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My Child is feeling unsafe at school: Dealing with bullying

dealing with bullying

Hearing the words, “I don’t feel safe at school,” from your child can stop you in your tracks. That sanctuary of learning, where they should be flourishing, has become a place they fear because of bullying. It’s a harsh reality for too many children, making every school day a test of courage.

This isn’t just about hurt feelings or playground disputes. Bullying is a serious issue that can strip away a child’s sense of security and well-being, impacting everything from their self-esteem to their academic performance. 

It’s not an overstatement to say that when a child is bullied, it can change the course of their education and life.

In this blog post, we’ll explore not just the visible signs of bullying but the invisible wounds inflicted by words, the digital threats of cyberbullying, and the subtle but devastating exclusion of social bullying.


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The Impact of Bullying on Safety

When your kid comes home with that look in their eyes, the one that says they don’t feel safe, it tears at you. Bullying, that beast, it’s not just about hurt feelings; it’s stealing their sense of security at school. 

Can you imagine? Our kids, the ones we’d do anything to protect, felt scared just walking through those school doors.

Imagine, according to a recent study, about 26% of kids are tangled up in bullying, whether they’re the victim, the bully, or both. It’s not just a passing phase; it leaves deep marks. Kids who are bullied often start feeling like they’re just “no good,” and that’s a hard feeling to shake off.

impact of bullying to my child

Bullying doesn’t just hurt friendships; it can sour the relationship between students and their teachers. Kids who should feel safe and supported end up feeling alone and misunderstood. It can feel like there’s no one to turn to, no safe place to speak up.

Bullying can create a sense of fear and anxiety that affects a student’s ability to learn. They might sit in class, their minds miles away, tangled up in worry instead of nailing their math problems or acing their spelling tests. 

They might even skip school just to breathe a little easier for a day.

Here’s the deal — schools need to step up their game. We need rules that say, “We don’t do bullying here,” and mean it. Kids who are going through this rough patch need to know there’s someone they can turn to, someone who’ll actually listen and help. 

And we’ve got to make every classroom a place where every kid feels like they belong, where they can slip up or shine and still feel okay either way.

Because here’s the bottom line: when our kids feel safe, they do better. They learn better. They are better. And isn’t that what we all want for them?

By addressing the root causes of bullying, schools can help students feel safer and more confident in their academic pursuits

Types of School Bullying

When you send your child off to school, you hope they find a place of learning and laughter, not fear. But sometimes, there’s a darker side that we can’t ignore: bullying. It’s not just one thing; it’s a term that covers a lot of painful ground. 

Let me walk you through the different types that your child might face:

Physical Bullying

When your child walks through those school doors, you want them to be safe. But sometimes, there’s physical bullying—it’s the pushing, the hitting, the kind of hurt that leaves marks you can see and bruises that throb. 

It’s those moments of fear when someone uses strength to scare or harm. It’s hard to imagine someone kicking or tripping your child, or spitting at them. It’s a punch to your gut just thinking about it. 

This type of bullying is more than just roughness; it’s an attempt to intimidate, to show power in the cruelest ways. When you hear about it, every protective fiber in you reacts. You want to shield them, to stop the hurt before it happens again. 

Verbal Bullying

Hearing someone say cruel words to your child, that’s a sting that goes deep, isn’t it? Verbal bullying – it’s this barrage of hurtful words that aim to intimidate and humiliate. 

It’s the name-calling that sticks like unwanted labels, the teasing that cuts to the core, the insults that echo in your child’s mind, and the threats that cast a shadow over their school days.

It’s not just ‘kids being kids’; it’s serious and can hurt as much as any physical pain. These words can burrow into your child’s heart, leaving scars that aren’t visible but are felt every day. And you, as a parent, feel each word as if it were thrown at you. 


When your child is on their phone or computer, you hope they’re exploring, learning, and connecting with friends. But there’s a shadow side to this digital world – cyberbullying.


It’s when someone uses technology as a weapon to hurt your child. It’s those mean texts that pop up on their screen, the rumors that spread like wildfire online, and the embarrassing photos or videos that turn their safe spaces into places of fear and shame.

