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Daughter Being Bullied

Question:

My children and I just moved back to my hometown after being away for 14 years. My ex-husband, who was emotionally abusive to me and cheated on me with his current wife, has lived here since I moved away. He and his wife have twins who are the same age as my daughter. Our children attend the same school, but I have made certain that they will not be in the same classroom since my ex-husband’s wife has encouraged her twins to pick on my daughter.  

After only six days of school, my daughter has come home daily with bruises on her legs. She told me that kids are kicking and pinching her at recess. She does not know their names, so I went to the teacher to discuss the situation. I did not get a satisfactory response from her teacher, so I spoke to the other kindergarten teacher. She said that she has been reporting it, but no one has actually seen the behavior take place.  

I want the teachers and recess monitors to watch my daughter more closely at recess according to the school’s anti-bullying rules, but they are not very responsive. This makes me wonder just how seriously my daughter has to be hurt before they intervene.  

My daughter is considered to be high-functioning autistic. I want her to love school and fear she will come to hate it if she continues to be bullied. How should I handle this? How do I keep it from continuing – or worse – escalating? Who do I talk to next?

Answer:

Though many schools have anti-bullying policies in place, teachers are not always educated on how to spot bullying behavior or how to respond to it when they suspect it is happening. Another factor is that bystanders who are witnessing your daughter being bullied do not know how to respond when one of their peers is being hurt. Children also need to be educated on how to respond when they see or hear it happening.

You and your daughter have done exactly what you need to do. The next step is to report it to the principal. If you do not feel that something is being done to your satisfaction, you need to contact the superintendent and then the school district. Have each step recorded so nothing can be misunderstood.

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