In a previous post I wrote about the importance of finding and using your voice…Bullying & Beyond…17. Stand up, speak up!
So where can you start?
Start with a confident front, let your child see that you can handle this upsetting situation, even if underneath you are emotionally upset and probably unsure where to begin.
The first thing you can do is quip yourself with information, search the internet, empower yourself through learning. Remember these three words…”knowledge is power” and knowledge will ensure you are no longer stuck…
Write a list of things you can do, which could include…
1. Contact your child’s class teacher or the teacher your child feels they have a connection with and trust most. Initially make contact by phone or by letter, be discreet, limit your physical contact with the school as your presence may be observed by the bullies and cause repercussions for your child.
2. If the bullying persists, arrange an appointment with the school Principal, again be discreet as in point 1 above. Have a list or record of bullying events so that you communicate the details accurately and effectively.
3. Consult your General Practitioner for medical support. In Ireland you need a G.P., referral to access Counselling, Psychology or Psychiatric support.
In Ireland you can also…
4. Contact a member of the Board of Management, a member of the Parents Association (most schools have a Parents Association) or the National Parents Council. Read more about NPC here… http://www.npc.ie
5. TUSLA, The Child and Family Agency is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. Read more about TUSLA here… https://www.tusla.ie/services/educational-welfare-services/service-strands/the-statutory-educational-welfare-service/
Under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 Educational Welfare Officers (EWOs) of TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency work with young people and their families who are experiencing difficulty with school attendance. Their main priority is around the welfare of children and young people and ensuring that concerns and problems around attendance are addressed before attendance becomes a crisis issue. Read more here… https://www.tusla.ie/services/educational-welfare-services/service-strands/
In schools participating in the Department of Education and Skill’s DEIS initiative (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency have responsibility for operational management of two school-based support services – the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and the School Completion Programme. You might like to read more here… https://www.tusla.ie/services/educational-welfare-services/school-support-services-under-the-deis-initiative/
If you are not getting the answers or support you need, schools in Ireland also have the support of NEPS; the National Educational Psychological Services.
NEPS psychologists work with both primary and post-primary schools and are concerned with learning, behaviour, social and emotional development. They work in partnership with teachers, parents and children in identifying educational needs. Read more about NEPS here…www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/NEPS-Home-Page.html
If your school does not inform you of the availability of this service, request that the NEPS Psychologist is contacted or contact them yourself as I did.
NEPS, National Educational Psychological Service https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/Information-for-Parents.html
If you or your child are/have been bullied then I would like to hear from you. Was it difficult to find information and the support you needed?
Mindfully Marie xx