The thing about cyberbullying is that it can come from anywhere, at any time. It hides behind screens, sometimes anonymous, making it feel like there’s no escape. 

Your heart aches knowing someone is targeting your child in the very place they should feel most secure – their own world.

This kind of bullying is invasive. It’s not confined to school hours or the playground. It can follow them into your home, into their room, and linger in their thoughts. It’s the kind of hurt that doesn’t just go away when the device is turned off.

Social Bullying

Social bullying – it’s that silent, sneaky kind that can go unseen. It’s not the bruises or the black and white of a nasty text, but it’s this invisible force that quietly but painfully pushes your child to the sidelines. 

It’s when other kids use their social power to exclude, isolate, or embarrass your child.

They might be left out of games at recess, not invited to birthday parties, or suddenly find themselves the subject of whispers and giggles they don’t understand. It’s a web of rumors and gossip that catches them off guard, a manipulation of friendships that they can’t quite grasp. 

This kind of bullying doesn’t leave bruises or scars you can see, but it hurts them deeply, shaking their sense of belonging and self-worth.

It’s the rumors that fly, the secrets they’re not told, the invisible barriers that others put up, saying ‘you don’t belong.’

This kind of bullying is sneaky; it’s not just a push in the hallway – it’s a push out of the circle. And for your child, it can feel just as painful as a physical shove. It’s the kind of hurt that echoes inside, leaving them questioning their worth, their place, their value.

How to Keep Your Child Safe at School

Hearing your child whisper, “I don’t feel safe at school,” can shake you to your core. It’s a moment that calls for tenderness, strength, and action. 

Here’s how we can stand up for them, together:

Encourage your child to speak up: Gently encourage them to share their story. Let them know it’s brave to speak up, not just for themselves, but for others too. Reassure them that telling a teacher or a trusted adult at school isn’t tattling—it’s standing up for what’s right.

Teach your child to avoid risky situations: Talk about the places at school where they feel uneasy. Advise them to stick with friends during breaks or change their route between classes. There’s safety in numbers and comfort in friendship.

Work with school staff: Don’t hesitate to have a heart-to-heart with the school staff. Share your worries and ask about the school’s anti-bullying strategy. It’s about crafting a plan that wraps safety around your child like a shield.

Monitor your child’s online activity: Keep a loving eye on their texts and social feeds. Cyberbullying can slip through the smallest of cracks. Teach them to guard their personal information and to never engage with online bullies.

Consider counseling or therapy: If the shadow of bullying is lingering, professional support can be a beacon of light. A counselor can guide them toward healing, turning the pain into strength and the fear into confidence.

counseling or therapy for your child

Remember, each step you take is a building block to a fortress of safety for your child at school. By doing this, you’re not just protecting them—you’re empowering them, showing them that with the right tools and support, they can overcome anything.

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Steps Schools Can Take

When you or someone close to you feels threatened by bullying at school, it’s important to know that schools can play a crucial role in making things better. 

Here’s how schools can step up:

Anti-Bullying Policies

Having strong anti-bullying policies is crucial for schools. It’s important that these policies clearly define what bullying is and lay out the consequences for such behavior. They should also guide students, parents, and staff on how to report bullying. 

Regularly updating and communicating these policies ensures everyone understands them and knows how to take action if bullying occurs. This helps create a safer environment for everyone at school.

Support and Counselling Services

Schools play a crucial role in offering support and counseling services to students affected by bullying. It’s essential to have a safe, confidential place where students can openly discuss their experiences and get help coping with the emotional aftermath of bullying. 

Schools should also guide students toward additional resources or external support services when necessary. This kind of support can make a significant difference in helping students overcome the challenges of bullying and feel more secure in their school environment.

Creating a Safe Environment

Ensuring a safe and welcoming atmosphere at school is essential to prevent bullying. Schools can play an important role in fostering this environment by nurturing respect and kindness among students. 

This involves implementing programs that encourage empathy and understanding among peers. Additionally, recognizing and rewarding positive behavior can significantly influence the school culture.

It’s also crucial for schools to maintain a physically secure environment. This means proper supervision and vigilance in areas where bullying might happen. 

