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 Post subject: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:36 am
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My son, a second grader, was accused of bullying last November. The principal had teachers, aides, playground monitors, and her office staff observe and record my son's behavior around the other child (which is only at recess). In 2.5 months, they had NOTHING to report. I was only recently notified because the other parents refuse to believe the principal and think that she is ignoring them. I understand that they are heartsick to think that their child is under duress, but the child has admitted to the principal that he "might" have made up some incidents.

Some of this started in first grade, when the boys were in the same class. My son had a lot of adjustment issues, especially before his learining disability and ADHD diagnosis. He was a hands-on kid and had to be reminded often to not jump on his friends or poke at them for attention. He tried to distract his friends in class because he wasn't understanding the assignments. In mid-first grade, my son came home in tears because he was not invited to this child's birthday party and the child taunted him about it. Around that time, the other boy began to say that my son wasn't allowed to play with him. So instead of making a federal case out of it, we advised our son that not everyone liked each other, and to stay away from the boy.

This year, the boys are in the same cub scout den, play basketball (not on the same team, thank goodness!) and the family lives on our street. So we see them once or twice a week. All we get is hostile glances from them, yet they have never said a word to us. If they don't believe the principal and multiple staff members, I'm sure I cannot change their mind. But I am quite sure they are talking about this to others and I don't want my son to have a reputation as a bully.

Any advice? We are still reeling from this -- my son has had so many issues to confront. We try to be very responsive to any situation that needs intervention or correction. So this seems doubly unfair, because he hasn't done anything. We were in the same room with this family for 5 hours during the pinewood derby. My son never even went near their son, and they never said a word about this -- and we had not yet been notified about the problem, or we might have said something to them.

Thanks for letting me vent!

Donna


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:12 pm 
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A difficult one! However, your principal did agree that there was no problem.

When children have behavioral difficulties they are unfortunately, targeted by other kids and other adults. When they are taunted they lash out and then are caught in the act and blamed. This is where the school and you can utilize role playing to teach your child some other ways of dealing with situations they find themselves in.

A couple of times the Principal of my stepson's elementary school took both boys into a room and got them to sign an agreement to stay away from each other. The hardest thing was to get teachers to believe that it was the "Cool Kids" who were the problem and that our child was not initiating things but rather reacting.

He is now in 7th grade middle school and has had some of the same issues in 6th grade. Every year it seems that he has found someone to dislike or have run-ins with! This year, touch wood, he has had an excellent year without the norms happening. In once case last year where another girl with ADHD and he kept clashing and where she always reported him and he was getting detentions, I actually asked the principal if there were different rules for boys and girls. This girl was a known problem child and had major issues going on. Thankfully on a day she accused him of calling her names, he had a friend with him that was willing to tell the school that this girl had approached my stepson first (as per normal) and threaten him before he retaliated.

WE managed to get the school to devise weird and devious ways to keep them separated at break times and during PE classes. Unfortunately they were in the same class. Fortunately this girl left the school because she went to live with another parent in another school district.

We pulled our son out of our district boy scouts because he was being targeted there as well. He fed into all the bullying that was being done by the boys and it was not a conducive environment for him to be in. The adults unfortnately can perpetuate the problems by not properly supervising or understanding the issues. My take on things is that no kid is immune from being inappropriate. Unfortunately, too many adults believe everything their kids tell them instead of talking to them about what they can do to change things. If my kids tell me of incidences we talk about them and I question them on their role and how maybe that could have contributed to the issue and how else they can handle things.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Thank you so much for your supportive answer! I foolishly posted this on craigslist parents' forum,and I had abuse hurled at me for "having my head in the sand" about my son's "bad behavior". Now I know I came to the right place. Not every issue is so clear cut and our dear children are not all bad or all good. It's just finding the right set of tools for every situation.

We are really considering dropping cub scouts. Maybe it's me, but I feel like I am not in the "popular" clique in junior high. I find the parents from sports teams to be friendier.

Thanks again for listening!


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Just one more thing! ;)
I forgot to say that our principal is great. She promised she will never put my son in the other boy's class. Yeah! One less worry.

