Reasons Why Teachers and School Officials Ignore a Bullied Student’s Cries for Help

All too often, schools ignore reports of bullying and leave targets to fend for themselves. It was the same when I was being bullied in school. Any reports of the harassment either went completely ignored, were swept under the rug, or I was blamed for it. Here are the reasons:

They’re lazy. Conducting an investigation into the case of bullying is extra work. Most school officials do not want to make any extra effort in resolving a case of bullying. Often, they take the easy way out by either denying that there’s a problem or blaming the target. And when parents of targets get involved, the school staff may often label the parents as “the crazy mom/dad,” which is only a cop-out.

They’re afraid the bullies’ parents will retaliate. Bullying is a learned behavior, and many bullies have parents who are also bullies themselves. Many of these parents are self-entitled. They may also have powerful political connections in the town or on the school board. And the school staff know too well that disciplining “the wrong kids” could mean an end to either their jobs or their entire careers.

They’re afraid that the school’s reputation may be tarnished. Schools often hide cases of bullying to save face. They know good and well when a child is bullied; however, they may consider that child a threat and, in worse cases, ostracize the poor kid and tell him/her to “keep your mouth shut” to cover their own behinds.

They either don’t like or may even hate the bullied target. Believe me. I was hated by many of my teachers and other school staff, and they were supposed to be adults who were supposed to protect me. The thing is that when a person is bullied for a long period of time, so many rumors and lies have been spread about the person that their once good name has been destroyed, and yes! Teachers hear and believe the rumors too!

They even join in on negative gossip about the target. Understand that although, in reality, the targeted person may be one of the sweetest, most awesome people you may ever meet, the rumors and lies supersede the truth and keep the target locked in a prison of scrutiny and suspicion. Because of this, the target cannot be their true, awesome self because of the stress of being marginalized. In the minds of those at school, the target is “trouble.”

Also, because of having been bullied for so long, the target may react out of self-defense and exhaustion. This poor, tired kid has been harassed for so long that he really cannot help but react, and the bullies slyly use the reaction as further proof that the target is either trouble or crazy. Because of this, teachers and staff may think the worst of the poor, innocent kid.

They may also think that just because everyone seems to hate the target, there must be a reason that justifies it. In their minds, the target deserves what is happening to them. And when a teacher does not like a student, they may either refuse to help them or secretly take pleasure in seeing the poor kid suffer. Teachers and school staff are just as capable as the classroom bullies of hating and hurting students they deem undesirable.

This is why parents must stay proactive in protecting and advocating for their child even when it seems that the school isn’t listening. Let them know that you will not go away until the problem is solved. Go to the media if you have to.

Assure your child that his/her reputation does not equal character and that the bullies have the issues. Know there will come a time when your child will escape their tormentors and have true friends who love them for them. Constantly tell them that they are worthy of having friends and being loved. You might just keep your child’s self-esteem from completely tanking and even save his/her life!

Excuses Bystanders and Authority Often Make for a Bully

Portrait of indifferent person shrugging her shoulders wearing yellow turtleneck denim jeans overalls isolated purple violet background

Portrait of indifferent person shrugging her shoulders wearing yellow, turtleneck denim jeans overalls isolated purple violet background

As we all know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flare for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority. Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake it is all a part of the smoke screen they put up to cover up bad behavior and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

With that being said, here’s a list excuses that bystanders and authority often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“Boys will be boys” or “Kids will be kids”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

“Maybe you need to toughen up.”

“He just has a very strong personality.”

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“Maybe you’re doing something to bring it on yourself and you don’t realize it yet.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“You’re just too sensitive and need to grow a thicker skin.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“You’re over-reacting.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“Maybe you’re being too dramatic.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“Maybe she was just joking with you and you took it the wrong way.”

“But he’s so well liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in red t-shirt, covering ears with index finger and saying lalala while wanting mom get mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish

Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in red t-shirt, covering ears with index finger and saying lalala while wanting mom get mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish.

These are several examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior. Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse.

It’s true that retaliation may follow. However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! If no one will listen, be sure to document document document every bullying incident in detail!!!!!!!