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January 26th, 2011
06:56 PM ET
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sheila Patton

    Our son was bullied at his middle school so severely that he took his own life on November 28, 2007. I would have given anything I owned and even my own life had there been a teacher that would have alerted us about the bullying that our son endured to the end of his life. We did not know anything of the torture he was suffering. She is a hero in our eyes.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  2. Dr. Belinda Droll

    Regarding the teacher who was suspended for reporting the student to authorities, please research and then share with viewers laws which require teachers and other personnel to be "Mandated Reporters." Under the law, any teacher who suspects abuse or neglect of a child under 18 is required to report directly and immediately to police and/or other governmental entities responsible for overseeing child abuse/neglect. In fact, it is a Class A offense if the teacher reports to the school and not to the governmental agency responsible (that is, police, child and family services, etc.). The law is VERY clear on this. For the school to suggest that it needs to review its procedures on such matters is ridiculous–it is NOT the school's choice and if the School Board and administrators do not know this, shame on them! The teacher was following the law–this was NOT a personal choice. It appears that it is the school, not the teacher, that needs to do its homework. EVERY teacher and administrator–indeed everyone in a school–must be educated about this law and must be told it IS their job to report directly and immediately to legal authorities. Obviously, one expects the educational worker to use appropriate judgment. All of these are issues about which all school personnel should be trained and retrained every year and parents should be advised of the law in this matter. In sum, Anderson, I truly hope you will do a followup story on this issue–How awful that the teacher has been made to appear the villain! As an educator, I give the teacher an A+, the school a F. Someone needs to do their homework NOW and it is NOT the teacher! The teacher is owed an apology! Thanks, Anderson–I hope you can help by educating the public about this impt. issue. Blessings to you and yours–Belinda Droll

    January 27, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  3. Carmella Harmon

    Parents have several options:
    1.contact their child's school district about developing, implementing, and enforcing an anti-bullying policy & procedure and also a comprehensive approach to address bullying, when there is none.
    2.utilize resources within their school district when there is an anti-bullying policy that does not appear to be working well (i.e. contact the superintendent, contact board members, attend a board meeting).
    3.contact their state legislators and governor, in order to make bullying against the law.
    4.make a police report re any alleged bullying.
    5.contact a victim witness program in their community, when their child is a victim of bullying.
    6.contact their school's parent/teacher association about school issues, including bully proofing their school and developing parent awareness training.
    7. request teacher and other personnel training re anti-bullying.
    8. request their school district develop anti-bullying curricula and materials for schools and parents.
    9. contact their school district's counseling department, in order for counselors to conduct classroom developmental counseling activities re anti-bullying.
    10.request their school district conduct a school wide survey to address bullying.
    11.request their school district provide school and community resources.
    12.contact their local media, in order to have some new coverage about bullying.
    13.encourage your child to write your governor about their perspective regarding bullying in their school.
    14.ask your child's school to develop a teen court class (middle/high school), in order to advocate for an anti-bullying law in your state.
    15.promote non violence in your child's school district by becoming actively involved.
    16.develop good communication with your child's teachers and administrators.
    17.teach your child to report when they have been bullied and to report when they have witnessed bullying.
    18. contact your county superintendent re your concerns about bullying in the schools.
    19.contact your state superintendent re your concerns re bullying.
    20.schedule parent/teacher conferences during the ASY to know how your child is performing academically and behaviorally at school.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  4. Rich

    The teacher of the seven yr old was going to be criticized, either way. Since the "board" didn't promptly respond, she acted accordingly. It was less than three months ago that a young child was expelled for taking a cap pistol to school. The media cried "foul" about the board. How old /young does a child have to be before we teach him about acceptable behavior and immediate consequences: as Dr. Phil calls it

    January 27, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  5. maery gray

    my grandson is being bullied in school righjt now. my daughter told the principloe about it and the same day the 3 boys beat up my grandson. she is going back to the school tomorrow and try to do something about this, hurray for the teacher in doing what she did. more should take this seriously,
    mary, ky.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:45 am |
  6. Catherine F.

