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เนื้อหาจัดทำโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler เนื้อหาพอดแคสต์ทั้งหมด รวมถึงตอน กราฟิก และคำอธิบายพอดแคสต์ได้รับการอัปโหลดและจัดเตรียมโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler หรือพันธมิตรแพลตฟอร์มพอดแคสต์โดยตรง หากคุณเชื่อว่ามีบุคคลอื่นใช้งานที่มีลิขสิทธิ์ของคุณโดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต คุณสามารถปฏิบัติตามขั้นตอนที่อธิบายไว้ที่นี่ https://th.player.fm/legal
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Real Talk: How Can Parents Address Bullying?

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เนื้อหาจัดทำโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler เนื้อหาพอดแคสต์ทั้งหมด รวมถึงตอน กราฟิก และคำอธิบายพอดแคสต์ได้รับการอัปโหลดและจัดเตรียมโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler หรือพันธมิตรแพลตฟอร์มพอดแคสต์โดยตรง หากคุณเชื่อว่ามีบุคคลอื่นใช้งานที่มีลิขสิทธิ์ของคุณโดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต คุณสามารถปฏิบัติตามขั้นตอนที่อธิบายไว้ที่นี่ https://th.player.fm/legal

In this week's episode of 'Real Talk,' Susan and Kristina dive deep into the topic of bullying. Discovering that your child is either being bullied or is the one doing the bullying can be incredibly challenging for parents. However, it's crucial to be informed. Join us in this episode to learn about the necessary steps you should take, the responsibilities schools have, and how you, as a parent, can ensure your child is protected. Tune in for valuable insights and practical advice.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW:

https://studentdefense.kjk.com/

https://www.instagram.com/stonesupler/

TRANSCRIPT:

Susan Stone:

Welcome back to Real Talk with Susan Stone and Kristina Supler. We are full time moms and attorneys bringing our student defense legal practice to life with real candid conversations.

Susan Stone:

Well, good morning.

Kristina Supler:

Good morning, my friend.

Susan Stone:

Gosh, I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. I’m just so tired. Every bone in my body feels tired.

Kristina Supler:

It's funny you say that, because this morning, for the first time in an unknown eternity, my alarm went off to go to the gym, and I chose not to get up. I went back to bed and then another hour and a half to sleep.

Susan Stone:

I've had a lot of those mornings and I'm wondering what's contributing to the exhaustion. Any ideas on your part? I just think it's we're really busy.

Kristina Supler:

We've had a busy January. We've had a lot of hearings. We have a lot of tough cases that I think we both really care about. And, you know, our work is it's not work that you can do if you don't care. You know, I mean, what do you think?

Susan Stone:

Yeah, You know, I try very hard and I know you do to to separate work from home because our family does. Yeah, but I take it home. I carry it in my heart. I carry every client in my heart. And it's hard.

Kristina Supler:

It's hard to turn off your brain at night and stop thinking about these really significant issues that, you know, we've spent hours all day sorting through. But then you go home and, you know, my children are younger, obviously, as you know, I'm in mom mode cooking dinner and helping with homework. And last night we were making cookies for a school presentation on Friday, and it was kind of like, my gosh, the last thing I want to do, but you have to do it.

Susan Stone:

You've got to do it. And I know that I worked last night after I made dinner and I just was losing patience for the client and it was more just fatigue on my part.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah.

Susan Stone:

So I need to recharge and so do you. What do you do to recharge?

Kristina Supler:

that's a good question, because it can be a couple of different things.

For me, sometimes it's just having a weekend that's unscheduled, you know, not having a million activities, but then also sleep and exercise and just sort of having some time for myself and not feeling like I'm running around all weekend, you know, taking care of other people. But I mean, what about you?

Susan Stone:

Yeah, I don't know. I, I don't know.

I keep thinking about it. It's a moving needle. But one of the things I do know is that we do let work move into our home space, and it keeps me up in the middle of the night. So I got to get better at that. And if any of you listeners are out there and have some ideas and yes, I already do practice yoga and healthy.

Kristina Supler:

mindfulness,

Susan Stone:

I've got that mindfulness.But you know what's been coming in a lot and I just thought we talk about it. We're getting a lot of calls about bullying again.

Kristina Supler:

We are. And we get those cases and those calls, I should say, all the time. I mean, every year. But I do feel like in January there's always a bit of an uptick in bullying, say, issues.

And it's really for students of all ages, wouldn't you agree?

Susan Stone:

Yeah. I wonder if you think it has anything to do with the crappy weather.

Kristina Supler:

I hadn't thought of that. maybe we're in Cleveland and it was like literally zero a couple of weeks ago, and no one's outside moving around. Everyone's cooped up in homes. That could be a thought.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, it could be. But so the questions that come in is, if your child's accused of being the bully, how can you help defend my child? If your kid is bullied, what can I do? How do I stop it? Do have a lawsuit? There's a lot of issues related that you would call an attorney for if your child's involved in bullying.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, I mean, and I think that so often in these initial meetings when we're meeting with parents and children alike, you know, one of the first questions we get is, should I sent my kid to school tomorrow? Should I put my kid out of the school? And it's like, okay, we got to deal with this one step at a time.

