Does a parent have a choice when the school tolerates bullying? Was this protective mama bear out of line?

ART-Bully020207I’ve been watching a subtitled Swedish mystery series, “Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter,” in which the feisty protagonist is a crime reporter for a major newspaper. In the episode I watched last night, Annika is upset because her sweet 8-year-old son is being bullied and the school refuses to act even after the bully pushes her son off the monkey bars and seriously injures him.

So,  Annika strides onto the school playground, confronts the bully as he terrorizes another child and warns him that she will kill him if he touches her son again. The threat sounds even more ominous in Swedish.

I have to admit rooting for Annika, who takes heat for making the threat. But she’s not arrested.

A Clayton woman who did the same thing to protect her child was not so lucky. Marvis Renae Henry was charged with disorderly conduct and disrupting school operations and released today on $5,000 bond.

You cannot help but feel for the 59-year-old Sunday schoolteacher who believed that her great-nephew, whom she adopted and calls her son, was being terrorized at his school.  Yes, Henry did wrong in threatening the alleged bully in a school hallway, but I cannot honestly say that I would convict if put on her jury.

If  a classmate attempted to push her son down the stairs as Henry alleges, that child represents a danger and the school must intervene. We don’t know the other side of this story, but it’s alarming that Henry’s son was so fearful that she felt she had to protect him. The school owes it to the child to do a full and thorough investigation.

According to the AJC:

In the tradition of “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” 59-year-old Marvis Renae Henry was arrested earlier this week for delivering what police described as an expletive-laced threat to a Forest Park Middle School student she said was bullying her great-nephew.

Henry claims she didn’t curse at the boy, but she admitted she would do what she needed to do to protect the 11-year-old she has adopted and calls “son.”

“I did say, ‘If you put your hands on my child, I will mess you up, your momma and your whole generation,’ ” Henry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via phone early Thursday evening.

“The boy is 12 years old and my son is 11, and he looks like a man over my son. They’re letting him run the whole school.”

She was charged with disorderly conduct and disrupting school operations, and released Thursday on $5,000 bond.

According to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office arrest record, on March 19, Henry went to the school and asked her son to point out the boy who had been bullying him. She was supposed to leave the building, but instead confronted the alleged bully in the hallway, making a promise to him similar to the one she admitted, deputies said, but with a vulgar term in place of “mess you up.”

The 12-year-old told sheriff’s deputies her actions and statement made him fear for his safety, according to the arrest warrant.

Henry said she was appalled with what was happening to her son, noting that the bully allegedly tried to push her son down a flight of stairs and worse. Henry said her son had begun being bullied more and more when he began losing sight in one of his eyes, and her complaints to the school officials fielded no response or change.

“Until I went up to the school, they weren’t going to do anything,” she said. “I had to bring it out so somebody would do something.”

The Atlanta Technical College student and Sunday school teacher said she fears her son’s deteriorating vision is leading him to depression, and the bullying isn’t helping. But she refused to stand by and do nothing, she said. “I’ll sit outside that school and give him my phone and make him call me whenever there’s a problem, if I have to,” Henry said. “I’ll go to jail again.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

46 comments Add your comment

Bernie

March 28th, 2013
10:58 pm

Yes this Parent was out of line and became the ultimate victim to her own frustrations. If the school failed in their responsibility, which is more than likely the case of any school and school system south of I-20. Instead of confronting the bullying child as ones first reaction would be to do. Just pick a phone call 911 and have a policeman or woman dispatched to the school and address the situation, Plain and Simple.

Two things will happen right away. First, The School, Principal’s, Teachers and the school system would be forced to deal with the matter in a serious manner from that point forward. The Second occurrence would reveal itself before your eyes. The terrified, frightened looks and stares from the Bullying student and any of his supporting cohorts. They would then seriously wonder and question, if they are to be hauled off to Juvenile Detention, very shortly. That would be start of the end of such acts of intimidation for sure. I know from personal experience as a bullied child, that is what my Parents did for me and it STOPPED. Never Again!

