grew throughout the years with low self esteem and walked around like she had been kicked in the butt. As she approached teenage years it was still going on and I guess she couldn't deal with it anymore and she started drinking to ease the pain. Today she is 43 yrs old and can't get her life together for anything. She is an alcoholic and everytime the least little thing happens, she grabs a drink. My mother has always enabled her because she feels guilty because she never took her out of that school and she thinks that if she had, she would have turned out different as we were brought up in a christian home with no drinking anywhere near us. She still to this day can tell you stories that are so clear in her head....even details.... like it happened today.
Don't let it go on too long. Take care of it now. If the school won't and can't do anything about it then you ride the bus with him and sit with him and if someone says something to him then you turn around and threaten the living day lights out of those bullies. You don't want your son to grow up with a complex and low self esteem and afraid of everything. I am sorry this is happening to you and I don't want to scare you but nothing good can come out of that. After seeing what my sister went through, if it were my kids, I would find those kids when no one was looking and cover my face and put my hands around their tiny little necks and threaten the pants off them till they were too afriad to mess with him anymore. Then I would deny it to the bone.
This is serious business. Demand a meeting and something be done NOW or tell them you will sue. THat will get a fire lit under their butts.
Good luck.

Hi A.,

Don't know that I would be any help here, but I was a part of the CMS system myself - too many years ago. I attended a high school that was only a 5th the size when I attended as it is now. Whew! And I had trouble on the bus as well, when the school was so much smaller.

My sister has a child in Gaston Cty school system, and has learned the hard way that the only way to mitigate this mess is to take her daughter to school and pick her up. The school bus problems won't go away unless a parent actually moniters the bus, and that's probably never going to catch on. Is there any way you can drive your son?

I hope he'll be okay. CMS is such a big system that it's hard to get these things fixed.
All my best,
D.

CMS has a 0 tolerance for bullying. If nothing is done about it after your meeting, take it directly to the superintendent.

My advice from someone that has been through it..my son was bullied for 2yrs appr when he finally snapped and threatened back.He then was the one that got charged,expelled from school then kicked out.We ended up having to move from the area because parents wouldnt let him back in.Even though it was other children that were the bullies.

Any way..yes talk to the teachers,principle,other parents,bus driver and their up line,anyone and everyone you can think of..police also..get a report of it all filed with them even if the school doesnt like it being reported with the police do it.If the school isnt doing anything to your satifaction go to the media.I have some letters I wrote to the media about bullying in schools and if you or anyone would like to read them please email me private I would be happy to pass them on..good luck..
S. B

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