Bullying--sorry May Be Long, I Need to Vent

Updated on February 05, 2011
L.A. asks from Arvada, CO
13 answers

My son and a little girl at his school have been "friends" since kindergarten. We were friends with the family, until things started happening and all the parents do is make excuses for her. Im not going to go in to a ton of details, but lets just say she is manipulative, a theif, a total liar (which her parents just say are "fish stories") We put up with it for awhile, but around 3rd grade we finally told them enough is enough and ended all ties.
The problem is, this little girl still rides the bus with my son. She gets on the stop after him. She sits down next to him. He is already alienated by all the boys in the neighborhood because he is not an athletic kid. He is VERY smart, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is very loving and sweet. He does not know how to stand up for himself because he is afraid of hurting somebodies feelings. We have had a few issues on the bus this year. The school is aware of them. They have not been physical, but more emotional. We have my son in counseling right now to help him learn to stand up for himself and help him socially.
Anyways, yesterday he was in his counseling session. He told the counselor that the day before on the way home from school this girl was showing him self defense moves, and used him as a person to show the moves on. She punched him in the stomach. On the way to school yesterday she did the same thing and grabbed his shoulder and shoved him down in to the seat in front of him. He told her it hurt and she stopped.
I took him back to school after this session, and asked to speak to the principal. She is on vacation. I talked to the school social worker. She basically told me there was nothing they can do because an adult didnt witness it--are you kidding me. She did call the girl down to her office. The girl admitted doing it and apologized to my son. Because she apologized and was told she cant do that again, they are letting it go.....WHAT???? She is 10 years old, shouldnt she already know not to punch somebody. We have been dealing with this girl forever, and it just keeps getting worse. So are they basically telling me, suck it up and deal with it? I can drive my son to school, but cant pick him up because my daughter gets home at the exact same time on a different bus. I dont have anybody around that can help me. I do plan on calming down a little bit more and going to visit the principal on Monday. Im afraid I am going to get the same response. I am starting to feel like the overractive crazy mom. I am not though. Most of the stuff I do just talk about with him and try to let him deal with it. I feel this is pretty severe though. My heart aches for him. He told me he tried sitting in a different spot on the bus and all those kids got up and moved so he is left alone (I want to talk to all those moms, but I am not going to) What would you do if you were in my shoes? What if I get the same response from the principal? I know we only have 4 months left of school, but I am really afraid of what can happen in the next 4 months.

To answer some of the responses so far: I do have him in Tae Kwon Do. He loves it. However, I still do not think he would ever use it, especially on a girl. He worries way too much about how everybody feels. We are working on it. For the time being, we are at a loss. I do usually let him figure most things out on his own, but I hear that he got punched in the stomach and I just cant let it go.
I wish I could tell you how this girls mind works. It actually impresses me how manipulative she can be, and how she processes things. I actually feel very sorry for her, but am so angry at her at this point I dont even care. Our house used to be a place for her to go. I invited her in here and was once nice to her. until she stole my cell phone, my neighbors kids video games etc....(we do have proof that she did this) Then we saw how she treated all the kids. She has focused her attention on my son. I imagine because he trusts everybody and is very naive.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I emailed the principal, and got a response from her later in the day. She did end up calling this girls mom and having her come in . Im not sure exactly what happened, but I do feel much better that the mom is finally aware of what is going on. The kids are not allowed to sit within 5 rows of each other on the bus. However, the girl got on the bus yesterday and informed a bunch of kids she cant sit next to my son because he is mad at her and is being mean........i dont think it is ever going to end. I am praying for a moving miracle at this point. One of us needs to go :-)

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answers from San Francisco on

If he can deal with the bullying himself that would be the best. I like the karate lessons idea. Also as far as the things kids say, you can role play with him what to say. Sometimes just having an air of self confidence can help as Mommymommy...said. I do this with my daughter and she says she doesnt' get bullied if she's prepared.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

As a person that was bullied from 3rd grade through the 10th grade, sometimes talking to everyone FOR your son, makes the bullying get worse.

If he doesn't fend for himself, nothing will change no matter who you talk to.

Yes, I DO realize that my response will NOT be anywhere near what others might say. You have to have lived through it to know why I say what I say.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

You may think I am nuts, but I think your son could benefit from karate lessons....not so he can "fight back" but so that he has the self-assurance to know that he can if he must.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son had some bullies that kept picking on him on the bus and at school. They did get kicked off the bus for a couple days one time, but then they were back at it again. I finally sat my son down and told him "you have the right to hit back if you are EVER hit again. You will not get into trouble with me or your dad and we will talk to your school about it if it happens. You have to stand up for yourself and let these kids know that you will not tolerate being hit."
My son, such a sweetie, told me that he didn't want to hurt anyone(and I felt like a lousy parent for suggesting it). He just didn't let them bother him anymore. And once they realized they couldn't get a reaction from him, the bullying stopped and he became friends with one of them.
But, I think if this girl doesn't stop, he just needs to haul off and pop her. I don't care if she is a girl- she is not acting like a lady and should not be treated like one if she won't stop. Make sure you are on your son's side for this- he might get kicked out of school- but some kids just push until they are pushed back. Sounds like what she is doing. Or, just make sure he is sitting by someone else on the bus- talk to the driver and see about assigned seating for this girl and your son.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

So basically your schools line on bullying is that if an adult didn't see it it did not happen?? If it were me I would launch an all out attack on this. First-get the OFFICIAL district policy on bullying. In our district it is zero tolerance. If you do not have one then you need to fight until you get one. So meet with your principal first about this. If he gives you this bs then you say to him that it is unnacceptable and that you are taking it to the school board. And do it. Do your homework. There is a ton of research out there on bullying and its negative effects. Our school uses Olweus http://www.olweus.org/public/index.page I would also drum up as much support from the parents as you can. Spread the word about this bogus policy which is basically a head in the sand approach to a childhood health epidemic. Go to your PTO meeting and present to them also.

