Most schools will have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach, so your first stop is to check out the policy, as this will ensure you understand the school’s procedures and enable you to work with them to quickly resolve any problems before they escalate. At the same time, read the school’s definition of bullying. Children sometimes have an incorrect perception of what bullying actually is. For example, bullying is not children falling out with each other, resulting in an argument.
Most definitions refer to behaviour that is repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. In the latter category, social media can often be a factor and parents should always monitor their child’s online activities. Listen to your child and value their feelings and worries, look for signs of moodiness or aggressive behaviour at home. Make a note of what your child says has happened, who was involved and how often incidents have occurred. Talk to your child’s teacher or the school social counsellor as soon as possible. Be ready to hear other sides of the story and listen to the school’s solution and work with them.
Keep a record of what is suggested by school staff and allow staff time to investigate and deal with the situation and arrange a time for a follow up meeting. It is important to tell your child not to do anything that will escalate the situation or to tackle other parents or children yourself.
With thanks to Heather Mann, Principal at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park.
Souce: Connector, June 2016