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Son accused of bullying at school

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Roc5555

New member
My 13 year old son was accused of bullying by a classmate 2 weeks ago. It started after an incident horsing around in the locker room after practice. The parents then said that my son has been harassing their son for 4 months. Never once did they mention it to me. I know the father and see him 3-4 times a week, never a mention. I see the mom 1-2 times a week, not a word. An investigation is opened by the school and his coaches, teachers and classmates are all interviewed and all say basically the same thing. "If there was bullying, we have not seen any indication of it." My son admitted to the incident in the locker room but says otherwise the 2 boys are friendly and he has no reason to believe that anything he's done could be interpreted as bullying. My question is, even if this is deemed to be a non-issue, it will go on his record as "unfounded bullying claim". Do I have any recourse? I am looking more at trying to keep his record clean, moreso than any retaliation against the parents that brought the claim (although my wife is thinking more along those lines). My son is a straight A honor student, very quiet and has never had any disciplinary actions against him in 10 years in school. I find it disturbing that anyone can yell "bully" and now my son gets labelled, as if the damage has already been done just by making the claim. Just for background, I am not a "not my son" type of dad. He admitted to the incident in the locker room and was punished appropriately.
 


quincy

Senior Member
My 13 year old son was accused of bullying by a classmate 2 weeks ago. It started after an incident horsing around in the locker room after practice. The parents then said that my son has been harassing their son for 4 months. Never once did they mention it to me. I know the father and see him 3-4 times a week, never a mention. I see the mom 1-2 times a week, not a word. An investigation is opened by the school and his coaches, teachers and classmates are all interviewed and all say basically the same thing. "If there was bullying, we have not seen any indication of it." My son admitted to the incident in the locker room but says otherwise the 2 boys are friendly and he has no reason to believe that anything he's done could be interpreted as bullying. My question is, even if this is deemed to be a non-issue, it will go on his record as "unfounded bullying claim". Do I have any recourse? I am looking more at trying to keep his record clean, moreso than any retaliation against the parents that brought the claim (although my wife is thinking more along those lines). My son is a straight A honor student, very quiet and has never had any disciplinary actions against him in 10 years in school. I find it disturbing that anyone can yell "bully" and now my son gets labelled, as if the damage has already been done just by making the claim. Just for background, I am not a "not my son" type of dad. He admitted to the incident in the locker room and was punished appropriately.
What is the name of your state? Defamation laws vary by state.

I think you will need to work with the school to have the incident report removed from your son's record. There does not appear to be any legal action to pursue.
 

xylene

Senior Member
If there was an incident, it isnot so unfounded...

Try to keep this in perspective. You are being somewhat hypervigilant, which will very likely have the opposite effect of calming down and deadening this issue.
 

commentator

Senior Member
What do you think should happen? Everyone is not going to forget about this and pretend it didn't happen until some time has passed and it doesn't repeat, ever. If there is no further problem, there are no further reports, etc. a report of an incident in a locker room, which did, in fact happen, whether your son was "appropriately punished" or not is not going to make any difference. If it were your son who was on the receiving end of whatever it was, you'd not want this to totally disappear from the other boy's record until it was clear it was never going to happen again.

I do not imagine that the fact you saw his mother every week for a couple of months and she didn't confront you is very weighty here. It would be tough to imagine her very quickly throwing up a scene with a child's father (which would totally have been denied by you anyway) Maybe she hoped it would get better perhaps without her mentioning it?
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
What do you think should happen? Everyone is not going to forget about this and pretend it didn't happen until some time has passed and it doesn't repeat, ever. If there is no further problem, there are no further reports, etc. a report of an incident in a locker room, which did, in fact happen, whether your son was "appropriately punished" or not is not going to make any difference. If it were your son who was on the receiving end of whatever it was, you'd not want this to totally disappear from the other boy's record until it was clear it was never going to happen again.

I do not imagine that the fact you saw his mother every week for a couple of months and she didn't confront you is very weighty here. It would be tough to imagine her very quickly throwing up a scene with a child's father (which would totally have been denied by you anyway) Maybe she hoped it would get better perhaps without her mentioning it?
This is very true.

There are some of us parents that choose not to act until we have genuine concern that the kids can't work things out on their own. Because, greater than 9 times out of 10, they can work things out on their own, and whatever the school would do would make the situation worse.
 

quincy

Senior Member
There is a better than even chance that paying more attention to the bullying incident than the incident dictates will make matters worse for the boys.

I suggest you stick with just educating your son on bullying so incidents like the one that occurred in the locker room are not repeated.

