A parody bullying report form referring to the victim as a “whiner” was accidentally emailed to parents at a Delaware school district.
If you have a child who’s been bullied at school, you know it’s no laughing matter. Trying to get to the bottom of the issue and working with teachers and school administration can be a frustrating and sometimes, lengthy process. No one wants to be told their child is just “whining” and even joking about it is in pretty poor taste. That’s why this school accidentally sending out a parody bullying report form is anything but funny.
According to Delaware Online, the Brandywine School District in Wilmington, DE recently had an incident where a staff member inadvertently attached a sarcastic parody version of a bullying report form in an email to district parents. It was part of a message about a school event called “Exercise Your Brain Day” but apparently, someone from the school wasn’t using theirs when they attached this to the email.
To be clear, no one from the Brandywine School District created this form. They were quick to answer to the error with district spokeswoman Alexis Andrianopolous saying, “This was an embarrassing mistake, but it was just that – a mistake. It should not have happened, and we apologize for the error.” The original source of the parody form is unclear but the disturbing fact is that whoever sent out the email to parents had it in their computer files in the first place.
The form includes such touches as calling the child complaining of being bullied a “whiner” and saying the child is a “pansy ass.” Lovely. Let’s keep in mind — an adult created this form and it’s referring to school children. Again, no one at the school made this form but the fact that they even have it speaks volumes. Someone obviously found it amusing enough to keep and possibly, pass around to other staff.
As a parent receiving this form, even in error, alarm bells would certainly go off. I’d instantly wonder if the times I’d called the school to complain that the same asshole fifth grade boy was shoving my first grader’s head against the bus window again that someone there was rolling their eyes at me. That they would think I’m contributing to the softening of today’s youth and encouraging my son’s “whining” by trying to put a stop to the bus bullshit. It would be hard for me not to think that way.
And for comparison, here is an example of a real bullying report form to compare to the parody. It’s obvious that there are so many adults who discount what a real and harmful thing bullying can be. Kids who want to remedy these awful situations and tell an adult are not whiners or pansies. They’re kids. Kids with every right to an education that doesn’t include being scared to go to school or to tell an adult that someone is treating them badly.
Delaware Online reports that when asked for their thoughts on the form being accidentally sent out, most parents didn’t seem too concerned, with one father saying, “If the children didn’t see it, what is the problem?”
But it’s not about what the child sees. It’s about adults who are supposed to care for them and protect them and take their concerns seriously and if they’re finding forms like this funny, they’re not doing their job. It is our sincere hope that the staff person attaching this parody form had it in their files for some kind of educational purpose, but considering how many adults seem to buy into the idea that we baby kids too much and that bullying is no big deal, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were laughing at it.
And for the parents of a child who’s been bullied, that’s beyond disturbing.