Donna


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:33 am 
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I have a son who has a bullying problem in school, and the principal and teacher do not believe there is a problem. My son is the victim of this behavior. One thought I had when reading your post...You say that your son "jumps on" and "Pokes" other kids to get their attention. Could this be where the bullying accusations stem from? Other children and parents could interpret this behavior as bullying. I am not trying to blame your son BTW, I just know that if my child came home and told me that another child in school was jumping on him and poking him, I woudl be calling the teacher or principal to complain. I am assuming that you are working on these behaviors with you son, and maybe if he can reduce/eliminate tham, things will settle down a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:53 am 
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We had an issue last year with our 7th grade daughter. Another student was bullying her for 3 months and our daughter would continuously go to the counselors office and report the issue. Nothing was done about it so my daughter retaliated and made a remark to the bully to protect herself. Nothing extreme, she told the bully that if she doesn't stop using foul language and calling her names that she was going to put dog poop on her doorstep. The bully told her father and the father called the school. My daughter was forced to sign a bully agreement without our knowledge. When our daughter informed the counselor that wasn't going to sign the agreement without her parents knowledge the counselor told our daughter that if she didn't sign it then she would face suspension. So my daughter signed it. I called the counselor and informed her that our daughter is not authorized to sign anything without parental permission. We then typed a letter and gave it to the principal and made sure that it was put in our daughter's school records. We are still having issues with this bully girl and my daughter is now seeking counseling to help her deal with the bullying. It's very aggravating and frustrating that we have to pay for services because of someone else's ignorant behavior and mean spiritedness.


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:43 pm 
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ESSandusky, I am so sorry that your son is going thru this. And you are absolutely correct that my son's inappropriate attention-getting poking was a big issue in first grade. Maybe that's where the other child became afraid of him. Fortunately for us, most of that behavior stopped by the Christmas break in first grade. Now he is in second and in a different class from the complaining child. Usually it is the LD/ADHD child who is the target of bullying (from what I read, as I am no expert!) because they don't read social cues or they seem a bit different from the others.

To Abella4 -- I find it so frightening that the school would ask your daughter to sign and then threaten suspension with out at least a phone call! I appreciate that they have all of these policies in place to protect children, but it smacks of "big brother". My son was quizzed about violence and anger issues at home. We were not even informed that he had met with the school counc=selor -- this was when he was 6, in first grade! We only found out about it when it was mentioned in passing that "we know there's no violence at home". In "protecting", the schools can be very biased and too quick to judge. Very scary! And in your case, they haven't punished the right person!!


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Hi Donna,

Sorry to hear about you're son being accused of bullying. I know it isn't easy being on either side of the bullying issue. My 11 yr old daughter has been bullied by the same group of girls since Kindergarten and of course they are the popular girls, so nothing has been done about it. She finally asked me to take her out the after school program/daycare, because she can't take the bullying any longer. They are even so brazen to do it in front of me at school and on field trips. It seems as though the other child and his parents are actually doing the bullying to your child. Have you heard of the book "From Bullies to Buddies"? I bought it for my daughter, and it actually works for both the child being bullied and for the bully themselves. It may be good reference material for you to help your son see that he is actually being bullied. Hope things get better for your son, so that your stress level can lower.

Katie


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:51 am 
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Katie,
Sometimes, I think that girls are worse than boys with the bullying. They are more creative and personal with their taunts. My late father used the idea of making friends with the bully when I was growing up. There was a boy who annoyed all of the kids in my neighborhood. When other kids and parents complained, the mother would say "not my son". He also was the source of a lot of petty vandalism. When the CB radio antenna was broken off of my dad's car, he approached this boy -- not with an accusation, but an offer of a cash reward for it's return IF the boy might know where it was. After that, my dad would always talk to him and have him help with whatever project my dad was doing. We never got soap on our windows or TP in our trees after that. Pretty cool.

But that was a different time. It seems so much more difficult now.

Donna


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 Post subject: Re: Son falsely accused of bullying
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Donna L,

I think if your child is being accused repeatedly for bullying and other related behavior problems then there is most likely a real issue. But, take it from someone who was once accused of bullying, the school is not always right. I know for a fact that many times they are just plain wrong.

Decades ago, when I was in 1st grade, my class was walking single-file down the hallway. Suddenly, the girl in front of me tripped and fell. The teacher quickly went to see if she was okay. When the teacher asked her what happened, the girl pointed at me and said, "He tripped me". I was a very quiet and shy kid and didn't know what to say. I was speachless.

Without ever trying to contact a parent, the teacher brought me immediately down to the principles office where he proceeded to try and badger a confession out of me. I was totally frightened and in tears. I told him time after time that I never touched the girl and that she tripped on her own. Despite that and the fact that no one else said that I tripped her, he refused to believe me. He just kept badgering me until I realized that I was not getting out of that office until I confessed. At that point I didn't think I was ever going to see my family again (hey, I was 6). So that's what I did. I confessed to something I didn't do.

I found out later on that the girls father was a somewhat important figure in the community. I guess the principle wanted to show him how he single-handedly took care of the punk who accosted his daughter.

The lesson here parents, is never be to quick to believe what the school is telling you. And always give your child a chance to explain to you, in a private, calm setting, when all the commotion and stress is over, what really happened.


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