Just the other day, I talked with a friend of mine, Bud Collier about bullying and the attitude of schools toward the problem. We all would like to think that schools are there for the children, that they always want to help when a child or teen is relentlessly bullied, that their main interests are in the welfare of children. However, as much as I hate to tell you, this is not reality.
Schools are an empire just like huge corporations and the majority of them are only concerned with the almighty dollar. Therefore, if there is a problem with bullying, the school will more than likely only sweep it under the rug instead of addressing the problem properly.
Sure. School officials and staff would like for the public to think that they are investigating incidences of bullying and may even tell parents of the victim that there is an investigation underway. But the reality is that they only say this to pacify parents and make them go away. And if the parent is relentless in protecting their child and keeps coming back, schools will often label this parent as “the crazy mom/dad” just to avoid looking like crap themselves.
The cold, hard truth is that most schools simply do not do investigations into bullying because an investigation would take extra work on their part and the last thing they want is extra work. I say this because I saw it firsthand when I was in school and I still hear about the same today from frustrated parents and anti-bullying groups.
The majority of educational institutions simply do not want to admit that they have an issue of bullying on their campuses. Their reasons for this are that they are afraid that the reputations of their beloved school would be tarnished and may affect eligibility for government grant money.
Most schools prefer to take the easy way out by either doing nothing at all, or worse, blame the target. They will even retaliate against the target for reporting the abuse to parents or writing about it. Make no mistake. If your child is a victim of bullying, chances are that the school will only cop out by making your child look like the bully and labeling him/her as the cause of the problem.
Understand that I am not labeling ALL schools. There are some truly awesome schools that do confront bullying head-on. However, these schools are sadly, in the minority.
Continue to address the school if your child is a victim, but don’t expect anything to be done and don’t take whatever they feed you as gospel. Quietly do your own investigation because schools will lie to cover their own backsides.
It’s going to take more than reports of bullying and parent/teacher/principal meetings to address the problem. Laws against bullying do exist. However, these laws are weak and will have to be revamped.
It’s going to take not only knowledge of the signs of bullying in the target, but also knowledge of how bullies operate and the tactics they use. More importantly, it’s going to take bully-proofing our children by teaching them confidence and building their self-esteems if we ever expect the suicide rate among these kids to decrease.