Bullying at school

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I am so angry at the H.S. my step-daughter attends. She is being bullied by another girl. Every time my step-daughter does the right thing and reports her, she retaliates worse. We talked with the school last night hoping to resolve this but we were told there needs to be a pattern before they can give her the ultimate consequence. I guess that calling her names, following her to class and shoving her into lockers is not a pattern of bad behavior. This girl was given the choice last year to be expelled or go to the other H.S., she went to the other H.S. Now that she is back, she is causing problems with our daughter. When we met with the V.P. last night I had the Bullying Guidelines with me and he admitted on tape that he had never read it. We have been trying to work this out with the school and want to enroll her in Virtual Learning, but her mom says she is running from her problems and is fighting us on this. I guess we will just have to wait until she gets hurt really bad before her mom and the school will listen to us. We are going to file formal complaints today.
A pattern?!! Where did the school administrators get their degrees? I know somebody who hired a person to observe classes (neutral and unknown to teachers or students). They could be a neutral witness to this outrageous behavior. A woman may be able to follow them into a girl's bathroom (nothing against guys here).

The bully needs major counseling. If somebody gets through to her, she may actually become a good friend, believe it or not. That's happened to me.

Hopefully the formal complaints will reach your superintendent (via certified mail) and/or the school's intermediate unit.
That's rediculous! And her mom's not doing anything about this?
The school reminds me of a another school I saw on a video clip in psychology class. It was from CNN...
The kid was mentally challenged and bipolar and the bus driver starting hitting him. The school felt it wasn't their fault that happened, but it wasn't the bus driver's fault either....

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File a complaint with the district as well as the state office of education. Notify the district that you are filing a complaint with the State because they are creating a dangerous environment for your child. If your child is on a 504 Plan or IEP, there should be contact information in your procedural safeguards (parent rights) as to who to file a complaint with. And if all else fails, tell her to let the other girl hit her first, and then to knock her out.
Tell the VP two words. Lawyer + Media

As awful as it sounds, that is the only thing most schools respond to.

One other thing. Any physical contact can be taken straight to the police or local prosecutor. You do not have to go through the school. I used this path once with my youngest.
My hubby taught his little sisters to fight. But they know that the other person has to have been picking on them for a while, they've had to have reported it at least twice to the administration, and the other kid has to be stupid enough to hit first.....then they can fight back, but must stop when the other person is down. Otherwise, they know we aren't going to back them up and defend their fight to the school. Luckily, the kids have never had to get into a fight.....Also, my hubby (in law enforcement) made sure that if they ever do, they remember to tell the administration that "they were in fear for their safety".
Well, I personally know somebody who got a body slam against a hard wood gym floor. The school did not contact parents. The perpetrator was a school teacher's kid. That kid got off the hook with no penalty. And to top it off, the injured kid's parents were NOT contacted.

Was it right? Absolute not. Did anybody do anything about it? No. The parents noticed their kid limping and found out what happened. Their kid attended school for the next 3 days with a neck brace and crutches. Fortunately no x-rays revealed broken bones.

This is why kids take self defense classes. They build self confidence and scare away enemies.
Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. I did email the state and unfortunetly Wisconsin does not have a law regarding bullying in schools. I emailed every State Rep, Senators, the Govenor and the Whitehouse. She does not have an IEP as she doesn't have any learning disabilities. We asked for testing last year and the woman that we spoke with said that she thinks she is just being lazy and not studying.

I can't believe that they can't see how her grades have gone from mostly A's and B's at mid-term to mostly D's and F's now. Her mid-term grades were before this all started.

She has been told that if she gets into trouble, retaliating back, she will not be able to continue in the program she is in now. What kind of message is this sending her?

We are going down to the police department tomorrow morning to file a harassment complaint. I have a feeling that we will be told this is a school issue and they can't do anything about it. Our police department is not very reputable in the eyes of many citizens here.

I am planning on going to the next school board meeting and present this issue to them. I believe the acting Superintendent will be there also. Our Superintendent recently retired. I have a letter from a friend of mine describing in detail the bullying her daughter went through in her school. This happened in another state, which now has a bullying law, but they need to know this same thing can happen anywhere.

