Parent Reporting Guidelines
- Get the story from your child. If you determine this was an isolated incident, assist your child in determining what they feel is the best course of action, i.e. “I’d like to ignore it until it happens again” or “I’ll tell the principal tomorrow.” Warn your child against any retaliation to avoid future problems for your child.
Here is what bullying can be:
Physical: Pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching and other forms of violence or threats
Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, persistent teasing.
Emotional: Excluding, tormenting, ridicule, humiliation
Racist: Racial terms, graffiti, gestures.
Sexual: Unwanted physical contact or abusive comments
Cyber: Text Messaging, Chatrooms, Instant Messaging (IM), Email, Websites
Here is what bullying is not:
Two friends who may punch/hit each other and both know it is not serious
Having a disagreement with someone and both people remain nice/polite
Choosing not to spend time with someone, and that person's feelings get hurt.
- If you determine this is not an isolated incident, it may be considered bullying. Document everything. Get dates, times, locations and names, including witnesses, if possible. If there was a physical altercation, take pictures of any injuries.
- Contact the proper authority immediately—call the facility where the bullying occurred and say, “I believe I have a bullying issue to report – who should I speak with?” If the person you need to speak with is not available, leave a message and give them at least 24 hours to return your call. If that person is unavailable for an extended length of time, it will be the facility’s responsibility to route the call to the appropriate person.
- Give the facility a reasonable amount of time to investigate and address the problem. A “fair” amount of time is about 5 working days. However, feel free to request an interim update, if necessary
Be aware that due to the current laws the facility will not be able to tell you what the consequences were for the bully. Specific discipline for children will not be discussed. They will be able to tell you that the problem was addressed and resolved.
- If there is another incident, IMMEDIATELY call the facility where it occurred to report it, and make sure you tell them that this is a recurring incident. Also call the same person you spoke with the first time (if possible) to report the new occurrence, regardless of where it happened.
- If you handled and resolved the second incident yourself or if the police were notified, still notify the person you originally spoke with, plus the school and civic/recreation centers so they will be aware of the subsequent incident.
Parents should try to resolve bullying incidents by working with the city/schools and the parents of the other child. If this fails and subsequent problems occur, calling the police to document and investigate the incident(s) would be the best course of action.