I would be surprised if this did not get you somewhere. In light of the very high profile bullying cases out there lately most schools have been hot to form policies to deal with this...as a CYA if nothing else.

And lastly-I would teach your son how to hit back. IMO he is still young enough to hit a girl. Those rules don't come into effect until puberty when there is a decent size difference. I tell my boys if any girl ever hits you to hurt you then you hurt her back.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

As a mommy, teacher and former bullied person, I agree with everything that the previous moms have said! The bus driver needs to be in the loop too! They are responsible for the kids on the bus from the time they step on to the time they are in a safe place when offloading (sidewalk, personal property, etc).
I absolutely agree with the karate lessons. I have seen karate build self esteem in kids that I thought nothing would help. It also seems to help their ability to concentrate!



answers from Minneapolis on

In addition to counseling, I recommend getting your son in Martial Arts training (karate, Tae Kwon Do, etc.). Not because you expect him to hit back, but because it teaches self-confidence and speaking up for himself, along with the physical moves to protect himself.

My daughter and I have been in Karate training since she was 5, I've had five previous years of training and also taught kids' karate for two years. The kids that started out the least athletic/most timid were the ones to make the most progress and gain the most from the training. These are life-long skills that I believe all children benefit from learning.



answers from Los Angeles on

Call the police and file a complaint regarding how the girl physically abused your son. The school is not helping you and everyday that this goes on your son suffers. Who knows what the long term damage can be from what he's going through now. Do not trust the school to handle it. Involve the police and I think you will see a change from this child quite quickly. I'm sorry that you and your family are going through this.



answers from San Francisco on

Role play defending himself with your son. This is the most important technique you can use.

Go to that girl on the bus, or wherever you can find her, and tell her you'd better not EVER hear of her hurting your son again. Say it like you mean business.

If I were you I'd look for a new school. A small charter school or something where the kids are more understanding and used to differences. The charter school my kids went to was very communal and the kids treated each other kindly.



answers from Minneapolis on

I didn't read the other responses so I may be repeating.... I would talk to the bus driver and let him/her know that you have addressed the issue w/ the principal and the school social worker and I would then tell my son he MUST sit in the first seat right next to the driver. Not the one behind it, because he can't see anything there - at least in the seat that is right by the door the driver can see if something is going on.

If that doesn't work then I would drive my child to school and then he would only have to deal wit 'it' once... at the end of the day. Good luck and please let us know what happened.



answers from Minneapolis on

Alright, this girl ADMITTED being PHYSICALLY abusive towards your son on the bus, and the school had NO consequence for that?! At my kids school, this girl would lose her bus riding privileges. I'd say, drive your son to school in the morning. And I would go and pick him up at school a little earlier than dismissal time so that you can make it back for your other child. If the school balks at you taking him out a little earlier, I guess they can address the physical danger to him on the bus each day and take it more seriously. Since your son is a bright kid, he should not fall behind missing a small part at the end of each day, but you being up at the school each day to pull him out early will certainly get their attention, at least. And yes, I would schedule a meeting with the principal asap, and become very familar with your school's bus behavior and bullying policies. I think the school is dropping the ball on this big time by just letting her skate by on an apology.



answers from New York on

Yuck- kids can be incredibly mean.

I would definitely make an appointment with the principal- please don't just "stop in". Make sure that the secretary has you booked on the calendar and confirm it with an email or a hand-delivered note. In your "confirmation note" mention what you would like to discuss.

Truthfully, the school social worker did what she could b/c she doesn't really have the authority (in most schools) to apply a consequence. Also, don't assume that the principal is aware of what has gone on. You say "they are telling me"... in reality it sounds like the social worker is telling you so remember not to generarlize your statements.

Your son should not be intimidated on the bus- the girl is bullying him. Ask the principal about the district's anti-bullying policy and don't leave the meeting until there is a plan in place to make sure that your son is not physically or verbally harassed on the bus. It is not uncommon to have "assigned seats" on a bus to avoid these situations.

After your meeting with the principal, follow up with a short "thank you for taking the time to meet with me..." note that also outlines the "plan" and your assurance that you will keep her in the loop should something happen.

Keep copies of your communication in a folder at home just in case! Schools can't solve all the problems of the world, but we do have an obligation to create a safe learning environment for our kids!



answers from Cleveland on

if you get the same response from the principle go to the superintendent(spelling off) and talk to them. that is not right to do and if you need to talk to the bus driver and see if there is something he/she can do to keep them seperated when he is on the bus.

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