School Denies This Is Bullying

Updated on May 29, 2013
S.T. asks from Midland, TX
30 answers

Can you play Devil's advocate and help me prepare for our final meeting with the school leaders? I have decided we are leaving but I want to get out of paying for next year since we signed a contract in March that says we have to pay unless we move away.

A twelve year old girl secretly takes a photo of my eleven year old, manipulates it, asks others to write about how much they hate , forwards it, and then tells my daughter about it after she posted it online. They deleted it but she told my daughter this week it will be put back on by some stranger. They believe she randomly found a photo of my daughter online and stood up for my daughter.

Daily she follows my daughter at recess and tells everyone who is her friend she has to choose and anyone who chooses my daughter will be the next one she goes after

She stole my daughter's school supplies out of her desk when she was home ill and told her she can't have them until she brings her ransom money.

She asked her friend to corner my daughter and then they pulled up her shirt so they could see what label she had on her jeans. The shirt ripped when my daughter pulled it back down.

When an adult praises my daughter, she stares at her until she makes eye contact then whispers "They are lying. You are not."

I could go on and on but these are the things that happened this week. I have demanded the school do something and they are trying to claim we are overreacting. The teacher even told my child not to tell me anything else because they are sick of me overreacting. The girls are in the same class because she was held back. The girl's dad is on the board and his wife claims they are thinking about donating a brand new building in three years.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Their lawyer told them we have been one of the school's biggest donors so they need to let us go without paying. They gave us the contract back. I am so happy.

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answers from Dallas on

The term bullying gets thrown around a lot these days. Sometimes, I feel the definition gets hazy. However, THIS is straight up, clear cut bullying. No confusion about it.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

What happens to the school once the rich folks find out that the principal is talking about his students medical problems to other parents .... would bet rich daddy would be suing school and all ....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

My daughter went through this at a private Catholic school also. It is awful. Love Cheryl B's comment about paying for this...
We got out. She was in 5th grade and the girls were like a pack of wolvesn and that was before all the computer and cell phone mess. Years later in H.S. we heard about a girl that remained in that environment committing suicide and my daughter said "mom, if you had left me there that would have been me."
It is chilling.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

First, yes it is bullying.
Second, cant' believe the teacher told your daughter that!!
Third, I don't think legally the principal can share with you the diagnosis of another child, or that they are taking medication.
I lived through bullying with my daughter, and I know how damaging it can be. Get her out of that school, it's a perfect time, being the end of the school year. Give her a fresh start in September. You won't regret getting rid of the drama.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Yeah that is kind of the straight up, easy to understand, definition of a bully.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm so sorry your daughter is suffering through this, and yes, it is bullying to a "t."

My advice is, regardless of the fact you are leaving and the reason, seek a consultation with an attorney, at the very least. Why? Because once you leave, the school and those involved will put a brand new spin on this, you'll have left because you were asked to because YOUR daughter or YOU are a troublemaker. They're already setting the scenario, "The teacher even told my child not to tell me anything else because they are sick of me overreacting."

Private schools are governed by federal, criminal and civil laws, and are only exempt from legislative rules, you may be entitled to legal recourse. Speak with an attorney, if for no other reason to put the school on notice that you will proceed with action if you, your daughter or your family is slandered, and to have the bullying on record in the event it happens again. The principal isn't a dummy, he or she (I wasn't sure) will know what's up.

Best wishes!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

S. - buy one of those minicameras that look like a pen and have your daughter wear it. Seeing is believing.

Other than that? Tell your daughter to stand her ground. get her in a martial arts class and it will help build up her self-esteem as well.

The principal overstepped his boundaries when he told you she was on medication. that's NONE of your business. Stop saying "we may leave" and do it. find a new school for next year. School is almost out so ride out the rest of the school year. Continue to be there for your daughter and have her document all the stuff.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Couple thoughts.
Do you really have any doubt that your daughter is being bullied?

Definition: Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.

You've stayed and tolerated this too long.

I'd go ahead and add the principal and board members to your list of bullies!