Dc

March 28th, 2013
11:05 pm

Another in a long line of reasons for school choice by parents. If the principal knew they would lose some of their precious funding they would’ve actually done something

STEM Mom

March 28th, 2013
11:05 pm

Schools give you chapter and verse about bullying, but they really do not do anything to stop it, and typically punish self-defense.
My son’s self-estime plummeted incredibly low in elementary school due to bullying.
Every attempt was brushed off in a passive agreeseive manner by school officials, and I was informed I “intimidated” a teacher when I started demanding accountability in stopping the on-going humuliation and harm.
When he moved to a private school, bullying continued, and the same methods used in public school – ignoring , walking away, being pacifist, avoid confrontation – yielded nothing.
I had enough one day and I told my son in front a teacher and school counselor that since he has already tried every pacifist way to avoid confrontation, he has my permission to retaliate, make it count and spectacular, but avoid breaking anything.
So my martial arts student of a son delivered a beautiful reprisal which did not break anything but hurt the ‘feelings” of the unlucky bully-du-jour ont he way back from sports, earned him the respect of the other “watchers” and … all bullying stopped.

Sorry, I fully respect avoiding confrontation, but the last think we need to teach our children is to be passive. That encourages bullying.

Georgia coach

March 28th, 2013
11:27 pm

@bernie. Campus police has jurisdiction over these cases, not local police.

Another comment

March 28th, 2013
11:46 pm

Georgia Coach is correct that Fulton County School police have jurisdiction and they will play judge Jury and all and will either refuse to write a police report or write one that claims that no bullying occurred. This is after I took my child to Childrens Health Care and the Doctor issued a report that she had been the victim of a physical assualt. Childrens Healthcare, called in the Child Advocate, to advise us that we had the right to collect from the victims fund for our medical expenses, but we needed a police report. We can’t get one from Sandy Springs, because it happened at Ridgeview Charter School. So it has to be done by the Fulton County School Police. Then when I get hold of Officer Long, she offers up one of the female bullies names, before I even said it. But amazingly in the police report the Arab boy, didn’t push my daughter down the stairs to the bus, because it wasn’t captured on camera. Well, as I told her, their are no camera’s where my daughter said it happened. There are no camera’s in the cafeteria and the hallways where the bo pushed my daughter down when she was on crutches. But their is no Bullying at Ridgeview Charter School. They even let the bullies go on the trip to New Orleans.

Dr. Monica Henson

March 29th, 2013
12:11 am

School administrators (and many teachers) routinely ignore bullying and attribute it to kids “just being kids.” It takes time and energy to deal with the situation that they just don’t want to expend. It’s a MYTH that nothing can be done if there are no adult eyewitnesses. The administrator has broad authority to hear all sides and then render a decision. In my professional opinion, children have a constitutional right to come to school and be free from harassment, bullying, and intimidation. Assault and battery is a criminal offense when committed by adults against each other, yet adults charged with the care and supervision of children will stand by and allow it to be perpetrated, often brutally and repeatedly, by children against children.

Bernie

March 29th, 2013
1:18 am

Georgia coach @ 11:27 pm – If you as a Parent want results and the School and/ or school system has failed you in regards to a Bullying matter.

Do not waste any more time with them. You have given the school adminstration an opportunity and they failed you and your child.

Locate the nearest phone and CALL 911! This georgia coach person has his/her head somewhere in a very dark place!

A call to 911 will get you immeadiate results ASAP!

The Police would be required to be dispatched in a timely manner. If this action is taken, I can assure you without a doubt, the matter will be handled promptly in a priority status. There will be no doubt, you will feel BETTER that you made the right call.

The schools do not want or need the attention of POLICE involvement
in matters that should have dealt with internally. This is a forcing of the hand, if you will.

Rick in Grayson

March 29th, 2013
5:31 am

Get the POLICE involved and have them document the actions or non-actions of the school administrators and make that record available at BOE meetings.

