3 ways the school could indirectly deal with my son’s bully

I know it’s easy to read this and assume that the school is in the wrong. That’s not what I’m necessarily trying to say. The problem is much bigger than just one school, it’s how we address bullying in general.

Look, I love this school. I do overlook certain things that I don’t agree with because the overall experience for my kids has been amazing. Having said that, I do not believe this is being handle well and I will not stop pushing until we get to the bottom of this.

There are indirect ways in which this could be dealt with.

1) Maybe they could set aside a day and have a speaker come in to educate the kids about bullying, what it is and why it’s unacceptable. The kids could learn to be empowered by learning ways of dealing with bullies. They could also talk about what they could or should do if they see someone being bullied. That would help to address the problem without having to single anyone out.

2) I certainly believe the teachers could use an in-service on bullying. How to recognize bullying and what to do when it’s discovered.

3) Maybe even have the next family event be centered around bullying and talking to your kids about bullying.

I would be thrilled with that kind of resolution because I guarantee Elliott’s not the only one in the school dealing with something like this.

The bottom line is, I’m really frustrated and I feel like this isn’t being taken seriously. There’s enough evidence to at least pull the kid aside and talk to him about this. Not doing so simply emboldens someone who already seems to get away with everything as it is. What kind of message does that send to Elliott? What kind of message does it send to the kid who’s been bullying him?

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Keri Ann Johnson

Coming from the parent of a bully asd child. Sometimes we are trying with everything we have. We dont want our children to be this way. And the cooperation of teachers isnt always on point. After a year we finally found something to make it better for him and his classmates. We almost removed him for others safety. He hasn’t hurt anyone since September. But if we don’t know our kids is causing problems we cant try and fix them. My nephew was on the exact opposite of my childs problem. Meds and counseling. Broke my heart. But everyone’s better for it.

kimmy gebhardt

I’m curious what happened during the interventionist’s talk with Elliott that made him think he was the instigator. Was it the issue from last year where Elliott told on the kid? Wasn’t that what you thought might be at the root of the problem? If so, I can see why Elliott apologized. If they are trying to work through it all, the whole thing needs to be completely unraveled to get to where it started. If it started with Elliott tattling, then that’s where they need to start and work forward. Hopefully this will end it. I also feel like there is more to this story. If Elliott is truly being bullied and other kids notice it, then I don’t understand why it has been such an ongoing issue or why they are no longer keeping the kids apart. Something is just off to me. I’m certainly not calling you a liar, but I do wonder if Elliott’s sensitivity and anxiety are making this bigger than it really is. That would explain the lack of response you’re getting from the school.

Jimmy Rock

Sort of along the same lines as Kim’s comment — this all just doesn’t add up. We’re talking about a school specifically for autistic kids (and other disabilities, right?). I would think that they would be more equipped to deal with, and more attuned to, any situation involving a social conflict between students. I mean, this is precisely what their entire student body struggles with and needs help with. All those touchy-feely “stomp out bullies” programs are fine, but there’s no better way to teach kids how appropriate behavior that having a practical, real-life situation to work from so that these kids actually get it on a specific as well as general level.

However, from your perspective, and in dealing with the school, before you can really appropriately advocate, the communication needs to be improved. The biggest problem here, and probably the most frustrating part about this, is that Elliott has difficulty relaying the information to you so you can have an accurate assessment of the facts. Keep working with him yourself, and in therapy, to get as much accurate information as you can about the situation. As for the school, they need to be aware that because of Elliott’s difficulties, you’re relying on them to give you an accurate assessment of what is going on. What is going on, as least as you’ve conveyed it here, doesn’t make any sense, unless part of this story is missing.

As for the bullying programs you referenced, I don’t mean to be facetious, but all I know is that in so many schools, they’re so over-saturated with bully talk that the students don’t even know what a bully is anymore. I just don’t understand how your school has a real life situation to work from — a real teachable moment — which has a relatively simple solution, and it’s being dragged out in nonsensical fashion.

Keep working on it. Get the whole story the best you can. Keep it professional. You’ll get more accomplished that way. I get it. I’m currently in a battle – check that – a discussion — with my kid’s school about certain assessments that they are under the mistaken impression are “required” for my daughter which are not only not required, but completely unnecessary. They don’t get it yet, but they will. 🙂

Best of luck.

Jimmy Rock

Also, you referenced talking to another parent. Other parents can be a great source of information (and sometimes they’re full of crap and don’t know what they’re talking about). But you’ve been asked about this before, and it seems like you aren’t really tapped into a social network at school where you have relationships with other parents, where your kids see other kids outside of school, etc. Other parents also might have some information about, as you found out here, what’s going on at school, and also experiences in dealing with school staff. It often seems like with the school you’re out there on an island by yourself. Try to tap into those other parents, particularly in your case, where it can be so tough to get an accurate read on what’s going on at school from your own kids.

Sharon Livermore

well done you in holding back for a bit as that is more than I could do. The schools action hasn’t resolved much other than to teach Elliott that if he is bullied in future it’s probably his fault so to humble himself and to say sorry to make it stop. The bully has got off lightly….even IF Elliott had irritated him some way then yep say so by all means, but repetitive bullying is not acceptable in any circumstance and he should have been told

Rob Gracie

Public schools encourage bully behavior…the school system is failing due to lack of educated teachers who really care……the only thing they do care about is covering up problems they are responsible for and harassing parents who stand up for their kids.. Guy e row elementary Norway Maine is an example of the worst.

Suzanne Olsen

Take both boys out of the school and home school them.
It’s obvious that the school and the bully are out to shit you up the wall.

