Bullying happens, in fact, 19.6 percent of high school students report being bullied at school (not taking into account the children that did not report the issues). As a parent, you should know what to do should your child be a victim of bullying and be aware of a few warning signs. This guide will give you that information and peace of mind.
Signs That Your Child Is A Victim
Pay attention to some of the following:
- Unexplained physical marks, such as cuts or bruises. Your child might also try to mask these marks. But you should be suspect if they occur frequently even with an explanation.
- Loss of possessions or money.
- Your child attempts to miss school or participate in activities that involve other classmates.
- He or she may prefer to have a ride to school or walk rather than taking the bus.
- Your child might appear withdrawn or express loneliness.
- Frequent visits to the school nurse.
- There may be signs of depression such as mood swings, loss of appetite, over-eating, troubled sleeping, or self-esteem issues.
- You might start noticing that your child always waits to go to the restroom at home. School restrooms, since they are unsupervised, are usually where most bullying occurs.
- There could be a negative change in his or her grades.
- Some abused children start to bully their own siblings as a defense mechanism.
Be sure you talk to your health care provider or mental health specialist about these issues, especially if your child's behavior takes a turn for the worse, like talk of suicide.
What Can You Do?
The following are some things you will need to do, especially if you press charges:
- You want to ask your child to divulge the bully's (bullies) name. Write down the type of bullying your child is experiencing and what is being said as well as dates.
- Take pictures of any bruises.
- Arrange for a sit-down with the school principal regarding the bullying. Get a copy of the school's bullying policy to see what the bully has violated.
- Call the cops if your child admits that the bully has said that he or she wants to mess with your child after school.
- File a Notice of Harassment should all your attempts at halting the bullying prove unsuccessful.
You should also take the time to talk to a local lawyer (such as one from Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices) regarding these issues as he or she may have other suggestions to ensure that your child is safe and the culprit or culprits are made responsible.