Bullying - Harvey,IL

Updated on October 16, 2012
R.S. asks from Dolton, IL
15 answers

Hello Moms,

I have a question regarding bullying. My daughter is 10 and she very stocky for her age which she get's from her father's side. We diet and excercise and her doctor has even stated that maybe she has just inherited her father's gene. She goes to a private school where she has to live with other girls in a house type setting and they have house parents. There are 2 little girls in her cottage that is constantly picking with her and calling her fat. She was suspended the second week of school because her and one of the little girls got into a pushing match. They have school case manager's that when things like this occur the house parent tells the case manager and then the case manager talks to the girls and calls the parent. Well school has been in session for 2 months now and it seems like the case manager nor the house parents can control the two little girls that are doing the bullying. It seems like every week I'm getting a call from the case manager or the house parent's are telling me that it was another incident and they are dealing with it. It's bad enough that my children are away from me but when she comes home crying because she likes going to the school but doen't like some of the children what do you do? The case manager keep's telling me that she is talking to all the girls about bullying but it doesn't look like her talks are working. Can I get some suggestion from other mother's as to what I should do?

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answers from Albany on

Hmmm, I think it's fairly well know that the number of Mean Girls is generally higher at a private boarding school than your average local public school.

Maybe it's not a good match for her?

And have you tried any of the ideas here?http://www.stressfreekids.com/5902/bully-proof-child

I'm not sure you're going to get anywhere with the administration. Private schools can (and do) follow their own set of policies.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

If it were me, I'd bring my daughter home. Period.

Personally, I could not bear to have my 10 year old daughter live away from me at a boarding school. Regardless of whether or not there was any bullying going on. So, obviously, that informs my response as to what "I" would do...

Bring her home. She is 10. Can't imagine that the school is worth your child being bullied AND her not living at home.

It is evident that the school has done about all it is going to do. From reading your previous posts history, I am going to go out on a limb and guess that she receives some sort of scholarship to be at the school. IF that is the case, the school is not going to boot out kids who are paying full boat rates over these incidents with your daughter. It just isn't going to happen. And IF any of the other girls are aware of the scholarship stuff, that may be part of the problem to begin with, in regards to bullying. It doesn't make it right or "okay", but it may be the reality nonetheless.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Beyond talking to the girls, are they taking any further action? If not, I would not be too thrilled with the school. Kids will be kids but the school should be enforcing some rules. Maybe these girls are not a good fit for your daughter, can they switch who she rooms with? Can you change schools? Bring her home and still attend this school?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Rosalind, it might help us all if you can give a little more detail on the situation. Some questions not just for you to answer (you don't have to!) but also for you to think about as you consider the situation:

Why does she need to be at this this particular school (one person who posted assumed that you had money and could "let your money do the talking" but your old posts indicate that is not the case at all); are there reasons she cannot live with you and go to a local school? It's easy for us here to say "Bring her home" as some have already, but you may have some very compelling reasons she needs a boarding school environment.

Why does she say she specifically likes this school overall, before these issues got going? Does she do well academically there; do you feel comfortable with the adults who run it (other than in this case); does she like what she's learning? Or do you feel she might possibly be saying she likes it there mostly because she's familiar with it and she fears the unknown if you were to send her elsewhere? You need to talk to her more and find out if she is truly happy other than with the bullying, or if she is mostly fearing being pulled out of the school because she doesn't know where else she'd go.

Does the school do anything other than talking about bullying? Is there any actual punishment for the bullies themselves? Privileges taken away, and/or unpleasant chores assigned, for instance? Did the other child involved in the shoving match also get suspended for it, or only your child? (if the other child didn't get the same discipline -- big red flag!) The case manager "talking to the girls and calling the parents" sounds weak to me; the school should have a firm system of removing privileges when students behave certain ways, even verbally. If all that's done is talk, nothing will affect these kids.

Is the case manager's or house parent's personality part of this? Perhaps she's a softie type when previous case managers or house parents were tougher and kids knew they could not get away with things?

Can you get to the school yourself, in person, or is it too far? Can you turn up unannounced? I would not put a child at any place where you were required to let them know you were coming -- it's the same principle as with a preschool: Parents should be able to drop in any time. If you have to let them know you're coming, they have time to "clean up" the situation and get their stories coordinated.

Bullying over a kid's size has happened since the start of time, but it's much worse in this case because your child must sleep and eat with her bullies. You can give it some more time -- after talking to the school in person about whether they are DOING anything with the bullies or just talking to them. You also can role-play with your child the scenarios where she is being bullied and give her constructive things to say, and teach her how to walk away (again -- harder in this case since they live together every day). I would definitely ask the school counselor to meet with your child and give her specific techniques for how to react to these kids so she is not getting into trouble when they anger and upset her.

