BULLYING IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL 
An alert for parents of children in Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township, New Jersey

Most Educators agree that attempts to bully reach their worst in the Middle School / Junior High School years. 

Many parents don't recognize the far-reaching effects that school bullying has on a child:

- Bullying can take the form of outright violence, but doesn't need to

- Bullying can also take the form of consistent verbal harassment or ridicule against a child

- Bullying can take the form of shunning others and spreading rumors about them.

- Bullying interferes with education and can link learning with painful memories

- Bullying often leaves deep emotional scars on a child that last for life

- Bullying has led to the suicide of dozens of Middle School students nationwide

- Middle School Administrators often make public pronouncements in September such as
   "a zero tolerance policy for bullying", especially when talking to parents at 'Back to school' nights, then
continue to do what they've always done: look the other way in most instances and assume bullying is normative in Middle School, or blame the bullied victim. Anything but take effective action against individual bullies. In rare moments of candor, a number of teachers admitted to us during our EMS years that the verbal interaction between students is often shocking & toxic. However, when this website went up they began to measure every word they said to us. Our child was deeply affected by verbal bullying at Eisenhower, and now that we recognize that we were being 'played', to the detriment of our child, we have a justifiable contempt for those Teachers and Staff there who are guilty of negligence in this area, all the while knowing that every teacher we've ever spoken to thinks they do a good job in limiting bullying. Our family knows the truth. The core issue is human nature, we expect 12 & 13 year olds to have moments of dumb & even cruel behavior, but when some Adult Public School Teachers possess no valid moral compass of their own and only have a minimal set of guidelines, knowing that the self-serving Teachers Union will back them, it's no wonder children are hurt.

For those teachers & staff who really did make an attempt to help us, Mr. B., Mrs. D., the other Mrs. D., and a few others, our genuine, sincere thanks. 

The State of New Jersey School Bully Guideline  has the potential to be used in a Legal sense against Districts who routinely fail to actually protect students, and just running an anti-bullying assembly once a year doesn't meet the standard. Those assemblies only impress the kids who wouldn't bully to begin with. 

We have found that it is standard procedure for the School Administration to deny that bullying of any sort is a systemic problem at their school, no matter what the reality is. That denial is part of what they understand their job entails. When specific instances of bullying are brought to their attention, they address the culprit, most often in an ineffective way, but imagine the instance was isolated. The article link below from the American Psychological Association carries the headline:
"Bullying Widespread in Middle School, say Three Studies".  See it here:  http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct99/cf3.html 

If you feel your child is being bullied your first step is to get the facts. Sit down with your child and impress upon them that you need the facts, not just their feelings. There are occasions when the first time a child relates an incident of harassment, they are wound up and may exaggerate for effect, to get you to take action. You don't want to approach the school with half-truths, you'll just be seen as "crying wolf" and disregarded. The last thing our school administrators need are parents ranting without cause. When you do have the facts, contact the teacher, then if needed, the Principal. Keep a dated record of your contacts with them, you may need it later if you have to go to the Superintendent or School Board or Attorney. Here's the school contact info:
EISENHOWER MIDDLE SCHOOL
47 Eyland Ave, Succasunna, NJ 07876      Main tel# 973-584-2973

October 2009 Update, Personal note from the Editors: Our horrific experience at Eisenhower was during the school terms of Sept 2006 thru June 2008. During those years a mostly befuddled Guidance Dept and Administrators were largely ineffective at stopping repeated horrendous bullying that had been reported to them. (Some of that selfish, inept group left, transferred or retired the next year). In mid-2008 a new Principal came to Eisenhower, some new teachers in the fall, a new emphasis on prevention of bullying, and thankfully, the departure of some staff who had little interest in addressing this critical issue. We have no doubt that this is a tacit admission that our concerns, and the concerns of many others were valid, in spite of the public lies that stated that all was fine at this school. Though we never expect to hear that admission, we do recognize the recent  partial progress.

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This site serves the Morris County New Jersey communities of  Succasunna, Kenvil,  Ledgewood, Landing, Port Morris, Lower Berkshire Valley and Mount Arlington NJ

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Updated January 5, 2013

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