With national reports of kids committing suicide over cyber-bullying, parents are becoming more and more aware of bullying incidents that have been reported at local schools.
All of the schools have a no-tolerance policy toward bullying, but each school handles it differently. There have been a rash of reports at many schools in the area, and the Los Angeles Unified School District is very aware of the problem, and in some cases have held seminars and interventions at the schools.
One parent told the Studio City Examiner that her daughter witnessed a "special needs" child getting pushed around and his glasses fell off recently at school. The girl and her friends intervened, but more than 20 other students stood around and watched. The parent went to the administrators, but the child at first didn't feel like the teachers and administrators reacted quick enough, or were supportive.
The girl "came home shaken and crying" because she felt like the school officials didn't care.
At another school, a private group came to talk to students of a specific grade to specifically discuss the definition of bullying and how children can report the incidents without feeling embarrassed.
At Walter Reed Middle School, the sixth graders are bullied during a specific day (but interestingly enough, my sixth grade nephew never saw any incident of it, even though the rumored date has just passed). It's a tradition that the school hears about where the seventh and eighth graders pick on the younger students for a day, and the administrators say that even discussing such a thing is strictly forbidden.
Reed has some bad ratings on school rating sites about past bullying issues: see http://www.zillow.com/los-angeles-ca/schools/walter-reed-middle-school-1075/
Before things got out of hand at Valley View Elementary School, the school principal brought in a martial arts teacher to show children how to escape someone who may grab them and how to avoid bullies. Sensei Michael O'Laskey showed the students some very simple techniques and stressed avoiding a fight.
"I teach them how to get away from a situation, and how they can easily escape if there is a situation when they are confronted," said O'Laskey (see: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OLaskey-Martial-Arts/241126212588024). Sensei Michael's program is featured in Ventura BLVD magazine in November, with some students half his size who have learned how to escape from him. (Most notably my nephew Donovan, the red-headed kid see: http://www.ourventurablvd.com/November-2013/Head-of-the-Class/) The principal is not allowed to discuss specific issues of bullying on campus, or what specifically was done about the incidents.
"I don't think we have a bullying problem at the school at all, but we are addressing some of the issues that parents have," said principal Susan Kim.
One private school had discussions about shoving in the Boy's Locker Room, and another school was concerned about skateboarders coming from other schools to use their campus after hours and scaring children who should be there.
LAUSD has programs that come to the school to educate the children and teachers about to handle situations, and they just revamped definitions of bullying and how to handle the situations. They are unable to tell anyone how they have specifically dealt with the issues, or the actions they have taken, because it is all confidential.
Here is the definitions of bullying from the school
Here is a training and powerpoint from LAUSD about bullying. There is also a guide for parents, and it is in Spanish, too:
Have you heard of bullying incidents? Tell us in the comments!