Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: What should you do when your bullied child begs to be homeschooled?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What should you do when your bullied child begs to be homeschooled?

This week, I read a post on Facebook from a mom who was homeschooling one son, and had two other kids in public elementary school. Her younger son, who'd been asking to be homeschooled as well, suffered through a bullying incident and came home crying, and begging to be taken out of the public school. The mom wanted advice on what she should do.

The scenario reminded me of another from my own home state a couple of years ago. A 12-year-old boy texted his dad from inside a bathroom stall in his middle school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The text read, “Just get me out of this school.” 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wactout81/4815760850


The boy’s parents had been in contact with the school over the bullying that the boy said took place every single day. He said not a day went by that he wasn’t called horrible names, pushed, punched, or had milk dumped in his backpack. Finally, after suffering a beating from five other boys outside the school building, the child had enough.
 

Echoes of other children


Mitchell Wilson, age 11, from Canada begged his family to homeschool him after being tormented for years. Wilson, who had Muscular Dystrophy and could not escape his bullies, said he would rather die than go back to his school. 

Just weeks later, Ashlynn Conner, a 10-year-old honor student from Illinois, begged her parents to homeschool her because of the bullying she faced at school.

These cases and too many others are haunting, because the children begged their parents for help, essentially saying the same thing as the young boy in Bartlesville and the little boy whose mother was asking for help on Facebook. 

Just get me out of this school!  

They begged their families to do the one thing that would make their life tolerable, and their parents said no. Forced to face returning to school, the kids chose to end their own lives rather than be bullied one more day.

Options available to parents


If your child is being bullied so badly that they are begging to be taken out of their school, you owe it to them to explore your options. And there are options. If you live in a large district, you can insist that your child be transferred to another school for their protection. You may have to get a lawyer to make it happen if the district does not allow open transfers, but it is possible. You may also be able to have your child enrolled in a homebound program where a tutor from the district comes to your house and teaches your child at home.

In many states, you have the right to pull your child out of school for any reason. You can choose to homeschool your child or send them to a private school. Even if you have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get your child removed from their school, it is better than seeing them die.

Hopes for the future



People are becoming more aware of the effects of bullying, but the hopes for the future may not be enough to save your child today. The parents of the Bartlesville victim filed a police report after their son was attacked and said that they want teachers to pay more attention to what is going on in school.  

The day may come that anti-bullying policies actually do something to stop the torment that many children suffer, but if it is happening to your child, don’t wait for that day to come. It may be too late. If your bullied child desperately wants out, help them! Exercise your options and get them out.