My son attends a school with a diverse population. Some of the students do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. One day Boy came home and was complaining that a girl next to him kept insisting on borrowing his pencil and would use the eraser up. This had been happening for a while and he told me he was not sure how to deal with it.
So we drove over to the Dollar Store and picked up a nice pack of pencils with a paper back to the packaging. I wrote a note on the back addressed to the student. I told her these pencils were a gift and that she is loved. I also said if she ran out in a couple of weeks to let me know. After Tom gave her the pencils the girl stopped yelling at him and stopped asking to borrow his pencils. She began to treat him more like a friend.
I can't imagine how lonely and stressful it must feel for a student who does not have pencils for class. Who hasn't had nightmares of being unprepared for class? This is many student's lived reality. It was not expensive to help her and it made my son's educational environment more pleasant.
We may not be able to change the world but if there is one kid your child is complaining about ask about supplies and other needs. By reaching out we can change the timbre of our schools.
I do need to add the caveat that if your child is being threatened by a student you need to report that immediately and insist steps are taking to protect your student. But for low level aggravations we have found sometimes the best way to be rid of a bully is to turn them into a friend or at least a friendly acquaintance.
Amazon is a nice place to stock up on school supplies. I like these pencils because they use thicker lead that seems to be less prone to break.