Bullying is a serious problem in schools all over the country.
Most schools have strict anti-bullying policies to protect students and teach kids how to resolve conflict in a healthy way, so it is frustrating when some teachers and school officials turn a blind eye into what can be ruining a kid’s life.
A mother experienced issues like this, but got pushback on how she handled it. So this mother turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor Commercial-Law-864 asked:
“AITA for refusing to take down negative school reviews?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My son and daughter were relentlessly bullied at their high school and we moved, for that and employment reasons. I wrote some really negative reviews about the school on Google and just about every website you can write reviews about schools on.”
“I wrote the names of the incompetent teachers, faculty and why exactly they are sh*t and why nobody should send their kids there. Well the school vice principal contacted me, asking me nicely to take down the reviews.”
But the OP wasn’t sure what to do.
“I heard from my friend who has their kid there still that the reviews have actually persuaded some people to send their kids to the Catholic school down the street instead.”
This information made up the OP’s mind.
“I told the vice principal to go to hell and f’k off.”
“He then sent me another letter basically threatening me with legal action, saying it was defamation and such. I responded back with ‘f’k off and leave me alone, why don’t you stop the bullying issue at your school instead of trying to bully me, f’king dumba**es, if you solved these bullying issues you wouldn’t have such bad reviews’ other parents seemed inspired to write negative reviews as well.”
“Well at the PTO meeting I was mentioned and they said I was a devil ruining their kid’s education and such, as a decrease in students could result in less funding. I doubt my impact was that drastic but the PTO seems to think it will be.”
“The vice principal and other school admin have tried contacting my husband doing the same thing, saying he may be more reasonable than me. My husband ignored them.”
Redditors were asked to weigh in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors said the OP was NTA.
“NTA. School: has a problem. You: points out the problem. School: instead of fixing the problem they want to sue you.” ~ kingpoop1045
“I’m also the kind of person who would edit my review to add in the schools attempts at bullying me to remove my review.” ~ Merkinstocks
“I went to school with a huge bullying problem. It was tiny and everyone shrugged it off. In hindsight it was BAD. I can’t believe that those things were allowed to go on. Good on OP for standing her ground and spreading the word.” ~ Skywalker87
“NTA at all.”
“Because it is infinitely easier for the lazy-as-f’ck admin of that school to accuse and harass, even bully (yes, I see the irony of it all) a single set of parents, than it would be to create an anti-bullying agenda, with target goals, expected outcomes, processes and procedures to achieve said goals, and then implement it with the staff, faculty, and most importantly students, across the entire school. You’d have to make sure you have an anti-bullying policy that meets not only your goals and expected outcomes but passes muster legally and is taken seriously by both teachers and staff. You also then have to possibly teach de-escalation training, secures resources for things like counseling (and sometimes funding for the counseling), as well as, in some cases, model to staff and faculty how to handle possible bullying incidents.”
“And then, you need to document all of this (so people can’t just change sh’t on the fly, and ensure some degree of consistency in approach and responses to the problem), before proceeding to offer it up at the next staff meeting, only to then have to answer questions about the policy and then possibly go back and change things because you missed something or the teachers (who, if you’re a smart admin, you’ll want them on board 100% with your plan otherwise it won’t be implemented effectively) gave feedback that you consider valuable for insights that you, as a single person running an entire school, quite possibly missed.”
“And that’s just for real-time bullying in school. We haven’t even discussed online bullying policy.”
“Ultimately, though, it all just boils down to one thing: the admin in this instance are not doing their job (or jot doing it as well as they should be) and should be replaced.” ~ rubicon_duck
“The fact that the school knows the review is affecting them and would rather spend money suing a mom than fixing what’s wrong with their school is disgraceful.” ~ batterycat
“They say the fish rots from the head down; seems very true at this school.” ~ waiting2leavethelaw
One commenter was not too sure.
“NTA for the reviews, YTA for your ridiculously aggressive replies. Responding in such a fashion basically guarantees that they won’t actually address the root cause and it actually gives them ammunition to characterize you as a lunatic disaffected parent rather than someone with legitimate grievance.
If this were to go to court those messages would go against you and although you’d have a solid case it would just make things more difficult for your defense.” ~ OneCatch
“You think any other replies will help?”
“These are the sorts of people who will tell you that you need to feel sorry for the bully because they come from a broken home or similar bullcr*p, despite that bully physically assaulting their classmates.”
“The sort who support teachers convincing a 6 year old that boys never ever cry. Even when they are in extreme pain.”
“The sort who put one student’s disabilities before others, with no way to compromise, because the favored student’s parents are heavily involved in the school.”
“The sort who, when a student is on a school camp, refuses to allow the student to carry their own medication, and who also refuse to provide that medication when the student asks for it.”
“Oh and convince that student to stay on the camp, when they are at the early stages of pneumonia, only to have that student go off in an ambulance on their own the next day, with no way to know where the student is…”
“Yeah, all of that was me. And you know what? We tried being nice, it was ignored. We tried pushing hard, and it was ignored.”
“The only way to get this sh*t fixed is to go hard, and based on what OP is saying, it seems to be working…”
“NTA OP, not by a long shot.” ~ sillyenglishknigit
How a school handles bullying differs from district to district.
But not handling it at all is not an option.