Frustrated

March 29th, 2013
5:52 am

It is not as cut and dry as calling the police first of all CLAYTON cnty does’nt even acknowledge that bullies exist. My child experienced this in a class room with the teacher laughing rightr along with the students. My son had a cold sore on his lip and the children were all laughing at him in class while the teacher was present saying that he had a cold sore because he drinks sperm and skeet. When i found out that the teacher was laughing along with the students, i was pissed. I called the teacher who did not reurn my calls until i reached the superintendant’s office then and only then she apologise for her actions which she then told me was no big deal. WOW! emotional abuse is what i call this. There where other incidents in where the school failed to acknowledge the bulling so i removed my child from public school and enrolled him in home schooling. Clayton County schools are not fit for dogs. The onsite school officer tends to agree with the staff to keep problems quiet it’s a dont rock the boat because our accredation is always in jeapordy.

Frustrated

March 29th, 2013
5:59 am

A call to 911 will get you a statement that tells you that the school has an officer on campus and you must deal with that officer. Who by the way will do anything to protect the schools reputation. If these were white children paying tuition things would be different. Clayton County is the most corrupt school system in georgia and aprox. 90% black students where no one give a care. Parents home school your children in clayton county or move to another county before they are emotionally damaged to the point where they become criminals or mentally damaged for life.

Lee

March 29th, 2013
7:42 am

Was this protective mama bear out of line? Yes. Anytime an adult confronts a minor child in such a manner, the adult is setting themselves up for trouble – legal and other. As a parent, I understand the apparent frustration with the school and the bully along with the instinct to protect your child, but you have to think these things through.

But the bottom line is that schools no longer deal with the behavior issues and bullying is a subset of those issues. Behavior, good and bad, is a learned characteristic. You’ve got to “nip it in the bud” as Barney Fife would say. Years ago, that meant schools would paddle your butt. It didn’t take long for even the most disruptive students to figure out that bad behavior would get their butt’s tore up. Today, the teacher is supposed to come up with “discipline plans” and “interventions” to curb the behavior. My wife, and elementary teacher, has had one of those “students from hell”. They are just now having a meeting with the parents. Seven months into the school year and you are just now dealing with the issue. Next year, all will be forgotten and the behavior starts all over again. It’s a never ending cycle that sometimes results in a parent taking matters into their own hands.

The police? Forget about it. About all they will do is go talk to the principal who will tell them the behavior is being addressed. They will merely defer to administration.

A lawyer? Sure, if you have several thousand to throw away. I’d much prefer to put that money toward private school tuition.

I do think we had more of a Code of Honor back in my day. If a large kid was picking on a smaller classmate, there would usually be another larger classmate who would stand up for their smaller friend. “Pick on someone your own size” from the larger classmate was usually all it would take to get the antagonist to back down.

Georgia coach

March 29th, 2013
8:05 am

@ Bernie I am not going to argue with an idiot, I.e. you. Campus police has complete jurisdiction whether you believe it or not.

Elaine

March 29th, 2013
8:11 am

The thing that gets me about “the school ignored the bullying!” is the assumption that the school is even AWARE of the bullying. I totally believe that, half the time, the school might know but either chooses not to do anything or is powerless to do that. But kids — especially middle schoolers — are very, very good at hiding things. I taught MS for over a decade, and I like to think I was aware of what was going on and that I had a great relationship with kids. Despite that, I know of more than a few times in which I didn’t find out about incidents until well after they happened. The bullies often chose the bathroom for physical altercations (teachers can only see kids come and go, and we can’t stand inside and watch the kids pee!). Verbal bullying might take place over whispers at the lockers or at the lunch tables — or online/at home. I’d love to be able to see/hear everything that happens at school, but that’s impossible in the chaos of a middle school. And if we don’t see the bullying firsthand, then we have to rely upon students approaching us about it.

I’d like to think I was a strong advocate for bullied students, and I tried my best when I was aware of the issues. However, I know that there was quite a bit that I couldn’t squash because I had no idea about it. I do believe teachers and schools should be held accountable for bullying they choose to ignore, but what happens when we don’t know about it despite our best efforts to monitor?

Maureen Downey

March 29th, 2013
8:14 am

@Elaine, I wrote a story about bullying where I referenced a study that confirms your point:
From my story:

Bullies who use physical force tend to go after younger and smaller kids. But the victims have other traits that draw bullies to them. Noted researcher Dan Olweus says bullying victims tend to be more anxious, sensitive, cautious and quiet. They tend to cry more easily and have more vulnerabilities and a deep fear of confrontation.

