Son Being Bullied at School....:-(

Updated on February 15, 2011
A.S. asks from Santa Clara, CA
21 answers


A couple of years ago my son (who was eight at the time) has some serious bulling problems at school. It started seemingly innocent enough with "wrestling" and later when into intense teasing, chasing, and even to the point that I found hand prints on his neck when he came home. Of course by this point, I was VERY VERY upset/angry. I went into the school and let the principle have it. ( this was not the first complaint of course) She didn't do much except talk to the kid. Since then, things have been calm (mostly) and I make sure and tell my son to ignore rude comments and just find someone else to play with. Well, this year there was some really rude teasing ( along the lines of the song " you kissed a boy and liked it...") which for many 10 year old boys is really embarrassing and upsetting. So, because of this, my son told the kid we wanted to "fight" (this is the kid who wouldn't hurt a flea) well, his friend talked him out of it, but now is still constantly being teased. It's getting so bad, he hates recess. (this kid is a crazy outdoor sports player too, so totally against his character.) I'm not sure what to do. He says if I talk to the principle, the teasing will get worse. Most of the teasing comes from a group of boys who know my son likes a specific girl. So, in order to stop the teasing, he went up to the girl and said "I don't like you like that". ( which I'm sure was not much encouragement for the girl.) But what should I do? I feel like it's getting too far, because it's lasted too long, but I also want my son not to let the kids get to him. Some people are just mean. Any ideas?

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answers from San Francisco on

Role play responses with him. He needs to learn how to toughen up against them: when they learn they can no longer bully him, they will stop. Bullies pick on weak and easy targets.

So role-play specific responses to their comments. Make them as strong as you wish. He needs to practice saying these things out loud so that he gets used to saying them.

In my experience in middle school, principals and teachers can still stop bullies without the teasing getting worse, but by high school the kids definitely need to know how to take care of it themselves.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Studies say that it DOES get better when contacting the school. Telling the principles is scary in the kids eyes, but is the right thing to do. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Nashville on

Go back to the principal. Have a conference with the principal, teacher and the other boys parents. If the teacher or school still don't do anything, you need to bring in your School Board Member. Nothing can be put in a teachers file if the School Board Member is not present for the meeting. You have a right to expect the teacher and principal to take care of your son.
I do agree that your son needs to be able to take care of himself, up to a point. I don't think physical expression would help, but sometimes it can't be avoided.
Good Luck to you and him.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You are your child's best advocate. Your child is at school to learn. He has a right to be protected and not teased or bullied ever. He needs to be allowed to enjoy his time there without harassment.

Has he ever just said to the guy teasing him, "Hey, just drop this." Or asked him "Why do you have so much interest in what I do?"

IF you have had an actual meeting with the Principal and the teacher and nothing is being done or this is continuing, then it is time to go the next step higher. In our district that would be to request a meeting with the Area Superintendent (Principals Boss), The Principal and the teacher.

Do this in an email form to the Area Superintendent with a CC to the Principal and the Teacher. Explain what has been going on, for how long and what was discussed with the campus Principal.

DO NOT allow them to move YOUR son to another classroom. Instead tell them "No, he should not be the one to be moved,, the bully should be moved, so that your son can have a good year with the teacher that was best suited for him in the first place. And with his original classmates"

I am so sorry this has been going on. I know you feel bad, but your son does not deserve this.

I am sending you strength.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

my son was in high school when this happened to him and I am not going to say he handled it right. but he caught the kid on the bus and whipped him. and my son is not a fighter but it just made him so angry he tore the kid up. I dont know how to tell you to handle it. this is the only fight my son has been in except for one where a boy was pushing a girl around and he whipped that kid too. my son was also catching it from a group cause of one kid and after he whipped him they all shut up and left him alone. I dont know what the right answer is but this is how my son handled it. good luck and I think he is right if he goes to the principal it will get worse. you might give the principal a heads up and tell him not to let your son or the boys know that he knows. to keep quiet and he can have the teachers watch for this once caught by a teacher then it can be disciplined without your sons harrasment getting worse. and then your son wont be a snitch. good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Dear A.-

I am so sorry that you (and your son) are going thru this...You have received some good suggestions from some of the mom's here.

