As parents, we need to know when to take appropriate action. I don’t believe that one or maybe two instances with a specific individual are enough to make a case for bullying. If it goes beyond, reporting becomes a necessity. I believe that one of the big mistakes I made when helping my child through a bullying situation was not recording everything. (You can read my story by clicking on the link.) I believe a good guideline would be three strikes and you are out. Once you have a third complaint from your child, then the documenting needs to begin and contacting the school is a must.
When you are documenting the bullying, it is a good idea to try to be as accurate as possible. As hard as it is to not lash out, it is important to stick to only facts while documenting events. Try to write down situations just as your child told you. By doing this, you can accomplish a couple of things. First, you will be establishing a pattern of behavior by the bully. Not only will this be able to record what the bully has said, but when and where the bullying is occurring. The school will be able to use this information to help protect your child, which they are legally obligated to do. Second, it does show the school that you are taking this seriously and when there is a paper record, they are more likely to take action.
Not only should you record what is happening to your child, but also your interaction with the school. Be sure to record dates of contact, with whom you spoke, and a summary of what you were told. That way, if any action was going to be taken, it is written down and will be available for referral at a later date. When you record things and have a paper trail, it keeps everyone involved more accountable, including you. Don’t assume that the school will log your contact with them. Even if they do, you should have your own to refer to as well. It will be tedious, but all of the documentation will be well in your favor!