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” My daughter is being bullied. The bully’s mom doesn’t want to know. What next?”

A: ” My daughter has been bullied at school recently and it’s gotten out of hand. She’s in Grade 12. The bully has been cunningly and discreetly intimidating her at school in class, stares, sniggers, talking behind closed hands.. she uses isolating behaviour, as in turning other girls against mine. She’s also been going live on Instagram and talking about my daughter, without mentioning her name, repeatedly. She has also got other people to message my daughter, and repeatedly messaged her trying to get a bite. My advice all along has been to ignore her, block her, rise above. But I understand as a 16 yr-old how hard this is. This has impacted my girl’s ability to happily go to school and learn shes had days off and feels like she is constantly watching her back as this bully is a known school yard fighter. I don’t feel as though the school have taken enough action and are not viewing it seriously enough. I’ve tried talking to the mother, but she gets nasty and defensive. What would you mama bears do?”

Q: ” Call a meeting with all parties, the girl and her parents and remain calm. Your daughter will have more confidence in your ability to manage the situation.”

” You should file a police report and get a case number. I would take this a lot further though. I would go to the nearest magistrates court and apply for an harrassment order (which is why you need a case number) and is viewed quite seriously. Armed with all of this I would approach all parties to establish the rules of engagement. If this does not come to a satisfactory conclusion i would then take this to the media.”

” You have evidence, file a police report and get a protection order, which can be given for harassment. It protects against specific activities so will stipulate that she cannot talk about your daughter on social media etc.”

” The school must shut this down. They are not doing enough. Otherwise her daughter will have to learn to tolerate the isolation or she’ll have to leave the school. It’s heartbreaking and very damaging for the child. If it’s gone on for a long time then time to cut your losses and move to a kinder school. This will be impacting learning hugely and eroding all forms of self esteem. There are schools that don’t allow this.”

” I sent the school a screenshot of the information and asked for an investigation and intervention. This was the very best move – all resolved.”

” Email the headteacher and copy Cape Talk (or local media) on the mail. They may not take up the story but it’ll certainly put a rocket up the principal’s bottom.”

” We had an issue with a bully last year. The school assured me they were dealing with the kid and that he was on the verge of being expelled, but the schools can also only do so much. I eventually phoned the mom and told her that if she didn’t get her kid to stop I am going to the police. She begged me not to go and I told her if there was one more incident I would go. It stopped right there! I would definitely call a meeting with the parents and the school and tell them you are getting the police involved and filing a restraining order if it doesn’t stop immediately. This bully is stealing a part of your child’s life. Its shocking that some parents can turn a blind eye to this kind of behaviour.”

” My daughter went through hell last year because of bullies…same thing- Instagram. She ended up in a paediatric psychiatric hospital for 3 weeks as she couldn’t cope with life anymore. She was only 11.
Thankfully the moms were willing to get involved, and my daughters school contacted the bullies school.
However, if the mom wont fix things I would go to the police with your evidence and lay a charge. That should sufficiently scare them.
Contact the school principal too and insist they take action.
Nothing is worth the hopelessness a child feels when they are bullied.”

” If a state school, there should be zero tolerance as per an “Abuse no more” policy. If a public school, request that a meeting with the school includes the district office school social worker. Schools fall under different geographic district offices.
Your daughter must be protected.”

” Talk to the school head, class teacher, bully & her parents. Tell them you are going to sue the bully for emotional abuse. Tell the school head & teacher that as they haven’t done anything to help the victim, they obviously condone bullying at the school.
Then notify the school board and write to papers to spread the word of how (name school) is and that (name head, teacher & culprit) think it’s OK to do what they’re doing.”

” Take her off Instagram too. Our girls should not be on these social media platforms until they are older and have more emotional capacity for what can go down online. A recent CNN survey said 94% of teens felt their parents underestimate the amount of hostility online. As a society we need to stop exposing our children to social media so young. They are just not ready and so much long term damage is being done to their hearts and minds.”

