Who's in the wrong here?

(93 Posts)
Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 16:48:58

Would love your opinion, not sure who's in the wrong.

I'm furious at the way DS was treated at school yesterday. Long story short he's 12 and has had the same bunch of pals since start of primary. One of his pals was given a silly nickname last year. Not offensive in any way but apparently the pal is sick of the nickname now and it's upset her but she never said anything to DS or friends, if she had they wouldn't have used the name anymore. So her father went into school yesterday and told staff his daughter was being bullied by her friends. They have been threatened with all sorts and screamed and shouted at before even being allowed to give their side of the story. I don't know who I'm more disappointed at, school or her parents.

LooseyMy Sat 18-May-13 16:50:37

What is the nickname and why was she given it? Your story could be interpreted in different ways.

Depends on what the nickname is.

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 16:53:34

How do you know she's never said anything?

I doubt a parent would be upset to screaming point unless the child had been upset for some time.

The important thing now is to leave the school to deal with it, refrain from making the girl's life harder by gossiping about her family, and make sure your DC knows not to use the nn in future.

ChippingInIsMissingHerLatte Sat 18-May-13 16:53:55

No, it doesn't depend on the nickname - if she no longer likes being called by it, she should have just told her friends (in the first instance anyway) & the parents are in the wrong for not getting her to do that first and the school is in the wrong for over reacting & not listening to the other childrens side. Ridiculous.

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 18-May-13 16:54:06

Really? Screamed and shouted at? I doubt that very much. Obviously you believe every load of bollocks thing your son tells you. It makes it seem more likely she has been bullied.

CombineBananaFister Sat 18-May-13 16:54:34

Totally depends on nickname - if everyone is this worked up about it now, could be she never liked it and been putting on a brave face? Strange though if they're all really close that parents didn't just go to you guys direct and say stop using it? maybe it's more offensive than you think?!? confused

cory Sat 18-May-13 16:54:36

Could it be that the girl has actually tried to indicate earlier that she didn't like the nickname and that the boys were simply being a bit dense about understanding what she was saying?

I remember my life at primary being made absolute misery by some boys who kept making remarks about my looks. I met them many years later, abroad, they were delighted to see me and clearly had no recollection of ever having made my life a misery. Yet I could have sworn that I made it clear to them at the time, insofar as I dared; obviously if there is a whole gang of other children calling you a name and nobody is backing you up, you do get a bit nervous.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sat 18-May-13 16:56:05

The school is wrong for not listening, don't judge the dad you don't know what he's been told

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 16:56:31

More information needed. You could be describing anything from a minor misunderstanding to quite serious bullying.
However, if the child was upset by the nickname, I think the other children would know this- whether she had 'told them' or not.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 16:56:37

Don't want to say incase someone knows me. Situation is bad enough. Lets just say they were watching a cookery programme and one of them said oh your just like Jamie Oliver. It's as stupid as that. The name just stuck and she laughed and joked about it for months and all of a sudden doesn't want to be called that anymore. All fine, but why didn't she just say that instead of calling everyone bullies. It just doesn't make sense. DS is so upset to have been labelled a bully. School have gone completely over the top.

cory Sat 18-May-13 16:58:41

Do you know that she hasn't said it and the other children just didn't realise she meant it?

I was called an incorrect pronunciation of my name by a colleague for years.

Every time I said the correct pronunciation. And they still always got it wrong.

Eventually, I snapped and lost the plot with them.

They hadn't realised they were annoying me.

Sounds a bit similar, tbh. It was pissing her off, the kids weren't listening and she cracked to her dad who went in and lost the plot.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 17:05:53

When you say she laughed and joked about it, did you see this? Did she genuinely find it funny, or was she going along with it so as not to make a fuss?

I can easily imagine a child feeling a bit irritated and hurt at first, but not making a fuss- trying to brush it off, but the others not letting it go. It's very easy for children to use the 'it's only a joke' line when actually they know perfectly well that the other child doesn't like it.

Not saying that this is what's happening in this case, OP. You could be right in that the child and school have completely overreacted. But as I say, I'd want to know more.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:05:58

Who was screaming and shouting at him?

That doesn't sound a very effective way of tackling anything that might have happened.

My DD had a nickname to do with her surname at primary that she hated, and it was used to bully her alongside other 'disrespectful' shit they'd use to isolate and exclude her.

There's definitely something not right with the scenario you've described, it can't be as your DS says with everyone happy and getting along nicely, but this girl's going home unhappy and upset enough for her parents to involve themselves.

Children who say they've been bullied should be taken seriously, I'm not saying your DS has done anything intentionally, but it's unlikely she'd be getting het up if everything's as he said it is.

What if she had said it and they'd just brushed it off?

It's just that you haven't factored into the possibility your DS may have done something when you say 'I don't know who I'm more disappointed at, school or her parents.'

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:07:20

I even rang her parents last night. I know them well enough. She said that daughter was upset and sick of it but because they only knew me and not the other childrens parents they felt they had to go straight to the school. When I said that DS had been called a bully and been totally humiliated she just said 'yeah I thought that's what would happen'. The friends father took them all swimming last week! Why didn't he just speak to them when he dropped them off at home. That's how I would have dealt with it. DS said he would never intentionally hurt his pals feelings. He's devastated it's come to this.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:08:18

I wouldn't go looking for who is wrong and who is right here, but assume it was a genuine misunderstanding and try to encourage your ds to take it as a learning opportunity: sometimes we misgauge people's reactions, these things happen, I accept that nobody meant to upset anyone, but let's think about what we can do better next time.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:08:43

My DD tried to 'take ownership' of the nickname she had to take the sting out of it, writing it on her bag/books/school website, but privately she still loathed it.

Major error. Ringing the parents. Keep school stuff in school and don't get involved in kids falling outs.

The father was protecting his daughter. That's his job. He went about it the right way, went into school, and the school are dealing with it.

If you'd rung me I'd have been fuming.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 17:09:37

I forgot to say- you are completely right to say that your child and the others should have had a chance to give their side of the story. And there shouldn't have been shouting and screaming in any case- a calm investigation, warning that it needs to stop, then a punishment if necessary. Shouting and screaming doesn't achieve anything.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:11:14

Advice on other threads with posters asking what to do because they suspect their child is being bullied, is to go straight to the school and definitely not involve the parents.

They did the right thing.

But who was it who shouted and screamed at your DS? That's definitely not right.

TidyDancer Sat 18-May-13 17:12:43

Oh this happened to me at school. It was done as a so-called innocent joke, the name that was given to me, but I hated it. I never said a word about it and just laughed along because I knew if I made a big deal out of it, it would get worse. I couldn't wait until sixth form when the people who used the name would be gone.

It was used to belittle. It may have been under the guise of a silly joke, but it didn't feel like that.

My guess is that poor girl has snapped after a year of feeling like she was the butt of a joke. Good on her for saying something, she shouldn't have to put up with it the way I did for years. It can be low-level (at best) bullying.

You have only got one side of the story. The only person you should feel sorry for is the girl.

TidyDancer Sat 18-May-13 17:13:49

I doubt they have been screamed and shouted at tbh.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:14:37

She even called herself by the nickname for months. She's sat in my car every night laughing and joking all the way home from school. DS and friends are in total shock.

But that's a defence mechanism, don't you see that?

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