We got a lot to unpack here, but you know, there's not a one size fits all answer. I would say in any of the cases.

Susan Stone:

I have a personal question. Were you ever bullied?

Kristina Supler:

Wow.

Susan Stone:

did I touch a personal nerve

Kristina Supler:

or was I a bully

Susan Stone:

or were you the bully? Yeah,

Kristina Supler:

I sincere bully believe I was not a bully.

Susan Stone:

Everybody thinks there not the bully

Kristina Supler:

will be someone out there who feels who feels otherwise. Who, you know, I ran with in fifth grade, but I. I don't think I was. But, you know,

Susan Stone:

We’ll find out

Kristina Supler:

The universe has a way of telling us these things, right?

Susan Stone:

wow. We're going to get an email from someone to you sure hear about you bullied me in the fifth grade.

Kristina Supler:

I this does remind me. I had it's funny, I was saying fifth grade. I had a personal variance that that that deeply scarred me and is still with me to this day. I still carry it with me

Susan Stone:

is it juicy.

Kristina Supler:

Well, I mean, at the time it was. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Susan Stone:

Do share come on I want to know

Kristina Supler:

.I had a group of friends.

Susan Stone:

Were they friends or quote friends?

Kristina Supler:

Well, I mean, friends in the way that anyone's friends during adolescence that, you know, one day, one day you're the coolest kid in school and then the next day no one will talk to you for no reason, and you're not really sure why. But then 48 hours later, you're back on top. So I had a group of girlfriends who I did view as my friends.

I thought we were true friends. Now, in hindsight, you know, what was the quality of the relationship? That's something I would like to have

Susan Stone:

Are you still friends with them now.

Kristina Supler:

No,

Susan Stone:

okay, then they weren't friends.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, no, no contact. Having contact since, I don't know, 30 years ago. But there there was a boy I had a crush on and my friends convinced the boy to ask me out.

Susan Stone:

Now, what The first of all was the boy's name. Come on, Dish.

Kristina Supler:

The boy's name was Brad.

Susan Stone:

Okay, So did Brad actually in fifth grade ask you out to pizza or what did that even mean? At that age

Kristina Supler:

That ended well, that's it. Yeah. What? What did it mean? I'm still asking myself that, but I assure you, it was very significant at the time.

We were. We were boyfriend girlfriend. I don't know. Like, we didn't we didn't go anywhere. We didn't meet in public. We this was obviously pre cell phones and social media.

So I supposed dating someone was like an eight minute phone call at 7 p.m. before your parents needed the phone because this was also before you know, people have like multiple lines in their house.

And I was like, listen, my house. We were all sharing one phone.

Susan Stone:

And so multiple lines in the stone house, I assure you no

Kristina Supler:

it it's hot, hot competition in my house to get on the phone in the evening. So at any rate, I liked this boy Brad. And one day out of nowhere, he realized that he, too, like me, wanted me to be his girlfriend.

Susan Stone:

So this is not a sad story. This is awesome.

Kristina Supler:

but wait, there's more. So I am just over the moon thinking, you know, I'm like, Wow, this is.

Susan Stone:

It's Brad. Brad.

Kristina Supler:

Well, you'll always have or not. Fast forward, I don't know if it was two days later, three days later, I don't know a certain period of time passed and I'm in gym class and I find out that Brad Shortbread asked me out, but it was really like on a dare or like it was in concerted effort with these like, plans with my friends.

And really it was just to humiliate me. And of course, I found all of this out. And I mean, girl, I was crying hysterically. I ran out of gym class. I was crushed because the humiliation and the worst part about it wasn't just okay, it was joke. Brad doesn't like me. Like, okay, you know, the betrayal. The betrayal that I everyone else had this joke.

I was on the outside. Everyone else knew what was going on. They were talking about me and I wasn't, you know, it was just. Yeah, the betrayal, the devastation, the pain.

Susan Stone:

Did you go to school the next day?

Kristina Supler:

Girl? Are you kidding me? My parents were like, you know, get over it go back to school. You’re fine

Susan Stone:

That was my parents. For sure

Kristina Supler:

There is no cadwelding you know, let's talk about this.

How does that make you feel that? No, no, none of that.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, I didn't have that either.

Kristina Supler:

Catholic grade school. So, you know, back in the day, Catholic grade school. I mean, I will say that the teachers were I don't know, they seemed to handle it like recognize how cruel it was. But, you know, the next day, like no one was checking in with me.

There were no school psychologists making sure things were fine. I mean, they just they didn't do that.

