Mom of Bullied Daughter Speaks Out

Reader-Submitted: My family was displaced during Hurricane Sandy. We finally found a home in Lakewood, my 6 year old daughter was placed in Spruce Street Elementary School. As soon as she started school an issue started with the little girl on the bus. The little girl told my daughter she was going to bring her mother’s gun in and shoot my daughter.

We reported the issue and the little girls was suspended for 3 days off the bus. As soon as the little girl came back on the bus issues started again. The little girl pulls my daughters hair other days called her a (moderated) or trash and one day kicked her. She has also tried to steal her lunch money.

I have called the school multiple times my husband as well as spoken to the assistant principal. I’ve spoken to the counselor and the superintendents office.

When I spoke to the superintendent’s office they told me that I should realize that it’s 5 and 6 year olds we are dealing with and that they shouldn’t have severe punishment. However, my 6 year old daughter is terrified to go to school refuses to go to school everyday and when I do force her to go to school she’s harassed on a daily basis.

And it is now affecting her in class she refuses to listen to the teacher and sit in her sit. She doesn’t want to leave the teacher side which is obviously an issue. Today while at lunch, she left the cafeteria twice and headed back to the classroom by herself so she can be with the teacher.

My child is also acting out by hitting other students now, which was never an issue in her other school or until now at this school. I feel horrible for my child because the way she has to feel about attending school especially being it is her first year. I’m scared this will make her I hate school and traumatize her for the years to come.

I’m out of ideas on how to handle this and the school doesn’t seem to be helping very much. I understand their young kids but I don’t feel my daughter should be scared to go to school their supposed to feel comfortable.

Thank you for reading,
Kimberly Perlstein.

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  2. ” the superintendent’s office they told me that I should realize that it’s 5 and 6 year olds we are dealing with and that they shouldn’t have severe punishment.”
    -thank the liberals for this soft, “everything is gonna be fine” approach to life. they dont understand that kids, teens, and some adults need discipline and authority figures. they have this ‘slap on the wrist’ mentality towards everything; criminals, inmates, illegals, – you name it.

    My Advice:
    Call the superintendent, and tell him you are giving him 72-hours before you:
    1.) Call the police to make an official police report for the harassment, and assaults your daughter has endured.
    2.) Hire an attorney.

    -watch the BOE get the ball rolling. and if not, my advice is to follow my advice in those exact steps! good luck. (you moved into a town that has slum-lords renting to illegals and gang-members, so you can expect the off-spring of the filth to be just like mommy/daddy.)

  3. “The little girl told my daughter she was going to bring her mother’s gun in and shoot my daughter.”
    that makes it a police matter, although i think that this threat is just words it should not be ignored . Obviously the threee day suspension did not make any differance.

  4. I had this problem in the past with a couple of my children 2 things to try are, try to invite the girl over to play after school at your house you will be surprised, but alot of little kids bulling has to do that the offending girl really likes your daughter and shes just trying to get her attention, but shes only 6 and doesn’t know how in a healthy way if that doesnt work call the girls parents and have a nice chat with them (not angry or accusatory) Good Luck

  5. I feel for you so much.
    Can you find an older child to watch/defend her on the bus and intimidate the “bully.” (If necessary offer to pay her something, like a babysitter.)
    Another suggestion, find out who the bully is, who the parents are, can they be spoken to – nicely or harshly if necessary.
    You and your husband and others can visit their house to get the message across to the parents and child.
    The teacher can help by finding classmates on the bus or in the classroom that can be encouraged to defend and help your child. Some children are naturally self confident and kind.
    You can also find books to read and topics to discuss with your child that she can fight back against the bully with more confidence.

    I have 6 and 7 year old daughters so I can relate to that age. The child should be intimidated by you or someone else.

    If someone would look that “bully” in the eye and tell her you better stop bullying my child. I’m going to ask her every day if you bothered her today. She’s bound to be scared of someone, you or your husband.

    Good luck to you.

  6. This sure must be adding to an already stressful situation! Perhaps some professional support for your daughter would be helpful, rather then trying to get the bully taken care of. Bullies usually pick on those that are vulnerable, and your daughter had to have been feeling that way given the circumstances – a new neighborhood, a new school, not to mention what she must have lost. Schools are generally quicker to listen when we want to do something for our child, when it means dealing with our child directly. Good luck!

  7. kudo’s kimberly for bringing this ti the public’s attention. No child should ever have to endure such bullying, especially in school.
    I hope that our local politicians will read this article and stand up for the rights of your child.

  8. There should be an anti-bully specialist in the school that you can speak to , also the next BOE meeting is 3-21 at 7:00 PM. You can find the number on line. Go to the meeting speak during the public session. if there is a reporter there , tell them your story. There are anti-bully laws in this state, that must be carried out by each school district. The law should be on the State’s web page. Bring it to the meeting, there is always the school board attorney at the meetings. He has to know the law. If a complaint is filed with the district they MUST investigate it.

