I Am Pissed at the School

Updated on May 21, 2019
K.D. asks from Washington, DC
12 answers

This is mainly a vent post but I am also seeking advice.

My daughter is finishing 4th grade and has been teased by nearly every kid at her school. Kids will point to someone else and tell my daughter "he likes you" and the kid pointed at will run away or say "no" or "eww". Kids say "eww" when they see her. My daughter never tells anyone when she is being bullied. The school doesn’t address it, and I’ve seen parents ignore their kid being mean to my daughter in front of them. One time at the park my daughter picked up a handball that bounced to her ad threw it back and the kids were debating who will touch it first. I witnessed this and asked them what is so gross about my daughter. Well this year there were 2 boys in particular were saying to each other “he likes you” to my daughter while the other ran away, said no or eww. It got to the point where my daughter ended up chasing one of the boys, who we’ll call John. My daughter start chasing John anytime she sees him. Other kids say “John likes you” and she then begins chasing John telling him I love you while he runs away. She constantly repeats she loves him. She has been obsessed with him since January non stop. I try to stop her from chasing him when I see it, but there’s only so much I can do. The school complained to me all year about her behavior and that she had been bothering John. I told my daughter in a nice way that I am on her side and the school should have addressed her being bullied before this escalated, but she needs to leave John alone as what she is doing isn’t helping. She didn’t get the message. Anyway the school kept telling me I need to control my daughter. I was at the park the other day and a bunch of kids who saw my daughter started yelling “John likes you”. So the next time the school told me to control my daughter I told them I control her why don’t they control the other kids. After that the principal announced anyone who bullies my daughter will be suspended. My daughter went to the after school program last year and the director told me he saw a few girls teasing my daughter and had them write a letter explaining themselves. I have to say this guy is the only person in the school with a brain. I am so pissed that the school didn’t address this before it escalated, then tried to punish my daughter for retaliating. She will be going to the same school for 5th grade unless I move.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the replies. I by no means claim my daughter is perfect, and I do discipline her where I need to. I don't know why my daughter never told anyone she was being bullied. However, while I agree teachers and staff can’t witness every single incident I do think it is their responsibility to monitor students and respond when they see bullying, which I don't think the school has done. The school has not been dealing with the behavior on school grounds. If the school stopped all those "he loves you" when it all started than none of this would have happened. I pay high taxes, so there is no reason the school should be understaffed. When my daughter was outright mean to another child and I witnessed it I made her apologize. These parents don't even say anything to their kids. I have seen it. It may not be every single kid but it's certainly a lot. I want to be partners with the school, but I want them to address bullying before it escalates into this.

More Answers



answers from Portland on


Changed my answer. I think you'd benefit from talking to a child therapist along with your daughter, or to the school counselor.

We had a little girl who was 'teased' at our school around that age. From there, she would purposefully do things that were considered a bit 'gross' just to get a reaction from the boys when taunted. Or she'd run after them. Your description reminds me of it a bit. I'm no expert, but looking back, I think negative attention was attention. She didn't have a lot of friends.

A lot of kids get teased and the "So and so likes you".

Your daughter's reaction unfortunately is now provoking it. And now, as you say, she's obsessed. She also doesn't know the meaning of respecting boundaries - for herself or this boy. That's where therapy might be helpful at this point. I agree, it's too bad no one stepped in but it's not too late to just learn from this.

I think nip it in the bud over summer and get some help for her before fifth grade. Talking to the counselor at school will also help with next year's teacher. I like 2kidmama's suggestions for activities, etc. Good luck :)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I think that both you and your daughter should consult a therapist who specializes in helping children specifically.

Your daughter needs some evaluation regarding her behaviors. Her obsession with John, the school's reports about her actions, and her inability to handle teasing all can be helped by a therapist. Be sure to get any reports or specific information or complaints from the school which will tell the therapist how your daughter fares during the school day.

And you need some assistance as well. Asking young kids to defend or explain stupid playground behavior simple lowers yourself to their levels, and is completely useless. (It's quite another thing to intervene when you see physical assaults, or extreme hate or cruelty, but asking why a kid said 'ew, I'm not touching that ball' is pointless). They're kids, not adults in a workplace. And kindly telling your child that you're on her side is nice, but not helpful in this case. You need tools in order to parent her better, and in order to create a more resilient child. Demanding that the school control every young child who says a mean thing on the playground is not effective. You need to strengthen your own child's inner being. As the saying goes, don't prepare the path for the child, prepare the child for the path. You say there's only so much you can do, but you're not doing all you can. Making her apologize, trying to make other kids apologize, complaining to the school - all those things don't provide your daughter with tools and inner strength.