Susan Stone:

This might explain a lot about you. just give me insight

Kristina Supler:

I’m just sharing my vulnerability with our listeners?

Susan Stone:

And I just want you to know how special that is, because Supler is a tough cat and she doesn't really share a lot.

So thanks for sharing. supler, But I want to know what's Brad up to ?

Kristina Supler:

what? So funny thing I have not ever cyber stalked Brad or really anyone from that period of time in my life. But one day I was driving down the street and I walked past an office and I saw his name and I was like, my gosh, here he is.

He's alive and maybe well. And it just it brought back all these memories. And it's funny. I mean, literally, this was I don't even know how many years ago, but I saw the name and it immediately triggered the memory of my mortification and humiliation of the whole my friends and this cruel joke.

Susan Stone:

Well, I have two things to say.One, Brad,

Kristina Supler:

your loss.

Susan Stone:

Your loss. You're a total loser. And two, to those girls, they lose even more. And I win,

Kristina Supler:

Aww thank you. Get lawyerly . Let's talk bullying in a in the legal sense.

Susan Stone:

So first of all, let's unpack the definition of bullying because not all acts of unkindness amount to bullying.

Kristina Supler:

Someone being mean to your kid.

It's so hard. It's so hard because I know, like as a parent, there is nothing. Would you agree Nothing cuts you more than watching your children suffer and feel, you know, excluded or hurt or someone be unkind to them. I mean, that is it's awful.

Susan Stone:

Only reason we can laugh about the Brad story is because it occurred many, many years ago and you're over it and it's you.But if it were, your daughter it wouldn’t be funny.

Kristina Supler:

No. Now, that's exactly right. And it's it's hard. I think I struggle when we, you know, get inquiries from people and parents share these horrible stories and the you know, my child's being bullied. My child's being bullied. I must have a really powerful lawsuit. Help me help me. And and it's it's hard when you say that sometimes sort of have to say to them, like, wow, that's awful. That’s so terrible. Your child must feel terrible. My heart goes out to you. But you don't have a lot of your

Susan Stone:

occasional teasing, not bullying. It's going to be severe, and it's got to be persistent, and it's got to be pervasive. And it can also be personal. Or todays cyber.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, I mean, and so much of what we see is involves online social media, communication, group chats, things like that. But I mean, I think the key for our listeners in terms of like, how do you identify bullying? Because of course every state and school code of conduct has different definitions. I mean, of course there's similar themes in all of it, but there can be slightly different definitions. But, you know, again, it's got to be sort of recurring and ongoing and isolated incidents certainly could be a basis for a student or students violating school code of conduct.But I don't know if one incident,

Susan Stone:

one unkind word, does not amount to bullying, but a nine unkind word making fun of someone day after day after day after day. That's consistency is one of the identifiers for bullying.

Kristina Supler:

What would you say in terms of whether there has to be like physical or emotional harm or some sort of threats? I mean,

Susan Stone:

Well, certainly if you threaten someone that would amount to bullying, give me your lunch money or I will beat you up. I think that is bullying today

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. So what should be what are your thoughts about the issue of location?

Susan Stone:

Yeah. So it's much easier to prove bullying if it happened at school because then it falls under what I would call the jurisdiction of the school.

However, if there is off campus bullying and it impacts your child's ability to perform at school, I think there's an argument that the school's got to get involved.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, so I know that we not too long ago we had a situation involving some social media online communication and some was at school and some wasn't. And, you know, we were sort of I remember passing through and wrestling with, okay, what is the, you know, in lawyer speak, the jurisdictional analysis in terms of what can the school do when stuff maybe happens at home in the evenings on personal devices, not school issued devices,

Susan Stone:

but it's complicated.

Kristina Supler:

It's complicated. And kids show up at school the next day and there's still the fallout which you know again I'm lawyer speak for impact on education. You're right it's it's tough to know when I would say on the school side sometimes you know in fairness to our educators it's hard for them to know as well where that line is.

Susan Stone:

Well, and you'd think about the Supreme Court case of Brandy Lovie, the cheerleader. You're a lot.

Kristina Supler:

tell our listeners about that because key case and I'm guessing many people out there in podcast world don't know what it is

Susan Stone:

yeah, Brandy didn't make the cheerleading team

Kristina Supler:

poor brandy

Susan Stone:

poor brandy and I couldn't be a cheerleader.

Kristina Supler:

I can't even do a cartwheel.

Susan Stone:

I can't do a split up.

Kristina Supler:

That's like literally not even up for discussion. I can't do that.

Susan Stone:

And it just sounds awful. But that's why we're lawyers. So Brandy didn't make the team, and she posted some nasty comments about the coaches online and they disciplined her and they went all the way up to SCOTUS and there was First Amendment protection.

I think that's what schools wrestle and with. But remember, that only applies to public schools where you have a First Amendment freedom of speech to talk about things, but certain things are absolutely not protected. And we've talked about that in prior podcast.

