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Was I wrong to go to the head about my ds being bullied by my friend's ds.

(63 Posts)
Blowin Thu 14-Feb-13 22:11:47

I moved from London to a smallish town in the north of England last summer. Since then, my two boys (aged 7 and 10) have joined the local school and I have been meeting mums and making new friends.

I became very friendly with one lady, as one of her sons was in my older ds class. We get on very well, and up to now, i thought our sons did too.

I found out at the weekend that my ds is being bullied horribly by my friends son. Really nasty stuff, and this lad is getting other boys to join him in the bullying. This boy is pretty popular, good at sport, extremely competitive and confident. He has been physically shoving my ds about, calling him names, like telling him he is "gay, a puff" etc and also saying nasty things to my ds about me and my dh.

I am really shocked and upset about this. I went in to the school this morning to make this issue known to the head, and he has promised me to look in to it.

I have told only one other friend about this, a mutual friend of mine and this boys mum. She couldnt believe that I had gone straight to the headmaster instead of first approaching this boys mum to try and sort it out, seeing as how we are all friends.

However, I feel that because this has happened on school property and in school hours it is a school matter to be dealt with as such. Our mutual friend has made me feel really bad, by saying that i was unreasonable to deal with it in this way, and that it was really unfair of me.

Did i handle this wrong?

lljkk Fri 15-Feb-13 12:52:14

You did nothing wrong, OP. You didn't have any easy choices. I don't know what I would have done in your case. If it's as nasty as you say then I would probably have gone to school because it's happening in school time on school premises and school has to be closely involved in resolving the problem.

mummytime Fri 15-Feb-13 10:46:47

As a parent who has had complaints made about one d her children: such complaints should always go through the school !

I cannot control my child in school hours, as I am not there. Even if (as we do) we speak to them about their behaviour out of school, we can't respond for a long time to each event (days possibly before you can know what our child has done and then we can respond). If a teacher is informed they can spot trouble and respond much quicker, and let us know far more promptly.

Also there could be a pattern of behaviour which indicates a SEN or other underlying issue. Or our child could stop but another child then takes over.

School should always be the first point of call.

fromparistoberlin Fri 15-Feb-13 10:38:49

no you did right

This has happended in my DS class, the boys were born in the same maternity ward!

she also approached the teacher not the Mum

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 15-Feb-13 10:36:36

I agree that you were right to go to the school. I was in the same position as you; my friend was and is a very good friend, but everything was dealt with through the school. My friend hasn't mentioned it to me, nor I to her, and now finally (at the age of 16) the girls are friendly. I didn't care about them remaining friends, I just wanted the bullying to stop. To be fair to my friend, when a group of families were away and something happened, she and her DH reprimanded their DD very sharply which leads me to believe that it can't have been the first time that something like that has happened.

Like the other posters, the mistake you made was to mention it to a third party. I did not do that.

sukysue Fri 15-Feb-13 10:16:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

StuntGirl Fri 15-Feb-13 09:57:18

If the friendship is ended over her child bullying your child then she wasn't a friend to begin with, so you've lost nothing!

armagh Fri 15-Feb-13 09:56:13

You were right to go to the school. You were wrong to tell mutual friend. She may tell the bully's mum and scew the story. I wouldn't phone your friend about it. Leave the school to deal with it. The friendships may not survive but your dc's happiness is paramount in this.

DeWe Fri 15-Feb-13 09:54:18

Much better to go to the school.
I know one situation where parent A spoke to parent B and said she was going to speak to school and just ask them to keep an eye on things at school. Parent B seemed really supportive when they spoke.
When parent A went in she found that parent B had rushed straight to school from their conversation and accused the other child of bullying her dd, and said a lot of really nasty things, all of which were made up. shock

Also if he'd bringing other boys in then the school needs to be involved anyway.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 15-Feb-13 09:33:51

I would never speak with another mum about an in school issue, very often backfires. If the mum denies it fr example, the friendship is damaged anyway. Into school every time.

And don't sweat the class teacher's feelings, it is normal to speak to heads about such things.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 15-Feb-13 09:31:40

You were absolutely right to go to school. The only mistake was telling the other person, which is not really a good idea. I would also take this straight to the head as it is a serious issue.

But don't contact the mum of the boy doing the bullying, not a good idea.

Hope it all works out ok.

TotallyBS Fri 15-Feb-13 09:28:41

OP - if my DC was being bullied by a kid whose mum I wasn't friendly with then I would go straight to the class teacher. If I felt that the teacher wasn't handling it to my satisfaction then I would go over her head and speak to the HM.

But since you are friends with the mum all you had to do was have a 5 min conversation with your friend. If she got all defensive then by all means escalate with the school.

Sorry OP but you seem to have gone straight to the nuclear option. Kiss goodbye to the friendship. As for your class teacher, I don't think she is too happy with you for going over her head without giving her a chance to deal with.

