Is This Bullying?

Lounge By michellenj Updated 22 Jan 2009 , 3:41am by Tita9499

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 2:28pm
post #1 of 76

And if so, how should I handle this situation?

DD has been coming home from kindergarten in tears a couple of times a week because of a little boy named Jonah. He has a reputation as being mean, and bullying other kids, he's the youngest of several boys in his family.

She used to say that he would tell her that she stinks, is ugly, etc., and I told her to stay away from him. He's also told other kids that they looked dead, that sort of thing. Last week she lost a tooth, and he told her that the tooth fairy is not real icon_evil.gif , and now she says he is touching her on the bus, and when she sits away from him he moves to get closer to her.

I don't know what to do. Is this a normal part of riding the bus? Should I call the school, talk to the bus drivers, or march up to their house and talk to the mom and Jonah?

Any advice would be appreciated.

75 replies
kaat Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 2:47pm
post #2 of 76

That's a tough one. Going to the parent is iffy. Some parents can be very defensive when someone says something negative about their precious sweetheart. I would definetly talk to the teachers and bus drivers about the best way to handle the situation. Don't go in on a war path or you're sure to come up against a wall. Take your concerns and an open mind/dialouge and ask for help with finding a solution. HTH. And that behaviour on the bus or anywhere is not ok.

indydebi Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:30pm
post #3 of 76

I tend to take the mama bear approach. yes, talk to the bus driver, the teacher, the school and see what they see is going one. but no matter what, I'm not going to be (for lack of a better word) "nice" about it. This is my child and she is afraid to go to school. Nuh-uh, baby! We are going to fix it now!

-Tubbs Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:43pm
post #4 of 76

No, you're right to take this seriously. I definitely wouldn't go directly to the parents though, as pp said, some parents can be VERY defensive.

There are rules about riding the bus that this boy needs to learn. If he is the youngest of a bunch of boys, probably he's seen his fair share of bullying or unkind behaviour and suddenly sees that this is HIS chance to dish it out. Someone needs to take him aside and help him see that it's unacceptable. Bus driver, teacher, principal if need be.

Good luck!

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:55pm
post #5 of 76

Do you guys think that I should get on the bus today and tell talk to the driver in front of the kids, or hand her a note, or what?

jen1977 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 4:03pm
post #6 of 76

I would give the driver a note. I would be afraid of making my child uncomfortable if I talked to the driver with my child and all the other kids there to listen. That could open up a new can of worms, and kids could start calling her a tattle tell, baby, snitch, etc. I would call the school or give the driver a note. Good luck!

indydebi Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 4:04pm
post #7 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Do you guys think that I should get on the bus today and tell talk to the driver in front of the kids, or hand her a note, or what?




We had an issue once and we put our child on the bus, and asked the driver for her number so we could call her later and discuss an issue, "....because we understand you're on a schedule right now and don't want to disrupt that." She was great to work with, by the way.

CakesByJen2 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 5:15pm
post #8 of 76

Sometimes it's hard to say what is "bullying" and what is somebody just being a jerk or not having been taught better, especially at that age. But it sounds like it's bad enough that I would talk to the teacher and bus driver about it. Also, bullying has become such a recognized problem that many states now have legal definitions as to what is bullying and how it will be dealt with. OUr state just enacted some new, tough, "anti-bullying" regulations.

I would talk to the teacher, and either give the bus driver a note or ask for a number to discuss it with them later, as was suggested. I would NOT under any circumstances confront the bully's parents. They will probably get defensive at best, and you've got to take into consideration that this kid learned his bad behavior from somewhere. You could get into a nasty situation of his parents harassing you! If you know any other parents from the class, especially any that volunteer in the class, I would ask them if they have observed this behavior or if their kids have had problems with this boy, too.

We had a problem with my daughter and a boy in her class, who unfortunately lives two houses down from us. At first, she was friends with him because she's a bit of a tomeboy and very athletic, so at recess she preferred to play ball with the boys rather than hang out with the girly girls. But after a while she realized he was a low-class jerk and gradually stopped hanging out with him. This evidently bothered him, and he started acting out to get her attention, making crude remarks, some very minor vandalism at our house (don't know it was him, but the most obvious guess), etc. This continued from the latter part of fourth grade thru 6th grade, and the crewdness was to the point of qualifying as sexual harassment.

