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Where Do Parents Turn When Schools Ignore Complaints About Bullies?

Where Do Parents Turn When Schools Ignore Complaints About Bullies?

School age children are often encouraged to go to an adult when confronted with a bully that won’t back down. School officials can help resolve conflicts between students when they can’t work it out on their own, often putting a volatile situation to rest. But where do parents and students turn when their cries for help are ignored?

Unfortunately, parents sometimes feel they have to take drastic measures before receiving help from their child’s school to resolve some dangerous situations. One frustrated Minnesota mom recently turned to her Facebook page for help when her daughter’s complaints about a bully on the bus went unanswered by her school. Mom, Sarah Cymbaluk, posted a video to a local news station’s Facebook page of her 9-year-old daughter weeping while explaining how she was made to feel sad and fearful of riding the bus with a bully.

Though the heart breaking video has received some criticism, Cymbaluk is quoted in a CNN reports explaining why she felt she had to expose her daughter’s feelings in this way on Facebook. She says, “She's been called into the principal's (office) and made to feel like it's her fault. She's been told to ignore it. She's been told to disregard it. Basically she's been told to stuff her emotions and get on with life.” Since posting the video the school’s Superintendent Marc Nohner felt the mom didn’t need to post the video to Facebook but also admits that her case “fell through the cracks”.

Another parent in Wisconsin has gone so far as to file for a restraining order against his daughter’s kindergarten classmate after her school refused to move a bully out of her classroom. NBC reports that the 5-year-old girl had been kicked in the face and had sand and rocks thrown at her. Dad Brian Metzger explains, “She came home and said a student threatened her by saying, ‘I want to slit your throat and watch you bleed,’” He adds, “I think they should have done something a lot sooner. They’ve kept him in the same classroom with my daughter throughout this until Wednesday morning because Tuesday night I showed up with a restraining order.”

Do you think these parents went too far or are the schools at fault for not being more receptive to complaints about bullying?

Have you ever had to deal with a situation like this where your child’s school was not responsive? How did you handle it?
 

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  • lorri1956 By lorri1956
    05.21.14  

    Unfortunately I have had several 'occasions' from kids picking on my child, to teachers ignore his educational; needs. And I just keep contacting officials, working my way up the ranks,untilI finally found someone to listen. You are your child's voice and you can't give up.

  • kfraccio By kfraccio
    05.21.14  

    I have never had to deal with a situation like that. It must be awful. They had a wonderful program at my son's school which all the students had to take a class. It taught tolerance. It really worked. There was no bullying and the kids learned to be nice to everyone. I think that they need things like that in every school.

  • logansmommy0611 By logansmommy0611
    05.21.14  

    I have never had to deal with this and hope I never have to. my son isn't even three yet tho. I know our public schools have something called a bully box tho so you can report is anonymously.

  • gwanita By gwanita
    05.21.14  

    Schools talk a good talk but don't do much when it comes time.. However it's hard when the kids seem to have all the power and no consequences.. I say of whatever you need to as a parent call and make complaints talk to people .. I have personally threatened other youth who have threatened my children!! It sounds bad but hey I will protect mine at all costs! It's hard to be that responsible parent always telling your kids to do right and follow the rules as when they get to school and in situations where they are being bullied you wish you had told them to kick some ass instead!!

  • CRIENER By CRIENER
    05.22.14  

    I think you potentially subject the child to MORE ridicule and bullying by posting on FB. I would also worry about the privacy of my young child. Go to the Board of Education if the Principal won't react.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    05.22.14  

    This is awful and the child and parents must feel so helpless. If this happened to me, I would never give up and keep working my way up the ranks within the school district and out of the district if I was not being listened to. We are our child's advocates. Every school should have ZERO tolerance and make the consequences stiff enough so that every child thinks twice about bullying.

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