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Middle-School Transition and Grades

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I am 12 years old and I am going into seventh grade and I am getting bullied by a girl and her friends. Please help me. I am too scared to go to school and I don't know what to do. Help!

A: I don't blame you for being scared and worried about going into seventh grade. Five kids sure are a lot of kids to make your life miserable. I am sure you are afraid that they will continue to tease and bully you and then say they are not doing it.

Michelle, as scary as it might seem to you, you have to tell your parent(s) about this and get them to speak to the school authorities. You have a right to go to school in a safe, comfortable environment where you can concentrate on your education. There really is a law that protects any kid from being harassed or teased all the time by kids in school. Your parents will talk with the school authorities and the guidance counselors and teachers at your school. These kids can then be dealt with so they will suffer consequences if they continue to bully you.

Please report any threats they make to you, like saying they'll beat you up if you tell. They can and will be stopped if you can be a brave girl and get some strong adults on your side. Bullies like these kids will continue unless they are shown up for what they are. Please write me back when you have done what I suggested. I want to know how things are working out.

Thanks for writing.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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