Group Bullying 3Rd Grade

Updated on April 21, 2011
M.M. asks from San Antonio, TX
14 answers

I told the teacher if she doesn't stop it from happening, I am going over her head as high as necessary. The principal is absent again. No one wants me going over their head. In a month, the district will be processing numerous requests from this school for transfers due to bullying so they are going to do everything to at least look like they tried to help.

What makes it hard is that you can't say it is x, y, and z doing it. Many kids are doing it. The antibullying class was a joke and didn't work. The staff sees NOTHING.

The teacher talked to the kids and they are mostly acting nice. One of her friends who we see in several activities is avoiding her so she doesn't get into trouble. She chose the mean girl as did two other friends.

We are moving and won't be here next year. Any advice to help my child?

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answers from San Francisco on

This is your chance to teach your daughter how to be strong.

First of all, I am highly anti-bullying, but children being "outcast" or excluded from a certain group, is not the same as being bullied.

Tell your daughter to go be friends with the 5 other girls who are "outcasts." That's a lot of "outcasts," frankly. They can just form their own group and "exclude" the other girls. Who's to say which group is excluding the other?

I'm reminded of one of the proms my daughter went to. She told me, with a smile and a laugh, that the group of people she went to the prom with were the people who didn't belong to a group.

It's all in the attitude. Tell your daughter to stop worrying about those girls and go hang out with some nice, fun people instead. She can't be "excluded" from a group if she's not even interested in joining it.

I have to comment on your statement: you don't want her "playing only with the others who are outcast." Why not? What's wrong with them? Really, you are overprotecting your daughter at this point.

No, I don't think you should talk to the teacher about it any more.

Edit: Come on ladies -- since when is being "popular" the be-all-and-end-all? Your kids need to learn how to be confident individuals.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Kids are mean. Period.

You need to talk to your child, Most kids do get made fun of or bullied. She needs to know that she did not do anything and that those kids are jerks. i think talking to the teacher may have made it worse, so maybe find another child that is being picked on and let them be friends and have their own club that the other kids cannot be a part of. Don't make it seem like she is the outcast. The OTHER kids are the outcasts.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have noticed a bit of exclusion and meanness with my daughter's 3rd grade classmates as well. There seems to be a "queen bee" that everyone follows. She dictates who will be popular or not. Our school also has an anti-bullying policy, but I wonder who is policing it. If speaking to the teacher hasn't gotten you anywhere, go directly to the principal. If they still won't do anything, at least you'll be leaving the school at the end of the year. Six weeks will go by fast.

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answers from San Francisco on

We use to call it COOTIES, tell your child if someone designates her as an "untouchable", she and the others in her group, can designate and let them know, it's OK because, we don't need or want your "COOTIES". Remind her the she's moving on and the COOTIE KIDS are staying right where they COOTIE LAND!

Try not to make too much of it, if it gets physical or EXTREMELY emotionally disablelling for your child or another child, then YES, go over the teacher's head because it is not being properly addressed.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Of COURSE you should go to the principal and counselor-the teacher is unable to handle it herself. She tried and failed. As did your bullying prevention program. Obviously your school does not have a zero tolerance policy. The school needs to get tough on these kids doing the bullying and this absolutely means calling thier parents in.

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answers from Houston on

Yeah, I remember doing this as a kid. We called it "nerd alert". If a nerd alert was called out if the kid so much as walked by, we raised our feet so that our feet wouldn't be touching the same ground as the kid.

For the vast majority of us, it was a game and we were still friends with the 'nerd alert' kids, but of course, they were others that were pretty brutal and mean to these kids. There was another time a notebook went around the school. On each page was a person's name and people wrote something bad on the kids' page, That book was apprehended by teachers and the school had an assembly about it, but did it stop? Of course not.

I know anti bullying talks happen, and teachers can step in and try to stop the behavior, but the teacher is right, the kids need to tell her when it is happening so she can intervene at that moment. So often times kids are doing this slyly and teachers don't see it, especially at times like recess/lunch/hallways and the like when the teacher isn't immediately present at all times. It would probably be a good idea to talk to your daughter's school counselor so he/she can be aware of the situation. It would be wise if an intervention, or meeting between your daughter and the ones who started it talked it out with the mediator of a principal.

