The recent bullying incident in Manchester is troubling for many reasons. Not only did a 12-year old girl end up missing her front teeth, but there are allegations that the school district failed to notify the girl’s mother of earlier bullying incidents.
Here is what has been reported in the press. Allegedly, two boys began bullying the victim on Facebook. The victim reported this to school officials. Then, one of the boys hit the girl on the bus. This too was reported to school officials, this time, by the bus driver. A few days later, the girl was attacked in the cafeteria. The victim’s mother says she was only notified that her daughter had complained to the school about bullying after the finial incident occurred.
New Hampshire law requires school districts to notify the parents of an alleged bullying victim within 48 hours of receiving a report. A waiver can be granted if the superintendent, or his/her designee, determines that notifying a parent is not in the best interest of the victim or the perpetrator.
We don’t know whether the facts summarized above are true. We also don’t know whether a waiver was granted in this case. The district is in the process of investigating what happened. However, if the facts are true, this incident and the press it received should serve as a reminder for all school districts to have appropriate bullying policies in place and to follow them. Even if an incident seems minor, parents should be informed of what is happening with their children. Good communication is the key to resolving these problems in a manner that is satisfactory to all parties.