What can I do if my child is accused of bullying or harassing others?

Your child, and you, should hear from the school if they get a report that your child has been bullying or harassing another student. Ask the school to share with you what they know, and what they have observed about your child’s behavior.

Check in with your child’s teachers to see if they have more information about how things are going generally for your child, and if they have noticed any problems in their class.

Because people sometimes understand “bullying” or “harassment” differently, ask the school to share their definition of bullying and harassment, and explain what your child did, and how that fits with the definition.

Check in with your child. Ask about what happened, and what they were feeling.

If your child did engage in inappropriate behavior, whether it was “bullying” or something different, talk with them to be sure they understand what was inappropriate, and why.

Talk with your child, and the school, about what they could do to try to make up for a mistake, and whether they need supports to be able to stay out of trouble in the future.

If the school proposes to suspend, expel, or otherwise discipline your child, you and your child will have rights to notice, an opportunity to be heard, and an appeal. Check out our Learn About page on Student Discipline for more information, and ask for a copy of your district’s student discipline policy.