Have You Reported Things Anonymously to Principal?

Updated on September 12, 2016
S.J. asks from Des Moines, IA
26 answers

There are a few things going on at my kid's middle school that I think the principal should know about. A few incidences have occurred which are clearly against the rules but it happens under the radar and could fall in the bullying category. I won't go into details here, but I am considering an anonymous note to the principal. I don't want my kid to be singled out if I were to report this face to face or I don't want the counselor to call my kid so she is singled out - this would be far worse than the original incident. This school has rigorous behavior standards that are usually enforced and I hate to see a particular group of kids going on their merry way while a few others are devastated by their actions. Would you report it and would you do it in person?

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answers from St. Louis on

I would never report anything anonymously because nothing will come of it. Either you are concerned enough to put a name to it or you are not. You can say things like I fear for my child, please don't single them out, but anonymous, may as well just post it here and move on.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

No, because why would they take it seriously? They might think you are a kid just trying to get another kid in trouble.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

no, because i'm not a coward.
and if i were the principal i would give very little weight to anonymous notes.
if i really thought the school would 'single out' my child because of a report of troubling behavior i would consider that a hostile atmosphere in which to send my child every day and would address THAT.
if this 'particular group of kids' is violating the rigorous behavior standards and devastating other kids, i can't imagine why it can't be addressed upfront.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

No. If something is seriously going on that needs addressed you be an adult and face it.

You can request that your child not be singled out.

If you can't put your name on it, it doesn't need to be addressed and would likely look like someone causing drama.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I've dealt with issues openly, but I've never made an anonymous report. I've found it most effective to get things done directly. It doesn't matter if the things involved my kids in some way or had nothing to do with them. Being a long-term school volunteer put me in a position to notice things inside the school, and being a mom sometimes meant noticing things outside of school in regards to neighborhood kids and families.

Anonymous notes are often ignored because of they can lack credibility. Unless you have a seriously compelling reason to not trust the Principal, I would speak to him in person or on the phone and make it clear that you don't want your child called to the office during the school day. If your kid needs to be interviewed, you could arrange a time before or after school.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Do you know these things as "fact" or are they simply rumors?

Will *not* telling administration result in serious harm to someone?

Those are things you should consider when making your decision.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I reported bullying to the school counselor that my then 6th grade daughter observed. My daughter didn't know the victim or the 7th or 8th grade boys that were mocking a child with cerebral palsy but the counselor knew who the girl was and she said that she would have the teachers step out in the hallway during class changes to deter the boys from doing this again.

If you talk to a counselor, what you tell them is confidential and they will only involve your child if you permit it. Good luck. (I would never report something anonymously though)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I would go in and speak to the principal in person (not anonymously). I would ask him/her to make sure to keep my child out of it and say I don't want my child's name mentioned. Say you do not want your child pulled out of class to talk to the counselor (yet) or be involved in any way. Then they can keep their eye on things. Perhaps after things have blown over then they can have my child see the counsellor...in a couple weeks. One time my son was being bullied/picked on repeatedly by two boys in 5th grade. I reported it to the teacher and my child and the two boys were all pulled out of the class. They all were spoken to by the principal. Then the counsellor. Then the counsellor came into the classroom and gave a presentation to the entire class. My son was SO embarrassed by the whole thing and it all being out in the open like that was a horrible experience for him. He felt like everyone pitied him and thought he was a snitch and hated him. I had no idea this is how they would handle it or I would have said something to them beforehand. The bullying stopped though and life went on.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

An adult should not be sending an anonymous note in this situation. If a CHILD wants to send an anonymous note, that's different. But you yourself, if you want to get involved, should speak directly with another adult (counselor etc).

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I've completed several parental-concern forms at my children's previous school (thank God they're out-ta there!). I couldn't care less if they knew specific names. And you better believe that I called meetings too. Accountability has to be direct, not watered down (no offense). When children are being hurt, bullied, intimidated, pressured, falsely accused etc, they need an advocate. They need someone who says, I know the truth and I'm going to be that voice for you. So yes, I would report it AND it would be in person, as it's always been.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Email the principal. In my opinion, the principal has a lot of people 'telling' them things; if you want it effectively handled, have the courage to speak up in person. Better yet, ask the school secretary if they can get you a short meeting with the principal. Otherwise, the ball drops with you.

I would never report things anonymously; when I saw things which concerned me I either told the principal face to face or spoke with the school secretary to make an appointment. If I felt others were being 'devastated' I would be willing to stake my reputation on what I saw. The other kids don't have to know *why* you are at the school. In fact, I doubt they would even care you were at the school.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I emailed the principal with some concerns. I like things in writing for a few reasons. First, I have the information from both of us on record for future reference. Second, it gives me time to collect my thoughts. And third, it gives the principal time to think about her answer. Also, it's beneficial to be able to copy someone in on the information.

In person meetings are fine but not always beneficial if someone feels put on the spot.

Anonymous information may just be overlooked and seems a little childish.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Yes, I have...the reason is because in the past, when something was reported, it wound up in a "meeting" with my kid face to face with the offender which was very hard for my kid. I will say, the few times I have reported things anonymously, they did get action. So, it worked and my kid never even knew I got involved which took the heavy off of me. I understand those that are hell bent on face to face communication and handling things with confidence, but I'm not an overly confident person. It also kept me out of the "trouble maker" category like some of the other parents who speak up a lot and wound up being ignored because they always are walking into the principal's office. I know my response will not be viewed as "the right way to handle it", but to answer your question, it has worked for me.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Anonymous tips just invalidate what you are saying. They call the entire incident into question. They say, "I'm not confident enough in my position to stand up for myself." And saying you are afraid of the principal and what will happen to your child? That's going to be a complete professional insult to the principal, who is not going to listen to one damn thing you say.