Your husband may not "run from" anything, but this isn't his battle and, might I ask, what has he done to help his 12 year old daughter?

My niece was also bullied at a "Christian" school. She has excelled in public high school--the school her parents thought wouldn't be "Christian enough." Guess you just never know, huh?

Get her out of that place--sounds like hell on earth for your girl.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, absolutely. I'm glad you're pulling her out.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

ETA from your extra info: Please remove your daughter. Since the school won't tick off the rich parents, you can't protect your daughter.

This is a real shame. The girl will do this to other kids and will cost the school losing more kids because of her. And if this family DOESN'T give the school a "building", they may be very sorry that they allowed this girl to rein havoc in the school. They will deserve it, quite frankly.

What kind of teacher and school is this? They are terrible. I would have been working with the superintendent's office by now, if I were you. A lawyer threatening a lawsuit over this might have gotten you somewhere.

I would consider hiring a lawyer anyway and talk with him or her about threatening the girl's parents with a lawsuit over what she did online. Sometimes hurting the parents' wallets is the only thing that they will respond to.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think it absolutely is bullying and they should be doing something about that child's behavior. If the other girl is posting online, you may want to ask your local police department about cyberbullying. Your daughter is likely just one victim.

You may also want to consider short term counseling for your DD. There is a difference between "doesn't run" and "stayed too long and allowed damage to continue". Kids have DIED from being bullied. This isn't just "kids being kids". Bullying can follow you your entire life. Do not let your daughter be a victim for your DH to prove a point.

I'd tell the principal that he needs to handle this girl because it IS bullying and now the teachers are bullying your child by telling her to not report it. Even if you do leave, you should write a letter to the school and board telling them why. A private school should know why someone decided to vote with her wallet.

Further, the other girl's medical or behavioral problems are not really your problem or business. They should NEVER have told you she was on medication or what was going on with her. It does not excuse her from being a bully. Period.

ETA: I would talk to the pool about a refund or sale of your membership. Sometimes they are like timeshares and you can recoup some of your money by selling it to another person. I would not stay at that pool. I would not want to keep my child in a school where she was afraid to be a good friend because she is on a scholarship. What are they teaching their child? Money trumps everything?

Good luck. I do think you and your DD need to move on and if they don't change things at the school, they are just going to have nothing but bullies in that building.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Even though the word bullying is tossed out at any given little thing these days, This is most certainly Bullying.

It's a total shame that children are doing these things. There always have been bullies or kids making fun of other kids or name calling and such but now there is a whole new level to all of this. But it didn't happen over night. It's been allowed. Teachers don't see it most of the time unless it's very overt. People in our society in general act as if goodness and honesty and kindness equal to weakness. These things are not honored and it's about time everyone stand up for these things and let this be our guiding factors - instead of competition have compassion, etc. Obviously the bully's parents have some real problems as does she and that should be addressed before it becomes a tragedy. After all, isn't this the kind of behaviour that leads to more like behaviour and then mounts and mounts until it becomes explosive? I could go on and on but I won't. Reading your post is troubling and I hope your daughter will heal and the bully too.

As far as I know the private and religion schools do get funded but not as much as a public. Didn't that change when Bush was in?

Your daughter will need time to deflate and time for healing and just having a real friend and having fun and I send prayers for the very best for her and your family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Can you prove any of this with physical proof. If so I would..once school is over send the info to the parents of this child.. I would have an attorney let them know you never this ever happens again by their daughter to your daughter. If this was placed on line you want it removed immediately.

There was an incident like this at the local high school. The father of the victim went to the home of each student involved and let them know he would personally sue them, if they did not delete the front of him..

He is an attorney.. He left an impression on all of these families..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This is the textbook version of bullying. There is nothing here to question. The school is in complete denial. No school should be exempt from state cyberbullying laws. I would seriously research those and report this to whatever state agency oversees cyberbullying. This school needs a wake-up call.

Not only that, the principal totally, completely violated the other student's privacy by telling you about the other student's health issues and medication. I would find someone to report that to as well.

