In line with our last post, parents have become increasingly frustrated by what they perceive to be a lack of response to bullying incidents. Although schools must adhere to clearly defined bullying prevention policies, the communication between parents and schools often falls short of what could be considered an effective partnership. As a parent of two I recognize the heightened emotion that accompanies any event affecting either of my children, whether the event has a positive or negative consequence. Parents see their children as an extension of themselves. What affects a child, affects a parent.
Bullying incidents strike at the heart of a parent-child relationship. Parents of bullied children have often, themselves, been the target of bullying. Reliving earlier memories, parents storm the school’s front office looking for immediate action in response to the report of a bullying incident. The resulting discussion becomes heated and leaves parents and schools at odds.
Implementing a consistent approach to parent education that involves frequent and ongoing communication between parents and schools can help to lessen the tension on the topic of bullying in schools. Identifying an answer to, “What is bullying?” sets a foundation for developing a partnership between parents and schools.
Many parents feel helpless when they discover their child is the victim of bullying at school, but for Kathy Lindsay, the matter truly feels like it’s out of her hands.
According to The Sault Star, Lindsay, whose daughter was allegedly bullied throughout her school year, was banned from the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Public School in Sault Ste. Marie at the end of June.
Lindsay says she’d walked her daughter to class and made phone calls to the school in an attempt to cease the bullying. She finally felt compelled to employ a lawyer to get the administration’s attention. In response, the school hired their own lawyers and sent Lindsay a letter which stated, “The school and the board will not continue to discuss this matter with you and we ask that you cease contacting the school in this regard.” It also noted “safety concerns” for children at the school and warned of trespassing charges if she’s found on school grounds without written permission.