I just wanted to share that years ago, when my eldest son was in 7th grade, a good friend of his was constantly being teased...several cowardly bullies were calling him 'gay'...'fag' get the drift. My son had had enough of his friend being bullied, so he hauled off and 'clocked' the primary bully. My son was suspended for a week...the bully of course got nothing. Although I told my son he should NOT have hit the bully...I was really very proud of him on some levels. I have to say, we had a lot of fun the week he was off...

I imagine (sad to say) if this had happened today that the parents of the bully would have no doubt sued us and/or pressed charges...*heavy sigh*

Anyway, I wish you and son the best!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I know your son doesn't want you to, but you need to talk to the principal and ask that a meeting be set between you and the other parents. Tell the principal that you are going to hold him responsible for this situation, since he's now on notice that it is occurring. Then, follow-up that conversation with a letter that you copy to the superintendent's office. Tell them that if it continues, you will seek legal advice. My grandson was being bullied to the point that adults on the street were stopping to help him. it was ridiculous and the principal tried to tell my grandson that in order to stop it, HE needed to walk a different way, stay after school until the other kids left, etc. I went to the police department who advised me that because of the kids' age, there was nothing the police could do, but they did give me pamphlets that I then forwarded to the principal (in writing) that specifically addressed EVERYTHING he told my grandson to do and it was listed in the section under WHAT NOT TO DO and WHAT DOESN'T WORK. I pointed that out and let the principal know that legal action was my next step. Right away he changed things up and made the bullies stay in the office after school to allow all the other kids to leave without being bullied. You have to make some noise, but the bottom line is the school knows they are responsible and if they allow it to continue after being put on notice, they are subject to litigation at the very least. The ONLY thing that gets their attention is threatening to sue. Other than that, they think they are untouchable because most people in the education field have put themselves up on pedistals for choosing the noble profession of teaching nothwithstanding the lousy pay. Bull!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My kids are younger so it is hard to have many tips. However, if your kids comes home with mark on his neck or any signs of injury at near this level, you contact the police and file a report. Especially if it went to this level and the kid assailant was not at minimum suspend and should have be expelled. The principal is not the final level of consequences for these bullies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

well, it's probably not helpful to 'let the principal have it.' remember, they're on your side, so treating the school staff as the enemy isn't a great way to get help for your kid.
of course, your fury is completely understandable.
bullying is a double-edged sword these days, even more than it has been historically. it's good that schools are addressing it, especially as the cyber-world gives bullies so many weapons. however, the trend to have children always go to adults to solve their problems carries its own dangers. a lot of what is now labeled bullying is kids working out their own hierarchies, which rarely mirror how adults would choose to have them do so. but if they don't learn as kids, they won't know how to deal with difficult people as adults.
up to a point the best thing you can do is to arm and strengthen your own child's defenses against mean treatment. obviously if he is being choked the school HAS to intervene. but your son is right, too much mama bear-ing won't help and may well backfire.
i would go to the school CALMLY and ask for their help in developing a game plan. this won't result in a currier-and-ives happy situation for your son but may help in creating enough safety for him to be able to attend the school without major negative repercussions. you need to continue to work with your child on coping methods and ways of dealing when adults can't or shouldn't intervene. hopefully it won't get to the point where you need to pull him out of the school, but bear in mind that if this happens, he could well encounter it elsewhere.
i'm so sorry that you both have to deal with this. there just aren't any good solutions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Having a 11 year old son myself ,my heart breaks to hear what your son is going through. I'd pull him out of that school until the issue was resolved. Nobody should have to endure this. I would feel a sense of urgency that this is a very unsafe situation and he shouldn't be put back into it. It's hard to believe this goes on. Where are the parents of the bullys. I would not send my son back until this is dealt with with the administration and the families of the children involved!Your son deserves to be treated decent or at least left alone by these kids. Best wishes to you and your boy

