A 16 year old boy in Des Moines, Iowa alleges he was being pelted in the head by a football intentionally thrown by two other boys who were roughly the same age and six feet away as the boy waited on the sidelines waiting to get on the field of play.
The victim apparently told his coach and the coach allegedly never looked into the matter as promised. Eight days after the bullying incident, the boy began experiencing headaches and he eventually suffered paralysis due to a blood clot near his brain stem.
How did this happen? I’ll tell you how. Teachers and other school staff members, as a whole, are not trained on how to deal with bullying cases as they should be, usually due to financial constraints faced by school districts and because principals are not doing enough. School districts simply don’t allocate enough funds for proper training and awareness, and the end result is more of our kids are dying or suffering permanent bodily damage.
Kids bullying others is against the law in 47 of the United States. The exceptions are in Michigan, South Dakota, and Montana but even in these states there are procedures in place to deal with bullying and take action against those who commit these offenses.
What is surprising is how so many schools across the US drop the ball when it comes to taking swift and appropriate action when it’s necessary.
I have certainly heard enough horror stories in my hometown to substantiate the above statement including a handful of cases that proved to be mismanaged by a local school district in court.
I believe each and every principal should be ultimately responsible for bullied children cases at their assigned school because there are many things you can do at that level that really don’t require much of a financial investment. This includes having an occasional bullying children awareness day aside from the prevention measures they already have in place, by continually reminding teachers about the problem via weekly or monthly emails, and by enlisting the help of the school PTSA’s to spread the word on a consistent basis, and by encouraging the local police department to conduct classroom presentations on the subject. If they are not doing this, they are probably not maximizing awareness in their schools and children stand a much higher chance of falling victim to kids bullying them.
What Can You Do As a Parent to Help Prevent Bullied Children at Your Child’s School?
You need to get involved through your the school Parent-Teacher association (PTSA) and voice your concerns in a strong manner. Someone has to stand up for those kids; why can’t it be you? You can also spread the words to other parents that the school needs to create a healthy environment for kids and everyone needs to work in sync to prevent it from occurring and to address it promptly when it does. If you place all the responsibility and burden on school administration, you will most likely fail; they are not always “on the ball” when it comes to kids bullying others and they miss the mark fairly often.
Parents should demand their schools take preventive measures and appropriate action for bullying but they should also carry much of the responsibility themselves to stay on top of incidents when they occur so they can help improve the culture of the school through awareness.