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Old 09-16-2014, 07:52 PM   #41
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I was bullied, my husband was bullied, now we're ER and financially very comfortable. Bullied children are actually more likely to be successful. You don't want to abandon her, but she does need to learn to work out some of her problems herself. There are going to be bully boyfriends, bully coworkers and bully bosses at sometime in her life and elementary school is the training ground for learning how to deal with them.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #42
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A restraining order is certainly OK. Writing to your city council and mayor might help, or a letter to the school board. Or the County.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:46 PM   #43
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That's an interesting angle I had not thought of. Tell the little jerks parents that if their kids do not cease and desist bullying DD2 that you will be going to court and asking a judge to issue a retraining order against them. That should get their attention.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:00 PM   #44
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I still think finding a high status kid (or kids) in her class who is willing to be her buddy would be very effective (they may not be Girl Scouts). Bully's are looking for kids they perceive to be emotionally vulnerable. You want to change that perception.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:03 PM   #45
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So sorry to hear this is happening to you and DD2. In my (sadly extensive) experience, schools and administrators are much more interested in protecting themselves and the school than they are in eliminating bullying. Some schools have been instituting anti-bullying programs, and if you have one at your school you may find them an ally (but only maybe).

It may be more useful to make sure both school and other parents know you will pursue the issues until there are consequences to them. In my experience all the conferences in the world were only empty talk and empty promises. My DS started irrationally hitting the antagonists whenever they provoked him and regardless of the consequences to himself. It was NOT something I would ever suggest to him and I think he took big risks of school discipline and actual physical harm with assailants probably twice his size, but he must have been so miserable it didn't matter to him anymore. Being well behaved hadn't helped him. Bullies eventually figured it wasn't worth the bother to harass him because he always hit them even if they just verbally harassed him, and they moved on to other targets who didn't hit. DS, who used to love school and excel, hated school ever after, had some problems with administrators and teachers (who never supported him or us in addressing the bullying) and has some lingering issues. I have worked on school task forces with other adults who were victimized by bullies when they were school age, and many of them report years of issues, under-performance, confidence problems and other consequences. To the extent you can end bullying of DD2, I hope you are successful.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:47 AM   #46
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I would talk to the parents if you have not already done so. We had an issue with one of our kids being a bully in preschool - nothing major - just leaving other kids out, but still not nice behavior. We were mortified and took immediate action.

The parents might be very cooperative and glad to be alerted to the misdeeds.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:53 AM   #47
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So what are you hoping for? A court order that requires the school to expel the bullies? That is very unlikely for "just" verbal harassment. I guess it won't hurt to try.
In our local school district, there has been an increased focus on students' mental health, due to publicized high-risk behaviors and suicides in the past decade.

Nonetheless, parents here have learned that sometimes the only way to "be heard" re. their student's problems is to bring in a lawyer. The district's in-house counsel is expensive and does seem to keep the district on edge. So, when lawyers walk in, the district often does begin to listen...........no lawsuit necessary.

Yes, it's ridiculous that our society has come to this.

But, because the approach works here, I mentioned it as a possibility.

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Old 09-17-2014, 06:59 AM   #48
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Call, and set up a meeting face-to-face with the Principal. Do NOT discuss it over the phone, just set up the meeting. You need to BE THERE, don't let anyone want to get into it over the phone instead. The phone is an "insulation" tool.

Be courteous, but firm in the meeting. Do not be a hot-head, or you will be marked as a troublesome parent, and they will try to avoid you and discount you. Do not say anything at the end that would minimize your case.

If you can put a list of bullet-items together, and talk from them, that will be a plus. A knowledgeable, firm, prepared parent who wants resolution to a problem is someone to be paid great attention to.

I am speaking from experience, and now have inside info on how many schools "work"... some poorly!

+1 Excellent advice.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:31 AM   #49
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A restraining order that orders an 8 year old to stay away from another 8 year old? Seriously? I doubt that a judge is going to issue that order. In most states kids under 10 are not criminally liable even if they kill someone. I dont see a judge issuing an order of any kind to an 8 year old.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:36 AM   #50
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You may be right, but it would highlight the problem with parents and school officials to an extent that they might actually do something rather than sit on their a**es twiddling their thumbs. The judge might order school officials to do something to get it out of his courtroom.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:38 AM   #51
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Your goal is to make DD's life better. I would personally just bite the bullet and move her to another school asap at whatever cost I could afford to get her into a normal environment. You probably will not change the environment at this one or it would have already happened, and in the meantime she is feeling pretty bad about herself and might for a long time, considering it's bad enough that it needs her parents at the school every day (so it is not garden-variety name calling, etc.).

I have seen this solution with other kids who are now adults and they are incredibly grateful to their parents for it. It made all the difference for them.