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Sign you son up for Tae Kwon Do or Karate. He will learn respect, self control, and self esteem. My son had to change schools in 3rd grade and was being bullied the first couple of weeks of school. He had been in Tae Kwon Do for a couple of years by that time. One day it started in the lunch room and continued out on the playground. By this time there were 4-5 boys picking on my son. One of the boys tried to choke him, he broke the choke hold and punched a kid. NO MORE BULLYS. It took one day and all the kids knew the new kid could and would defend himself. Yes, he got in trouble and had to serve an in school suspension, so did the other boys. But it stopped the bullying.
I don't agree with hitting or fighting but I do believe in defending yourself.
I would have one more talk with the principal and try to get her to intervene. If this doen't work find out who is the head of the PTO and voice your concerns to that person. Ask if you can come to a meeting and have a forum on bullying. If that doesn't work, talk to the school board and see what policies they have in place about bullying, force the issue. If they have no policies in place, make them put some in place. If none of this works call the media. Talk to a local reporter newspaper, TV, radio work on getting your story aired. There has been a lot of press on school bullies and the effects of bullying on kids in schools. Believe me the school superintendent doesn't want publicity of problems in his schools. Sometimes in order to stop bullies you need to be a bully.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Too bad he didn't fight! My kids are all learning that anytime someone strikes them or lays a hand on them, to fight back. Simply because bullies only pick on the weak. Once there has been an altercation, no matter what the outcome, the bully moves on. I would pull out all the stops.

1) I would rehearse verbal comebacks (though they won't have much effect since he's been overpowered physically in the past). But definitely come up with come backs for teasing about liking the girl. Even if it's just "Oooh, Good One, I never heard THAT before, You're so FUNNY" or something. And have your son give the girl a "sorry I was mean because of those jerks, you're cool" type apology if he can bring himself to.

2) Encourage him to fight back physically. Unfortunately "ignore it" is deadly advice these days. Anything ignored gets worse. It's an old fashioned "turn the other cheek" idea which was popular in the days when people went to church, and schools switched bullies (sorry, true) and expelled them. Now that schools will barely address it, the kids have to fight for themselves. And even in the old days, kids fought for themselves. My mom (Iowa farm girl now in her late 60's) threw a snake at some boys who were throwing rocks at her sister. Since she was the only girl who would ever pick up a snake, no one ever messed with her again. (this was off school grounds on a long walk home-the only place bullies dared to strike since they were scared sh_tl_ss of the teachers and principal).

3) I would file much more serious complaints with the entire school staff. He's still young enough to be on the cusp of your intervention.

4) I would send copies of the complaints to the bully's parents along with a note, or call them up, or knock on their door. I'd tell them your son has been instructed to fight back, and you hate to not "just let boys be boys because this is no big deal, but your son is starting to hate recess, and you wanted them to be aware of what is happening." Offer to have a family get together pizza night and include the boys or something.

Explain to your son that if you don't report it "for fear" that the teasing will get worse, the bullies are winning. Let him know this will pass if everyone confronts it. But if it's left alone, it will only get worse. It's gotten this bad because no one nipped it.

Good luck, this is so awful, I feel for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sign him up for martial arts - not the kind for belts, but to learn how to defend himself. He'll learn a great amount of self confidence too. Then if the bullies ever go for the hit, he'll be ready to defend himself. And when he hits back (also make sure he never hits first) and he goes to the office, be proud of him and tell him you are proud he stuck up for himself. Don't get mad at him. Support him. Once he exudes this self confidence people will know he's not one to make fun of.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

There is a book called "Helping Your Socially Vulnerable Child" and it has a section on bullying. It discusses the feelings that your child may have as a victim of bullying and offers some suggestions on how to help them through it. I would also take the matter above the principal's head. Hope everything works out for the best with you all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Go to the teacher and the principal. Have a conference. Get the counselors involved. This has to stop.
What they are doing is sexual harassment and bullying. This is going to continue until the school puts a stop to it.
Make the school stop it. Make sure everything is documented.
My son was bullied in elementary school. The principal hauled the offenders in along with their parents. One parent called the house and apologized. His child never gave my son any trouble again. (Of course we moved away 5 or 6 months later...) The other parents apologized and were very rude to me. I didn't much care. My kid was not going to be bullied by anyone at school.
My son is now off to Military College in the fall. He has grown into a terrific young man. He knows what it is like to be bullied. He knows what to do if someone is being bullied - he stands up for them. One student was rude to his sister and my boy marched right over there and told the kid that if he ever spoke that way to his sister again, there would be consequences. Then he went to the office and turned the kid in.
You are your child's advocate.
Get into that school. Volunteer. Be around. Be visible. I found that the more time I spent at school, the less likely he was to be bullied. The kids didn't want a parent to see them bullying anyone. If I saw anything that was in the least bit questionable - whether toward my kid or any other - I called them on it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

You could try arming him with some witty come-backs. Or tell him to totally brush the bully off and ignore him as much as he can. The bully will either get bored and move along, or amp it up. IF he gets more vulger or violent then you can go to the principle with more than just name-calling (though I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that for your son's sake)

Tell him that people who tease other people are often very insecure themselves. Tell him these boys are not worth your son getting upset about; they're not worth his time or energy.