NellysKnickers Fri 15-Feb-13 09:14:57

You did the right thing. I went straight to the head, she thanked me for letting her know as she absolutely will not tolerate bullying. It is unwise to approach parents, the schools, IME, deal with it swiftly and on facts not emotion. YANBU.

ChristmasJubilee Fri 15-Feb-13 09:08:15

I would have been very upset if a good friend of mine had gone to the school without mentioning it to me first and it would be the end of the friendship for me. I would also be upset if I discovered she had been discussing it with other people.

My friend was approached by the mother of a boy in her son's class (not a friend) who said my friends ds had been bullying her child and gave examples. My friend tackled her son about it, stopped him going to the school disco that week and got him to apologise to the other boy. It never happened again.

I would have spoken to the mother first to see if it could have been resolved between the boys and let her know that if nothing changed the school would need to be involved.

If she had not been a friend I would have let the school deal with it.

swisscottage Fri 15-Feb-13 09:03:05

You did the right thing OP going straight to the school, head or teacher it doesn't matter but at least they can watch what is going on.
No point going to the mum/friend to try and discuss it, she might be one of those parents who thinks their DC can do no wrong and is certainly not a bully and turn the whole thing around on your DS. There are so many of those type of mothers so best to avoid confrontation, especially if you are newish there.

tiggytape Fri 15-Feb-13 08:47:08

YANBU - you did totally the right thing.
Approaching another parent never works - even especially if you are friends. It would be a very rare mum indeed who listened to your complaint against their son, sympathised with your DS and sought to put things right. In reality she would just defend her son or not believe you at all.

And as this is all happening at school, even if she did believe you, it needs to be dealt with at school which obviously she cannot do as she's not there.

MaryBS Fri 15-Feb-13 08:46:33

I think you've done the right thing. I've had to do this more than once, and it means that the friendship is more likely to stay intact, IMHO, especially if you explain the situation to the school re: friendship.

StuntGirl Fri 15-Feb-13 08:41:20

I would have gone to school too. With all due respect to other posters, you don't know how the parent will react, and you never know which ones are the rational ones and which ones are the batshit crazy ones 'til you accuse their kid of bullying. The OP wasn't in a situation where she was dealing with a long term friend who she knew and understood well, it's a new friendship in a new town.

You did the right thing for your son OP, that's all that matters. I'm glad he's doing better now.

valiumredhead Fri 15-Feb-13 08:37:22

ALWAYS go to the school if the problem is happening in school.

joanofarchitrave Fri 15-Feb-13 07:35:06

Always straight to the school.

Mrspartacus Fri 15-Feb-13 07:31:12

Can you trust the other mum to not tell the bully's mum? That's my only worry.

For info I would of gone to the school too, though to the class teacher, but I wouldn't of told anyone about it, infact having been in your position, I didn't tell anyone. It was all resolved and nobody knows.

Tasmania Fri 15-Feb-13 02:11:43

*MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot: I wouldn't have done that, I would have gone to my friend first to see if we could resolve it ourselves, if not, then involve the school.

Exactly Fanny.

Why didn't you go to your friend?
However, what's done is done - all you can do now is damage limitation to your friendship and explain why you did that.*

Ehm... seriously??? Are you out of your mind?

Are you one of those ridiculous (and I'm keeping myself from uttering any other word that would get me banned) parents that values a "friend" more than their child??? Is that why you want to be so considerate?

I would ONLY think about my child in this case. Wouldn't even give a toss about the bully or his mother.

Tasmania Fri 15-Feb-13 02:10:46

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot:

^I wouldn't have done that, I would have gone to my friend first to see if we could resolve it ourselves, if not, then involve the school.

Exactly Fanny.

Why didn't you go to your friend?
However, what's done is done - all you can do now is damage limitation to your friendship and explain why you did that.^

Ehm... seriously??? Are you out of your mind?

Are you one of those ridiculous (and I'm keeping myself from uttering any other word that would get me banned) parents that values a "friend" more than their child??? Is that why you want to be so considerate?

I would ONLY think about my child in this case. Wouldn't even give a toss about the bully or his mother.

TraceyTrickster Fri 15-Feb-13 01:48:59

A friend of mine went through this but with her daughter being the bully.
She said she was horrified to find out how her daughter was behaving and understood why the mum had felt awkward approaching her directly.

Things sorted out well and the mums continued their friendship. (the kids never became friends though)

Blowin Thu 14-Feb-13 23:51:25

My ds is a bit shaken by it, but feels happier that i have gotten the school involved. I really really hope they can sort it out effectively and decisively, and if that means involving the lad's mum, then so be it. Ds's happiness is more important than my friendship with this lady, much as i like her.

BookieMonster Thu 14-Feb-13 23:39:16

If the bullying happens at school, it needs to be dealt with at school. You did the right thing, OP.

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