I believe that my emotions are still rather raw at times when it comes to bullying. I read the stories and see the faces of parents who have a child who is being bullied, or have a child who did the bullying and we all hurt. It hurts to see your child in pain. I do have more sympathy for the child who is being bullied that the one doing the bullying. I wonder at times if they would have remorse if they hadn’t gotten caught.
This has led me to think over the past couple of days about the problem of bullying. I know when we were going through our tough time, the parents of the child just chalked up what was going on to kids being kids. However, I don’t think that is right. I believe that bullying is a cancer in our society. It is something that is slowly eating away at so many people and we are ill-equipped to deal with it.
One key element that I believe is missing on so many levels in our education system is parental involvement, and bullying management is no different. What if the parents were made to be more involved? What if it was required for a child who has been repeatedly accused of bullying to have their parents come to school before that child is allowed to come back?
I spent a lot of time and effort working with the school to try to make it a safer place for my son. Meanwhile, the parents of the bully were just brushing it off. I have often wondered what a policy might look like that would involve the parents of the child who is doing the bullying more. For example, after so many credible reports, a student would be asked not to return to school until the parent could come in be involved in a behavior management plan for their child. If my child was repeatedly hurting other children in any way, I would want to know and would want any help I could get to put that behavior to rest.
I know that there are a lot of parents who are very busy and have a lot of work to do. However, shouldn’t their child be their first priority? I would hope so. Maybe if a parent had a clearer picture of what their child is doing and know that they were going to be inconvenienced a little as well, they might put a little more investment behind their child in stopping the bullying.
Many times, the school wants to help the child who is being bullied. This is a good thing, however, what about helping the child who is doing the bullying? They are also struggling with issues. It may be that they are insecure, or maybe they want power. No matter what the root behind it, don’t we owe it to the ones doing the bullying to be socially well-adjusted as well? These children will go on to be bullies as parents, bosses, co-workers, etc. They must be taught how to respond properly.
These are just some of the thoughts that I have had and would love to see a discussion started about appropriate policies in which the parents are actively engaged. What thoughts do you have? What does your school have in place? Do you think it needs to be more rigorous? Children are being killed, both figuratively and literally. Something has got to change… soon!