Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Busting the Bully

I always knew my children would eventually encounter bullies while in school, but I didn't think it would be happening so soon.

Two weeks into the new school year, and I've already had to contact my daughter's teacher about a bullying situation in her class.

My daughter usually enjoys school, but the other day she asked if she could change to a different school because of something that happened with another student in her 1st grade class.

She mentioned that a boy who sits at her table had been bothering her a lot (making mean comments, drawing on her things, etc). And apparently the other day he said, "My entire family is going to kill you."

He also told her that he could call 911 and have the police come to our house to shoot her.

I know that these are young kids, and young kids say all sorts of things without really understanding the consequences, but this was obviously really scary to my daughter.

I'm convinced that something must be going on with this boy outside of school. This is probably his way of lashing out, and I do truly feel bad for him. But, at the same time, I don't want my daughter to be sad or scared at school.

She said that she didn't do or say anything to provoke these comments from him, and I of course believe her. Regardless, his comments were threatening, so the teacher immediately had this boy moved to a different table.

This has solved the problem in the short term, but it's obvious to me that this boy needs help. He may be small and relatively harmless now, but he won't stay this way for long.

What happens when he's in 5th grade and becomes a physically intimidating presence as well? Or when he's in junior high and has upped his game to involve cyber bullying? The future frightens me.

With regards to my daughter, I've advised her to go to her teachers immediately if he bothers her again -- but, beyond this, I'm not really sure what to tell her.

On the one hand, I do want her to speak up and let him know that his comments are not okay..... but I don't want things to escalate with him. And I don't think that just having her ignore this boy is the right answer either.

Essentially, I don't know how to handle this, and I'm open to suggestions. Has anyone else had to battle the classroom bully with their kids?

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