Stop the Bullying! We Offer Hope.
As parents we strive to keep our children safe, to nurture and encourage them, while still allowing them to experience personal growth. But what happens when your child is away from your protection, at the very place you’d expect them to be happy, thriving and making friends? What happens when your child is being bullied at school?
It’s an emotional topic, one person’s ‘it’s a part of growing up’ is another person’s personal nightmare.
Those that choose to bully may now traverse so many elements of a child’s life it’s often difficult to catch them in the act, or to pin them down as the perpetrator. The recipient, and increasingly their family, it’s often a relentless battle against not only the perpetrator but also the school administration.
According to the latest statistics released by the National Bullying Prevention Center 1 in 5 students report being bullied at school.
“It was a succession of things,” says Nadine (full name withheld at request) “It began with our religion, our children could no longer ride the bus, my son was pushed and hit, my daughter was shunned, and all the while the school continued to say it was just a matter of ‘fitting-in’, it wasn’t something to be worried about, don’t make a fuss. We felt we had no one to turn to.”
With the school dismissing her concerns Nadine investigated the possibility of moving her children to a private school, and discovered Florida Prep. “The international student population at Florida Prep was far more accepting, they did not see differences, they saw only kids like themselves and potential new friends.”
“The administration also put our minds at rest, the hands-on style of management and small class sizes ensure that each student is far better understood than any child at public school, and if any issues occur they step in before it becomes troublesome. Students are very aware there are consequences for their actions. My children are looking forward to going to school again!”
The family was able to make the move to Florida Prep thanks to the introduction of the Florida Hope Scholarship Program.
Created by the Florida Legislature in 2018, the program is designed to provide public school students relief from bullying and violence by enabling a transfer to a private school with an accompanying scholarship of up to $7,111.
Speaking on the program Ms. Safiyah Dinally, Director of Admissions and Enrollment at Florida Prep says “Program funds are limited and are issued through a third party organization, Step up for Students. Stepupforstudents.org
“To qualify, a specific set of qualifying incidents including hazing, physical attack, harassment and assault must have taken place at a public educational institution, school related or school-sponsored program or activity; including riding on the school bus, and must have been documented by the school.
“It’s not full coverage,” she continued, “students who meet the criteria may also be required to top-up tuition fees, and to cover other elements associated with attendance at Florida Prep, but for many families that is do-able, and the change in the life of their child is often priceless.
“For those families not eligible for Hope funds, or unable to make a case with the public school, we are happy to recommend other scholarship opportunities at Florida Prep, including Step up for Student awards and Scholastic Achievement Awards.
“Or hope is to give peace of mind back to parents and students alike,” says Dinally “No child should ever be afraid to go to school”. she concluded.