Fictional teachers such as Professor Snape and Miss Trunchbull would have been stricken off and imprisoned for Child Bullying under the Child Protection Act of 1999 for excessive physical contact of a student and using methods of intimidation in a classroom. But what do you do if your child is actually being bullied by a teacher?
Almost every student feels that one of their teachers is overly mean to the point of bullying and sadly, much of this goes unrecognised in our schools. Parents rush to their child’s aid but find discussing this with Head Teachers fruitless. Just how do you bring up the possibility that one of the teachers at your child’s school is a bully?
Most teachers fundamentally care about the children in their class and want the very best for them. Getting them to behave or to study properly may require disciplinary techniques such as warnings and detention. In extreme cases, parents may need to be called. But at no point should a teacher act in a way that makes a child feel physically or emotionally unsafe.
Should you feel that your child is being bullied by a teacher, it is vital that you bring this to the attention of your ELITE Tutor. We have specialists whom are able to advise in these matters from resolving it quickly and positively, to arranging legal support if necessary.
So what are the rules? What can a teacher do and no do?
A teacher must ensure the safety and adequate learning in his / her classroom. This may allow for behaviour management techniques such as praising good behaviour and reprimanding a student for consistent bad behaviour. Intimidation is illegal. Threatening to cause the student harm, physical or otherwise is illegal.
It is the legal responsibility of all Head Teachers to investigate any accusation of bullying by a member of the faculty. Even mentioning it in passing should generate the investigation. If you are worried your child is being bullied by a teacher, arrange a meeting by sending the email with the subject “I believe my child is being bullied by …” with the teacher’s name.
Be prepared. Have the following to hand:
- Specific examples of how, when and where you believe the bullying took place.
- Evidence that your child has attempted to adhere to the teacher’s reasonable requests such as completing work and homework.
- A copy of the Teacher’s HandBook. This is publicly available to all parents.
- The Teacher’s Guide from the Department of Education (link provided below).
During the meeting, be calm. Allow the Head Teacher and Teacher to explain their actions. Many times, issues are resolved at this point. If the bullying continues, arrange another meeting and take a legal representative with you. It is also important that your child attempts to record when their felt the bullying took place.
You should know that both a Teacher and a Head Teacher face prison if it is found that a Head Teacher was informed of bullying by the staff and did not resolve the matter. This will be taken seriously and the matter will be resolved.
Be assured that there will be no negative consequences by doing this. It is both your legal right and moral responsibility to investigate the experience your child has at school. The fact that you have initiated a staff bullying investigation will probably mean your child will certainly be treated fairly and appropriately from now on.