The letter I sent to my son’s teacher about him being bullied at school

In the ongoing issue of being bullied by a kid in his class, I sent the below message to his teachers after learning that these things are still happening.  

I have great respect for these teachers and I know their job is not easy. At the same time, it’s their responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in their care. 

I’ve spoken to the several times about this issue and it remains a problem. I wanted to make myself heard and ensure that I got my point across without losing my cool… 

I don’t understand why they have to witness something they know is happening, in order to do anything meaningful about it…. 

I’m disturbed to learn that xxxxxxx is still a problem.  Elliott says he was hit by a pencil yesterday, smacked on the back and generally made to feel uncomfortable. Today xxxxxxxx was messing with him in Martial Arts by jumping in front of him and getting in his face. 

The reoccurring theme here is that when a teacher is told, it becomes Elliott’s word against xxxxxxx’s.  Xxxxxxx insists that Elliott is lying and so nothing happens to address the problem. Removing points isn’t sufficient punishment for what stopbullying.gov defines as .

[irp]

I’ve spoken with the office as well and expressed my concern.  I expect Elliott to feel safe when going to school. Elliott has a right to feel safe, as does anyone’s else xxxxxxx is targeting.  Xxxxxxx does not have the right to touch, hit, throw objects at or invade the personal space of Elliott.  I’m very quickly losing patience with this situation. 

I expect this situation to be resolved as my understanding is that the school has a zero tolerance policy for bullying.  

I understand this is a difficult situation to manage and I don’t envy your position but the reality is, there is a child in your classroom who’s making the school day difficult for mine. Elliott is being physically hit with hands and objects around the classroom. I appreciate that you may not witness these things but you know their happening.  Why does xxxxxxxx get the benefit of the doubt when he’s the one who is victimizing other students. Do bullies have rights at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?

Does your child have problems with bullies? How have you handled the situation? Did you feel the school was supportive or hesitant to deal with the problem?



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  • Sandling All Day

    Oh this resonates with me SO MUCH. My kiddo is scared to DEATH to go to , so much so, that he regularly cannot. He’s down to a 1hr a day schedule and often that is too much for him. His school rotates the classes so as to get them ready for middle school, and his math teacher is SO quiet, that when xxxxxx bullies my son, openly, in class where EVERYONE hears, the teacher simply reminds him of behavior. The student goes on to BULLY THE TEACHER, basically telling him that he can do whatever he wants… The teacher ends up sending him to the office, and upon his return to class, it resumes. My son refuses to attend math class now, because this student basically runs roughshod over the class, where the other 2 teachers don’t allow it. We’re actually facing truancy court BECAUSE of my son’s & inability to attend regularly… I can absolutely understand your struggles with the teacher… I only hope that your letter has some sort of positive end result. I’m sure you’re WELL aware of the district ombudsman, but if not, I’d encourage you to seek their assistance!! I’ve been following your blog for a VERY long time now, since you pretty much first started. You’ve always been a source of encouragement, and a wealth of information. I applaud you and your wife.

    • Thank you so much. I sickened to know what your son is going through because this shouldn’t happen to anyone. I get the impression that this kid in my sons class is a handful for the teachers in general. I hope things get better for you son…. Stay strong….

  • Kim Gebhardt

    “Xxxxxxx insists that is lying and so nothing happens to address the problem.”

    This is the problem right here- the other child says it’s not true. This HAS been addressed. It would have to have been in order for the teacher to know that xxx says that Elliott is lying. Now it makes even more sense that the teacher needs to see the to do anything about it. The teacher can’t simply say “Oh, well Elliott says it’s happening so I will ignore xxx when he says that Elliott is lying”. That would be unfair to everyone involved. I understand your position and that you want to protect your child; I would likely do the same- but it sounds like the is doing the best they can in a ‘he said/she said’ situation. I would ask the teacher to move Elliott’s desk away from the other child. That is probably the best place to start.

    • That said, they know it’s happening because other students are complaining as well. This kid is also a problem for the teachers as well but they say he’s very careful not to do anything in front of them..

      • JR

        If this is the whole story, the school’s reaction makes no sense. It’s not as simple as “he said/she said” since, as you have said before, Rob, that the has acknowledged to you at least some awareness of the problem not just with , but also with other students. Has Elliott said anything to a teacher immediately after a pencil has been thrown at him? So there’s a pencil lying on the ground, the other kid says he didn’t throw it, so that’s the end of it? One kid says another is slapping him on the back throughout the day, and the other denies it, so nothing is done? Again, even if the school didn’t know what to make of that situation, one would think, even just for safety reasons, that they would at least move someone’s seat, or make some sort of effort to keep these students away from each other until the “truth” can be sorted out. One would think that a school specifically for autistic and kids would have a heightened awareness/sensitivity/alertness with regard to these types of behaviors. Maybe the letter you sent needs to be copied to the principal, administrators, school social worker, etc. Good luck…

        • Very well said and the exact reason for my frustration…

      • Kim Gebhardt

        JR said it so well that I’m going to be super lazy and just say ^^what he said.

  • Lynda Harlos

    My son was bullied when he was younger. I do have a whole vlog on this from his point of view and what we did that will be released in the next week or two. This is a hard subject for both sides…yes I mean from both sides….keep reading. It is hard to deal with and heartbreaking. But what we did when my children were young worked at the time. Not sure it would always work, but worth at try if anyone wants to see it and try it.

    BUT: I am a grandmother of a grandson who IS THE BULLY: We are a very loving . My daughter was raped but still decided to have this child and we love him. She also has an ex in her life that we are not certain if he might be learning this behaviour from there, but if not we cannot figure out why he feels it is ok to hit. We have zero tolerance of this behaviour. I took care of him the other day because he was suspended for hitting a child with his cast. His reason was “I don’t like school”. So he knows he can get out of school for this behaviour. Dealing with this is a whole other issue and I am a vlogger and plan on doing a video on this soon. There is always two sides to every story. If you wish to be sent the link when I am done please let me know.

  • Sarah

    Tell the that you do not want your son anywhere near this other child. All of his teachers should be notified. I have seen children moved from one teacher’s classroom to another’s because of this type of stuff. I bet this other kid is sneaky. When I was a teacher I had a student that would bully others at recess, it was a nightmare. I spent a considerate amount of time expending my energy trying to keep an eye on the bully. The teachers also need to take a 10 minute timeout during the day to have a class meeting and talk about . This type of education needs to be repeated frequently.

    • Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping to see some progress soon. It’s a tough situation, especially considering the nature of the itself..

  • Braden

    Has there been any response?

    • Not really. I received a one sentence response basically saying they would keep an eye on things. I’m not feeling super confident..