Tips for Dealing with School Bus Bullies
When it comes to bullying, parents often are a bit clueless. Who could blame them? Times change over the years and bullying has changed in many ways with it. This is true for school bus bullying as well. Parents need to have a plan and be careful because their decisions can directly affect how it turns out. Bullies can affect a child for life. These bullies can make life so difficult for children that they may change their entire personalities. The sooner the issue is dealt with, the sooner your child can move on and grow socially in the proper way.
Choose Your Stance
Parents have to make a choice. Do you want your child to be physically defensive or not? In some cases, a child may need to get physical in order to stop the bullying. Often when a bully is confronted with someone who will defend themselves, they step away. Their goal is to intimidate those who can’t defend themselves, so this isn’t territory they generally want to go into. If you do want your child to be physically defensive, teach them how and let them know what the consequences may be. Even if you don’t discipline them for it, the school might.
Sometimes you have a bully involved that is truly dangerous. Responding physically could end up being a huge mistake. If you prefer for your child to never go hands on, then they need to learn other strategies to deal with the bully. If possible, some sort of strategy should be employed before it ever gets physical.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
Is this a general bully who picks on everyone or do they have a specific focus on your child? Either way a bully needs to be reported to administration so they are aware of the situation. However, don’t expect the issue to be taken care of right away, if at all. In some cases there is very little school authorities can or will do. Once you know the aim of the bully, it’s easier to deal with the issue. Narrow that down as best as you can.
Request a Seat Change
Because your child isn’t the problem and should not be penalized, start by requesting a seat change for the bully. By keeping the bully closer to the front of the bus, the bus driver has a better chance of noticing any issues. If the bus driver balks at this, suggest they do an all around seat change so it isn’t obvious why it’s being done. If seats aren’t assigned, maybe they need to be. Go over the bus driver’s head if you don’t get the right response to protect your child.
Involve other Authorities
If your child is afraid to get on the bus, it may be time to go to other authorities. If threats have been made, you can request a protective order. The school will then be responsible for honoring the protective order and may be more inclined to address the bully issue because of it. Nobody is allowed to threaten your child and you sometimes have to push to get the right person moving on it. Keep moving up the chain.
Children do need to learn to deal with all sorts of people. Don’t feel like you have to jump in every time your child has an issue with a student. On the other hand, if there is an ongoing issue, you need to make sure it is addressed. Bullies are often victims of abuse themselves. This means that you may be helping the child by drawing attention to him or her. It may lead to a home investigation or something similar that helps the bully as well. The bottom line is that you have to be present. Without your input, the odds are slim that things will improve and it may even escalate.