  9. I’m sorry to Hear that …if h live I’m Lakewood if ur not attending a Jewish school then u r attending the Puplic schools (moderated) …most of the kids are Spanish and they don’t speak English and the teachers teach Spanish to them …u should of tried to find a better school system before u settled with Lakewood …if ur not Spanish then they r not going to help u ..ur the minority to them

  10. Kimberly, it sounds like from your last name that you could possibly be Jewish. If that’s the case why don’t you send your daughter to a Jewish school. This kind of bullying would never occur in a Jewish school. Every school has bullies to some degree but in a Jewish school it would never occur at anywhere near this extreme.

  11. While I agree that in our community’s schools, this doesn’t happen nearly to the extent that it does in public schools, bullying is still a problem ! My son was in a new school last year, and he was treated as an outcast by his classmates. The school was involved and tried to help, but ultimately it is the parents of the kids to instill good middos in our children.

  12. I Have Tried The Police..They Said Because Of The Age Of The Little Girl They Couldn’t Do anything.. I Have Spoken To The Anti Bullying Specialist Who Speaks To My Child All The Time But The Last Time I Said Something To Her About And Issue She Said Well Does Your Daughter Feel Threatened Or Just Annoyed Our Should Not Matter….I’m Not Jewish My Husbands Dad Was Adopted By AJewishMan But Never Took On The Religion..I Think That The Little Girl Needs Help Or She Will Need Up Going Down The Wrong Path I Have Never Heard Such Behavior At This Age…

  13. I don’t care if the kid is only 6! That is a ridiculous response. Don’t punish the kid, the school must simply inform the other child’s parents that if your child complains again for any reason at all, she will be suspended from the bus for a long period of time. The parents will surely take care of the problem because they won’t want to drive the kid. If not, then the kid is off the bus and your kid can ride it. If yes, then everyone can ride together.

  14. suspended for the bus big deal, suspended from the school is what she needs, who cares if she’s only 6, she’s learning that behavior from somewhere, school needs to talk to her parents and let them know her behavior will not be tolerated period end of story. Ignore it now and in a couple of years she just might bring that gun to school.

  15. Kimberly I’m sorry your are going through this but as a former school bus driver for Lakewood public and private schools I can tell you the BOE does not care what you or the driver or the teacher reports to them in regard to behavior. It used to be an ongoing joke about writing children up, I once had 35 write ups on a student and still the school and the BOE did nothing. Unfortunately we as drivers do not have the authority to refuse transport of problem students in the interest of the safety and well being of the other students. We are limited to assigning seats which sometimes solves the problems but often doesn’t. While I am not as conservative as “MR. Conservative” I do agree that the problem start at home and if the problem at home are not addressed they cannot be fixed on the bus or in the classroom. I also do believe in an equally enforced for both public and private 3 strike and you out rule at least for busing. If a child is written up 3 times for behavior that affects safety or well being they forfeit their right to transportation for 1 month. If they return and still cause problems then the next should be 3 months and the following the entire school year. If a parent is inconvenienced and has to drive their child then maybe some discipline will be applied to that child.

    I wish I had better advice for you Kimberley but if you have means send your child to another school district, Lakewood schools are not the schools I remember fondly as a child.

  16. While I don’t have the answers to your problem, I can at least empathize with you.

    I feel bad for you and your daughter. I hope things work out for you. It may in fact be smarter for you to move to another town where there are children from stable families; hopefully you won’t have this problem there.

    Unfortunately, most of the innocent children in our public school system in Lakewood come from unstable or immigrant families, and things could get rough for those who don’t fit in.

    Have you tried speaking to any members of the BOE (school board). We just elected a bunch of newcomers who finally care about the children. They may be able to help, though their hands are probably tied.

  17. #11 Gitty, bulling is quite prevalent in Jewish schools no less than non jewish schools. crime is less but bulling does not know religions

  18. I feel terrible for your daughter. Last year my son was sent home and accused of bullying which it turned out he was protecting himself from the person who is the bully. Stand up to these people cause that what I did. The top paid educators feel they are always right, well thats not the case. Best of Luck to your child…

  19. This is part of an email I just received from Mr. Teitelbaum.

    “To demonstrate the incredibly enormous power of the NJEA, just consider their ability to hold the poor and downtrodden in substandard schools, for their own enrichment, with not a whisper of protest. No one has been able to put an end to this travesty. Attempts, over the past 20 years, to pass legislation that would empower less than one percent of NJ parents to place their children in the school of their choice (OSP), have been killed by this dragon.”

