Strategies parents should use when their child is bullied at school

There are many strategies parents can try when their child is the victim of a bully to end the situation and protect their child.

At schools in Pennsylvania, bullying occurs when one child exhibits unwanted, aggressive behavior to another. This behavior can happen once, be repeated or have the potential to be repeated over time, and it has the potential to create problems for those who are bullied on a long-term basis.

Bullying can happen in many different ways, but there are three main forms: verbal, social and physical. For example, a child who is verbally bullied may be the victim of taunting, threats and name calling while social bullying may involve leaving a child out on purpose or embarrassing him or her in public. Physical bullying involves harming a child's body or possessions and may include tripping, pushing, hitting or kicking.

Ways to help

There are many signs that can indicate a child is the victim of bullying. For example, a child who is bullied may lose friends, have bruises on his or her body, lose interest in previously enjoyed activities or experience a drop in academic performance. Parents who find out or suspect their child is being bullied may want to try some of the following strategies:

  • Instead of talking to the bully's parents about what is occurring, parents should bring the issue to their child's teacher. If the teacher does not take appropriate action, the issue should be brought to the school's principal.
  • Parents should teach their child nonviolent ways to deal with the bullying. For instance, parents may want to teach their children to walk away from the situation or talk with an adult.
  • Parents should not encourage their child to fight because this could lead to more serious problems involving the bully. Instead, they should help their child know how to act with self-confidence, which may include speaking clearly, looking others in the eye and standing upright.

Parent should also try to involve their child in activities outside of school. This way the child is exposed to a different social circle.

Seek the assistance of an attorney

Parents with a child who is bullied may have serious concerns about their child's wellbeing, both emotionally and physically, and take as much action as possible to end the mistreatment. However, in many cases in Pennsylvania, schools fail to take appropriate action and the bullying continues or even gets worse. When this occurs, parents should contact an attorney in their area who can help them assert their child's legal rights and prevent further bullying from occurring.