Like another M. said, talk to your daughter about being strong and making friends with the other kids, and not being afraid to go to the teacher. You can't change bullies, but you can help strengthen your daughter and teach her to be a good friend to the other kids who are being targeted as outcasts.

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answers from Austin on

Kids who bully are generally being mistreated at home so they lash out so someone else will hurt just as much or sometimes kids who bully are excessively spoiled (aka getting anything they want) & think they can get away w/anything w/no reprucussions. I went through exactly what you're daughter is going through. No one did anything to help me either. My grades plummeted & the bullying went from kindergarten all the way through college if you can believe that although the college experience wasn't as prevelant it still bothers me to this day why no one did anything. Fortunately there are laws now against bullying & what you may hafta do is if you can't get anywhere w/the school board or higher school officials, go to the authorities. Tell them you want to see how to report incendents of bullying & ask them what you need to do or what can you do. Threaten the school w/the law if you have to but this has got to stop. The bullies HAVE to get the picture that they cannot get away w/it. Either suggest or request the bullies be removed from school & put in alternative schooling or bring the law in. Stand your ground, don't be afraid to do something. Kids are people too w/real feelings & needs & RIGHTS. She has the right not to be bullied. My M. gave me terrible advice, things like 'ignore them & it'll go away' or "well try agreeing w/them...if they call you stupid, just say 'yeah, I know' & maybe they'll quit" Well they didn't quit, it just made things worse so use your rights as citizens & bring the law in on them if you have to. I unfortunately was permanently traumatized by the bullying I received but your daughter doesn't have to go through this. Good luck!

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answers from Hartford on

You're right that it's a form of bullying. I think the problem is that the girls who have decided to be friends outside of school feel bullied into handling the friendships this way, and it's sad. The parents of the other children in the class need to be brought in on this in a group discussion so that they know what the kids are doing. Simply talking to the children isn't working, especially if they're misunderstanding what they're being told or a ringleader to the behavior if warping the messages. These are only third graders, so they're still just little kids, and the school needs the reinforcement of the parents on this one.

It's tough when our kids aren't happy and aren't included in things. It doesn't get any easier as they get older. It actually gets more upsetting even if they're "tough and strong." If you can reinforce with your daughter what a wonderful person she is and who her steadfast friends are, it should go a long way. Let her know that standing up for herself and being loud about being excluded, "You know, that's bullying. No one likes bullying." can give her some power. Some of the kids don't realize at this age that it's bullying.

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answers from Houston on

I am very sorry your daughter is going through this. Some kids, now a day, are worse than before and at a younger age. What I happened with my older son when he was in elementary and middle school, kids tended to bully him a lot. I would tell his teachers by email 1st explaining what my child was going through and asked them to give me a call afterward which they always did. For a while it would stop but then the bullying would continue later in the school year. This happened from 5 grade all the way 8 grade. One year, one group of kids started chasing my son after school (he used to ride a bike to and from school) and took away his bike, actually stole it from him. Good thing was that two other friends actually saw it from afar and were witnesses and were able to tell who the kids were. I got so furious so I set up a meeting with the principle from the school and she actually pulled the kid out of class called his M. and we pressed charges on this kid. And finally because it didn’t stop the bullying, I pulled all my emails and listed all the conversations dates I had with his teachers & principle wrote a letter to the school board and superintendant and copied the teacher and the principle. After that it got better slowly. My son is now a Senior in High School and I’m so very proud of him. He became stronger when he got in High School, because of that. It does not bother him what other people think about him, he doesn’t care for name brand clothing or what kids are going to say about him if he doesn’t do that or look this way. He is his own person and he is proud of it. I am very proud of him because he is a great boy. He has his friends and now everyone respects him.

All I can say is that the teacher should not have put your daughter in the spot in front of the whole class, by saying not to treat your daughter bad. She should have spoken in general all students not to bully anyone or be playing that game. That is one mistake that your daughter’s teacher did because then all the kids know it was coming from your daughter. I hope things get better for you and your daughter. It really breaks a mother’s heart to see your child suffer at such a young age and you can’t defend them because you are not around them 24 hours a day.
Good luck and hopefully some of this helps. The last tip i can give you is to record everything that happens of your beautiful Daughter, so you can have it in writing. and yes go straight to the principle, and the school board, believe me that will stop it. Don't be afraid of talking to them. They have to listen to your concerns and if they don't do anything they will be in trouble by not taking care of the problem. Give your little girl a big hug from me.

