What to do if your child is accused of bullying
Every parent knows that bullying is a serious problem in schools across Florida. While many worry most about their child being bullied, parents also worry that their child is a bully.
If you fall into the latter group, you may be unsure of what to expect regarding the school’s response and your child’s future. This is undoubtedly a difficult situation, but understand that there are things you can do to protect your child and help him or her get past negative behaviors.
Communicate with the school
As discussed in this article on parenting a child who bullies, working with a school to address a bullying problem is crucial. When schools and parents work together, it can be easier to achieve the desired outcome than if the parties are fighting each other.
Keep dialogue open and stay involved. You can also create a plan together to which you and the school can refer for consistency.
Take the time to learn the facts
Before dismissing a teacher’s report or punishing your child, take the time to learn the facts of what happened. This includes talking to your child to understand what happened. Try to learn about his or her side of an incident, and then you can decide what to do next.
Follow through with reasonable consequences
After a bullying incident, it is crucial to ensure whatever punishment a child receives from the school or at home is reasonable. Overly harsh or inconsistent punishment typically will not have the desire outcome.
When examining consequences, think about your child’s age and the reasons behind the bullying behavior, and then follow through with the punishment to ensure your child knows there are penalties for bullying.
Push for fair treatment
Schools typically come down hard on students accused of bullying, especially when faculty or student safety is a concern. As a parent, you can still be an advocate for your child in many ways, even though you may be very upset or disappointed.
One important way to do this is to ensure your child is not subjected to unfair or unlawful treatment. If you have concerns that someone is falsely accusing your child of bullying, or if you believe that the school is overly harsh or unfair with its penalties, then you may want to consult an attorney to discuss the situation.