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Bullying Incident...Please help



Apparently, while I was working with a group of students on the computers, a student pinned another student down on the floor and bumped his head.
I did not see this, as they alledgedly did this behind a bookcase.
I did not hear anything...no arguing, no crying, no scuffle.
The victim did not tell me nor did the other students who claimed to have witnessed it.
When I went back to the group, after a minute, they were all working on their projects.
The victim and the students were all in good spirits when they left my class. The victim went to the nurse at the end of the day. He told his parents what happened. They came in to talk to the principal the next morning.
I was the last one to know! I feel like a **** fool!
After talking to the other teachers, I found out that the bully has been picking on the victim since the beginning of the school year. The bully pretends to be friends with him and then he does it on the sly. I did not know that this kid was a bully...until now.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back.
The bully was suspended. The bully's father blames me and says that if I was watching him, he would never have done it.
The victim's father does not want him coming to my class anymore, until there is an aide to help out.
The principal says that I'm not in trouble...but you all know how principals are.
I am a basket case over the whole thing! I trusted students to behave in my class and I am extremely strict. The classes are large (27), so I do a lot of group work and I try to spread them out around the room so they're not on top of each other.
Now, the bully wins!
I will now be stricter than ever and I will not be able to give them any freedom to move around the room. Even though the rest of my students are able to handle it. Everyone will be guilty...anyone might decide one day to throw all the rules out the window and sock another kid.
I have to keep all my little ducklings together.
At the expense of the well-behaved students who know better and who respect our rules and who respect others.


Senior Member
I think that is the way

it always goes. The good kids always get caught up in the confusion because of a few. I hate to make an overall change or punishment because of one or two but, it does sometimes happen. I try to make sure that I apologize to the entire class.

"I am sorry that I must make changes in the way things are run here. MOST of us know how to behave correctly. Until I am sure that everyone knows the proper ettiquete required for this class, changes must be made."

It is amazing how the kids react. This is one time peer pressure helps kids. The ones who were innocent do look at the actions of others. I have found that they will police themselves to make sure that others will walk the line.

Good luck with your class.

Marie from PA



It is a very good idea to address what happened to the entire class. I am glad you are doing that. I also encourage you to teach them directly about bullying.

I teach lessons periodically about bullying from the beginning to the end of the school year. There are many good resources on the internet.

I usually cover the difference between harrassment and friendly play (flirting, sarcasm between friends, etc..). Harrassment is unwanted attention physicially, verbally, and sexually. I cover different types of bullying and the different methods of bullying used by girls and boys. I teach common places to be bullied, such as the restroom, the playground, the cafeteria, the internet, etc. - usually places where teachers don't see it happening. I also share some of my own personal experiences from my years at school.

Afterward, I ask kids to raise their hands if they have ever been a victim of bullying. Almost everyone raises their hands.

I go into the reasons behind bullying (inferiority complex, cowardice, possible abuse at home, negative way to feel in control). None are good and make people who are bullies feel very uncomfortable. I also let them know that charges can be pressed by the parents of children who are victims of physical violence.

I talk about victims and what they should do. I teach that most of the time victims should not blame themselves. They do need to let people who can help them know what is going on as soon as possible. I encourage them to write notes with names, what happened, exactly what was said, etc. They also need to keep themselves out of circumstances that may lead to bullying and to take a look at their own social behaviors that may lead others to pick on them. (I had a 6th grade student one year who would pick his nose and eat what came out of it in front of others. I let him know privately that this was probably one of the things that set him up for people to not be very nice to him. )

Then I address the bystanders. I let them know that they have a duty to report bullying and that it can be done privately or by a note, etc. To stand and watch bullying happen and then do nothing about it makes them just as guilty. I also let them know that the bully needs help in relating to others. By not reporting the bully, the bully is not getting the help he/she needs.

I teach them that everyone has a right to come to school without fear of harrassment and it is everyone's job to make sure that happens.

I take bullying very seriously and it usually results in a parent phone call and an office referral. There are a few instances every year, but I find that teaching about bullying empowers the students to do the right thing.

Here is an internet site. http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/teens/bullying.asp

There are oodles of sites and books on bullying.

Hope this helps!



I would take the father's advice and "watch" his son closely (a.k.a. he doesn't get the same privileges and freedom as the rest of his classmates.) If the other students are working independently, make him sit at a table or desk where you can see him the entire time. He does not deserve the same treatment as the rest of the class. If the father gripes, just tell him that you are following his advice and "watching" his kid. Hopefully, the little punk will learn a lesson.


Senior Member

What grade? You can not be watching them all at all times. They need to learn self-control. We are Not the Babysitters!! We are trying to teach. This bully wasn't doing what he was supposed to do which is learn. You were doing your job-teaching. Only the bully is responsible for his actions-not you. You have rules in your room that are clear and probably posted. Does this dad watch his bully every second of every day or is he ever going to be expected to grow up and take responsibility for his own actions? This dad is way out of line. You have 27 children, he just doesn't get it. Maybe wonder dad should spend a day volunteering. Later give him a quiz to see if he saw everything you did.


New Member
It's not your fault

Parents like this bully's dad really make me furious! Instead of putting the blame where it belongs (on his delinquent son!) he tries to pin it on somebody else. It's as if he's ok w/the fact that his son assaulted another child & is only miffed that he got caught. What if the situation had been reversed and someone hit HIS kid, hmmmm? I agree w/the posters who said that dad should come volunteer in the class and see if HE can keep up w/the goings on. Better yet, have the principal tell dad he needs to come supervise his son in class so that he can be "watched" properly. (We've had several parents come in to "babysit" their child in class~principal's orders!~ and they quickly got over their "My baby did nothing wrong" attitude). The worst case I've ever encountered was back when we had one student steal money from some classmates' desks. The parent blamed the victims saying something like, "They shouldn't have left their money where my child could get at it!" Incredible!...Don't worry about it. You did nothing wrong and cannot be expected to see every child every second. I also think its a great idea to let the well behaved students continue to have freedoms/group time, but make Mr. Bully sit alone or get sent to the office during group time since he can't control himself.