Those traits might make the victims less sympathetic to their more robust classmates.

In 85 percent of bullying incidents, other children are involved, most often as an audience. In addition to the overt bullying, victims then have to cope with the social isolation, which can lead to depression, poor academic performance and suicidal thoughts, according to Olweus.

Why don’t teachers intervene? It’s quite possible they don’t always see the offense. In an experiment in Canada, researcher Debra Pepler recorded 52 hours of playground exchanges, documenting more than 400 incidents of bullying, which on average lasted only 37 seconds. Pepler found that teachers intervened in one of 25 incidents.

truth in motion

March 29th, 2013
8:18 am

@ Dr. Henson. I agree with you. Principals in Clayton County have become what Atlanta’s prinicpals were. There is indeed a culture of fear in Clayton County. The inexperienced principals and assistant principals are dismantling the schools in Clayton County. Charter schools would be the best option for this cesspool of nothingness. My child will not attend a school in this county, so my tax dollars do not need to fund their schools. I just sympathize with the teachers who get paid like TANF recipients and who are treated like slime in a barrel. The aftereffects of Ed Cheatley are apparent. The superintenden….?????

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
8:31 am

Best blog ever.
Lots of reasonable responses.
Something very similar happened to me. My tiny kindergartener was at an APS playground during school hours — it was the first week of school and I was visiting him at lunch time.
A big girl, likely a fifth grader, went over to my child and literally shook him out of the swing. She wanted to swing and that was her way of getting it. I swa it and immediately told her to wait apart from him until he was done. I turned my back and she immediately shook him out of the swing again and pushed him to the ground.
I read her the riot act. I told her she was never to touch my son again and every day that week I got off work and watched my child during lunch/recess.
I also gathered all the other kids around and told them this “girl” was a bully and not to do what she said and if she threatened them/hurt them/ made them feel uncomfortable and so on…to tell the teachers and the principal and if I was there to tell me.
There were at least four other adults who were teachers and parapros there watching who said and did absolutely nothing.
If the bullying had continued I would have gone up the chain to the school’s super or hired an attorney. I would never threaten a child but you can be sure my attorney would instill fear in the kid’s parents, if the kid had any.

TeacherMom4

March 29th, 2013
8:31 am

Elaine is spot on. Almost every year I get a parent concern/complaint over something that I didn’t even know happened. When I have seen instances (in my case verbal, not physical), I deal with it and put a stop to it. If it continues out of my earshot and nobody tells me about it, there is nothing I can do to help the victim. Kids need to fee empowered to tell someone. Sometimes kids mislabel normal disagreements as bullying, when the conflict is two sided. They have learned that bullying is a hot-button issue that will get attention. If I don’t hear about the problem, I can’t help them, whether it is bullying or a friendship issue. Like I said, I haven’t experienced the physical side, only the verbal.

I completely understand the mom’s frustration. I would feel that way, too. If a school is ignoring the problem, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t want to do the same thing.

KIM

March 29th, 2013
9:27 am

TeacherMom4 is telling it exactly like it usually is. We teach our children not to tattle, then we expect them to tattle…when it is right to do so? How can children judge when to and when not to? That is a fine line.Counselors, teachers, principals and parents have to work hard to develop a mindset with children that no bullying is acceptable nor should be tolerated. I worked in a district where no educator is allowed to (nor would) ignore bullying. But, I can tell you there were countless times when the bullier’s parent came in and basically took the position that the other child (the bullied) should have “sucked it up” (in the vocab of one mother). Resorting to “my attorney” is an irresponsible and sad way out. You can’t swing a cat without it hitting someone’s “attorney”. It is our responsibility (all of us) to change the culture.

Roger

March 29th, 2013
9:31 am

Same “bury our heads in the sand ” response in Cobb County. Wheeler is awful even when police investigation provides proof a crime was committed. Hope the AJC takes this on as an expose of how lame the response is to bullying.