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answers from Austin on

Please please please go to the principal and be specific about it being bullying. Your child as well as everyone elses needs this to be addressed and stopped.

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answers from Williamsport on

Get all the parents of all the kids in for a meeting. Whether the brats can be stopped or not, everyone needs to be addressed. Sounds like a terrible school. It's not THAT hard to see these things. At my daughter's school, there is NO WAY the kids would get away with this. Yes it's a small Christian School, but they are able to prevent bullying altogether. It would be unheard of for this game to occur. Thank goodness you're moving, I would probably pull my daughter and home school the rest of the year just to not waste anymore time with this nonsense. School is for ACADEMICS and SOME social conflict rehearsal, but getting totally bogged down by mean kids is not at all productive. It's way worse than "cooties". "Cooties" when I was in school switched people every couple minutes and never lasted past recess. Any kids targeting other kids this way would have been swatted with a wooden paddle by the principle (yup, early 70's) AND, it never happened.

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answers from Washington DC on

Dear M.,

Martin Luther King once said, "It is not the brutality of the bad, but the silence of the good that destroys us. The good should never remain silent." I applaud your tenacity in taking steps to protect and support your daughter against the bullying tactics being used. If you are dissatisfied with the results in the classroom the next step is to go to the principal. Skip the counselor. You don't have time for the complete hierarchy. Let him know the situation and let him/her know that your next stop is the school superintendent if something isn't done to stop the bullying immediately. Most parents have more power than they realize. Don't be afraid to use it. If you don't attend PTSA, you might consider joining and making your voice count.

Don't let them pull your daughter out of that class. Don't let them insinuate that it is your daughter that needs to change in some way. That tends to displace the responsibility for eliminating the behavoir on the victim rather than the bully. It enables the bully to continue with even more aggression. The parents should be notified by the school of the reason for her removal. If anyone goes, it should be the bully. The bully should also be counseled on her behavior to teach her about the effects it will have on her future, and they should also monitor the aggressive student to make sure that consequences and education are effective. The focus should be on the choices that were made, and the alternatve choices that were available.

The interview of the aggressor should include discovering the reason for their behavior. What goal were they trying to reach? Is there anyway to reach that goal without hurting anyone? However, that is not your job. that is the school's responsibility.

Please keep in mind that bullys are made, not born. The child that is being aggressive may not realize that what she is doing is wrong. She's more than likely repeating behavior she has seen or been subjected to herself.

When your daughterfinds herself in this situation again, she could do one of the following: 1) say loudly, STOP IT! 2) turn her back and walk away as if it doesn't bother her or as if she wasn't aware of what was said or done 3) immediately tell the teacher.

Your daughter should 1) remember that she is not alone 2) that it is not her fault 3) not stop doing the things she enjoys doing 4) Stick to the kids that are her friends 5) never, never bully anyone else.

The bully is in a power play, but they can only "win" if you give them the right to do so. Letting them see that their tactics are working gives them greater power and nobody has the right to take your daughters right to a safe learning environment. No one has the right to destroy her self worth.

Our children are our most precious commodities and hold our future in their hands. It is the responsibility of all adults, parents or not, to see to it that they are given the values that will best protect us all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You should have gone to the principal and/or counselor a long time ago. Teachers don't see everything and don't hear every conversation. You need to take it above her head if you aren't getting the results you expect and your child is still being bullied. Also, if you are able, you might take some time to volunteer in her class and watch things for yourself. But remember, you are solely looking at your daughter while the teacher has all kids to watch. Nevertheless, if you can spend time in the room you might be able to figure out the source(s) of it all.


answers from Beaumont on

My daughter had the same thing happen to her in 3rd grade at a so called Catholic Christian school. Those girls were awful. Finally pulled her out in 5th and she slowly recovered but I think it affected her forever. She is now almost 30 and beautiful and wonderful, but I hate that I did not do more. She later heard that one girl who was treated that way by the same group whose mother did not take her out ended up committing suicide in high school and she told me "M. if I had not gotten out of there that would have been me."

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