Give a detailed explanation - as said below, names, dates, times, specifics - and leave it to the principal's expertise and discretion to know what to do, what to investigate, and when to see if it's the part of a bigger problem.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Honestly? Put your big girl pants on and talk to the principal. Most schools are not going to give a lot of credit to an "anonymous" complaint.

If it is serious enough to bring to the attention of the principal, then YOU need to do that in person.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would call and speak with the principal or counselor directly (or email requesting a call back when it is convenient). Neither the principal nor the counselor should single out your child. They are professionals and used to this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In person. However, also bear in mind that school has just started. Group dynamics are just shaking out, and what may be "real" this week, with kids could be totally different next week. You weren't explicit about any incidents, but kids...even bigger kids...can seem pretty mean...simply cause they are kids and social relationships are something they are just learning how to navigate.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

let your voice be heard, let them know who you are what is going on and why you are upset about it. i did this when i was upset about school dropoff procedures. many other parents have called as well.our voice is being heard, they had staff out there observing the chaos.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't see this as a matter of courage on your part. I understand the concern that kids finding out who went to the principal can make things worse for your child. You're an adult but you're not dealing with all adults here. These are kids who can be mean in ways adults can have a very hard time stopping. So with that said, I didn't think anonymous was so bad but perhaps go to the principal and say before you proceed, you want his word that your child will not be involved. Nothing like what happened to 2kidmama. I'm sure he/she will agree and telling in person likely will have more impact. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

ETA: The couple of times I wanted some behavior to stop, I called and gave the names (my kid and other kid), place(s) it happened, and details.

I wanted to be called back with a follow up - what they were doing about it. I wanted a record of it - because if it happened again, I wanted to be able to say there was a history if necessary.

I found this worked really well.

I'm not sure our principal would take anonymous complaints as seriously. Possibly.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have always done this in person. My principals have always appreciated it. If my kids were not involved, they didn't get called on the carpet.

Talk to the principal and the counselor about not involving your child. Be honest about things.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

I would absolutely report it if you know it to be accurate. But I dont think it should be anonymous.
I am not good with in person confrontation at all, so I would probably do better in an email. But I think person to person shows alot of respect, and that you are serious enough to take time out of your day to help stop it.
Bullying is so serious i think it deserves to be taken care of quickly, like today or tomorrow morning. And the principal may not get around to your email very quickly. Your child never has to know you went to the principal but it could be a good example to them to show them the right thing to do when they see something wrong happening. The principal needs as much information as possible (when, where, who, everything).
I have two kids in middle school and geez can that age be mean. Also they can be extreemly good at hiding things and pushing teachers and staff. My kids have come home telling me things they see kids getting away with and they can be quit creative with their tactics. So if you dont go in person and explain everything that happened it will be really hard for the principal to stop it. And likely it will continue and escalate. When they investigate the incident they will know who is at fault and who is just a kid with the wrong group at the wrong time. If they are very strict about bullying then yes someone will be punished, but I am sure they will take it seriously and be as diplomatic as possible.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Well, I took the more direct route and yelled at him in his face...I seriously did.

I told him that HE was responsible to take notice of the children that came to his school every day. HE was responsible to notice if they wore the same pair of shoes every day and their toes had busted out the ends and were an inch past the end of the shoe. I yelled at him that if they came into the building eating a pop tart he should walk up to them and say "Hey, there's extra breakfast this morning, I am really needing some kids to man up and come eat it so we don't have to throw it out" and I yelled at him that kids that wore the same clothes over and over and over every day might not have any other clothes at home or they might not have been able to go home for several days and HE should at least ask them if they're okay.

I told him that HE has a responsibility to SEE and HEAR and LISTEN and WATCH and ACT on his gut. If he had the decency to have one...he didn't like that one much.

But anyway. My grandson was in DHS custody within a few days and eventually was adopted by my ex and his wife. They were already raising grandson #2 and I had granddaughter #1 and grandson #3 in my home. Later on the next two, granddaughter #2 and grandson #4 were adopted by their foster family, then grandson #5 was born while my daughter was in rehab. She's been great since and has Grandsons #1, 2, 3, and 5 living with her for the last 2 years. I have the older girl and that younger girl and boy are still with the adoptive foster family.

So I didn't call the state or the police or the teacher or anyone else. I told off the principal and told him that I wasn't with the kids every day and didn't see their conditions and that HE was, that HE was legally and morally responsible for all that was going on with the kids in HIS care.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

An anonymous complaint? You're afraid the school will take things out on your CHILD? Huh.

We had horrible issues with our oldest child's third grade teacher. We worked with him from August-Feb and were done with him. I told the school if my daughter so much as felt him looking at her sideways, I'd be filing suit. The issues were to be handled at the adult level and my kid was to be left out of it. We had no issues.

Put on your big girl pants and go advocate for your child, in person.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you don't trust that your principal will respond professionally if you confront him face-to-face, why do you think he would do it if you sent an anonymous letter? You are an adult--confront the principal. Also, keep in mind there are two sides to every story.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

As your kid's first and foremost advocate, you have the responsibility of addressing issues like this head on. Does that mean the occasional difficult/awkward conversation with another adult? Yes. But it also teaches them that you will always have their backs, they can count on your support and how adults solve complex issues. Middle school is the perfect time to start. Call the school, ask for an appointment, make sure you specify that you will not tolerate any negative consequences aimed at your kids and solve the problem. I would often address this via email so that I had a paper trail and a reasonable expectation that what was said would be done got done. You're the mom and this falls to you to manage and resolve. I wish you luck. :-) S.

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