There are many reasons why families seek educational options for their children, and unfortunately, some need to be rescued from unresolved bullying and harassment at local schools. As part of our periodic profiles about NH families that utilize educational alternatives, this is a story about a family that left a bullying environment at their district school to find safety and happiness at a private school. Like our other stories, it is entirely written by the parent in her own words. Her name is changed per her request.
In June of 2016 we withdrew our daughter from our town’s public-school system for numerous reasons. Our daughter is a shy, quiet, kind, and loving 10-year-old. During her 4 years at a small public school she had never been in trouble or caused any problems at school, but sadly, she had her nose fractured, had been spit on, had her food spit in, her arm twisted, been talked about, called names, been excluded and had been bullied amongst other things. We exhausted all possible options to receive help for our daughter and tried speaking to anyone we thought could help, sadly to no avail. We sat through numerous fruitless meetings.
There was a serious and dangerous lack of accountability and discipline at our small town public school. For example, when my daughter’s nose was fractured, the student had 1 recess taken away (and I know this child has hurt more students after that). Most appalling was when
we brought mounds of evidence that our daughter was being bullied by a certain student and she was called into a meeting with a group of kids and was threatened with suspension. Our child, the victim of relentless bullying, was now being intimidated further by school officials with the threat of suspension.
The favoritism by the principal to certain students was extremely apparent and sad to see. The principal’s attitude towards us was also very disheartening. At a meeting called by him, he would not even shake our hands or make eye contact, and also his sarcastic responses to our concerns were extremely frustrating. No child or parent should have to go through this and no child should ever be afraid of going to school, like our daughter had been. No child should have to experience a continually unsafe environment at school as a result of the lack of action/discipline by school officials. We were fortunate enough (with help from the new school and family) to be able to afford to remove our daughter (and ourselves) from this toxic environment.
There are many families that are not able to do this and we hope our story can help those families. Our daughter is now successfully thriving in a private school. Her whole demeanor has changed and is back to the happy, confident child she was before sending her to public school. Along with her positive behavior, we also saw a spike in her grades. She went from almost being held back to a straight A student. We truly believe that school choice is so important for every child/family.