    Regarding "bullying", what I will never understand is why it is called "bullying" when committed by a child against a child at a school, but called "assault" everywhere else. Until we stop treating this type of assault differently, bullies will continue to assault without pause, and victims will continue to suffer the deep emotional trauma of having no protection from assault. I cannot find the words to describe the constant terror I felt and the continuing impact on my life 40 years later.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  7. Ed Jenkins

    As an elementary and junior high principal, I always started the year by reminding our staff that we are here for the children. Our students need to feel welcomed, secure, safe and know that we care about them. On our first day of school, we always had a "school family meeting". We would tell our children that we were here for them and if they had any worries, concerns, or problems, talk to us and we will help them. We also talked about rules and procedures. Before the meeting was over, everyone understood that bullying would not be tolerated!

    January 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  8. Marisol Gomez

    Dr. Phil,
    I couldn't have said it better myself; you know teachers very well...

    Marisol

    January 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Vicki Wampler

    I was the victim of an assault on a school campus, and the student broke my little finger so bad, I had to have surgery to get pins in it. Since I was a new teacher the school released me the day after the incident. Even worse the student had not been arrested a week later, and was not removed from the classroom after injurying me. The student was an obvious danger to other students and staff. The student grabbed and twisted a walkie talkie radio out of my hand to keep me from calling for backup, when he and another boy cornered a girl in the classroom. I am dealing with pain and suffering, while the school has neglected to be responsible, subjecting other staff, and students to a dangerous situation.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  10. William Blackmore

    this is one hundred percent parents, this is learned at home,what happened to me 65 years ago still effects me today.parents don't see or don't want to see what type of person they are raising.children can be so destructively mean they don't realize what they are doing but it fills a void in their lives that is hard to understand, but the parents should see something in their child's lives

    January 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  11. Dave

    I agree with DR. Phil, everyone needs to calm down. People are so worried about being correct, but yet no matter what you say or do, it is the wrong thing. The teacher should not only be apologized to but complimented on her dilegence.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  12. Luanne

    As the grandparent of a young child (age 11)that suffered at the hands of a bully, I congradulate the teacher that spoke out for the child.
    No one did the same thing for my grandson and he was bullied by the same girl 3 times and nothing was done. Unfortunitely, my grandson got his haircut one day and went to school later and one of the kids yelled out "fresh cut" signifying that he had gotten a haircut. The children then proceeded to hit him on the back of his head for more than half of the school day. Then at lunch time the girl hit him so hard it knocked him out and he ended up at the hospital with a concussion. Now, 3 months later, he has a headache which forces him to stay home from school at least once a week.
    The girl is no longer in his class because we (his parents and me) made such a fuss, there was no choice for the school.
    I wish one of his teachers would have been so courageous in speaking out for my grandson.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  13. Donna, Sarasota

    The teacher did the right thing. If the school has an antibullying policy in place, as they stated, they are not enforcing it. Apparently this child has been involved in several previous incidences and nothing has been done. And, by the way, where are the parents?

    January 26, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  14. GInny

    I was bullied as a child and it has affected me to this day. The girls who were bullying me when I was in the 4th & 5th grade eventually apologized to me years later, but the pain has been evident in my behavior to this day. I have to consciously curtail my behavior so as not to display any forms of inferiority complex or defense mechanisms to the extent that many times I am not recognized for my true contributions to a project. I am also VERY clear that I would have taken a different path in my career had I had the confidence. One good thing-I am truly grateful to the teacher who recognized what was going on and had me come in to her classroom every recess period and draw pictures of birds. She posted probably about 30 pictures of my drawings around the classroom. I was so proud!! I know now that she was trying to save me. Now that I am older and understand her compassion, I wish that I could thank her for all that she did for me.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm |