Bullying is a highly serious matter that is often overlooked or disregarded. It comes in multiple forms and can happen both inside and outside of school. Due to the advent of the internet, cyberbullying has become prevalent over the past years. Sadly, the number of children being harassed is increasing at an alarming rate.
Most bullied victims are hesitant to report it to their parents or the local school authorities as they are unsure of how to confront the situation. Many of them suffer in silence, thinking that it will only worsen if the adults get involved, and some of them are just hoping that it will eventually end. If you believe that your child is being bullied, it is important that you are aware of what you need to do to face this upsetting situation and prevent it from continuing.
Recognize the warning signs
One of the first things you need to do is look for the warning signs that your child is being bullied. While the symptoms may vary from child to child, here are some of the common red flags you should watch out for:
- Harming themselves
- Talking about suicide
- Running away from home
- Noticeable decrease in self-esteem
- Unable to sleep
- Unexplainable injuries
- Avoidance of social situations
- Changes in eating habits
- Lack of interest in school
- Destroyed or lost personal items
- Tends to fake illness
- Schoolwork or grades start to decline
Make sure that you stay attentive and look closely for any changes in your child. Aside from identifying the warning signs, it is also vital that you talk to your child and let them know that you are there to support them. Never force your kid to open up, as it will only make them more reluctant to talk to you.
Notify your child’s school
After confirming your suspicions that your child is being bullied, the next step is to reach out to their school. You can either talk to their teacher, principal, guidance counselor, or any administrator in charge of handling these types of situations. Make sure that you document everything, from your child’s testimony, accounts of possible witnesses, and the actions made by the school to handle the problem. You can also check the school’s code of conduct and anti-bullying policies to ensure that they are addressing the issue accordingly.
Take legal action
It is important to note that all 50 states already have anti-bullying laws in place. However, it can differ in each state, so make sure that you check your local government’s website. These laws require the school to take appropriate actions against bullying. If your child’s school is not doing anything on their end or you are unsatisfied with the outcome, the next step is to consult with a legal professional. Make sure that you consult with an attorney who specializes in these cases, as filing a lawsuit against a school for bullying problems is not a task you can manage on your own.
Our children deserve to thrive in a space learning environment without the fear of being harassed by their peers. As parents, it is our responsibility to help them properly respond and overcome any form of bullying.