Kristina Supler:

And I'm going to drop a little bit of legal knowledge for some of our listeners out there and

Susan Stone:

drop away.

Kristina Supler:

Many find this surprising, but at a private school, at a private school on their campus, you don't have full First Amendment rights. And so, you know, schools are allowed to limit and respond to and some might say restrained speech.

Susan Stone:

Correct. And that goes by their honor code and their policy. But I think it's universal that bullying someone based on their appearance, their race, their religion, their ethnicity, a disability will always be subject to discipline.

Kristina Supler:

Absolutely. And I would say for poor parents, if you come to learn that your child is experiencing, you know, negative, hostile treatment by peers or staff, I mean, let's face it, that is something that should be immediately, immediately reported to the school and for schools. It's not even a close call school. Need to jump on that right away.

Susan Stone:

Speaking of reporting, a lot of times we find out from parents they want to immediately sue the school for not bullying. And then I say, well, did you put the school on notice? Do they know about it

Kristina Supler:

the old notice requirement? Yeah. So let's unpack that for our parent listeners out there. notice Look, why is why is known as so important for schools Like what?

What does that have to do in relation to about whether there might be a lawsuit or not?

Susan Stone:

Well, knock the nerd out again,

Kristina Supler:

go nerd away.

Susan Stone:

Go observe versus Lago Vista Independent School District that you cannot make a school district liable for something that they don't know about.

Kristina Supler:

Make sense to me. I mean, some might say it's a tricky legal requirement, but if you think about it in a very practical level, if schools aren't clearly on notice about something, how can they fix it?

But let me so let's take that a step further. What about and say, well, teachers saw it happen. They saw my child, you know, sat in the hallway. How could they not know?

Susan Stone:

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But if it's not in writing, it didn't happen, then you know that.

Kristina Supler:

There you go. There you go. And that's why it's important for I mean, look, not every single piece of communication needs to be in writing, but it's things you know, about misconduct, mistreatment.

Send an email to the school. Nothing wrong with.

Susan Stone:

I love documenting anything that you think you're going to want to rely on later as a piece of evidence and to prevent miscommunication, we often give advice, and I'd like to pingpong our common words of advice for parents, and I'll start the ping. Number one, put the school on notice and ask for an investigation.

Kristina Supler:

Follow up. If you don't get a response and push for something to be done to keep your kids safe.

Susan Stone:

Number two in While an investigation is pending, ask for interim measures. What does that mean?

Kristina Supler:

Well, an easy one that comes to mind is some sort of no contact or stay away. Order.

Susan Stone:

Okay, Now separate the kids.

Kristina Supler:

Maybe ask, for instance, for schedules to be changed, different lunch periods, maybe some sort of restrictions or regulations for who goes where at recess, on the playground, things like that.

Susan Stone:

And the bus. the bus,

Kristina Supler:

Yeah. I'm so glad you said that. We have a lot of matters where things are okay during the day and then kids get on the bus and everything rapidly falls apart.

Susan Stone:

Number three, ask the school to provide mental health support services if your child's suffering.

Kristina Supler:

And it's important, I would say that families really avail themselves to those services.

Sometimes there can be a hesitation to take advantage of school services, but they're there. Use them. And particularly now, you know, this is such a cliche to say post-COVID, post-COVID, but truly there is such a shortage of available, readily available mental health services. And, you know, I know I think Susan, we here at least once a week in difficult I called the therapist and they can't take my kid.

You know my kid's in a waitlist. It's going to be six weeks before we get an appointment. If you're tired suffering, you can't wait that long.

Susan Stone:

It's been really since COVID a struggle to get the mental health support for all those students who need that help. Last and this is self-serving, guys, I know it, but if you ever need doubt on how to handle things, consult a lawyer.

Kristina Supler:

That's right. We're here to support families in crisis, talk through the legal issues and really help kids. I mean, that is at the heart of our legal work. I think kids and using that label broadly, kids can be like 25 30 that the support students,

Susan Stone:

you know, people think that just because you call a lawyer, we all sue. And while we do file lawsuits, that is one of our

Kristina Supler:

we do we do

Susan Stone:

we do a lot of other things like counseling and navigating and helping people through crisis.

So don't just think because you call a lawyer that you're going to be suing the district. Maybe the lawyer will help you nip the situation in the bud and get a better resolution quickly.

Kristina Supler:

And that really, I think, is a win, you know, because court, let's face it, though, we're our lawyers and go to court. Let's face it, it's not for everyone, that's for sure.

And certainly it takes a toll on families and kids. But I think this was a good, good talk today.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, And I have to say something. You girls who did that to my partner, Kristina Supler, if I ever meet you, I am going to be watching you and Brad. You missed out.

Kristina Supler:

That's right. Look at me now.

Susan Stone:

Yeah all, This is more.