It didn't upset her so much as annoy her and occasionally make her mad. We couldn't figure out if he was doing it to be mean, because he "like-liked" her and was trying to impress her, or just thought she was a good audience. But it had gone on too long and she shouldn't have to put up with it. I was even more afraid she was going to get fed up, lose her temper, and pop him one (she's stronger than almost all the boys in her class, LOL), then SHE would be the one to get in trouble. I didn't want to file a formal complaint, with them living so close and knowing what the parents are like; it would only lead to more trouble, but I was going to insist they be sure she had no classes with him this year. But then I found out they have advanced classes in all subjects in 7th grade, so I knew that would naturally separate them icon_razz.gif

I've heard from other parents in my son's class that they have big problems with this same kid's younger brother bullying on the bus, so obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree....

koolaidstains Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 6:12pm
post #9 of 76

Our school system has a section in the student handbook about bullying. It's very specific in defining what is considered bullying. Bullying is not tolerated in school, at any school function, or on the bus or bus stop. I would check with your school and see what their policy is. Hopefully, they have a specific policy about bullying. If not, then you'll have to work with the principal, teachers, and bus driver. Going to the parents would be a last resort for all the reasons that have been mentioned!

frostingfairy Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 6:15pm
post #10 of 76

does your DD's school have a guidance counselor? My kids' elementary school has a guidance counselor who is a doll and absolutely wonderful when it comes to situations like the one you are describing. If your school has one, start there....that's the function of a counselor on the elementary level....they can talk to the boy as well as your DD and other kids affected.
HTH

Erika

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 7:25pm
post #11 of 76

OMG-how did I not think about the guidance counselor? Great idea.

<--heading off to find the number and will keep you posted.

Tita9499 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I tend to take the mama bear approach. yes, talk to the bus driver, the teacher, the school and see what they see is going one. but no matter what, I'm not going to be (for lack of a better word) "nice" about it. This is my child and she is afraid to go to school. Nuh-uh, baby! We are going to fix it now!




Amen! Highfive! Preach! And all that good stuff. I'm all about what Deby said.

Ayanami Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:57pm
post #13 of 76

If you're able to, you could also drive you DD to & from school for about a week while things are getting sorted out. This should be enough time for the boy to lose interest in her at least during bus time.

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:42pm
post #14 of 76

Well, I got a response from the school and I am happy to say that they are taking this very seriously. The principal is involved. They are going to talk to the boy and the bus drivers. I just hope that the parents don't get their panties in a wad with me for getting their little darling in trouble, since they live up the street from us and most likely I'll run into them from time to time.

Tita9499 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:47pm
post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Well, I got a response from the school and I am happy to say that they are taking this very seriously. The principal is involved. They are going to talk to the boy and the bus drivers. I just hope that the parents don't get their panties in a wad with me for getting their little darling in trouble, since they live up the street from us and most likely I'll run into them from time to time.




...and if they do? That's their issue, not yours. They should've taught their son how to behave.

I told someone else on another forum once before, you are your child's advocate, no one else's. If you don't stand up for them who will? At this age, they're not under the tremendous amount of pressure that teens are under, but I have read stories about 9 year old committing suicide (one girl jumped off of her apartment building) because they were being bullied and no one helped her out. I'm not saying this is as severe, God forbid, but it all starts somewhere.
I commend you for sticking up for your baby. Not only will she continue coming to you and opening up, but she'll eventually learn that she doesn't deserve to be put down by anyone.

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:08pm
post #16 of 76

Oh, this stuff makes me so mad!!! My son is having major problems with a bully now, too. He is in preschool! Ack! The kid tells my son he is ugly, stupid, etc. And this week, threatened to break his arm. He had a terrible stomach ache about going back to school this week.

What I did was:
1. Teach him to fight back. It is NEVER OK for someone to hurt you. Ever. I don't care if he gets into trouble at school-I will deal with that. But he is to defend himself.
2. For the verbal comments, he needs to say "no, that isn't true", or be sarcastic back to him. He did this this week, and the other boy back off.
3. Involve the teacher. The teacher needs to know what is going on, to help your child. I did this, and the teacher was already aware that this kids is a problem, but it made her sensitive to him and my son.

