Reporting Bullying

NY City Schools are required by law to report incidences of bullying on their campuses. And yet, 80% of the schools reported NO bullying at all. What’s up with that?


According to this article: some of the most violent schools reported zero incidences of bullying despite having violent crime occuring on their campuses.

Part of the problem is education. You had a mandate that probably wasn’t followed up with training and no consequences for under reporting and bad consequences if you are honest about your reporting. This is an example of a well-meaning law that is poorly written and poorly supported.

If you were an administrator working in a troubled school, would you take the time to fill out a report that would make you look bad? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean the administrators don’t care or aren’t doing anything about bullying either. It means that whatever they are dealing with – this law came off as just another administrative hoop to jump through and it doesn’t help them stem the tide of violence in their schools at all – it’s a time suck with no upside.

In the meantime, parents are freaking out – and rightly so. Their kids are being battered and abused by their classmates and there is no report of it happening at all!

Part of the problem is that internal reporting systems tend to focus on incident or conflict handling. They aren’t set up to see the bigger picture or to even see the pattern of behavior as a pattern. This kid did this – here is the consequence. The fact that the same kid is doing the same thing over and over again, is easily missed – even though everyone in the school is aware that the child is exhibiting extreme behavior problems. And even when they are identified, how to help them and how to get them to stop – may be beyond the ability of the school district to help.

So where does this leave parents. Well, accept that the schools, while well meaning, aren’t necessarily equipped or trained to deal with bullying situations in an “ideal” way, an ideal way being using behavioral management techniques with processes that are optimized to help kids stop bullying.

Since the schools aren’t really set up to stop bullying, it means you can’t just report it to them and have the problem stop. You are going to have to be more proactive than that. How? Well, with proper documentation. And to get that proper documentation you can use to mobilize the machinery of the school district to come to your aid you have to get your child to help. You need them to report and document everything that happens to them so that you can use that information to help the school do what they are supposed to do. In other words, do what you need to do to make it easy for the school to do what they should be doing.

In an ideal world should you have to do this? No. But you don’t live in an ideal world and instead of complaining that the world isn’t ideal, you need to step up and do what you need to do to keep your kid safe. And no – freaking out and getting upset isn’t helpful either. It may feel good, but your self righteous anger isn’t going to get the situation fixed either.

You need to be strategic and you need to know what you need to document and document and report – consistently over time. Politely too so that the school does what you need them to do instead of labelling you as a trouble maker.

How can you do this? well – I have a free membership program – how to talk to your child’s school so that they will actually help – and if you get a premium membership – you also get access to the toolkit which includes more in-depth information on how to document and develop a comprehensive strategy to help you child. The toolkit also comes with a complimentary copy of The Bully Vaccine

Join Now and Start Learning –