I have started contacting the media. The local paper is trying to talk me out of going public. I guess that don't know that I am not a quitter.
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You're doing the right things. Girls can be SOOOOO mean! I too was bullied, but by my older step sisters. I shared a bed with one, and apparently kicked in my sleep. A number of times i woke up to being beaten with a hairbrush, or a belt. My parents (Dad and Step mom) did nothing, and I just learned to sleep very still. They did teach me how to fight dirty. I'm not proud of it, but I know how. Always look your opponent in the eyes. Not with scared eyes either. It's not the "Oh S.H.I.T." look. It's the "what?!" look. The 'alpha dog' is definately at work here. All your daugher needs to do, is stand her ground. Have an arsenal of definsive sentences, just in case. Don't back off.

Maybe your daughter needs a good dose of sneaky. Put a bag of chiggers, ants, mosquitos, etc. in her locker, or her pack. Leave a note: "Biology 101" or whatever. No note works too. ( these things must be done ASAP after a bully session. That way, she knows you did it, but can't prove it.. or will be too embarrassed to tell). Oh Mrs. Principal, I'm sorry. I had the ants for biology, and I lost them. I'm SO glad you found them for me.

Get a camera, and have a close friend take pictures of the problem. Then, when you try to present it, it will be in your favor. Also, warn the girl. "If you don't stop ----- such and so will be notified and this (insert your favorite and her least favorite punishment) will happen. If the problem persists, follow through on the threat. That's the most important part. If you don't, the bully will get worse. Holiday cookies filled with pepto Bismol is always a good way to get back.

No offense to your daughter, but it looks to me as if she is allowing herself to be bullied. That's why this obnoxious girl is doing this... because she can! At least teach her a few wrestling moves, so she can turn the bullie into a victim, by pinning her up against the locker. All it takes is a quick twist of the arm and an "Indian Rug Burn". 'Wedgies' are hard to prove, so how will the pricipal know if your daughter did it? Believe me, after a few retailations, the bully will decide it's not worth the effort. The list goes on... and it's good to be a "girl scout" I am trying to teach my boys to be "All 'round good guys".

Tell the bully... "We can do this the easy way and become friends, or we can do this the hard way. I personally am up for the easy way"

I remember as a kid in HS, this asian kid (very quiet) was getting picked on. I also remember he was the talk of the school when he had enough and the bully got his butt kicked by a black belt in some martial art. Teach your daughter defense.... not necessarily offense... but defense is an excellent tactic. Things like wrestling, self defense classes (for street prowlers) etc.

Now keep in mind, I grew up in a sheltered neighborhood. I was tall and stood up straight. No one really messed with me. I was a big "Jock". I read the papers though, and see where kids are getting stabbed and shot by classmates out of anger. Now I am rethinking my advice. I have no idea what your life is like, or your school, other than people need to read the rules. Have you tried talking to the other girl's parents? I'm starting to ramble. Please note, I have no reason to do ANY of this stuff anymore. Everyone I am in contact with is rational.... well mostly.

Good luck and keep us posted. I'm interested in how this comes out.
My step-daughter is not afraid to take a swing. She actually punched a girl off school grounds at lunch time for calling her a nasty name. She also took wrestling in middle school and has always been more of a tomboy. My step-daughter is being told by the school officals that if she gets into any trouble they will take her out of the program she is in and she worked so hard to get into this program at school to help her graduate early.