Kristina Supler:

Thanks for listening to Real Talk with Susan and Kristina. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode and leave us a review so other people can find the content we share here. You can follow us on Instagram. Just search our handle at Stones hoopla and for more resources, visit us online at Student Defense, Dot.com.

Thank you so much for being a part of our real talk community. We'll see you next time.

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iconแบ่งปัน
 
Manage episode 400937486 series 2838095
เนื้อหาจัดทำโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler เนื้อหาพอดแคสต์ทั้งหมด รวมถึงตอน กราฟิก และคำอธิบายพอดแคสต์ได้รับการอัปโหลดและจัดเตรียมโดย Susan Stone & Kristina Supler หรือพันธมิตรแพลตฟอร์มพอดแคสต์โดยตรง หากคุณเชื่อว่ามีบุคคลอื่นใช้งานที่มีลิขสิทธิ์ของคุณโดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต คุณสามารถปฏิบัติตามขั้นตอนที่อธิบายไว้ที่นี่ https://th.player.fm/legal

In this week's episode of 'Real Talk,' Susan and Kristina dive deep into the topic of bullying. Discovering that your child is either being bullied or is the one doing the bullying can be incredibly challenging for parents. However, it's crucial to be informed. Join us in this episode to learn about the necessary steps you should take, the responsibilities schools have, and how you, as a parent, can ensure your child is protected. Tune in for valuable insights and practical advice.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW:

https://studentdefense.kjk.com/

https://www.instagram.com/stonesupler/

TRANSCRIPT:

Susan Stone:

Welcome back to Real Talk with Susan Stone and Kristina Supler. We are full time moms and attorneys bringing our student defense legal practice to life with real candid conversations.

Susan Stone:

Well, good morning.

Kristina Supler:

Good morning, my friend.

Susan Stone:

Gosh, I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. I’m just so tired. Every bone in my body feels tired.

Kristina Supler:

It's funny you say that, because this morning, for the first time in an unknown eternity, my alarm went off to go to the gym, and I chose not to get up. I went back to bed and then another hour and a half to sleep.

Susan Stone:

I've had a lot of those mornings and I'm wondering what's contributing to the exhaustion. Any ideas on your part? I just think it's we're really busy.

Kristina Supler:

We've had a busy January. We've had a lot of hearings. We have a lot of tough cases that I think we both really care about. And, you know, our work is it's not work that you can do if you don't care. You know, I mean, what do you think?

Susan Stone:

Yeah, You know, I try very hard and I know you do to to separate work from home because our family does. Yeah, but I take it home. I carry it in my heart. I carry every client in my heart. And it's hard.

Kristina Supler:

It's hard to turn off your brain at night and stop thinking about these really significant issues that, you know, we've spent hours all day sorting through. But then you go home and, you know, my children are younger, obviously, as you know, I'm in mom mode cooking dinner and helping with homework. And last night we were making cookies for a school presentation on Friday, and it was kind of like, my gosh, the last thing I want to do, but you have to do it.

Susan Stone:

You've got to do it. And I know that I worked last night after I made dinner and I just was losing patience for the client and it was more just fatigue on my part.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah.

Susan Stone:

So I need to recharge and so do you. What do you do to recharge?

Kristina Supler:

that's a good question, because it can be a couple of different things.

For me, sometimes it's just having a weekend that's unscheduled, you know, not having a million activities, but then also sleep and exercise and just sort of having some time for myself and not feeling like I'm running around all weekend, you know, taking care of other people. But I mean, what about you?

Susan Stone:

Yeah, I don't know. I, I don't know.

I keep thinking about it. It's a moving needle. But one of the things I do know is that we do let work move into our home space, and it keeps me up in the middle of the night. So I got to get better at that. And if any of you listeners are out there and have some ideas and yes, I already do practice yoga and healthy.

Kristina Supler:

mindfulness,

Susan Stone:

I've got that mindfulness.But you know what's been coming in a lot and I just thought we talk about it. We're getting a lot of calls about bullying again.

Kristina Supler:

We are. And we get those cases and those calls, I should say, all the time. I mean, every year. But I do feel like in January there's always a bit of an uptick in bullying, say, issues.

And it's really for students of all ages, wouldn't you agree?

Susan Stone:

Yeah. I wonder if you think it has anything to do with the crappy weather.

Kristina Supler:

I hadn't thought of that. maybe we're in Cleveland and it was like literally zero a couple of weeks ago, and no one's outside moving around. Everyone's cooped up in homes. That could be a thought.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, it could be. But so the questions that come in is, if your child's accused of being the bully, how can you help defend my child? If your kid is bullied, what can I do? How do I stop it? Do have a lawsuit? There's a lot of issues related that you would call an attorney for if your child's involved in bullying.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, I mean, and I think that so often in these initial meetings when we're meeting with parents and children alike, you know, one of the first questions we get is, should I sent my kid to school tomorrow? Should I put my kid out of the school? And it's like, okay, we got to deal with this one step at a time.

