Bullying has been a part of the school experience for as long as there have been organized classrooms. For some reason, human nature encourages some kids, as well as some adults, to identify outsiders and torment them in many cases.
Bullying is difficult enough to deal with when you are a full-grown adult. When you are a child, the long-term social and emotional consequences of bullying can change the course of your life. A bullied child could fail to develop adequate social skills. They may also develop severe introversion and social anxiety.
In extreme cases, bullying can lead to physical injuries, which can also sometimes prove to be long-lasting. Thankfully, Missouri laws empower you to stick up for your child and put an end to the bullying.
Advocating for your child is a critical part of the process
Unfortunately, many administrators and teachers don't like to deal with the social complexities involved in bullying. Some of them may even place the blame for the scenario on the child dealing with bullying by peers. That means that when your child reports bullying, the teacher may do very little or nothing at all to resolve the problem.
As the parent, you made need to step up and advocate for your child when he or she cannot do so. If you know about the bullying your child experiences at school, you should start keeping records of what happens and when. Detailed records of the behaviors of the children bullying your child can make it easier for you to ask for assistance from school officials if the teacher will not intervene.
You should also keep a record of your child's reports to the teacher, as well as your attempts to communicate with the teacher and other school officials about the issue. That documentation could be critical in the future if you have to take legal action against the school.
Don't let your child's school turn a blind eye
Addressing bullying can become expensive and complicated for teachers and administrators. For example, they may be unwilling to expel a bully from school, but lack the resources to adequately separate them from your child. It's also possible that there are multiple children involved. Therefore, the school would have to address a larger, systemic issue in order to quell the mistreatment of your child.
Correcting a toxic culture that allows bullying to create a hostile educational environment for some children isn't easy, but it is one of the responsibilities that educators have to the children who rely on them. In the event that your child's school will not take action as required under Missouri law to protect your child from abuse by bullies, or if your child's teacher or other school staff members are part of the bullying problem, a lawsuit against the school or its administrators may be your only option.
Sitting down with an attorney who understands the damaging nature of bullying and the rights of students can help you explore the best way to keep your child safe from ongoing mistreatment at school.