Bullying at school can be extremely harmful for both the bully and the victim. If the bully is not stopped, he or she will grow to adulthood thinking this type of behavior works for them. The victim may grow to adulthood with feelings of inadequacy and feelings of revenge, both unhealthy for a happy life.
If a child is being bullied in school, his or her parents should write a letter to the teacher that explains the situation and asks for a solution.
States and local governments have laws and policies to protect children in schools. Each state addresses it differently, but they all require certain actions to be taken by the school if it is reported. In some states, it appears in the criminal code that applies to juveniles.
Parents can go to stopbullying.gov to find out the laws or policies in their state. In some cases, it may overlap with harassment if it is based on race, national origin, color, disability, sex or religion. If this is the case, schools are legally obligated to address it.
Bullying can happen on the playground or others areas of school property, in the school bus and even in the classroom. It may also happen at a school-sponsored event that is not on the school campus.
It may consist of name calling, being mercilessly teased, being ostracized and serious physical harm. If the parents inform the teacher that their child is the victim of a bully, they can expect a response from the school.
There are common signs that a child is being bullied at school by other students.
• Unwillingness to go to school
• Poor academic performance
If a parent suspects their child is being bullied at school, they should keep a written record of any incident the child reports. They should then write a formal letter to the teacher explaining the situation with examples.
They can also mention that they would like to meet the teacher or counselor to discuss the matter and are willing to take any recommended steps that the school authorities think may help.
The record kept by the parents should include:
• The names of the children involved
• The time and place of each incident
• Exactly what happened
• Photographs of any injury the child received
The letter should be addressed directly to the teacher using his or her full name. It should state clearly that the writer’s child is being harassed at school by classmates and give one to three examples along with the dates.
The letter can mention how the child is being adversely affected by the harassment with examples given such as he or she doesn’t want to go to school anymore where previously they loved school. A copy of the letter should also be sent to the principal of the school and the child’s guidance counsellor if applicable.
If the teacher and principal do not take any action, the parent should address the school board with their complaints.
Here is a sample of a letter to a teacher about bullying. It should be written in formal business style and a copy should be kept in the event that any legal action needs to be taken at a later date.
It should be sent by certified mail to the teacher, principal and any other school authority, so the parent has proof of the time and date it was received.
Sample Complaint Letter About Bullying
City, State, Zip Code
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Teacher’s Name,
I am the mother of Name of Child who is in your sixth grade class. Unfortunately, I need to report to you that she has been experiencing bullying this year. She first mentioned the incidents to me four weeks ago on DATE when she said two students in her class, Full Name and Full Name, tore her blouse during games.
At that time I took a photograph of the damage and hoped that would be the end of it. However, five days later on DATE, the same girls and a few others cornered my daughter and called her ugly names including whore.
Yesterday, she came home with a large bruise on her forehead. She was pushed from behind and fell, bumping her head on the floor. This happened in the corridor of the school. I took a photo of the bruise.
She refused to go to school today, and I didn’t force her. These incidents are far beyond normal childish behavior, and I am very worried. I hope the school will take action, so my daughter can enjoy and benefit from school.
I would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the situation with you. I can be reached at 555-123-4567 or at Name@email.com.
Parent’s Name Printed
Copies to Principal and councilor if applicable