When these measures are in place, schools become a space where every student can feel genuinely valued and respected, free from the fear of being bullied. By prioritizing these steps, schools contribute to the well-being and safety of all their students.

Role of Parents and Guardians

If you’re worried that your child might be facing bullies at school, remember, your role is super important. 

Here’s what you can do:

Tracking What is Going On

As a caring parent, it’s crucial to stay in tune with your child’s school life. Every day, take a moment to gently ask them about their day. If they seem upset or mention anything that made them feel uneasy, take note. 

Jot down when it happened, where, and who was there. This isn’t just for keeping records; it’s about being ready with facts when you need to chat with the school folks. 

If things get serious, this diary of events can really make a difference. Your attentiveness sends a strong message to your child: their safety is your top priority.

Communication with Children

When your child faces the sharp edges of bullying, your role as their guardian and confidant becomes more important than ever. Sit down with them, eye to eye, and talk heart to heart.

communication with your child

Assure them that bullying is never their fault and empower them to use their voice. If they’re hurting or if they witness someone else’s pain, they should feel safe coming to you or another adult they trust.

Listen to them with all you have. Every fear, every worry they share is a heavy stone they’re carrying; acknowledge that weight. Show them you understand the struggle and the hurt that comes from such encounters. 

And let them see in your eyes that you’re their unwavering ally in this battle, ready to stand up for them and with them.

Collaboration with School

When you see your child grappling with the shadows of bullying, joining forces with their school becomes your priority. It’s time to step into the halls where they spend their days, to speak with the teachers and principals who are part of their world. 

Arrange a meeting, come prepared with any notes or records you’ve kept, and lay it all out on the table. Your child’s safety is at stake, and you’re there not just as a concerned parent but as an advocate for their well-being.

In this meeting, it’s essential to ask direct questions. Find out what actions the school is taking to curb bullying and how you can contribute. You’re not just a concerned parent; you’re part of a team working to ensure your child’s safety and well-being.

By being vigilant, maintaining open lines of communication with your child, and forging a strong partnership with the school, you’re laying down a foundation of support and protection. 

Remember, your approach to this partnership matters. Stay composed, be their pillar of strength, and take every word your child says to heart. 

Through this collaboration, you are setting the groundwork for an environment where your child can learn and grow without fear, assured that their voice is heard and their security is assured.

Legal Rights and Protections

Facing bullying at school can make you feel really scared and alone. But there’s some good news: there are laws to protect you. You have the right to feel safe and be treated fairly at school, no matter who you are. 

legal rights and protections

For instance, federal laws guard you against discrimination in schools that receive federal funds. So, if someone bullies you because of your gender, the law has got your back.

Beyond federal laws, your state likely has its own rules against bullying. These can range from mandatory anti-bullying school policies to obligations for schools to tell parents and even the police about bullying incidents.

You should never feel like you have to deal with bullying on your own. Hence, knowing your rights is super important. 

Here are a few things parents should remember:

1. Your child deserves to go to school without being scared or hurt. That’s your right, and it’s the school’s job to make sure you’re safe from any kind of bullying.

2. Bullying is never okay. It’s a type of violence, and you have the right to be in a place where everyone treats each other with kindness and respect.

3. If someone bullies your child because of who they are, like your race, your gender, or because they learn differently, that’s not just mean, it’s against the law. Federal laws are there to protect you from this kind of bullying.

4. School isn’t just a place for books and learning. It’s supposed to be a safe zone. And if it’s not, and if the people in charge aren’t keeping your child safe from bullies, they need to step up. It’s their job to make things right, and if they don’t, they’re the ones who’ve got some explaining to do.

Remember, no one should ever make your child feel scared or hurt at school.

If your child is being bullied, tell someone—the best bet is to start with a teacher, who can help make sure your school does what it’s supposed to do to protect your child and make them feel safe again. You’re not alone, and you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

kids safety child safety tips at school

Got any comments, questions, or tips on dealing with bullying? Share them in the comments below.


Do you worry about your child being picked on? Our Bullyproof Your Child Quickly Guide will show you how to bullyproof your child in just 4 simple steps. The guide includes our letter to the school template. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!


Bryn Todd

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