C.M. asks from Acton, CA on October 21, 2008
Yesterday at Vasquez High School a 9th grade boy shot himself in the bathroom. This boy was one of my daughters pals. They were not close but the shared the same problem. Kids harass them relentlessly. Before yesterday I was thinking of taking my daughter out of school and doing Virtual Academy. I am rethinking this because it feels like I will be walking away from the problem and not helping the situation get better for all the other kids out there. How can I approach this principal and get it throughto him that this needs to stop? He is fully aware my daughter gets harassed. She sits in the office at lunch just to get away from these kids.
She is torn up over this boy shooting himself. Advise would help this situation.
C.B. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2008
I will pray for your situation. Talk to your daughter, rather listen to her. She is probably very confused right now. I will pray that God will give you wisdom to speak the right words. Bests wishes
N.S. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2008
First off, my deepest sympathies. This is tragic at any age, let alone new teenagers. I would certainly hope that after all the media attention and the absolute shock of this happening that the principal will take this kind of behavior more seriously. How are the counselors at the school, the psychologist, the Asst. Princ. over discipline, the health clerk? These are all people that students can go to for assistance. The best thing that you can do for your daughter is to not discount how she is feeling. To a teen, there is no reality, only the perception of reality. They see and feel things according to their perception of them. Try to get her involved in things that empower her. I certainly hope that this will enable alot of families to have discussions with their kids regarding bullying. My question is, where was the supervision in the cafeteria that allowed food throwing on a daily basis? That is the first line of defense that seems to have broken down. Maybe parents can volunteer to do lunch supervision to free up the Administrators to focus on where the pockets of inappropriate behavior are occuring. Good luck, my heart goes out to all the families affected by this tragic loss.
A.A. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2008
I think that your first responsibility is to your daughter, not to fixing the situation. Leaving an unhealthy situation is not always running away. Later in life your duaghter will have to make decisions about relationships and jobs. If she understands that there are choices now, she may be more inclined to exercise those choices later. I would let the administration know that this is why you are taking your daughter out, and that there is a problem. I don't think that going through years of unacceptance and harrasment is a good way to enter a confident and productive adulthood. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
M.P. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2008
Hi C.: I am here in Palmdale and this situation is very common within the district, it just does not get discussed enough.
If this student was under special needs, and with an IEP behind him..it should have been stated that he can go to the counselor whenever he wants. My grandson had alot of bullying in elementry school..would be pushing him about in the bathroom. He wanted to take out the kids, I warned the faculty of his torment. Do not know if they took it seriously. The school counselor did approach him more and the conversations were more frequent.
Jr. High in Special Ed had its trials with the name calling and food fights also. We were there for our grandson to discuss it. The teachers were made aware of the unacceptability of this kind of behavior within the classroom and out.
Highschool years had there set of bullying students, but my grandson was able to get with the school physcologist and the bullying student on one occassion and draw up a contract. There has to be communication from student to parents and have insiteful teachers and staff. Some of the negative students were dismissed from the school and as the years passed, my grandson focused more on academics and learned to walk away from the negative individuals. We are so proud of him and what he accomplished he graduated from the school with loads of friends and a lot of respect from the faculty. WE JUST HAVE TO BE THERE FOR THEM AT ALL TIMES!!
K.M. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2008
I agree with Lisa, as a resident of Canyon Country and with two daughters at GVHS, this is just too close to home. I also agree that we need to do something about it.
I am part of the School Site Council at GVHS and will definitely bring this issue up at our 10/28 meeting. Perhaps, if we could get at least one parent from each of the high shcools involved and form a District Task Force we could actually do something about this issue.
Please count me in, if you think this is something we can do, then we can meet and get organized.
In the meantime, focus on your daughter and letting her know that you are totally on her side on this and that she will not ever be alone as long as she has you! God Bless!