A father of a 10-year-old attending class in the San Diego Unified School District talks about his daunting experience trying to end a bullying problem for his daughter.
A San Diego father says he has exhausted all avenues to protect his daughter from school bullies and fears she may become a statistic.
A paper trail of email and letters to and from the family and school officials spells out the frustration.
The child, who has received counseling, gave her father the permission to talk about the bullying “to help others now, more than herself.” NBC 7 is not revealing the father’s identity in order to protect her.
“There are a couple of girls in her class that would make fun of her, call her names,” he said.
That’s how her father says it all started in third grade. The name calling became more frequent and he says in the fifth grade things got more physical.
“She'll be walking down the hall, and they'll push her against the wall, brush up against her,” he explains. “She's not doing anything to provoke this.”
The father said his daughter was soon hysterical at home and threatened to hurt herself.
“It scares me,” he said. “I don’t want to turn on the news or have people see my daughter either as a victim or the bully because she was pushed to that point.”
The paper trail also shows relentless steps to find a solution. Ultimately, as he puts it, the family gives in to the district’s plan.
As the desperate father describes it, that district plan punishes the daughter for being a victim.
“It’s ignore it, it will go away and if it doesn’t go away we’ll move the victim to another school,” he said describing the district’s position.
He suggested they move the bully and break up the problem.
NBC 7 reached out to the San Diego Unified School District and were told administrators can’t talk specifically about student discipline because of privacy rights. The district would not talk generally about its anti-bullying policy.
The father concedes the district does have a comprehensive policy against bullying but claims administrators don’t stand behind it.
“It’s the whole process, the policies, the procedures, I think they’re severely flawed,” he said adding that he believes the process involved merely “gives the district cover.”
“I think it’s one of those things where they are sweeping it under the carpet. Don’t ask, don’t tell. And if you do ask, they can’t tell you,” he said.
According to the documents provided by the student’s father, the family missed a deadline to have their daughter transferred to a school she preferred.
The father said the district accused the family of complaining in order to skirt around the rules instead of handling the bullying issue at his daughter’s school.