In the school districts of Kansas City, like with others around the country, bullying is a problem for many students. Recent studies have shown that as many as 73% of students between the ages of 12 and 17 have experienced bullying at school. Bullying often comes from other students, but, in some cases, teachers are the culprits.

With the rise of social media, bullying isn’t only limited to the schoolyard now. In general, many kids are subjected to constant bullying. Unfortunately, many children are too scared or embarrassed to reach out for help. If your child is a victim of bullying, you might begin to see a drop in grades, anger and withdrawal, and other signs of depression.

If you begin to see signs that something is wrong with your child and you suspect bullying, there are some things you can do to help. Here are some steps you should take if you suspect your child is a victim of bullying.

Listen and be supportive

While the parent side of you is probably willing to go to extreme measures to protect your child from any threat, including bullying, an aggressive approach might actually make matters worse. Instead, create a safe place where your child can talk about what is happening and receive validation for his or her feelings.

Get the details

After your child talks to you about the bullying, the first thing you might want to do is to sit down the principal and other administrations. However, before you do this, it is important that you learn as many details as possible. For instance, find out how long the bullying has been going on, who is involved and what, where and when it is happening.

Document the meeting

When you do meet with school officials, be sure to document what occurred during the meeting and the steps the school has said it will take to handle the situation. After the meeting, send a follow-up email to the other attendees summarizing what transpired in the meeting and the suggested resolution.

Go further

If the school officials do not take appropriate steps to end the bullying, you may need to take it a step further. Do not be afraid to contact the local authorities and file a report about the harassment and possible physical abuse your child is suffering at the hands of bullies.

If your child has been the victim of bullying, keep in mind that you have rights and options. You may be able to take legal action and file a claim against those responsible, including the school district.