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Is your child having a problem with another student at school? Let’s face it; kids are bound to run into problems with others on campus. In fact, it’s difficult to know where to draw the line between a problem that needs attention and a mere misunderstanding between kids. However, if your child is repeatedly singled out or targeted by the same student (or group of students), or your child does not want to attend school or ride the bus any longer, these may be signs that intervention is needed. School should be a place where all students feel safe. The Health Resources and Services Administration has a website your family can go to for information, answers, and solutions to bullying. According to Stop Bullying Now, here are some signs to look for if you suspect your child is being bullied:
- Your child comes home missing clothing or possessions, or your child’s clothing is damaged, or torn;
- Your child has bruises, scratches or cuts they cannot (or won’t) explain;
- Your child is fearful of going to school, riding the bus, or attending activities with friends;
- Your child is sad, tearful or depressed when they come home from school;
- Your child has low self-esteem or is anxious.
If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, take action! Ignoring the incident or hoping it goes away, often makes the situation worse and can leave your child feeling even more alienated.
- Let your child know that you support him/her.
- Get as much information about the bullying as you can from your child. Help your child explain the situation and experiences by asking him/her questions.
- Contact your child’s teacher. Many times teachers are able to provide information about your child’s peer relationships that you may not have known. If needed, contact the school principal to let him/her know what is happening as well.
We all want our children to feel safe going to school. Working with your child’s teacher and administration is an effective way to start protecting your child. Staying informed of the situation and acting quickly to resolve any problems will help your child feel empowered and safe once again.