” My son has been through all of this, the subtle bullying and nastiness and the ganging up, the talking behind his back and laughing  … that’s one of the worst forms of bullying. I’ve drawn a line in the sand and will not tolerate any of this anymore. You should definitely speak to a teacher AND headteacher and demand that they call the parents in.  Insist that you want a full report of what’s going to be done and what has been been done.  Take her off social media for a while. Bullying effects their confidence and at this age with all the other pressure they have to deal with. It’s the last thing a matric pupil needs.”

” In matric, a girl is actually a young adult. She needs to feel empowered too, to take this on, herself. Not alone, but with you at her side, NOT doing everything with her.  You will do her a big favor if you discuss all these options with her. Ask her what she feels more comfortable doing. She’s not a 7 year-old, who needs a Mama Bear. She needs to be able to chart her own path. Some kids may feel they are not up to taking it on, risking “making things worse” and that might also have to be dealt with. First advice, before you go thundering in to a headteachers office or a police station is discuss a plan with your child.”

” Book your daughter in for a few lessons of boxing or self defence. It’s amazing how martial arts boosts self esteem.”

” I know this may sound extreme, but I tried all of the above recommendations… Met school counciller, principa, addressed bully and family… Nothing changed, it escalated to borderline physical abuse when bully started throwing dirt in my daughters hair. I moved my daughter to another school and it turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Don’t discount taking a short cut and moving her if you can. Her self-esteem is most important…”

I’ve been in your situation and it’s terrifying. It came to a head earlier this year with my daughter in critical care. Bullying on social media is a pandemic problem. I would get advice from a social media attorney, Emma Sadlier, for example, is brilliant. Having almost lost my daughter this is a black and white situation. The bully needs to understand the legal consequences of social media bulling, and isolating your daughter by goading others to do the same. The reality is that from the age of 14, children are trialed as adults in the court of law. What children don’t understand is that once they’ve put something on social media, it’s there forever. As part of my daughter’s recovery we removed her from all social media Instagram, Snapchat, Tic Toc etc. At this age children are extremely impulsive and functioning mainly from the survival brain, “It’s mine, my rights, my reality of the world and my needs are more important than anyone else’s.”And emotional brain, they flood with emotion. How the significant adults behave brings in the executive functions of the brain. Their ability to apply reasoning, problem solving and lateral thinking. So, parents and schools play an important role an important and consistent role is shaping the behaviour of young people. Schools need to bring in speakers and support professionals such as psychologists to speak to parents, teachers and students. Our children need to understand that certain behaviours are not negotiable and will have swift and concrete consequences that will affect their lives forever. With my daughter, she now sees a psychiatrist to manage her anxiety and a psychologist to work through her inter and intra personal skills. Teenage suicides are at epidemic levels. So, for me it’s been about, if you as a little pip-squeak feel entitled to bully my child, there will be consequences. What you shared about the bully’s mother highlights that she is also a bully. Bullying doesn’t happen in a vacuum so the bully also needs help, however, this is not your concern. As parents both my ex-husband, his wife and myself have had to get counseling around how to process the situation and the need to put healthy boundaries in place for our child. It’s a journey because our children need to develop coping skills and resilience because their are bullies at every level in life.”

” The school should be dealing with it…it happened to one of my kids and the teachers called him and the bully in and made them sit and discuss it with the teachers as to why they were doing it, how it was affecting them…they found out during the session that the bully was jealous and actually that the two of them really liked each other….they have been best friends since…
Strange story…but true…I was so impressed with how the school took it on so seriously…
The one teacher said she felt very involved as her own child had been bullied at school so it was her passion to find methods of zero tolerance and stopping it…
I think go to the school and find the teacher who does care.”

” Hate hate hate bullying . Often the bully is a victim too. Good can come out of this . Please I beg you to get very professional advice so everyone wins and huge life lessons are learnt . Hopefully based on how this is handled your daughter will learn to identify these people going forward in life and know what to do and the bully child will have an opportunity to nip it in the butt now , be supported , get help and hopefully stop it . It’s natural to want to kick in , all defenses up , protect and stand up for whats right and teach lessons . The schools sometimes handle things are on radical disciplinary level and can worsen it. Kids don’t want to be the ones to split on others because that worsen the situation . See what the school and the parents says but get professionals involved to mediate . I have had dealings with 3 top schools and each one has a different ways which I have not agreed with.”

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