Sunday, August 19, 2018

When The School Isn’t An Ally




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.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Time Is Now To Outsmart School Bullies!

The lazy days of summer are almost over.  Soon, the new backpacks, notebooks come shuffling into school.  And it's time for the bullies to return to your LGBT's child school and make your child's school year a living hell unless you intercept.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at their school.  Ninety-two percent of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT: in school, the Internet, and by peers. No wonder LGBT youth miss as much as a day of school per month, according to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network).  

Is bullying the same as teasing?  No, it isn't.  It's defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged kids that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  It includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

According to Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D., co-author of When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know, even if parents don't have the shared experience of being in this "out group," it doesn't mean that you cannot develop a 'radar" for discovering whether this is going on and help your child to combat bullying. It takes time to stop bullying.  Be persistent.

Before school starts, help your child devise a plan to feel safe.  Assure your child that being a bullying victim is not his fault.  Says Dr. Tobkes, "many children will feel humiliated and ashamed and think they have brought it on themselves.  Do not BLAME the child for being bullied.  Tell your child to come to you right away if anyone is making disparaging remarks or threats," advises Dr. Tobkes.

How do you get your child to open up?

Listen and focus on him.  It's important for a child to know that their home, school, community will want to protect him.  Emphasize that bullying should not be tolerated.  Everyone is entitled to be educated in an atmosphere that makes them feel safe.


Here are some ways you can keep your child safe:


  • Brainstorm about alternating their route home so that an adult is always present.
  • Do not call the parents of the bully.  It could backfire on your child.  
  • *Role play with your child.  Pretend you're the bully and have your child develop pat answers.
  • *Reverse roles.
  • Model good behavior.

Parents are the most effective deterrent to bullying.  Says Dr. Tobkes,"  I have found that the most important prognostic indicator for a child being targeted for his sexuality is having a safe haven retreat at home."