Yeah, you shouldn't have to do this, but consider it. Have a lawyer send the tuition bills to the school board.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #52
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In most states kids under 10 are not criminally liable even if they kill someone.
There is your answer!
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:48 AM   #53
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Brewer - Although you seem reluctant to do so, I suggest you heed the other recommendations to call the bullies' parents. A reasonable icebreaker is simply to tell them they seem to be bullying your daughter, and you request they direct their children to simply not speak to or have anything to do with your daughter.
This approach may help prevent those parents from getting defensive or argumentative. And, most likely once they have hung up the phone they will speak more forcefully to their kids. If this approach does not yield the desired result, you now have more ammunition - to wit, you can cite that you called the parents and nothing changed - in the event the next step involves legal action.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #54
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I'm in the camp of letting your child resolve her own problems with bullying. That is within limits. If her physical safety is in danger that's a different story. You should though, give her all the tools and support to do it.
My DD and SIL send my four year old GS to self defense classes. GD will also get them (as soon as she can pronounce it). Taekwondo can give your DD2 (and DD1 for that matter) more self confidence as well as the ability to defend herself the rest of her life.
There are always going to be bullies in this world, if not worse, and she is going to have to have the mental and physical abilities to deal with the little bastards all her life, whether you're there or not. Reading about the degenerate behavior of some college males should stress this point.
IMHO bullies usually come from families of bullies. It's a learned behavior. So calling the parents will probably do no good. And may compound the problem. Having DD2 intervene may cause the older brother or sister of the little bastards to do the same.
Nothing drives home the point to a bully, of acting civilized, more than getting their ass kicked by a little girl.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:55 AM   #55
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I'm in the camp of letting your child resolve her own problems with bullying. [....] There are always going to be bullies in this world, if not worse, and she is going to have to have the mental and physical abilities to deal with the little bastards all her life, whether you're there or not.
I tend to agree, even though like many/most school aged kids I was bullied and my heart breaks for kids who are.

Bullying doesn't end with elementary school. Quite a few members have described bullies in the workplace (in various other threads), although they may not choose to use that word to describe them. Unfortunately, dealing with bullies on her own can be regarded as a form of life skills training for her.

The parent do need to intervene if there is a risk of serious physical or psychological injury, but otherwise (hard as it may be) if the bullies and bullied are the same age then sometimes it is best to be supportive and encouraging but non-meddling. When you step in, in cases like this, sometimes that sends the unintended message of "You are incapable; unlike the other kids, you can't adequately handle this on your own at all so mommy/daddy will do it for you". That message can cause more damage than the bullying.

I would rather live in a world in which bullying never happened at *any* age or stage in life. But, like World Peace, this transformation in the human condition is unlikely to occur in our lifetimes.

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Old 09-17-2014, 12:11 PM   #56
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Brewer - Although you seem reluctant to do so, I suggest you heed the other recommendations to call the bullies' parents. A reasonable icebreaker is simply to tell them they seem to be bullying your daughter, and you request they direct their children to simply not speak to or have anything to do with your daughter.
This approach may help prevent those parents from getting defensive or argumentative. And, most likely once they have hung up the phone they will speak more forcefully to their kids. If this approach does not yield the desired result, you now have more ammunition - to wit, you can cite that you called the parents and nothing changed - in the event the next step involves legal action.

In a perfect world that would be a reasonable solution, but many times those parents are worse than the bullying kids. An ex school official here. With a bit of documentation that Brewer seems to have done already, a principal with any skills at all or concern should cause an elementary bully kid to break. They turn on each other so fast and also love to tattle. It shouldn't be going on this long.
HS bullying much harder to catch. One time had 2 girls come into office brought in from a hallway fight. One a bit of a historical trouble maker came in cussing and screaming obviously upset over fight. The other calm and respectful and never in trouble explained how she was attacked for no reason. School policy, which I hated, treats both combatants equally though I tried when I could to nail the initiator. Obviously leaning a certain way with kids around it keeping quiet, a student told me another kid had recorded it on her phone. Since doing this at school at the time was against school policy I assured student I would not discipline her for it if she showed me. Guess what, the "good girl" lied and the cussing mad "bad student" was right. You have to be vigilant and not assume with kids.


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Old 09-17-2014, 12:15 PM   #57
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WR2, comments like yours are the reason I spend most of the time just listening...Well said.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:29 PM   #58
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Just keep in mind that unless a lot has changed in the 20 years since I was in elementary school, those boys probably like your DD and don't know how to show it, so one of those little bastards will likely be her first date in a few years

If the abuse isn't to the point of potentially causing long term physical/emotional damage to your DD, I'd agree with others and use it as an opportunity to teach her how to deal with bullies.

I found that the best weapon against bullying was to not give them any sense of achievement. I realized that kids that had strong reactions to the bullying seemed to be the primary targets. I made the choice to suck up my pride and just go along with the bullying. If they made a joke at my expense, I'd just laugh it off. It apparently isn't fun to pick on kids that don't seem to be bothered by it. I assume it removes the sense of power that they derive from picking on someone they deem to be below them in the food chain.

As WR2 mentions, a solution like that has the added benefit that DD can walk away knowing that she faced a problem and found a way to handle it herself.

It also taught me a life long lesson about how understanding other's motivations can allow you to manipulate situations to get the results that you want. It has served me well in relationships and my career.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:39 PM   #59
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My GS is a 1st grader in a school with involved mothers. When he was in kindergarten a couple mothers observed what could have been bullying behavior by some of the kids. The moms put their heads together and helped the children to see that wasn't a way to make friends. My GS, who could well have been in the mix, wanted to have a lot of friends so he changed the way he interacted with his peers. Now he is a leader in his classroom and is participating in TAG classes.

Kids need to be taught effective social skills.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:41 PM   #60
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I agree that a lot has changed in bullying since I was young . Now the bullies can continue the torments online . I would do whatever I had to to stop it . Your DD is still really young if she was older I would agree with her handling it but not at her age .
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