KIM

March 29th, 2013
9:32 am

Oh, and BTW….I can be a Madea, too. No matter all the training I have had….mess with my children or grandchildren and the Madea comes out.

cautiously optimistic

March 29th, 2013
9:50 am

It’s a sad state of affairs when we’ve gone from a school that could paddle kids at school (I’m not debating whether this is good or bad) and the kids knew they’d get it again at home, to today, when teachers feel between a rock and hard place, to parents calling lawyers to defend their bully.

Freedom Works

March 29th, 2013
10:14 am

Yes, you have a choice. Pull your child out of the government system and homeschool them. Then work to help dismantle this horrible stain on our society. Why would you ever think the government would stand up to bullying in school when everything the government does at the local, state, and most importantly the federal level is predicated on bullying?

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
10:31 am

I don’t buy the line that teachers don’t know about bullying.
Teachers don’t want to know about bullying because as Dr. Monica said, they don’t want to.
What any good teacher should do is LOOK for bullying ASK the kids about it and remind the kids “If someone is bullying you, come tell me. I’ll deal with it.” That needs to be a daily message.

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
10:34 am

Freedom, Ok, when a parent works full time, WHEN are they supposed to homeschool them?
I work full time because I have to.
I work 8 to 6 during the week and have to put in hours on the weekend. I also have more than one child so WHEN are parents supposed to home school?
Your simple solution works great for two parent families who have a wage-earner earning enough to support the whole family and a stay at home spouse educated enough to home school but how many homes are like that in the US?
I’d say about ten percent.
What are the other 90 percent to do?

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
10:38 am

“Oh, and BTW….I can be a Madea, too.”
Kim, you can be a mother bear without threatening to “eff up the kid”who is bullying yours.
What good does it do to be a protective mother if all it does is land you in jail? You cannot protect your child if you are behind bars.
Yes, you have a right to be angry.
Yes, you haev a right to protect your child but going into a school and screaming at the bully that you are giong to “eff him up” will only get you in trouble and leave your child vulnerable.
It’s better to threaten the so-called parents with the law and better to threaten the school with a law-suit and/or it is better to document the tragedy and go to the media.
Madea is a fictional character. Real life isn’t that easy.

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
10:43 am

A teacher wrote “And if we don’t see the bullying firsthand, then we have to rely upon students approaching us about it.”
But do you ASK the students to tell you? Do you remind them often to tell you? Do you encourage them to tell you? Do you provide a specific time or covert method for them to tell you?
I am guessing you don’t.
A bullied child, as Maureen just pointed out is usually a quiet and smaller one, a child who is intimidated easily. You have to make it easy for the child to tell you and not just shrug your shoulders and blow it off as “oph well, they didn’t telll me so i didn’t know.”
You should ACTIVELY look for it.

Shar

March 29th, 2013
10:53 am

Maureen, I saw that episode too and was very uncomfortable with the title character for touching and threatening that bully character, who was perhaps 8.

This real-life bully was older but the same rule applies: as an adult, and not an objective one, you can’t directly speak to the bully of your child.

My youngest daughter had a horrific experience while she was at Inman Middle School. A classmate, already with an IEP based on his past extensive violent behavior, became obsessed with her and made multiple verbal and written threats to kill her friends (he had a written “kill list”), slit her throat and drink her blood and then blow up the school (he had written schematics of the school with places for the pipe bombs marked) so he could be with her forever. He continually touched her against her will, searched her locker for which he’d memorized her combination and had his mother (a school psychologist for DCSS) drive him by our house so he could sit outside and stare in. The kids on the “kill list” including my daughter, repeatedly told the teachers and administrators, but ultimately those kids were taken into the assistant principal’s office and threatened with formal bullying charges because they refused to sit with their would-be murderer at lunch. THAT was how the other parents and I found out about the situation.

I pulled my daughter out of school and went to see the assistant principal, who told me that I had no right to keep my child out of school and that she didn’t think the kid would do anything, despite the threats, the stalking and the touching. I called in the school cop, who told me that he couldn’t do anything without direction from the administration. I called the SRT Director, Gloria Patterson, who told me that “these things happen”. I had a lawyer write to the APS attorney, and got a letter back saying that after reviewing the situation he didn’t think that APS would be legally responsible if my daughter was assaulted on school grounds.