  20. This is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or an offer of legal services.

    The Supreme Court recently ruled in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, 555 U.S. 246 (2009) that remedies implied under Title IX (discrimination in education) do not preclude suing for damages under §1983. This ruling provides a cause of action not only against the school district as in a Title IX action, but also against school administrators as individuals. Barnstable is significant because school officials were held answerable for allegedly failing to act upon student-on-student harassment.

    A federal cause of action will accrue when the bullying related to race or religion. Even if not, many bullying cases are related to gender stereotypes. The Court ruled in Oncale v. Sundower Offshore Services, Inc. , 523 U.S. 75 (1998) that a verbal hostility is actionable under Title VII (in employment discrimination) even if the abuse comes from members of the same gender.

    With that said, our administration generally takes these kind of incidents very seriously.

  21. find that kid pull her aside and scare the living daylights out of her. that usually works with bullies. of course the boe wont do that, that is not the way officials will handle it. but it should work.

  22. try the mayor —he may help—and dont send your daughter to school until the other child is gone—dont wait for something terrible to happen to your child—the age of the child has no relevence—-

  23. To voucher supporter:

    The quality of teaching and the qualification of teachers in private schools pale in comparison to that of LHS. Many high schools will promise, but few even teach English, much less give students due process, structured physical education classes rather than making hefker, a standardized curriculum, hold teachers accountable for professional practices, and most importantly, accept every child. Studies have found that student culture is a reflection of the parents. Vouchers are not the answer, and they will never solve our own tuition problems. Nonetheless, borrowing on language from the Zelman (voucher) decision, the solution is to bring the school to the child, rather than the child to school. We are on the cusp of free English education for all of Lakewood’s children.

    Politicians and BOE members have no authority over individual cases of school discipline. These matters are handled administratively. Our “hands are not tied.”

  24. I bet if there were bus aid this problems should be controlled. You do realized that we have 5 and 6 year old children riding buses without seat belts or bus aid. This kids are bouncing from seat to seat and it doesn’t matter how many reports they get this kids are just being kids. As a parent of special needs child I have being requesting bus aid since the beginning of the year because bus company all it does is complain but they don’t give you any solutions. School has been great to us but you really have to be persistent about what you need. Good luck! To the person who said that the teachers teach Spanish to the kids I have no clue what are you talking about my daughter is a student at spruce st school and none of her teachers speak Spanish.

  25. First of all I want to wish you the best of luck on fixing this situation.
    Your daughter, first and foremost needs to feel vaildated and loved and secure by her mother so keep being there for her and give her all the hugs you can.
    Try to be open with her and have conversations with her about whats going on in her mind and how she feels and tell her its ok to feel afraid and its important to learn how to deal with tough situations in life. You may want to consider enrolling her in a self defense course to help her overcome her fears of being without the teacher.

    And you may want to consider having a class switch or moving her to a private school or home school setting. It can be expensive but most of the families in Lakewood send to private schools and make it work because it is the best thing for their children. In most cases it is a Jewish school but there are surely some nice private schools in the Lakewood, Brick, Toms River vicinity and surely you can find a better place for her where she can feel safe and secure.

    You need to do whatever you can to help her feel safe because children that grow up feeling insecure become adults that are insecure unless rectified ealry on.

    Wishing you the best of luck and hopefully you can work this out!

  26. Lakewood BOE doesnt care about anybody.I went to Lakewood Schools years ago and i am unhappy how it has turned out now days the Children that attend the schools have No respect for the teachers ,other students or authorities of the school.

  27. you seem to have gotten a lot of advice but here is something i did

    my son (in a religious school) was being bullied and kicked…. so we began to make play dates and trips to icecream stores with many of the kids in the class EXCLUDING this child. after two weeks the bully came begging my son to be included in the special things.
    by now ( a few months later) my son has a “gang” of friends and they protect each other..

  28. This cannot continue. Schedule a meeting today with Superintendent, Laura Winters. Your child needs protection, and the other child needs counseling, and some other form of discipline.

    Failure on the part of the School District to address the situation should lead to you filing a legal complaint against the district.

  29. I am sure everyone who has written a comment knows the administration does not talk about children. It’s something that is never done and shouldn’t be.
    Second, how do you know these facts are correct and not the other way around.
    Third, the same things happen in private schools and on the buses but just not spoken of.
    I hope this get’s published.

  30. What Are You Trying To Say Get Your Facts Straight…..You Think I Just Made This Up…Nothing Is Being Done For My Child It’s Been Going On FoR Months Wit No Help For My Daughter…That Is Why It Was Published Here Because The superintendent Had Ignored Multiple Emails From Lakewood Scoop N Calls From Me…No One Will Help It Is A Complete Disgrace.

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