This problem actually started over the summer and my husband immediately called the family because he knows them. He grew up with her brother and even changed her diapers. The problem did stop until recently. This girl is on probation and the school is suppose to notify their Probation Officer if they get into any trouble. The Vice Principal, on tape, admitted that he failed to do this. The school is failing to do what they need to do and I personally will not tolerate this.
You are doing the right things to bring attention to the matter, good going! When you go to the police, you need to have assault charges for the shoving...that will be the charge with the best chance of enforcement....and be sure to tell them how many times anyone put their hands on her...every time is another charge.
I am so proud when I see a parent stand up for the right thing to do even when you face so many obstancles.
even though ive taken care of children in school as a nanny, and cant imagine what i would have done if someone was bullying my 10 year old.. i think its wonderful what you are doing!! wish my parents would have done the same. it took me quite a long time to learn to stand up for myself and i took crap for soo many years before i learned how to handle it myself. luckily for me, i was never the target of such a harsh bully.. only had verbal issues. but i just feel horrid for your step-daughter. my parents are teachers and i see a lot of unfairness in schools!
You mentioned some damage already done. Her scholastic performance is affected. That one alone is enough for the school to intercept. They're strategically hoping your daughter will land a good punch on this girl on school grounds during school hours. I'm also certified as a teacher. It's my understanding that an IEP can be created for behavioral reasons. It is a written agreement between the school, the parent(s) and the student on what techniques or actions need to be done to improve a student's performance. It is usually something that involves each instructor as well.

Off school grounds, and not during school hours....now there's a different thing.

I totally agree with Buckeye. Lawyers are the answer here. But you daughter has to walk a fine line or the school may 'create' events at school or provoke them. Can either girl's schedule be rearranged to prevent direct interaction during school hours?

I still think self defense training is an excellent idea. It builds confidence and discipline that may help your daughter tolerate this girl and any others like her in the future. Trust me. The cost of karate lessons may be expensive, but the discipline is priceless.
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I took out my Bullying Prevention Policy Guidelines when we were talking with the V.P. I proceeded to read the definition of bullying and the effects, including poor academic achievement. He did agree that this girl's action could be called a form of bullying. He apparently didn't listen very well or he would have realized her grades have started failing since this started. My husband didn't think of it until we got home from the meeting.

Actually there is some humor in what happened in the Principals office (with all doors open). He continually interrupted me and talked over the top of and when I was trying to make a point of why I understand how kids get to the point of shooting other students, I asked him to stop interrupting me and he continued until I just ignored him and continued talking. What happened next showed me how unprofessional this man is. He sat with his arms crossed and a pouty look on his face. I asked him a question and he just sat there with his arms crossed like a children that was reprimanded and being defiant and would not answer my question. I think he should be Principal of an elementary school, as he appears to be more on their level than High Schoolers.
Personally, I wouldn't want a person like him influencing my child at any age. Yup, I'm still with Buckeye. Get professional legal advice on this one.

I'd ask this VP to do a professional presentation on bullying to all students. If he doesn't do that, present your viewpoint during school board meetings unless you're legally advised not to do that.
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Keep doing a great job. And send your stepdaughter to school with a tape recorder.... That way, the bully will incriminate herself.
Here's the latest. We went to the Police Department today to file a harassment charge against the bully. We had to call the non-emergency number as they were closed. We were told it would take 15-20 minutes to get to the station and 5 minutes to get to our house. We told the dispatcher to have the officer come to our house and we would meet him there. We waited for 15 minutes and no one showed up. My husband called to find out where he was and he was told that our call was cancelled because something more important came up. Then the dispatcher asked if we still wanted to talk to an officer, my husband said yes but we would be gone till later tonight, so have the officer call. During a Holiday Remeberance Gathering for families that have lost a child, the officer called. The officer was sitting at our house and my husband was told that we needed to talk to the officer at school as he handles these things. The whole thing is this started over the summer with the bully stalking my step-daughter. It did stop after my husband called her parents. Then she started bullying her at school.

We received a letter from the principal today, twisting everything that was said Thursday night to make himself look good. His reason for not wanting to be taped was so we could not take parts of this sentences out of context. I guess that he doesn't realize with a taped conversation, what was said is exactly what is on tape. This letter was addressed to my husband and myself only and at the end of the letter he put everyone that he copied it to. My husbands ex and her husband were copied. Now I think there might be a suit regarding privacy.

Stacy - I would love to send a tape recorder with her, but if you don't have a persons permissoin to tape them, it can't be used as evidence.
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