Good luck.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
My 13 year old son was accused of bullying by a classmate 2 weeks ago. It started after an incident horsing around in the locker room after practice. The parents then said that my son has been harassing their son for 4 months. Never once did they mention it to me. I know the father and see him 3-4 times a week, never a mention. I see the mom 1-2 times a week, not a word. An investigation is opened by the school and his coaches, teachers and classmates are all interviewed and all say basically the same thing. "If there was bullying, we have not seen any indication of it." My son admitted to the incident in the locker room but says otherwise the 2 boys are friendly and he has no reason to believe that anything he's done could be interpreted as bullying. My question is, even if this is deemed to be a non-issue, it will go on his record as "unfounded bullying claim". Do I have any recourse? I am looking more at trying to keep his record clean, moreso than any retaliation against the parents that brought the claim (although my wife is thinking more along those lines). My son is a straight A honor student, very quiet and has never had any disciplinary actions against him in 10 years in school. I find it disturbing that anyone can yell "bully" and now my son gets labelled, as if the damage has already been done just by making the claim. Just for background, I am not a "not my son" type of dad. He admitted to the incident in the locker room and was punished appropriately.
Please define "horsing around". Thank You.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
What people think of when one person bullies another can be much different , and as parents you can choose to learn all the details of the schools policy and work with your son so he is crystal clear as to things that can be construed as bully tactics - behaviours. Bully tactics can be so subtle that many just don't see it until one day it occurs to them what has happened.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Roc555 has not told us the name of her state and that is unfortunate. The state boards of education in many states define "bullying" and require schools to have bullying policies in place to address with the students both in the classrooms and in handbooks.

Students should know, in other words, what bullying is.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
Roc555 has not told us the name of her state and that is unfortunate. The state boards of education in many states define "bullying" and require schools to have bullying policies in place to address with the students both in the classrooms and in handbooks.

Students should know, in other words, what bullying is.
Additionally, many school districts have the district-specific Code of Conduct available online for reference.

Of course, how that is applied varies.

For 2 years my child was on a bus route that included a... rough apartment complex. Many of them brought knives on the bus and some openly displayed and threatened others with them, in clear violation of the district's zero tolerance policy regarding weapons. No one was ever disciplined.

My child's bus route changed this year. Instead, most of the kids are from the snob section of town. My daughter was called in to the new principal's office a couple of weeks ago, and quizzed about bullying. She sits in the front of the bus, her stop is the second stop, and she hadn't observed anything, and she got the impression that the principal had no idea of what to make of her saying that. The next child called in was a small boy who she's never heard speak English. She was able to piece together later from things that she'd heard from others, that it had something to do with someone being called "Potato."

Considering the snob section of town was mostly potato farms less than 50 years ago (where it wasn't ducks or cauliflower), I find this funny: call in everyone on the bus over name calling if the snob parents call (or at least the kids not from the snob families), but ignore the knives on the bus serving lower income students.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Additionally, many school districts have the district-specific Code of Conduct available online for reference.

Of course, how that is applied varies.

For 2 years my child was on a bus route that included a... rough apartment complex. Many of them brought knives on the bus and some openly displayed and threatened others with them, in clear violation of the district's zero tolerance policy regarding weapons. No one was ever disciplined.

My child's bus route changed this year. Instead, most of the kids are from the snob section of town. My daughter was called in to the new principal's office a couple of weeks ago, and quizzed about bullying. She sits in the front of the bus, her stop is the second stop, and she hadn't observed anything, and she got the impression that the principal had no idea of what to make of her saying that. The next child called in was a small boy who she's never heard speak English. She was able to piece together later from things that she'd heard from others, that it had something to do with someone being called "Potato."

Considering the snob section of town was mostly potato farms less than 50 years ago (where it wasn't ducks or cauliflower), I find this funny: call in everyone on the bus over name calling if the snob parents call (or at least the kids not from the snob families), but ignore the knives on the bus serving lower income students.
We have in our house's playroom a poster that was created by a 4-year-old that says, "You know it was a good day if you didn't hit or bite anyone."

Fortunately my kids are past the age now where that was an issue. :)

It is how schools choose to enforce their written policies that can make a difference in how effective these policies are. Ignoring a no-weapons policy while seeking discipline for name-calling shows the district has their priorities a bit skewed.
 
as the mother of a son that was bullied for years ( he is autistic) I only once went to the parents directly and they would not admit their precious angel did anything wrong. Things got worse after that and so from that time on, we went through the school Before you start screaming from the hill tops that your child did nothing wrong, you might want to investigate...........
 

quincy

Senior Member
as the mother of a son that was bullied for years ( he is autistic) I only once went to the parents directly and they would not admit their precious angel did anything wrong. Things got worse after that and so from that time on, we went through the school Before you start screaming from the hill tops that your child did nothing wrong, you might want to investigate...........
Learning as many facts as possible before addressing either the parents or the school is smart.

Here the son admitted to what he did. There is no "screaming from the hill tops." That certainly helps. ;)

And, again, the state name is important. It would be nice if Roc5555 would return with that information - not that the advice is likely to change with the state name but resources potentially could be provided.
 
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