How to handle the school with my daughter who has a disability being bullied

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
4147 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t have children, but I worked with a teenager for several years who had a disability so I absolutely have a soft spot.

I would talk to the principal.  Absolutely.  Perhaps they don’t even know this is happening on the playground?  Stay as calm as you can, but explain what your daughter told you, and that you would appreciate it being addressed and taken seriously.

Post # 4
Member
42472 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

sandy85:  I am sorry your daughter is having to deal with this. Rather than be mad at the school and the principal, look at it this way, If you only just found out about it, chances are the school doesn’t know this is happening either.

Bullies tend to bully when there are no witnesses. It’s not like these boys are going to stand up in class in front of the teacher and tell everyone not to play with your daughter.

Go talk with the principal. Rather than be accusatory, ask him what he can do to help.

Post # 5
Member
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would be livid too.

I think your plan on speaking to the principle directly is the best course of action. I would make s0ome notes about what you want to say and how you and your daughter are feeling. You will be upset no doubt and you may let your emotions get the better of you and forget crutial things when you get to speak to him/her.

I wish you every success with this. I hate bullying.

My brother is brain damaged and he is autistic with cerebal palsy. He went to a mainstream primary school and was bullied for being different. He is still bullied at the age of 36 by his employer and staff. I always feel so angry when I hear what is happeneing to him. I was also bullied at school for having a disabled brother. well done to your daughter for speaking up about it. You two must have a very close relationship.

 

Post # 6
Member
4639 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My heart hurts for you. Bullying is so harmful to children, especially when they’re bullied for things outside of their control. I would be furious with the school and I would let them know. The administration should be held accountable for the behavior of its students, make some notes that outline your most important points so your (justifiable anger) doesn’t take over.

I would also work on pumping your daughter up and arm her with as much information about her disability as you can. That way when kids are needless assholes she can stop them dead in their ignorant tracks with her intelligence and confidence.

 

Post # 7
Hostess
9907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

sandy85:  I’m wondering if the school knows? 

There was a girl who picked on me horribly through elementary school.  I have physical scars on my arms from her fingernails more than 20 years ago.  I actually had a panic attack when she got hired at the same job as me in high school (I hadn’t seen this girl in 6 years).

I was not a marginalized kid in any way, the girl who used to pick on me and ‘beat me up’ was a tough girl who picked on me – who tried her best to get along with everyone.

I tell you this, because I know that the school had no idea it was happening.  My parents didn’t even know.  There was a single event that the school knew about and that involved several students and a screaming match over a sticker collection (remember when people collected stickers….)

I would go in to your meeting hoping that the school doesn’t know.  Yes, they SHOULD know, but they may not.  You definitely need to advocate for your child and make sure she’s being taken care of, but I wouldn’t assume that the school is being intentionally neglectful of her.

Post # 8
Member
3346 posts
Sugar bee

That’s very upsetting.

I will tell you my experience as a teacher- I’m going to bet that the principal has absolutely no idea that this is going on. Principals are generally kind of far removed from the day to day activities of the school (I mean, a good principal is still involved of course, but principals also aren’t usually outside doing recess duty or interacting with kids quite as much as the teachers). Also, bullies are sneaky. They don’t bully in front of teachers because they know they will get in trouble. I’v dealt with bullying in my classrooms before and I can tell you there have been times when I was absolutely shocked at who was bullying, because I did not see that side of them.

Of course you should absolutely bring this up- but don’t go in furious ready to point fingers or accusing anyone of “letting this happen”. I can almost guarantee you they don’t know about this particular situation- and they will be happy to hear you out and come up with a plan to put a stop to it. But if you go in there asking why the principal tolerates bullying it’s going to be much harder to work together to help your daughter.

Post # 9
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

sandy85:  The school and principal should be your partner to resolve this issue, not your adversary. Going in with an accusatory tone against them is not going to help the situation. You need to calmly inform them of what is happening and ask for their help in resolving the problem. If they don’t work with you towards a solution, then you can get mad and raise hell, but it serves no purpose right now. 

Post # 11
Hostess
9907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

sandy85: thanks – I also didn’t mean to make you worry more and I hope I didn’t.  I’m a perfectly well adjusted adult with lots of friends and no permanent emotional scars.  My worries about working with her had to do with the way the schedule worked and I refused to be there with her alone at night – I didn’t trust her (she was in to some pretty bad stuff by this point and I honestly didn’t trust this girl not to rob the place).

Please!  Let us know how it goes at the school – I hope you find lots of support there!

Post # 12
Member
3346 posts
Sugar bee

sandy85:  Good luck! I’d love to hear an update 🙂

I’m sure the principal and her teacher(s) will be more than willing to help with a plan of action.

I was also bullied as a child and I’ve managed to grow up into a fairly well adjusted adult- it kind of helped me not take crap from anyone anymore.

Post # 13
Member
4639 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

sandy85:  I think other posters pointing out that the school administrators likely don’t know this is happening is helpful. They will more than likely work with you to rectify this situation. Thankfully bullying is not just ‘harmless’ playground fun anymore, its disgusting and harmful to kids’ well being. No school wants that going on.

I hope you’re successful in having this dealt with in a way that makes you and your daughter happy. I also hope the offending children are required to learn how to embrace people who may be different than they are with kindness and compassion. Good luck!

 

 

Post # 14
Member
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Good luck. I’m sure the mama bear in you wants to kick ass and take names right about now, but I agree that the gentle approach would be better. In the meantime, build her confidence at home by teaching her that everyone is unique, and people who are classified as having a disability are just as awesome as everyone else. I think there was a famous figure skater who was born club-footed, and Einstein actually sucked at school big time. Her differences do not mean she is any less valuable. As a “different” kid, it took me a while to understand that, but I’ve realized I’m pretty darn awesome 😉

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