I feel so sorry for her, and for you being away from her during this time. Push the school hard on actually disciplining these other kids, and work with the counselor closely and immediately to teach your child to defend herself now and in the future. And meanwhile, investigate other options such as other schools or bringing her home IF you and she and the other adults at the school cannot deal with this. But I would not pull her out instantly. First work on giving her tools for defending and deflecting, and ensure she feels very good about who she is and her own talents and personality. If the counselor, case manager, house parent, and other adults are not cooperative with you -- I would let them know very clearly they are just condoning bullying and seem to fear their own students. I hope it does not come to that, and they are concerned and cooperative!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I agree, go to the school. I would also insist that the other parents be called in for a meeting so that it's known, in no uncertain terms, that bullying won't be tolerated. If the other girls continue, it should be grounds for suspension or expulsion. I would have a phone conversation with the dean first, and find out if suspension/expulsion is in their handbook (look yourself first) and if not, why not? This is unacceptable.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Go to the school, start insisting on harsher punishments for the bullies.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I assume you have some sort of social status or you would not be able to afford this type or boarding school situation.

Therefore let your money do the talking. Tell them you are going to start informing other parents that they are too lax in their approach to bullying and they you are going to pull your children and tell everyone you know to pull theirs too. That a lawsuit might be in order for their not protecting your daughter from this situation.

But in all truthfulness I don't think I could manage having a 10 year old living away at school every day for any length of time. It must be an awesome school for her to still love going there.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It sounds like the school is not a good match. You probably need to find somewhere else to send her. I looked at some of your old posts, boy they are old. If you are still sending her somewhere that is free but boarding, there is a chance that they are attracting some bad elements. It is not so much that these girls are little, they are just brats. Brats that may not appreciate being taken away from their family to go to that school. They may want to be kicked out, maybe your daughter is doing something hoping she gets kicked out.

I just don't think the school itself is a good environment for your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Is she in foster care? Can you call the case worker?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New London on

I was obese in third, fourth and fifth grade. I was the heaviest girl in the elementary school. One other girl was chunky, but, very tall and NOT to be messed w/----- plus, she was 2 yrs older due to some learning needs.

Your daughter is not obese, but, she is still being made fun of...

It is horrible for me to hear that your daughter is crying over this. She is definitely taking it to heart. From somebody who has been in those shoes, I can tell you that it has affected my life and still does. I can tell you that as a kid, I felt like I was in a black hole and could not get out of it.

Bullying was pretty much unheard of back then. Yet, the kids made me cry every day. I did not stand up for myself. I was afraid to. I was in really bad shape emotionally. On the other hand, I never told anybody or cried in front of anybody---which made things severe... then, and later.

I am glad your daughter is crying out to you.

If the adults are not stepping in, get her out of that situation!

Many yrs have passed, but, I have been affected tremendously.

My kids stand up for themselves. I have had many discussions w/ them about bullies and being a victim of it. Looking back, I was pretty shy and probably would have not stood up for myself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Maybe you need to find a school that is more pro-active in the bullying and bring her home instead of having her away. Maybe YOU can model the appropriate behavior for conquering bullying???

other than that - I don't have enough information to answer the question about what to do.

What are the house parents doing? Are they encouraging it or are they trying to stop it???

If the other girls aren't stopping maybe THEY need to be suspended from school???

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

The school needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy on bullying-every school does-if you bully a classmate-you are expelled-super simple.

Have your little girl look into "The Perfect Ten Diet" you'll be amazed to find out that it includes 40% daily intake of fats, 40% good carbs, and 20% protein-it allows for the 10 essential hormones needed for healthy weight to be brought back into balance-$1.99 on Kindle. Best of luck-you're daughter will not always be heavy, but the girls bullying her will probably always be ...nothing worth mentioning.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

wow.... I am sorry that your daughter is going through this. My daughter endured bullying at the age of 3. The main focus should be building your daughters self-esteem FIRST and always showing her that she is loved no matter what. Bullying sucks. After we couldn't get the results that we wanted my daughter (LaNiyah Bailey) wrote 2 books about bullying at the age of 7 and now we're touring schools worldwide to stand up against bullies and help those who are being bullied. Schools in Korea have even added her books to their lesson plans. I know no mother ever wants to feel helpless when their child is experiencing something so mean. The school needs to do more to help the situation. Bring in all the parents and start kicking kids out of the school that are the center of the bullying. There should be stricter rules and the school needs to adopt an anti-bullying policy that ALL parents need to read and sign-off on. They should also do an assembly that will highlight bullying and teach the students to accept people no matter the difference.



answers from Springfield on

You are her mother and she has to depend on you in this situation because the other adults are letting her down. In my opinion when an adult doesn't squash this, they become as guilty as the bullies.

You need to put your foot down with the adults in charge. DEMAND that this stop immediately. Call them every day - or visit them. Tell them you mean business.

Very sad - and to all other parents - we have got to all remember to teach our children proper behavior - what they see on TV is terrible - even the shows that are supposedly meant for kids.



answers from San Francisco on

Tell the school to TEACH EMPATHY! Have them role play so they can see what it feels like to be your daughter. Have the person playing the victim talk about suicide and how they just want to end their life because they can't take it anymore.

Teaching about bullying won't work because they probably don't consider themselves to be bullies!

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