Private or not, the administration of this school is out of touch with reality and very much out of line on two fronts - bullying and privacy. If I were you, since you're leaving anyway, I'd let everyone know, including the other girl's parents, that the principal thought that divulging private health information about a perpetrator was an effective way to minimize and mitigate bullying.

I'm shaking me head at how stupid the administration is. This kind of thing would easily be a fireable offense in a public school.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, this is absolutely bullying! I am glad you are switching school!
I also wouldn't tell the kids, all it will do is cause more drama before school let's out.

I am appalled that the teacher actually told your daughter to stop telling you what is happening, that part pisses me off something fierce and you had better believe that if this was my child and his/her teachervsaying this, I would be in her classroom face to face telling her in no uncertain terms that it is despicable of her to encourage a child to keep things from their parents! Then I would head straight down to the principal's office and repeat what I had just said! Then we would be out of that school!

Good riddance! That's what I say!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sure your school has a board of directors. If the principal doesn't handle it, you might want to "cc" all of your complaints to the board. If you're leaving anyway, there's no harm in it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I am so, so sorry for your daughter.

I think you are right to change schools and change pools, and you are already doing both. So nothing to add there. Do not, do not, do not back down on changing schools if your daughter says "I don't want to change." She is young; you are the adult and frankly know better than she does right now what is best for her. Is it "letting the bulllies win" to pull her out? No, it's letting your child be a child and not a victim. If a child were ill, you'd give her the medicine she needed even if she hated it; if a child were on fire, you'd put out the flames rather than stand back and say "Let her handle that on her own so she learns what to do." Well, the level and intensity of bullying you describe -- made more traumatic by the utter refusal of anyone in authority to do anything about it -- is the equivalent now of your kid being in excruciating pain; put out that fire all at once by removing her from the situation.

Tell her in the summer -- early after school gets out, do not wait --- that she is not going back. Be sure you have already arranged several play dates/ outings/ fun events for her with the NICE kids from the school -- you say that other kids are also leaving so buddy her up with those kids over the summer, so she will realize that even if she went back to this nasty excuse for a school in the fall, these kids would not be there anyway. Also, please be sure your child has some activities that have nothing to do with school (either the old one or the new one) -- Girl Scouts or art class or dance class or a sport or anything that is based on HER interests and where she can be herself with other kids who share her interests and know her just from that activity, not from her school drama.

Honestly, I would also want to take these people to court -- but does your husband understand that if he does so, he will be dragging this out; subjecting your daughter to more and more bullying? I guarantee that her life will become hell outside school like it is in school and at the pool right now. Kids from this clique of rich kids are going to find her in the mall, outside, whatever, and she will be known all over social media as the kid whose parents are suing the school. Please don't do it to her. Yes, these horrid people should be called out in public for letting a child be treated this way, but your child will only suffer for it. Leave, cut all ties, do not maintain friendships there or feel you could have "fixed" this dysfunctional place. Just eat the fees you feel they owe you rather than trying to get money back.

Your daughter needs to know that you have her back. She is old enough for you to explain to her that she is not "running away"; she is removing herself from a situation that is dangerous to her, and that is the mature thing to do. If she could fix this or protest it effectively, that would be the thing to do, but she and you cannot do that. If this were a public school, you could get the attention of the school board members, the newspapers and TV stations, and so on, but as a private school, it's going to be much harder to do anything, and suing will do nothing; you have little evidence other than your word, and teachers are going to say anything to keep their jobs.

Get out. Be sure SHE understands the difference between walking away from a bully to protect yourself and "running away" when you shouldn't. And save yourself an ulcer and court fees, and save her from becoming even more bullied online --don't bother to sue. These supposed "Christians" who are shielding a bully. Whether the girl has some condition or not doesn't matter; she is harming others and adults are permitting her to do so freely because they have cash in their pockets. Leave, leave, leave.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

How much time is left in the school year? If your school is like most, the academics are pretty much wrapped up, and the kids are having a lot of parties and field trips, etc. Has your DD missed much school this year? You could find out how many days you can get away with missing and just pull her out. I wouldn't see it as running. YOU are making the choice to remove her from a toxic environment. You've already acted to get her out of that situation next year. Honestly, I'd be infuriated with her teacher. She isn't supportive towards your DD, poor kid. I'd be doing anything and everything to get her away at this point. It's the end of the year. Be absent a lot. Make dentist appointments. Plan an early summer vacation trip. Take her out to a museum or other enrichment activity. Whatever you can, its probably too late to "officially" pull her out anyway. Thankfully the year is almost over.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

If this is not bullying I don't know what is . . .

