Parents have a HUGE role in raising non bullies; protecting their children from long term bullying; and standing up for other people's children.
The elephant in the room is how parents of targets feel about parents of bullies. Especially if the parent of the target has been brave enough to approach the other parent in a rational way.
So here's a chance to be honest (not cruel or crass, just honest) and say what you need to say.
"When I talked to (parent of bully) they defended their child by saying, "___________________________."
"It would be so helpful if they would ____________________________________________________________."
Wake up, parents. No one ever wants to hear, "kids will be kids," especially if your kid is beating up or spreading rumors about my kid. That's NOT what our expectation should be of kids. And this is what I have to say when parents say that to me: "In that case, parents should be parents."
The New York Times' blog regarding bullying and cyberbullying is great but the comments are even better. Check out "Jim M.'s" comment. He's #14 and my new hero.
It's admirable when parents are not in denial about their children's behavior. As a matter of fact, those are the kids, when corrected, who will probably be leaders. So be a leader and raise a leader. When another parent approaches you about your child's behavior, be open to what they have to say. Don't go overboard. Listen to your child's side and then make an informed judgment. If you child is at fault, this is a great teachable moment.
You're the chief but you're also part of the village.