New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD at School

Do you consider this bullying?

My 13 yr old son has ADHD and is overweight. He also has a congenital issue with his legs that isn’t noticeable,  but has never been able to skip or do certain ” running skills well.But he tries.  He finished last, like always, with laps at gym class a little bit after everyone else.  His gym teacher, according to my son, told him that if he didn’t loose weight he would always finish last in life! He told him he was lazy like his brother. All of this was said, not right in front of the other kids, but loud enough that some kids say they heard him. My son has started not wanting to go to gym class because he says he can’t stand him anymore. He has always liked gym class and I never had a problem with him in this class!
  Do you think this teacher has a right to say these things to my son?  I think this is bullying! What do you think?!


I would classify this as a teacher over-skipping their bounderies and report it to the principal immediately!

I am always skeptical of what my son says because he has a tendency to stretch the truth but you know your son best and would know if this was the case.

I would get the names of the kids that heard these statements and give them to the principal as well.

Comments like this should not be issued by teachers as they are there to support our kids and not belittle them.

Posted by knrdodd on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:48pm

I think it’s bullying.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:56pm

I don’t know what you call it… but it’s not appropriate. The strategy to motivate someone by putting them down, and in this case, two family members down is mean spirited. Sometimes this tactic works but usually it’s in a private conversation with someone the person respects. In other words, done out of love but even then it’s a fine line. What you describe obviously didn’t motivate your son and that should be communicated to the teacher. In fact, it back fired, he/she now has a student who doesn’t want to participate in fitness. Give the teacher the chance to make it right. I would email the teacher and watch it closely.

Posted by nysom714 on Nov 20, 2013 at 1:33am

I have talked to his school about this. They have talked to my son also. I know he can also stretch the truth so I asked him to tell me exactly whay he said and not what he heard or how it made him feel! I was told it would be looked into.  He didn’t dress for gym on Monday and his teacher told him,” Well I guess you didn’t listen to a word I said !”  I told my son he had to dress for gym every day, and he said,” so don’t add fuel to the fire?” Exactly! So he knows he has to do what he can so that this teacher can’t come back and say he isn’t participating. Now, if I hear anymore negative things said to my child I will then speak to the superintendent of the school system!  I have a feeling though that the school doesn’t believe him so I don’t know if this will be resolved yet or not. He isn’t getting an F in gym, but this teacher has no right to belittle my son in front of the class or in private! And from what I’ve heard this is not the only child he has belittled there.

Posted by Kim771 on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:50pm

I had a gym teacher like that when I was in elementary school a long time ago. That teacher was unfit to be around children. I hope this teacher had the best of intentions and was simply misinterpreted and did not mean to bully.

But as I read this I realize that you haven’t said that you’ve spoken with the teacher about this. I mean made an appointment, visited the school, and had a thorough discussion.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 21, 2013 at 2:18pm

Join the New ADDitude Forums

ADDConnect is shutting down on July 31.
To continue sharing and receiving support from the ADDitude community, visit our new discussion forums.

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions