Absence and Lack of Confidence

A sense of the school’s authority as a powerful institution can result in a relinquishing of responsibility. Parents and caregivers who feel alienated and distanced from the school system may believe that the school has the power and the responsibility to deal with any issues such as bullying that arise there, without their involvement. Whereas schools sometimes feel that parents and caregivers are not involved enough, parents and caregivers for their part can feel that the school is expecting too much of them, and that they are somehow expected to resolve a bullying problem on their own.

Lack of involvement or absence from the school can arise from a lack of confidence and skills. Dealing with a bureaucracy can be daunting and intimidating for marginalized parents and caregivers who feel that they are incompetent. Parents and caregivers who are newcomers, LGBT, single mothers, those living in poverty, women living with violence in an intimate relationship (or some combination of the above) may lack a sense of entitlement and personal agency – the feeling and belief that they can and have a right to make a difference, have an influence, bring about change.