I finally called the Atlanta cops and spoke with a detective, who told me that I could indeed press charges against the child in court and, given the trail of written evidence (including Internet plans for building pipe bombs) I had a good chance of prevailing, in which case the child would be remanded to the juvenile justice system.

So, the choice was do nothing or send what was still a child, albeit a deeply disturbed one needing mental and behavioral help, into the potentially ruinous juvenile system. Frankly, the kid would have been better off had they permitted me five minutes in a locked room with him.

My daughter left for private school. That kid graduated from Grady and is presumably now one of the kids that Rep. Powell wants so badly to arm on campus.

mamaj

March 29th, 2013
11:01 am

Though the mother handled the situation at her son’s school incorrectly, I do truly sympathize with her frustration. All children should be able to go to school, daily, without fear of bullying from anyone. Surely we don’t want a revisit of the kids that have committed suicide from being bullied at school, or kids being bullied so much that they start to bring weapons from home with them to solve a problem they see no way out of, with their limited knowledge.

Yes, some of the teachers may not be aware of a child being bullied, but an observant parent that brings it to the attention of the school administrators, can not be ignored. This has gone on for too long and too often.

concerned

March 29th, 2013
11:07 am

Children lie and lie often. They lie daily about almost everything. I watch my students and when I see something happen I pull them aside and discuss it with them. Students do everything in their power to not be blamed for anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen incidents occur with my own eyes, pulled the student aside to discuss what happened just to have the student tell me I’m just picking on him/her and they were just “playing”. Students know how to manipulate the situation to make the teacher look bad. They lie, lie, lie. Yes, I take action in a professional manner and talk to the administration and even school councelor but beyond that I, as a teacher, cannot do more. Teachers cannot assign punishments. That is the administrator’s job, at least in my school. All teachers can do is report incidents. When I call parents about problems with their child they stick up for their child and accuse me of picking on their child. The parent calls the school and complains about me to the administration and then I’m the one who looks bad. The child returns to school with a big smile on their face knowing they can do whatever they want because the parent will rescue them. Do you all understand this? Most teachers are trying but even when we handle things correctly it is still our fault. Students lie and manipulate and if you think your child would never do that think again. Students pick up bad behavior at home. When parents talk negatively about school, teachers, other people, and lie and manipulate situations their children see that and learn to do it. When parents become better role models and teach their children to be kind to everyone and to own up to their behavior bullying will stop.

erin

March 29th, 2013
11:49 am

Shar, that is scary … everyone at the school involved in your kid’s situation should be ASHAMED of themselves. Sounds like the bully is/was a walking time bomb.

Ken Anderson

March 29th, 2013
12:33 pm

She may have been wrong where she did it, , but so was the bully and so was the school for allowing it to happen. Ms Henry did what she had to do, she did not deserve to go to jail. Was the bully put in juvenile detention? Was the school administrator arrested for negligence? Absolutley not. But throw a mother in jail for giving the bully a taste of non physical bullying, she gets to go to jail. That is so wrong and police officers should be ashamed of themselves for doing that.

archie

March 29th, 2013
12:44 pm

@Shar: Special schools for dangerous students, anyone?

Another comment

March 29th, 2013
12:54 pm

I Have copied Maureen Downey on several of the letters that I sent Ridgeview Charter School and Supt. Avossa about the Bulling of my daughter that escallated to extreme levels when she came back to school after Christmas break with a cast on her foot and on crutches. Avossa promosed his team would be write on it, what a joke. These three children were not suspended or punished. They were all three time event bullies, just on my child. A lawyer friend of my ex-husband found the State law which say that 3 acusations of bulling ever by a child results in that child being removed from that school to another. None of the 3 bullies even got in school suspension. They weren’t even prevented from going on field trips. The biggest Female bully, who the school cop, Officer Long, named before I even said her name ( so she clearly has had past experience with this same girl. A friend of mine works as an officer at the Gwinnet Detention Center, has said this girl will be one of the girls that comes in and starts balling her eyes out when she says honey this is a 10 year charge with no bail. My friend was on the first episode of the TV show that feature the women going into Gwinnet lockup.) This girl was allowed to go on the Chorus trip to New Orleans, my daughter, my older daughter’s boyfriend’s sister and at least 10 other kids did not go on the trip because they did not want to put up with this bully. I have told the Principal and the Administrator that besides picking on weak, smart kids like my daughter, they also pick on and bully the illegal hispanic kids. They know the hispanic kids parents are not going to report it. What they don’t realize is sometime they are going to run into some Hispanic kid who older sibling is in one of the Hispanic Gangs, and that will be the last kid they ever bully.