We got a lot to unpack here, but you know, there's not a one size fits all answer. I would say in any of the cases.

Susan Stone:

I have a personal question. Were you ever bullied?

Kristina Supler:

Wow.

Susan Stone:

did I touch a personal nerve

Kristina Supler:

or was I a bully

Susan Stone:

or were you the bully? Yeah,

Kristina Supler:

I sincere bully believe I was not a bully.

Susan Stone:

Everybody thinks there not the bully

Kristina Supler:

will be someone out there who feels who feels otherwise. Who, you know, I ran with in fifth grade, but I. I don't think I was. But, you know,

Susan Stone:

We’ll find out

Kristina Supler:

The universe has a way of telling us these things, right?

Susan Stone:

wow. We're going to get an email from someone to you sure hear about you bullied me in the fifth grade.

Kristina Supler:

I this does remind me. I had it's funny, I was saying fifth grade. I had a personal variance that that that deeply scarred me and is still with me to this day. I still carry it with me

Susan Stone:

is it juicy.

Kristina Supler:

Well, I mean, at the time it was. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Susan Stone:

Do share come on I want to know

Kristina Supler:

.I had a group of friends.

Susan Stone:

Were they friends or quote friends?

Kristina Supler:

Well, I mean, friends in the way that anyone's friends during adolescence that, you know, one day, one day you're the coolest kid in school and then the next day no one will talk to you for no reason, and you're not really sure why. But then 48 hours later, you're back on top. So I had a group of girlfriends who I did view as my friends.

I thought we were true friends. Now, in hindsight, you know, what was the quality of the relationship? That's something I would like to have

Susan Stone:

Are you still friends with them now.

Kristina Supler:

No,

Susan Stone:

okay, then they weren't friends.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, no, no contact. Having contact since, I don't know, 30 years ago. But there there was a boy I had a crush on and my friends convinced the boy to ask me out.

Susan Stone:

Now, what The first of all was the boy's name. Come on, Dish.

Kristina Supler:

The boy's name was Brad.

Susan Stone:

Okay, So did Brad actually in fifth grade ask you out to pizza or what did that even mean? At that age

Kristina Supler:

That ended well, that's it. Yeah. What? What did it mean? I'm still asking myself that, but I assure you, it was very significant at the time.

We were. We were boyfriend girlfriend. I don't know. Like, we didn't we didn't go anywhere. We didn't meet in public. We this was obviously pre cell phones and social media.

So I supposed dating someone was like an eight minute phone call at 7 p.m. before your parents needed the phone because this was also before you know, people have like multiple lines in their house.

And I was like, listen, my house. We were all sharing one phone.

Susan Stone:

And so multiple lines in the stone house, I assure you no

Kristina Supler:

it it's hot, hot competition in my house to get on the phone in the evening. So at any rate, I liked this boy Brad. And one day out of nowhere, he realized that he, too, like me, wanted me to be his girlfriend.

Susan Stone:

So this is not a sad story. This is awesome.

Kristina Supler:

but wait, there's more. So I am just over the moon thinking, you know, I'm like, Wow, this is.

Susan Stone:

It's Brad. Brad.

Kristina Supler:

Well, you'll always have or not. Fast forward, I don't know if it was two days later, three days later, I don't know a certain period of time passed and I'm in gym class and I find out that Brad Shortbread asked me out, but it was really like on a dare or like it was in concerted effort with these like, plans with my friends.

And really it was just to humiliate me. And of course, I found all of this out. And I mean, girl, I was crying hysterically. I ran out of gym class. I was crushed because the humiliation and the worst part about it wasn't just okay, it was joke. Brad doesn't like me. Like, okay, you know, the betrayal. The betrayal that I everyone else had this joke.

I was on the outside. Everyone else knew what was going on. They were talking about me and I wasn't, you know, it was just. Yeah, the betrayal, the devastation, the pain.

Susan Stone:

Did you go to school the next day?

Kristina Supler:

Girl? Are you kidding me? My parents were like, you know, get over it go back to school. You’re fine

Susan Stone:

That was my parents. For sure

Kristina Supler:

There is no cadwelding you know, let's talk about this.

How does that make you feel that? No, no, none of that.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, I didn't have that either.

Kristina Supler:

Catholic grade school. So, you know, back in the day, Catholic grade school. I mean, I will say that the teachers were I don't know, they seemed to handle it like recognize how cruel it was. But, you know, the next day, like no one was checking in with me.

There were no school psychologists making sure things were fine. I mean, they just they didn't do that.

Susan Stone:

This might explain a lot about you. just give me insight

Kristina Supler:

I’m just sharing my vulnerability with our listeners?

Susan Stone:

And I just want you to know how special that is, because Supler is a tough cat and she doesn't really share a lot.

So thanks for sharing. supler, But I want to know what's Brad up to ?