This is not to say that your daughter isn't having a tough time at school, and it's not to say that you're not a loving mother. It's just that sometimes a professional therapist can provide insight and enlightenment and tools for coping with some of childhood's (and parenting's) challenges.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I think I would approach the school again, but this time ask for a meeting with the teacher, principal and school counselor. Tell them you are very concerned about your daughter and let them know what you have observed and what your daughter has told you. But rater than say, "My daughter is being bullied, now what are you going to do about it?" let them know that you would like to know what they have observed. Ask the teacher what she (or he) sees happening in the classroom. Ask them if they can observe her at recess and lunch and at different times in school. Listen to what they say. I mean really listen with an open mind.

It is absolutely possible that what you have observed is exactly what is happening at school and the school is doing nothing. It's also possible that there is more to this and there is another way to approach this situation that would be more helpful to your daughter.

It is possible that your daughter has some behavior concerns that need to be addressed. If that's the case, the best thing you can do for her is really listen and discuss this with your pediatrician.

It's really important for you to work with the school. They can be your best ally going forward. Establish a good working relationship with them now so that you can better advocate for your daughter.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

"My daughter never tells anyone when she is being bullied"
If she never told anyone how would they know there was a problem?!
I monitor lunch for 300+ kids every day. when a child notifies me or the other aids or lunch monitoring there is a problem, we do something about it.
If someone fails to tell me there is a problem and they get in trouble for fighting back what can I do?! They now look like they are blaming someone else for their bad decision.

You are mad at the school for not doing anything when your daughter never told any one there was bullying going on so they could watch for it and stop it. Now the problem has escalated. Your daughters actions are the ones that need to be fixed. I suggest counseling for her to help her deal with this. And for the school ask for a conference with all teachers staff and principal that deal with her daily. Get involved and find out what is actually happening. I have had several conferences with teachers and parents in which the parent learns that their child is lying to them and making up stories. (We have camera proof of most situations and often have video clips or pictures of what is actually going on )

For non school situations that you hear the kids say something like eeww you need to be a mom. Tell them it's not nice to talk about other people like that. If their parents are within ear shot say it loud enough for them to hear that you are telling THEIR child not to talk like that.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

kids not even ten years old are saying 'ew'.

kids not even ten are teasing each other with 'he/she likes you.'

your daughter has not sought out any help for this 'bullying' (which seems awfully normal to me.)

but you're pissed at the school for not intervening in something no one told them was happening. because what they saw were kids not even ten acting like kids their age.

you are demanding adult explanations from kids not even ten.

your daughter picked up on a pretty awesome response to the teasing.

then she got 'obsessed.'

the school asked for your help in dealing with the 'obsession.'

you refused to help and went so far as to tell your daughter that she's right and the school is wrong.

the principal actually went to bat for you.

but you're still pissed off at the school.

it's hard to fathom how a parent this angry, reactive and anti-solution is going to work with the school to find mutually acceptable solutions, and, more importantly, help this ostracized child figure out sane coping techniques.

what a mess.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

What is your question?
This isn't a blogging site.

I can't imagine any 4th grader chasing anyone yelling 'I love you'.
This has become a strange game and while bullying is never a good thing this behavior of hers is really making her a target.
Talk with your pediatrician about this, get her evaluated for behavioral issues and get a therapist working with your daughter.
She shouldn't be this obsessed with anyone and it needs to be treated before middle school starts because things will only get worse.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The way I am reading this, you have not described any "bullying".

To me, this sounds like a silly children's game - a group of boys choose one member of their group to be the target/subject of the joke in that moment (usually John), and they tell your daughter "this boy here likes you" and then your daughter responds in an equally "silly" way by saying "I love you I love you I love you" while chasing the boy around.

What part of that is "bullying"? (And, what part of that is your daughter being "obsessed with" John?!)