My daughter’s Pakistani, Dr. has identified the one boy’s name as being “Arab” as she put it. She told me to march up the driveway during the day, when the father is not their, and talk to the mother, about the son. She suspects the mother does not know about the son’s bad behavior.

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
1:06 pm

Another Comment — do NOT go to the child’s home to tell the mother. If you think telling the mother is a good idea, send her a certifid letter or letter by courier. If you go to someone’s house they can say you threatened them.

Georgia Coach

March 29th, 2013
1:19 pm

@ another comment, it is three PROVEN accusations that would cause removal. Not addressing your situation, but I have seen instances where the alleged victim was just as guilty as the alleged bully. Often there are two sides to every story and not every accusation of bullying is in fact bullying.

I hope your situation improves.

Mahopinion

March 29th, 2013
7:39 pm

Yes, this mother was wrong. She threatened a child. That in and of its self was wrong.

@Shar re Inman

March 29th, 2013
7:47 pm

Wow, Shar, that is one compelling story. That really shows how difficult it is to get even extreme bullying addressed in some school districts and some schools. Too bad the situation at Inman appears to be the same now as it was then.

Bernie

March 29th, 2013
11:21 pm

Georgia coach @ 8:05 am – We All know that Coaches are the sharpest Knives in the Tool shed and your comment verifes that assumption. If you would take the time to READ! You and I are making (2) two entirely different points. My Point is for the Parent to get the Local police at the school campus ASAP!

You are arguing with yourself over the issue of Jurisdiction. I could care less about Jurisdiction, to me its a non issue or concern. My only concern is that the responding officer is from the city, or town and or county. Either one will fill the bill, always!

jassen sanders

March 30th, 2013
5:47 am

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself. Bullying is a difficult problem. It would be wonderful if such behavior could be identified more often and more quickly that often happens. Parents should respond to the child with empathy, love and support. Only this can build confidence in the child that he/she has made the right decision by sharing the issue with the parents. Parents should build assurance to the child that they can work this problem as a team without worsening the issue or resulting in negative consequences. Yet, luckily, I read an article about like an on-star for phone that has been working perfectly for me and my son. With just a click of a button, you get conference with an emergency response agent, a list of people in your so called-safety network, and can even get escalated to the nearest 911. This is just a perfect way to let me and authorities know that bullying is becoming rampant in certain areas. Check it here: https://login.safekidzone.com/mobilesafety/?a_aid=5130f12a083db&a_bid=37613964&c_id=98e84f07&refcode=RelentlessProtection#

Greg C.

March 30th, 2013
7:55 am

My son was being bullied, I gave him a simple solution. Go pick up the biggest hardcover book in the class. Wait til he isn’t looking and knock his a&$ the f$&k out. He did it, broke the bully’s nose and fractured an orbital socket. His dad came up to the school to confront me and met a .38 snub nose in his face with a very strong warning to back up, and make sure his son never touches mine again or I’m taking it as instruction from him, I would find him and put his brains on the curb. Like I told him “yea, it is that damn serious, teach your kids to keep their hands to themselves.” Needless to say the Bully and his dad “Sean” have since relocated to another school and my son is the school hero. The teachers and what is supposed to be a “principal” at the school were intimidated by the bully and his father they let it happen for 3 weeks. Parents of bullies you need to teach your kids to keep their hands to themselves, some parents are just that crazy about their kids.

living in an outdated ed system

March 30th, 2013
10:09 am

The Anti-Defamation League does a terrific workshop on bullying (and cyberbullying) and I recommend that it be scaled far more than it currently is. Parents will engage in irrational behavior to protect their children, and if schools do not intervene, then parents are left to take matters into their own hands, and pay the ultimate price.