Kristina Supler:

what? So funny thing I have not ever cyber stalked Brad or really anyone from that period of time in my life. But one day I was driving down the street and I walked past an office and I saw his name and I was like, my gosh, here he is.

He's alive and maybe well. And it just it brought back all these memories. And it's funny. I mean, literally, this was I don't even know how many years ago, but I saw the name and it immediately triggered the memory of my mortification and humiliation of the whole my friends and this cruel joke.

Susan Stone:

Well, I have two things to say.One, Brad,

Kristina Supler:

your loss.

Susan Stone:

Your loss. You're a total loser. And two, to those girls, they lose even more. And I win,

Kristina Supler:

Aww thank you. Get lawyerly . Let's talk bullying in a in the legal sense.

Susan Stone:

So first of all, let's unpack the definition of bullying because not all acts of unkindness amount to bullying.

Kristina Supler:

Someone being mean to your kid.

It's so hard. It's so hard because I know, like as a parent, there is nothing. Would you agree Nothing cuts you more than watching your children suffer and feel, you know, excluded or hurt or someone be unkind to them. I mean, that is it's awful.

Susan Stone:

Only reason we can laugh about the Brad story is because it occurred many, many years ago and you're over it and it's you.But if it were, your daughter it wouldn’t be funny.

Kristina Supler:

No. Now, that's exactly right. And it's it's hard. I think I struggle when we, you know, get inquiries from people and parents share these horrible stories and the you know, my child's being bullied. My child's being bullied. I must have a really powerful lawsuit. Help me help me. And and it's it's hard when you say that sometimes sort of have to say to them, like, wow, that's awful. That’s so terrible. Your child must feel terrible. My heart goes out to you. But you don't have a lot of your

Susan Stone:

occasional teasing, not bullying. It's going to be severe, and it's got to be persistent, and it's got to be pervasive. And it can also be personal. Or todays cyber.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, I mean, and so much of what we see is involves online social media, communication, group chats, things like that. But I mean, I think the key for our listeners in terms of like, how do you identify bullying? Because of course every state and school code of conduct has different definitions. I mean, of course there's similar themes in all of it, but there can be slightly different definitions. But, you know, again, it's got to be sort of recurring and ongoing and isolated incidents certainly could be a basis for a student or students violating school code of conduct.But I don't know if one incident,

Susan Stone:

one unkind word, does not amount to bullying, but a nine unkind word making fun of someone day after day after day after day. That's consistency is one of the identifiers for bullying.

Kristina Supler:

What would you say in terms of whether there has to be like physical or emotional harm or some sort of threats? I mean,

Susan Stone:

Well, certainly if you threaten someone that would amount to bullying, give me your lunch money or I will beat you up. I think that is bullying today

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. So what should be what are your thoughts about the issue of location?

Susan Stone:

Yeah. So it's much easier to prove bullying if it happened at school because then it falls under what I would call the jurisdiction of the school.

However, if there is off campus bullying and it impacts your child's ability to perform at school, I think there's an argument that the school's got to get involved.

Kristina Supler:

Yeah, so I know that we not too long ago we had a situation involving some social media online communication and some was at school and some wasn't. And, you know, we were sort of I remember passing through and wrestling with, okay, what is the, you know, in lawyer speak, the jurisdictional analysis in terms of what can the school do when stuff maybe happens at home in the evenings on personal devices, not school issued devices,

Susan Stone:

but it's complicated.

Kristina Supler:

It's complicated. And kids show up at school the next day and there's still the fallout which you know again I'm lawyer speak for impact on education. You're right it's it's tough to know when I would say on the school side sometimes you know in fairness to our educators it's hard for them to know as well where that line is.

Susan Stone:

Well, and you'd think about the Supreme Court case of Brandy Lovie, the cheerleader. You're a lot.

Kristina Supler:

tell our listeners about that because key case and I'm guessing many people out there in podcast world don't know what it is

Susan Stone:

yeah, Brandy didn't make the cheerleading team

Kristina Supler:

poor brandy

Susan Stone:

poor brandy and I couldn't be a cheerleader.

Kristina Supler:

I can't even do a cartwheel.

Susan Stone:

I can't do a split up.

Kristina Supler:

That's like literally not even up for discussion. I can't do that.

Susan Stone:

And it just sounds awful. But that's why we're lawyers. So Brandy didn't make the team, and she posted some nasty comments about the coaches online and they disciplined her and they went all the way up to SCOTUS and there was First Amendment protection.

I think that's what schools wrestle and with. But remember, that only applies to public schools where you have a First Amendment freedom of speech to talk about things, but certain things are absolutely not protected. And we've talked about that in prior podcast.

Kristina Supler:

And I'm going to drop a little bit of legal knowledge for some of our listeners out there and

Susan Stone:

drop away.

Kristina Supler:

Many find this surprising, but at a private school, at a private school on their campus, you don't have full First Amendment rights. And so, you know, schools are allowed to limit and respond to and some might say restrained speech.

