Bulling in schools is common although, because it occurs in a school environment, you might not always know what’s going on for your child. For comprehensive information and support about bullying click here.
If you do find out your child is being bullied at school, there are things you can do:
- Listen without judgement. Let them know that you believe them “what’s happening to you is not OK” and that however they are feeling is valid “It’s understandable you’re feeling xyz”
- Help them figure out what they would like to do about it, ask questions like “what would have helped you in that situation?”, “What would you like me to do now?”
- Encourage them to get support from other young people talking about bullying on ReachOut’s online forums
- Help them identify friends they trust at school, so they can build up a support network at school– this might include the school counsellor
- Let your teenager know that they should feel in control of the help they get.
It might be appropriate for you to contact the school, things that can help in this situation are:
- Don’t put it off, go as soon as possible
- Make notes before the meeting about everything you want to cover – take them with you
- Look up the school’s anti-bullying policy
- Ask for the school’s views on the situation - be assertive, not critical
- Agree on a plan for how the situation will be managed before you leave, ask for specifics of what will be done and by when
- Keep in touch with the school
- Let the school know if your child continues to tell you about incidents of bullying.
If you’re not satisfied with the results and the bullying in school persists, you should then contact your state or territory education authority who can then investigate the issue on your behalf. Call the main switch number in your state and ask to talk to someone who works in the student welfare area.