How To Enforce Anti-Bullying Policies At Your Child’s School
Last week, I wrote about how parents can anticipate bullying of their LGBT child at school and practice tactics at home. However, as most kids are bullied at school when parents aren’t there to observe the violations or around-the-clock when their LGBT children are cyberbullied, it’s best to know your rights and make the school an ally to solve the problem.
Every child deserves a safe environment in which to learn.
Here are some suggestions:
• Include your child in the problem-solving. He should not be blamed. He’ll be more apt to adhere to the plan if he’s included.
• Document everything: every instance, date, time, outcome. These records will be crucial for your school meetings, and in the case of physical assault, vandalizing, stalking or cyberbullying, with the police.http://straightparentgaykid.blogspot.com/whentheschoolpersonnelarethebullies/9/3/17.
• Talk to school personnel to ascertain what they view: teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses. Seek support from the County Office of Education, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), ACLU, and anti-bullying projects.
• “Cool Your Jets.” You may be angry at the school for not protecting your child but don’t let that attitude seep through during your meeting. Be prepared with notes, but remember you don’t want to attack the school employees. Think of them as potential allies.
• Know your school district’s policies and relevant state and federal laws. Read your state laws. What are your school district’s policies on safety, bullying, and non-discrimination.
• If your complaints are taken seriously, within a reasonable period of time, at the District level, go to the County Office of Education or even the State Department of Education.
• If the federal laws are involved in cases of discriminatory harassment on basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, you can contact the Office for Civil Rights at the Federal Department of Education and file a complaint as well. For a sample of the chain of command for a uniform complaint form in California, please seehttp://www.psychologytoday.com/us/…schooling/…/myschoolwon’tstopthebullying/9/3/14.
• If all these tactics don’t work, you might consider transferring your child to another school or home school.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.