"The principal announced anyone who bullies my daughter will be suspended" - you mean the principal announced that anyone who bullies *anyone* will be suspended, right? Do you think the boys playing this game should be suspended?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Hm. I am sorry your daughter is having a rough time. It sounds to me like her behavior is making her a target with the other kids. First, and most importantly, I work with her on how to behave...no running after someone yelling you love them anymore. Tell her what she can do when someone yells "John likes you!" The best thing she can do is ignore them. Give her lots of ideas of things she can do...she can roll her eyes. She can walk away. She can say ok, whatever. The reason why this kids do this is they are getting a big reaction out of her. She needs to stop reacting. Second, I do not think every single kid at the school picks on her. Can you go volunteer in her class once a week? There you can get to know the kids and you can see who seems kind, who has empathy, who also is a bit of a loner. Encourage your daughter to invite one kid over to play and see how it goes. Plan a fun craft or something for them to do. Work with your daughter on social skills. She can join clubs, activities or sports where she might not see any other kids from her school and she can work on making a friend in a new scenario. Help her to know what to say or how to act. My 9 year old is in soccer and there is only one other kid from her school and she is in Irish Dance with no other kids from her school...so she has a few friends from each of these groups.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have been in the classroom with children 18 years . The term "bully" is SO over used and used out of context.

In my opinion, the "eww" and such is frustrating but that is not bullying. You daughter chasing him saying "I love you" is not bullying either. It is immature behavior by 4th graders.

She needs to not chase him and not be a part of it and I know you are trying to do your part as a parent to help her.

The kids see it as a game . I see similar things in the class with elementary kids.

I know words like "ew" and such hurt. I recall vividly in 7th grade lunch a girl told a popular boy that we would make cute kids. He said "EWW" and I never forgot that. Imagine how I felt at the class reunion 20 yrs later and the tables had turned. The karma was lovely!!

There is a lot of growing up in the summer, kids change.

How about getting your daughter involved in something she loves this summer that brings out what she likes. Martial arts can do wonders for a child. Kids will mature but of course be watchful but DO NOT confront the other kids It will make things worse.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don’t understand he people who are saying your daughter isn’t being bullied. When kids say “ewww” and run away, or debate who will touch a ball she touched, that is classic bullying, and I'm sure painful for her and for you. I think your daughter is just trying to exercise some control in a situation where she doesn’t feel in control. The school hasn’t helped by ignoring it. But it also won’t help for you to be in conflict with them. I think you and all the school people involved should try to sit down together and try to discuss what is going on and figure out a way to move forward.

I agree with the idea of directly addressing children who are being mean in the moment, loud enough for their parents to hear. Be nice, but call them on the behavior. Someone needs to be telling these children that bullying is not acceptable.

Is there a school social worker involved? Sometimes they will bring a small group of kids together for a “social skills” group to try to address bullying behavior. Someone needs to help these kids build positive relationships with each other, which should make it harder for them to bully each other.

For your daughter, help her understand that bullying behavior usually tells you more about the bully than the person being bullied. Bullies are insecure, trying to impress each other, and using her as their tool. They will feel badly about it someday, which doesn’t make it any easier for her now, but sometimes it helps to understand. Give her strategies for taking control of the situation by seeking kids who are not mean and engaging with them. Does she have friends? Is she a good friend to them? It might help to make sure she has opportunities for developing her social skills outside of school, during playdates if there are any kids she gets along with, or involve her in an activity outside of school where she can start fresh. If she is having difficulties everywhere, then she might needs some outside support from a social worker or occupational therapist.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I sub at schools throughout our district, often doing lunch and yard duty. If a child tells me there's a problem, I keep an eye on the situation and step in when problems crop up again. The chances of me noticing what's going on among hundreds of screaming, active kids is next to zero otherwise. If she's not asking for adult help, she's not going to get it. It's simply too hard to notice everything going on.

If she's not going to speak up, she needs to learn coping strategies and appropriate sayings when they make comments to shut them down. I agree with others that she might benefit from talking with a therapist. Our daughter did that when dealing with anxiety due to some toxic friendships and it was extremely helpful.

Schools can only do so much, especially when she's not asking for help but instead is displaying behavior that likely stands out with staff more than the other kids' comments. It doesn't matter about your tax rate, schools everywhere are underfunded. I work in schools in rich areas and even their schools have needs. Education isn't a priority in our country. It's also very hard to fill low-paying, short duration lunch and yard duty jobs when there are higher-paying jobs out there with more substantial hours.

I was bullied as a child and know what it's like. In my situation, the school tried, but in the end, my parents moved us to a better school district to get me away from my tormentors. I was being threatened physically and it wasn't worth the risk anymore.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Let me get this straight. You admitted to witnessing the bullying and the kids parents doing nothing about it, but you failed to call the parents out on it? You failed to confront the kids. Passive aggressive. No wonder why your daughter is like this!

When my kids are being messed with I go straight to the source, the kid. A stern “Hey you” and a look works.

You and your daughter need to grow a backbone and stop playing the victims. If the kids are acting out she needs to say something.

Teachers are not mind readers.

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