We try to encourage our children to be brave about childhood adversity by reminding them that it doesn’t last forever. Teachers or school counselors might encourage a child to stick it out and make it through the school year even when they face a difficult situation in the classroom.
Even when a child brings up issues of bullying, adults at the school may fail to take action, which can deter your child from speaking up again in the future.
Unfortunately, this may be the wrong approach to take. Research has shown that bullying can have a profound and lasting impact on the life of victims. Specifically, bullying can affect someone’s sense of self-esteem, as well as their sense of security and belonging.
The long-term consequences of bullying may be less ambition and a lack of drive toward success in the professional and academic realms. This generally leads to less earning potential as well.
Your child’s school needs to take bullying seriously
Encouraging children to report bullying is only one step. It is also obviously very important that the school address the issue appropriately. Far too many educators want to turn a blind eye to bullying.
Maybe they don’t want to have to deal with the problematic fallout that addressing the issues will cause. Perhaps they see the issue as so systemic that they can’t imagine a solution. Maybe they even sympathize and identify with the bullies.
Regardless of what a teacher’s personal opinions may be about a situation involving bullying, they need to take swift and decisive action. Every student deserves a safe and healthy learning environment. Bullying should not be accepted in any class for any reason.
If teachers and administrators won’t listen to your child, you may have to stand up for them. Document your efforts, because that can help you demonstrate a pattern of inaction on the part of the school. If the school turns a blind eye to the struggles of your child, it’s your job as a parent to make them see what’s happening and act. If they won’t, you may need to take further action.
You can hold the school accountable for the damage bullying causes
If you attempt to report bullying but your child’s teacher or school does nothing to address the situation, you may feel powerless. Thankfully, that is far from the truth. It is possible to file a lawsuit related to bullying against the school over their failure to protect your child from abuse.
You can seek damages, including the cost of therapy to address the issues caused by bullying and even potential future lost wages that your child may suffer due to the emotional trauma of bullying. For some schools, only financial consequences will be profound enough to motivate a change in its approach to bullying.