Teach your daughter, also, that this person's opinion is not true, and has no weight on her value. She is a wonderful person, not matter was some a-hole says about her.

Sorry to be so upset, but like I said, this is a fresh problem for me and it just rips me apart.

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:22pm
post #17 of 76

That really stinks, summer. It's ridiculous that a preschooler can be a bully! Very disturbing. I'm glad you are resolving it.

Frankyola Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:26pm
post #18 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I tend to take the mama bear approach. yes, talk to the bus driver, the teacher, the school and see what they see is going one. but no matter what, I'm not going to be (for lack of a better word) "nice" about it. This is my child and she is afraid to go to school. Nuh-uh, baby! We are going to fix it now!




Totaly agree!! I am such a headache even when my son doesn't bring homework one day I call and make sure the teacher didn't give him homework that day, imagine with something like that?

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:30pm
post #19 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

That really stinks, summer. It's ridiculous that a preschooler can be a bully! Very disturbing. I'm glad you are resolving it.




It is disturbing. I don't remember it starting this early when I was a kid. But I think it crossed the line when it went to physical threats. The parents aren't involved yet, hopefully it will stop before they have to be. icon_sad.gif

Good luck to your daughter! Both our kids will be fine-they've got good parents fighting for them. icon_wink.gif

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:36pm
post #20 of 76

Where in the hell would a preschooler learn to threaten so break someone's arm? Television? Violence in his family? Yikes. I think that his parents need to take him to a psychiatrist.

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:43pm
post #21 of 76

You just have to wonder if other parents are like "well, my kid isn't being bullied, so that's all that matters".

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:44pm
post #22 of 76

Dup Post-sorry! icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

Tita9499 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:49pm
post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Where in the hell would a preschooler learn to threaten so break someone's arm? Television? Violence in his family? Yikes. I think that his parents need to take him to a psychiatrist.




See, when it comes to comments like those, that's when my 6'4" husband would have a talk with Junior's dad that went something like this:
"The spawn of Satan you call a child threatened to break my son's arm. Did you teach him that? How does he know about that? Would you like it I break your arm so you can go and tell him how much it hurts and how it's not nice to threaten someone like that?"

I'd be right behind my DH looking at the mom like, "Say something"

Amia Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 10:57pm
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Where in the hell would a preschooler learn to threaten so break someone's arm? Television? Violence in his family? Yikes. I think that his parents need to take him to a psychiatrist.



See, when it comes to comments like those, that's when my 6'4" husband would have a talk with Junior's dad that went something like this:
"The spawn of Satan you call a child threatened to break my son's arm. Did you teach him that? How does he know about that? Would you like it I break your arm so you can go and tell him how much it hurts and how it's not nice to threaten someone like that?"

I'd be right behind my DH looking at the mom like, "Say something"




HAHAHAHAHA! Classic!

I can't believe kids these days! My kids aren't old enough for this to be an issue, and I hope it never is! I agree with summernoelle about them defending themselves. Once a bully knows that you won't be bullied, they usually move on to someone weaker.

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 11:06pm
post #25 of 76

Tita-again, can you just move to Dallas?

Tita9499 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 11:09pm
post #26 of 76

Shoot, when I go visit my mom is Ft Worth I'll stop in and see you. I'll give a Bronx Attitude 101 class

summernoelle Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 11:13pm
post #27 of 76

Sounds good. Need it.

michellenj Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 11:55pm
post #28 of 76

My dh is 6'5" and said that he'd go talk to the boy's dad. I may just let him. Just wait til the kindergartners hear about how Jonah's dad got his ass kicked! icon_lol.gif

DD told me he was calling her stupid on the bus again today, and burst into tears. So sad.

Tita9499 Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 12:02am
post #29 of 76

ARGH! I'd be so mad!
My DH would definitely go say something to them, I couldn't. I'm praying about my anger management issue, God's still working with me on that one...

michellenj Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 12:04am
post #30 of 76

I am definitely pissed. I wish that I knew the parents so that I could have a talk w/ them without worrying about stirring up trouble in the neighborhood.

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