Susan Stone:

Correct. And that goes by their honor code and their policy. But I think it's universal that bullying someone based on their appearance, their race, their religion, their ethnicity, a disability will always be subject to discipline.

Kristina Supler:

Absolutely. And I would say for poor parents, if you come to learn that your child is experiencing, you know, negative, hostile treatment by peers or staff, I mean, let's face it, that is something that should be immediately, immediately reported to the school and for schools. It's not even a close call school. Need to jump on that right away.

Susan Stone:

Speaking of reporting, a lot of times we find out from parents they want to immediately sue the school for not bullying. And then I say, well, did you put the school on notice? Do they know about it

Kristina Supler:

the old notice requirement? Yeah. So let's unpack that for our parent listeners out there. notice Look, why is why is known as so important for schools Like what?

What does that have to do in relation to about whether there might be a lawsuit or not?

Susan Stone:

Well, knock the nerd out again,

Kristina Supler:

go nerd away.

Susan Stone:

Go observe versus Lago Vista Independent School District that you cannot make a school district liable for something that they don't know about.

Kristina Supler:

Make sense to me. I mean, some might say it's a tricky legal requirement, but if you think about it in a very practical level, if schools aren't clearly on notice about something, how can they fix it?

But let me so let's take that a step further. What about and say, well, teachers saw it happen. They saw my child, you know, sat in the hallway. How could they not know?

Susan Stone:

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But if it's not in writing, it didn't happen, then you know that.

Kristina Supler:

There you go. There you go. And that's why it's important for I mean, look, not every single piece of communication needs to be in writing, but it's things you know, about misconduct, mistreatment.

Send an email to the school. Nothing wrong with.

Susan Stone:

I love documenting anything that you think you're going to want to rely on later as a piece of evidence and to prevent miscommunication, we often give advice, and I'd like to pingpong our common words of advice for parents, and I'll start the ping. Number one, put the school on notice and ask for an investigation.

Kristina Supler:

Follow up. If you don't get a response and push for something to be done to keep your kids safe.

Susan Stone:

Number two in While an investigation is pending, ask for interim measures. What does that mean?

Kristina Supler:

Well, an easy one that comes to mind is some sort of no contact or stay away. Order.

Susan Stone:

Okay, Now separate the kids.

Kristina Supler:

Maybe ask, for instance, for schedules to be changed, different lunch periods, maybe some sort of restrictions or regulations for who goes where at recess, on the playground, things like that.

Susan Stone:

And the bus. the bus,

Kristina Supler:

Yeah. I'm so glad you said that. We have a lot of matters where things are okay during the day and then kids get on the bus and everything rapidly falls apart.

Susan Stone:

Number three, ask the school to provide mental health support services if your child's suffering.

Kristina Supler:

And it's important, I would say that families really avail themselves to those services.

Sometimes there can be a hesitation to take advantage of school services, but they're there. Use them. And particularly now, you know, this is such a cliche to say post-COVID, post-COVID, but truly there is such a shortage of available, readily available mental health services. And, you know, I know I think Susan, we here at least once a week in difficult I called the therapist and they can't take my kid.

You know my kid's in a waitlist. It's going to be six weeks before we get an appointment. If you're tired suffering, you can't wait that long.

Susan Stone:

It's been really since COVID a struggle to get the mental health support for all those students who need that help. Last and this is self-serving, guys, I know it, but if you ever need doubt on how to handle things, consult a lawyer.

Kristina Supler:

That's right. We're here to support families in crisis, talk through the legal issues and really help kids. I mean, that is at the heart of our legal work. I think kids and using that label broadly, kids can be like 25 30 that the support students,

Susan Stone:

you know, people think that just because you call a lawyer, we all sue. And while we do file lawsuits, that is one of our

Kristina Supler:

we do we do

Susan Stone:

we do a lot of other things like counseling and navigating and helping people through crisis.

So don't just think because you call a lawyer that you're going to be suing the district. Maybe the lawyer will help you nip the situation in the bud and get a better resolution quickly.

Kristina Supler:

And that really, I think, is a win, you know, because court, let's face it, though, we're our lawyers and go to court. Let's face it, it's not for everyone, that's for sure.

And certainly it takes a toll on families and kids. But I think this was a good, good talk today.

Susan Stone:

Yeah, And I have to say something. You girls who did that to my partner, Kristina Supler, if I ever meet you, I am going to be watching you and Brad. You missed out.

Kristina Supler:

That's right. Look at me now.

Susan Stone:

Yeah all, This is more.

Kristina Supler:

Thanks for listening to Real Talk with Susan and Kristina. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode and leave us a review so other people can find the content we share here. You can follow us on Instagram. Just search our handle at Stones hoopla and for more resources, visit us online at Student Defense, Dot.com.

Thank you so much for being a part of our real talk community. We'll see you next time.

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