Rob Gracie

Public schools encourage bully behavior…the school system is failing due to lack of educated teachers who really care……the only thing they do care about is covering up problems they are responsible for and harassing parents who stand up for their kids.. Guy e row elementary Norway Maine is an example of the worst.

paulinabisson5

While I’m not sure how bad the system is, my experience hasn’t been good. We have had teachers physically abuse my oldest before we yanked him out and found a better fit.

I wouldn’t go so far as to label all teachers this way but a few rotten apples can certainly spoil the bunch. As for bullying, that’s obviously a massive problem.

adriannecollee

I’m curious what happened during the interventionist’s talk with Elliott that made him think he was the instigator. Was it the issue from last year where Elliott told on the kid? Wasn’t that what you thought might be at the root of the problem? If so, I can see why Elliott apologized. If they are trying to work through it all, the whole thing needs to be completely unraveled to get to where it started. If it started with Elliott tattling, then that’s where they need to start and work forward. Hopefully this will end it. I also feel like there is more to this story. If Elliott is truly being bullied and other kids notice it, then I don’t understand why it has been such an ongoing issue or why they are no longer keeping the kids apart. Something is just off to me. I’m certainly not calling you a liar, but I do wonder if Elliott’s sensitivity and anxiety are making this bigger than it really is. That would explain the lack of response you’re getting from the school.

Jimmy Rock

Sort of along the same lines as Kim’s comment — this all just doesn’t add up. We’re talking about a school specifically for autistic kids (and other disabilities, right?). I would think that they would be more equipped to deal with, and more attuned to, any situation involving a social conflict between students. I mean, this is precisely what their entire student body struggles with and needs help with. All those touchy-feely “stomp out bullies” programs are fine, but there’s no better way to teach kids how appropriate behavior that having a practical, real-life situation to work from so that these kids actually get it on a specific as well as general level.

However, from your perspective, and in dealing with the school, before you can really appropriately advocate, the communication needs to be improved. The biggest problem here, and probably the most frustrating part about this, is that Elliott has difficulty relaying the information to you so you can have an accurate assessment of the facts. Keep working with him yourself, and in therapy, to get as much accurate information as you can about the situation. As for the school, they need to be aware that because of Elliott’s difficulties, you’re relying on them to give you an accurate assessment of what is going on. What is going on, as least as you’ve conveyed it here, doesn’t make any sense, unless part of this story is missing.

As for the bullying programs you referenced, I don’t mean to be facetious, but all I know is that in so many schools, they’re so over-saturated with bully talk that the students don’t even know what a bully is anymore. I just don’t understand how your school has a real life situation to work from — a real teachable moment — which has a relatively simple solution, and it’s being dragged out in nonsensical fashion.

Keep working on it. Get the whole story the best you can. Keep it professional. You’ll get more accomplished that way. I get it. I’m currently in a battle – check that – a discussion — with my kid’s school about certain assessments that they are under the mistaken impression are “required” for my daughter which are not only not required, but completely unnecessary. They don’t get it yet, but they will. 🙂

Best of luck.

Jimmy Rock

Also, you referenced talking to another parent. Other parents can be a great source of information (and sometimes they’re full of crap and don’t know what they’re talking about). But you’ve been asked about this before, and it seems like you aren’t really tapped into a social network at school where you have relationships with other parents, where your kids see other kids outside of school, etc. Other parents also might have some information about, as you found out here, what’s going on at school, and also experiences in dealing with school staff. It often seems like with the school you’re out there on an island by yourself. Try to tap into those other parents, particularly in your case, where it can be so tough to get an accurate read on what’s going on at school from your own kids.

paulinabisson5

Good luck with your battle.. ☺ I know how hard those can be..

paulinabisson5

Kim, you make an excellent point. That’s why I’m approaching this the way I am. I want to know the facts before I react in a significant way.

My understanding of what happened was when this kid was questioned, he denied everything. It became a he said she said thing, even though there was another student who witnessed this.

The interventionist suggested that this was all a misunderstanding (referring the last Thursday). It was at that point that Elliott believed that she must be right and decided to apologize to this kid. This kid however, didn’t apologize for anything.

As far as anxiety goes, I’m aware that could be a possibility and that’s one reason I’m not more aggressively responding.

Suzanne Olsen

Take both boys out of the school and home school them.
It’s obvious that the school and the bully are out to shit you up the wall.

paulinabisson5

We’ve thought about homeschooling and its always an option but we’re trying to resolve this. Do you home school? How’s it working out?

Sharon Livermore

well done you in holding back for a bit as that is more than I could do. The schools action hasn’t resolved much other than to teach Elliott that if he is bullied in future it’s probably his fault so to humble himself and to say sorry to make it stop. The bully has got off lightly….even IF Elliott had irritated him some way then yep say so by all means, but repetitive bullying is not acceptable in any circumstance and he should have been told

paulinabisson5

Amen. It seems we’re in the same page.. ☺

Keri Ann Johnson

Coming from the parent of a bully asd child. Sometimes we are trying with everything we have. We dont want our children to be this way. And the cooperation of teachers isnt always on point. After a year we finally found something to make it better for him and his classmates. We almost removed him for others safety. He hasn’t hurt anyone since September. But if we don’t know our kids is causing problems we cant try and fix them. My nephew was on the exact opposite of my childs problem. Meds and counseling. Broke my heart. But everyone’s better for it.

paulinabisson5

Thank you for sharing from the other side. You aren’t alone because we had that issue with Gavin, my oldest. In fact, we found out on accident that he was bullying someone in his class and we turned him. The teachers weren’t seeing it for what it was and we had to work to get the situation resolved but everyone’s better for it as well.

Thank you for sharing this and frankly, it’s parents like you who are part of solution. Have a great day.. ☺

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