Time and time again, we have seen the “system” defend the aggressor, not the target, and policies are outdated and/or ineffective. No one wants to take accountability – teachers, administrators, no one, and the bureaucracy gets in the way every time. I have seen far too many instances where a family of a child who has been bullied was forced to transfer their child to another school, and these are families who can AFFORD to make that choice. And bullying is even more serious in cyberspace.

todd atkins

March 30th, 2013
10:45 am

All victims of bullying need to wear a recording device. A picture is worth a thousand words. This is your greatest tool for a conviction.

Truth in Moderation

March 30th, 2013
10:39 pm

“The 12-year-old told sheriff’s deputies her actions and statement made him fear for his safety, according to the arrest warrant.”

Really? What about the 11 year old he bullied. Do you suppose he “feared for his safety” when the 12 year old tried to throw him down a flight of stairs?
The grandmother had already tried to deal with the situation the “responsible” way. THE SCHOOL DID NOTHING. The grandmother should be given a MEDAL OF HONOR and the 12 year old thrown in juvenile court. The administration should be given A PINK SLIP. That is how you deal with BULLIES.

Ann

March 31st, 2013
12:03 pm

These things should happen:

1. Parents need to teach their kids, from a very early age to be kind and empathetic to others. This needs to be emphasized strongly. Talk about ways kids can do this, such as go up to the child who is “new” or sitting alone and invite them to sit with you or play with you. Your kids will naturally have their friends they want to hang out with, but continually remind them to be kind to others throughout their childhood until they are adults.

2. Teachers should keep their eyes open, and as another poster said, give the kids “stealth” ways to report to you and encourage reporting.

3. Administrators, when parents of the bully, after being notified come in and complain that the teacher is picking on their child, have some “backbone” and stick up for the teacher. You are the party that allows bullying if you don’t back up the teacher and the “victim” at this point.

4. Schools should have cameras in as many places as possible, so recordings can be viewed when incidents are reported.

5. Parents, if your kid is being verbally or physically bullied, as someone else mentioned, give them a small recording device that will grab sound and/or images.

6. Parents, if your child is bullied, teach your child “methods” that they can use in these situations. What method the child is comfortable using may vary depending on the child’s personality and what they are comfortable with. But, teach them some “skills”.

7. Parents also need to teach their child to “stick up” for other kids being bullied and explain how to do this. I don’t think this being taught nearly enough. Give examples or role play situations that your child, teen, or young adult may “observe” that other kids are doing or teach them the “right thing” to do. This would go a long way to prevent bullying, if the bully sees the rest of the class “sticking up” for the victim. And, this would help prevent situations like the Steubenville rape, when so many teenagers stood by and did nothing.

Maureen Downey

March 31st, 2013
12:21 pm

@To all, I feel compelled to add here that a school employee tells me that this mother had just cause to intervene on her son’s behalf, that her complaints had been ignored and that the school has been having problems with bullying and that too many incidents are going unchecked. Plan to ask news to look into another incident this employee cited.
Maureen

Not4thegays

April 1st, 2013
2:55 pm

This story hits home because I am an employee at this school and more parents need to be aware of what is going on inside of these walls. This school is completely out of bounds and students and staff both fear coming here daily. Students are running the show and they know it. There are so many different situations where students are being bullied and absolutely nothing is being done about it. The principal is new to middle school and appears to be in lala land. Three teachers have been hurt this year from breaking up fights, there are fights amongst the students daily, and smoking marijuana is the thing to do ON SCHOOL property. A teacher was threatened just last week and the student was back in school the same week. I could go on and on about the pits of hell (the new name for the school). I just hope that it gets better before it gets worse but at this point its going to take some real intervention or a massive shooting before anything is done. oh and the same little boy whose grandmother is in jail now was just slapped last Friday by another student for no reason and let me add NOTHING happened to him.