If you are a parent with a child in Howard County Public Schools, I hope you will take this online survey (5-10 minutes of your time) as well as ask your friends to take the survey also. This is an exploratory survey to start collecting information about parental concerns the response to mental and physical violence at school.
Last week, I posted on my neighborhood’s Next Door social media platform asking parents to respond to a survey about HCPSS response to bullying and violence at school. I had quite a few responses within the first day of that post, so it seems there is definitely parental concern about the lack of response to violent behavior and bullying by students within HCPSS.
Many parents are surprised when they do not get a helpful response to bullying or reports of violence given that Howard County schools are generally considered among the best in Maryland in terms of academic standards for its students.
I imagine that there is work to do in all of the local Counties on the issue of violence and bullying, but right now I am focused on an initiative within HCPSS.
As a psychotherapist working with children and families here in Howard County, I have been shocked in recent years at how many parents are having trouble getting a helpful response to complaints about teasing, bullying, and even physical violence towards their child in school.
This creates mental health symptoms for the victim and then the child has at times needed mental health therapy at my private practice. I am concerned about the lack of response, so I have started a private survey to better determine if this is a wider problem that is occurring more frequently and how concerned other parents and citizens are.
I will be going to a school board meeting on Thursday September 19 to discuss the initial results coming in on the survey that I started last week. I would like to get wider parental input to find out how many parents are concerned about the response to violence and bullying … and what the viewpoints are of parents throughout the County.
I am also interested in the positive experience that some parents may have had as well. It is important to get an accurate perspective on parental and community experiences and opinions.
So far, from the 34 survey responses initially collected, only 15% of parents believed that they received a helpful response after a report. In the other 85% of cases, the children were suffering from some kind of mental health symptoms and it was creating a family disturbance. There were many comments made that HCPSS is more concerned about protecting the rights and confidentiality of the perpetrator of violence that assisting the victim or the family to feel safe and cared for.
If you are having any problems with your child’s adjustment to school, including concerns about school violence, please Reach Out to one of our Relationship Repair Associates for support.