Who do you go to if your teen is being bullied?


With more teens committing suicide due to extreme bullying, you're among an increasing number of parents who are concerned about what to do if their teen is being bullied. However, depending on the nature, severity and how long the bullying has lasted, you have different options as to whom you can go to see in order to stop it.

The first person, of course, is your own teen. Find out from your teen how bad the bullying is and how long it's been going on. If the bullying isn't severe and hasn't gone on long, you might want to discuss with your teen some things you can both do to end the bullying. The traditional advice of ignoring the bully might work, but it might not. Another option is to encourage your teen to stay close to his friends during the school day. You might also think about going directly to the bully's parents. However, this approach does have its risks, as the parents of the bully might either feel unable to control their own child or, worse, might not see any issue at all.

If the bullying continues and/or is particularly ugly, you and your teen should start recording details. With these details, you can then go to school authorities. The first school source to reach out to would be one of your teen's most-trusted or favorite teachers. You can also reach out to the school's counselor, dean or principal. Ask for your teen's school's bullying policy, so you can ensure that it's being followed. If the policy is not being enforced, you might consider meeting with an attorney. If the bullying has gotten so bad you believe a crime has been committed, you can also go the police.

You might also want to consult with a mental health professional who can meet with your child. Even if you've been able to end the bullying, if it's been bad enough, your teen may still need some emotional support to process what's happened.

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