My Son Is Being Bullied at School. Should I Ignore His Request to Keep It Confidential, and Address the Bully’s Mother Directly?

Being a single mother of an 8-year-old son can have its pitfalls. Namely, having to rely on male stand-ins to provide mentoring and supplemental support to make up for what he’s missing from his biological father. Thankfully, I have been able to strategically place men in his life to offer help of this nature.

My Son Is Being Bullied at School
Mother and son doing homework (Stock Image/Getty Images)

I would really like for my son to attend private school, but I can’t foot the bill alone and his father is hit or miss, mostly miss, when it comes to child support payments. As a result, my 8-year-old started the third grade at the neighborhood elementary school. He seems to really like his new class and the friends he has made so far with the exception of one child who he said makes it a point to pick on him and one other student regularly.

I try not to jump to conclusions and show up with my cape on to rescue my son on every single occasion that he is uncomfortable. I know I must allow him to navigate through tough and troubling moments to find his confidence and self-esteem. But what happened recently hit quite different.

I noticed my son was waking up extremely tired and almost lethargic. I questioned him about it, and he admitted that the class bully has been making him do his homework in addition to his own. He’s also been taking my son’s lunch from him, which is why my son has been ravenous after arriving home from school every day.

My son is a really good kid and doesn’t want me to get involved and make matters worse for him. He’s been threatened to have physical harm done to him if he tells anyone and I can tell he is actually afraid of this child that’s bullying him and one other student. My son would like for me to keep the situation confidential and feels he can handle it himself. However, I know that’s not the answer.

I know the mother of the bully from past extracurricular activities our sons were involved in together, and I feel as though she would be receptive to a phone call at the very least.

Should I go straight to the bully’s mother to address the matter or should I notify school officials of what is happening to my son?

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