What Happens When Bully Victims Fight Back – Updated 11/17
November 15, 2012
I have sent emails to the superintendent (Supt@slps.org). I've spoken with school officials (teachers, principal, vice principal). I'm always assured it is being handled, but it continues.
At recess yesterday, a boy was playing four square with Jenelle. He got out, and wouldn't leave the game, so he and Jenelle were arguing. He grabbed her arms, swung her around, almost to the ground. She kicked him and got away from him. He cried, told the teacher, and Jenelle was told she would miss recess until December 3rd as punishment.
Usually, Jenelle tells the teacher instead of fighting back, but it's gotten to the point where she has been physically assaulted numerous times, so she has started fighting back – finally. The boy she fought back to this time happened to be younger than she is, so they are saying it's ALL her fault.
I'm visiting the school tomorrow to talk to the principal about it, but based on the history with this school, I doubt anything will be done. Jenelle asked me not to talk to the principal about it – she said she'd just take her punishment, and now she feels as if she is being bullied by the staff as well because they're making her life miserable for sticking up for herself.
As far as we know, based on responses by teachers and the principal, the children have not been written up or gotten in much (if any) trouble when picking on my girls.
Like I said earlier, Jenelle fought back – and today she came home with a write-up for “sexual misconduct” because she kicked the boy in the genital area.
This is what happens with the victim fights back. For months, she hasn't fought back. Sexual misconduct? After I've had discussions NUMEROUS times with the principal about the sexual harassment she has been enduring? REALLY? The paper says there are 5 written witness statements of the account, yet when I asked the principal to talk to witnesses of past accounts she said they don't do that. Jenelle said the witnesses are kids that don't like her. I don't know the entire story, as I wasn't there, but she has always told the truth about these things before, so I have no reason to think she is lying.
I've told her to “trust the system”… the teachers will do their jobs, and the bad kids will get in trouble. I've told her to do the RIGHT thing and tell the teachers instead of hitting back. She did, until she just got fed up with it all. I've seen my beautiful, kind, little girl turn into a child with low self-esteem that is not nearly as interested in school as she used to be.
Jenelle has started to wonder “What is it about me that they don't like?” – they've called her more names than she can count. They started calling her the lesbian, the dyke… she event came home saying one of the kids called her the C word. I was horrified. Still, nothing was done.
I don't know what else to do, except reach out to you guys and have you spread the word. The news stations have ignored me, the superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools (Supt@slps.org — @SLPS_INFO – Facebook) has ignored me, and the school doesn't. freaking. care.
Many people tell me I should just homeschool her, or switch schools – but you know what? Then they win. The bullies win. The lazy faculty win. The bad guys win. I have to keep advocating for my child. For my children. Until something is done. I'm sick of this. She's sick of this. And it's not just about not letting them win. For our family, homeschooling is just not something that is possible at this time.
Just to be clear, I know that Jenelle kicking a student (especially one a grade or two lower than she is in) was wrong. I am not saying she is perfect, by ANY means. I'm simply at my wit's end. I'm frustrated. I've tried talking to the administration until I'm blue in the face but it doesn't work. They're nice to my face, then rolling their eyes behind my back. I don't know what else to do.
Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
1. An – A – student rapidly drops to a – C – student.
2. Bruises or cuts that your child blames on other things.
3. A general depressed view of life.
4. A sudden unexplained aversion to wanting to go to school.
5. Vanishing lunch money.
6. Getting in trouble for fights that your child swears he or she didn't start.
Or how about all of the above? Okay, minus the lunch money. But seriously, this is getting out of hand.
This Bully Prevention Article says:
Stopping the problem before it becomes a problem is always the best tactic. Here's what you should teach your child to help them to deal with bullies: Make sure your child understands that no matter how big and scary looking the bully is, he or she does not have the right to hurt your child and that the bully is being a bully because he or she is insecure and is a coward. You've got to give your child the confidence to stand up to the bully.
Most all schools have a zero-violence policy. If a child fights, that child gets sent home. Tell your child that when it comes to bullies, you expect him or her to fight back and that you will support your child's actions 100%. Many kids never fight back against bullies because they are afraid they'll be in trouble with their parents, and they allow the bully to harass them for many years.
I've done all of that! So why is she still getting bullied? What else can you teach your children to do, to prevent the bullying, when the teachers aren't doing anything to protect the victims?
Jenelle came home “sick” from school on Friday. She has NEVER missed a day of school due to sickness, ever. She's always really healthy so it was a shock when I got the call. But really not SO much of a shock because I knew it was really just stress manifesting physically, instead of a cold or actual illness. The nurse said she didn't have a fever, but she said she was crying and throwing up. :(
Anyway, she was feeling much better as soon as we walked out of the school. I had sent a note with her that morning letting the principal know I was NOT signing the write-up with anything “sexual” written on it, and that if she wanted to send a new one home for fighting instead, I would. She didn't – and when I was at the school on Friday she did not discuss the issue with me.
Dozens of complaints have been left on the St. Louis Public Schools Facebook page, but they are being deleted as quickly as they are put up – yet the school still has not addressed the issues.
I also looked up reviews of this school online, and saw that bullying going unpunished seems to be a trend. Click on the images to make them full size.
I have talked to three other families that claim to have left this same school because of bullying. This seems as if it is just the tip of the iceberg…
Thank you for the wonderful support you've given me during this time, and thank you SO MUCH for sharing this post. Please keep sharing it!! Something HAS to be done!! It's not just this ONE situation… there are MANY more.