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

Lots of answers, didn't read them so I may be repeating. Is this bullying? Oh my is literally textbook, lifetime movie Bullying! Get your daughter out of this toxic environment. Whoever thinks this is "letting the other girl win" you can let them know that your daughter will be in an environment of support and she will be protected from predators, even those her own age! Why even care what these people think? One of the major "christian" schools in our area is losing a ton of students because nothing will be done to the students who think they are above punishment. Bad Behavior = Consequences. This is what I teach my kids at home and I expect the schools to uphold the same standard.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you guys need to consider taking her out of this school and either home school her or put her in private school. But I think I might even consider moving to a suburb of this town or to a nearby town so your child won't run into her at some activity.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Forget lawers, Board of Directors, etc. Your daughter's self-esteem is going to be CRIPPLED. Let her take as many SICK days as you can until exams. Find her a new school far away from those girls. Find some summer camps where she can shine and make new friends.

And we all thought public schools were hell.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Is your title a real question? Of course. That is awful...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from College Station on

Yes, this is bullying, and it sounds like you are at a small private school and they will do nothing about it. I have been in this position. You can threaten to sue, or whatever, but the bottom line is= Money Talks. Sadly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Of course your daughter is being bullied, and severely. The fact that the bully has emotional issues and is on medication for ADHD doesn't excuse the bullying, as the principal and her parents suggest. The bully's parents claiming she's sorry doesn't excuse the bullying when the bullying continues in spite of a de facto apology through the parents that's not even directly from the child.

You're not doing anything wrong, except I would find another lawyer and I would press charges against the school and the parents of the girl. Your daughter has the right to be safe at school, and so do the other students. The school is not providing a safe environment. It doesn't matter that it's a private school. I assume there's nothing in the tuition contract stating that you can't press charges against the school for neglect or bullying issues.

I would find a different swimming option for the summer. There's absolutely no need to expose your daughter to her bully for the entire summer. That's not protecting her. She can still see her friends by inviting them to your home and by inviting them to other swimming areas, like a lake or swimming holes or other pools.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'd get myself an attorney to write a letter and request your money back. If the parent is on the board I'd include him in the legal attorney letter. I would have pulled her out and state that she is not longer safe in that school and you want a full refund. If it goes to the judge both girls can be pulled and then they will see.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

How is your daughter feeling about all this. You said she doesn't want to leave.

School should be pretty much over for the school year. If you can afford it plan a last minute little road trip and pull her out early. She has already been accepted to another school so really who cares. You need to protwct your daughter first and foremost and not worry so much about the "perception".

I totally agree with the poster who asked what your husband is doing to take care of this situation since "he doesn't run from anything". He is not the one being mentally beat up every day at a time in his life that is more difficult anyway thanks to puberty and hormones.

I would pull her and start her summer break early.

Good luck as I understand this is not an easy situation

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

You need a new lawyer. One that isn't in the pocket of others. He is not working for you, he is working for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

edited: i apologize I swear i've heard this storybefore but i see you haven't asked many questions.

you've posted about this alot right?

did you ever go to the media?, they would be all over it if daddy is really as rich as you say.

you'd probably need some physcial evidence so a video recording would be a good idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Sounds awful. Also sounds like you're beating a dead horse at this point by trying to rationalize with them. If your intent is to get $ back due to their failure to protect your child then I'd have as many incidences as possible documented and their response to them documented. I'd give them a copy at the mtg and bring a "legal witness". If this person is in any way actually legal all the better. During the mtg document everything said (so they can see you're documenting". Hopefully it'll work for you.

1 mom found this helpful
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