Tell him what an amazing, smart, funny, talented, brave, creative, etc boy he is EVERY day. Tell him how much you love him EVERY day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

the school needs to protect its students while they are on its campus. ask for their yard supervision schedule and identify who was on duty when the offenses occurred. talk to that person. ask for a copy of their bullying policy, and the consequences associated with bullying. ask if those consequences have been applied to the bully in question. if necessary, hold a parent meeting to address bullying in your school community.

good luck mama. mean people or not, bullying is completely unacceptable. i am speaking as a teacher, not just as a parent. please let us know how this turns out, and i will send positive thoughts to your son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

i was bullied in school, and it is not a good feeling at all, we went to the principal and he did nothing. it is terrible that kids these days are just so mean. and they learn it from their households.

DO NOT have your son tell them anything, except to stop. because if he uses "comebacks" it will comeback against him. do not let him fight. you need to go to the cops. and then have the cops go to the principal.

i live in a community where a few towns over experienced the WORST suicide due to bullying, a 14 year old boy named brandon binter, he dressed different from the other children often in black and wore black make up (goth) but this boy had an amazing talent of playing the violin. he was loved by his friends, but his friends soon sided with the bullies, he was called gay, a freak, ect his whole freshman year, and his family did everything to stop it but pull hi out of school, the bullying continued, and brandon left a suicide not at his home a walked 9 miles to a veryyyy busy highway and walked out in front out a tractor trailer truck. he stated in his note that the pain he felt was so unbearable that dying was the only thing left for him to do, he also stated that he wants his family to fight his fight on bullying.

please do not let them do this to your son,
take him out of school. and cyber school him
agora online school is a very good one i went there.
go to the cops asap

best of luck



answers from Sacramento on

I like the answer you've already gotten regarding getting involved with your son's school. A lot of the other suggestions are also helpful. You'll need to choose from them what you think will work best for you. I know that if you are a mother who works outside the home, you may find it difficult to volunteer, but it's worth the effort to go to your boss, explain the situation, and see if you can arrange to work some different hours or take some work home to do in order to give you some hours that you can volunteer at the school... even a couple of hours one day a week is helpful. If your hubby could do the same, the two of you would have opportunity to put some time in two different days a week and that would help both of you to see this problem from the inside. Bullys will be more careful in many cases with parents on campus. There are some who won't care and will still try to get by with it, but by you being there and perhaps being able to witness some of it, you might be better able to work with the school on getting it stopped.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It sounds like you don't have an anti bullying program at your school. (which is ridiculous btw and would make me question the quality of your district out of the gate) Our school district uses OLWEUS and it seems to work. There is a zero tolerance policy towards this and the kids are taught from Kindergarten about how bad bullying is. The school gives them all the tools to combat it plus ingrains in them the harm of it.

What YOU need to do is start one. With the national attention now on bullying with the suicides of many kids-esp Phoebe Prince-districts 'should' be on high alert about this. If I were you I would start with the principal and your guidance counselor. If you don't get anywhere you tell them that you are going to go to the school board. And then put together a presentation including the dangers of bullying and the fact it is rampant in your school. Tell them it is high time that your district makes an official policy towards bullying-lest they be in the national spotlight as Phoebe's district now is. I would also remind them about the high incidence of suicides of teens who are teased about being gay. (not saying your son is-which probably makes the bullying even more damaging)

I would also go to the PTO mtgs and get involved-esp on the exec board. This has been my ticket to getting much of what I had envisioned for my district done. People know me and will listen to me. I am always amazed at the people who poopoo the PTO. The same people who are all involved with professional or networking organizations to further their careers-but don't care at all to further their child's school experience.



answers from San Francisco on

You absolutely should talk to the principal. It is not okay for that type of teasing to go on in the school. The school is responsible for ensuring that the teasing does not get worse if reported. You may want to explain to you son that it is important to report this not only to protect him, but to protect other kids who may get teased this way. The "you kissed a boy and liked it" comment could be considered sexual harrassment.

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