To think the school could do more.

(41 Posts)
Daisypod Thu 19-Sep-13 13:24:37

My son has been being bullied at school since starting juniors at the beginning of September. It has been general name calling and swearing and it has upset him greatly. School seemed to be taking this seriously and had put plans in place that I was happy with.
However yesterday it became physical. He told me what had happened when he got home from school and it was in my eyes quite serious. I phoned the school, although I was surprised they hadn't rung me, and they confirmed that the incident had been reported and they had looked into it. However the boys responsible had denied doing it and therefore there was nothing further the school would/could do except keep an eye on DS to make sure it didn't escalate.
AIBU to think that he had been physically hurt (there are marks on his hands) and therefore they should take this more seriously?

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 20-Sep-13 12:07:59

Ok, I'd be loathe to do this, but tell the school you've contacted the local paper? That might make them step up too.

kali110 Fri 20-Sep-13 09:47:14

YANBU!!!

cg13 Fri 20-Sep-13 08:31:03

Ps definitely take pictures and keep written evidence. Great advice.

cg13 Fri 20-Sep-13 08:29:07

I bet if you told school you were going to report it to the police they would change their tune pretty sharp-ish (or I hope they would!). You'd have every right to, it's assault. I'm shocked children that young would even know to do that, I would hope the school/parents come down on them like a ton of bricks. I visit by the police might have that effect.

pooka Fri 20-Sep-13 08:18:06

Our school would take that incredibly seriously.

When ds1 was in reception he was approached by a boy in year 3 who offered him all sorts of gogos and trading cards if he would punch another boy in reception. He didn't. He really really wanted the stuff though. My dd, also in year 3 told me.

I mentioned it to the TA next morning. It escalated very quickly and efficiently. Boy seen by reception teacher. Report passed to his own yr 3 teacher. Deputy head interview. Circle time chats. Year 3 teacher checking about a week after the incident to make sure no repeat.

It was viewed very seriously partly because of the age differences between ds and the boy.

cory Fri 20-Sep-13 08:07:25

Can I modify WetAugust's statement to "some schools are totally ineffective when it comes to bullying"? Dc's schools have been remarkably effective over the years. Which proves that it can be done- and consequently that the schools that can't be arsed have no excuse.

WetAugust Thu 19-Sep-13 22:33:28

Sorry - I didn't see your post where you said you'd spoken to the Police.

The Police cannot ignore this. You should make a complaint to the Chief Constable. I had the same problem when my DS was assaulted - Police turned up and didn't want to know. I complained to the Chief Constable and the Police Complaints Committee investigated.

Bullying is a term that should be banned - it's common assault or grievous bodily harm. It wouldn't be tolerated elsewhere so should not be tolerated in school.

I'm angry on your behalf. Especially to hear that the Deputy Head was so dismissive.

definitely document the assault by writing to school cc the Governors naming the scumbags and demanding action.

WetAugust Thu 19-Sep-13 22:28:43

Schools are totally ineffective when it comes to bullying.
Their anti-bullying policies are just pieces of junk paper.
They are far too keen to take the word of the bully - usually backed up by the bully's own chums.

Believe you own child - never doubt for one moment what they tell you.

Write to the school and complain. Writing is far more effective than phoning/ emailing etc. You can always refer back to letters if things don't improve.

Name names. Sometimes that gives school the ammo they need to take action.

If the situation does not improve escalate the issue by writing to the Governors. You can copy the Local Authority in your correspondence.

If it's physical assault then call in the Police. It's just as much a criminal offence if it happens in school as it would be if it happened in the street. Physical assault should never be tolerated.

hiddenhome Thu 19-Sep-13 21:37:01

Push this with the police. Wasn't there a case a few years ago, where some boys were doing things with rope to another child and the child almost ended up being hanged?

These bullies might seriously harm somebody next time. I hope your ds is okay. He's a young child and needs protecting.

Daisypod Thu 19-Sep-13 21:33:20

Thank you all for your kind advice. I have been to the police but their line was that it is a school matter and if the school feels it should be reported they will do it, not me. Also apparently they are of the same opinion that as the bully's denied it there is nothing they can do! I wasn't aware that that is how our law worked, that in order to do anything the accused has to admit responsibility.
Unfortunately the marks have faded quite a bit today.
I have emailed the head and deputy this afternoon requesting a meeting. I was also told by DS this morning that one of his friends was there when they dragged him off, although yesterday I was told by the teachers there were no witnesses. I told the deputy this morning but I felt she brushed me off.
Hopefully they will be in touch tomorrow. I need to make a list of my biggest concerns I guess. I keep flipping between being angry and being very upset, although after thinking about this for the last 24 hrs I now feel exhausted.

BrokenSunglasses Thu 19-Sep-13 21:02:55

If the school won't admit to the bullies causing the marks on your ds, then they need to be able to explain how they did get there. He is 7 and he was the schools responsibility at the time it happened.

So sorry you are having to go through this. Things like this happening to your child hurt so much. thanks

Taz1212 Thu 19-Sep-13 20:21:37

I would go to the police as well. We had problems one year with two brothers aged 8 & 10. The problems started where we live - the boys trying to get my 5 year old daughter to pull her pants down and throwing a bottle at her head when she wouldn't. Then on the walk to school every day- in front of me, both threatening to "fuck her". Then finally hassle at school. The school had no interest dealing with the problems in school because they denied it. We got the police involved (because of the "rape" threats) and oh my did the school attitude change after that! Once they knew the police were involved they did crack down on the two little shits and I don't apologise for calling these boys shits

goodmum123 Thu 19-Sep-13 20:16:08

Yes finiola one step ^ do this xxx

Finola1step Thu 19-Sep-13 20:02:32

Hi Daisy. I'm really sorry that this has happened to your son. I am on the leadership team of a primary school. In our school, years 1-6 play in the same playground, any problems stamped on very quickly.

You are not over reacting. This is not boys being boys. You are right to be very concerned because of not only what is happening but due to the ages if the boys involved.

My advice is to take this directly to the head. Ask what has been done. Take photos of the marks. Write down what has been happening. If you are not satisfied that the school are taking appropriate measures to ensure your son's safety, ask for a copy of their complaints procedure. Tell them that you will be making a written complaint and will send a copy to the Chair of Governors. Engage with the school openly and honestly but make it very clear that you expect the school to meet its Safeguarding responsibilities towards your son. Find out if the other parents have been informed and what the outcome has been.

Do not sit back and let this continue. Do not wait for the next incident. This idea that the bully has to confess is nonsense. Your son is marked, was tied to a tree. If those boys were in my school, I would sit them down and simply say "Look me in the eyes and tell me the truth. And remember I know when children are lying". It sounds simple, but it works every time. It would then be parents in, banning from the playground for a set period and then close monitoring.

I was bullied myself as I child and it was horrendous. You may well have to be "that parent" who asks the tricky questions.

BrianTheMole Thu 19-Sep-13 19:39:00

Yes good idea re photos and measurements.

stokiemum62 Thu 19-Sep-13 19:02:38

If he has marks on his hands get photographs tonight, ideally with a ruler or tape measure alongside to show their size.

Get it in writing, with a copy to the Chair of Governors. Hand deliver it and see the HT at the same time. This is really serious.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 19-Sep-13 16:49:31

If someone at work tied me to a tree and then injured me I wouldn't be going to my boss - I would be going to the police.

Does tying to a tree count as false imprisonment, does anyone know?

higgle Thu 19-Sep-13 16:28:59

I'd second reporting it to the police. DS1 had his blazer flamed with aerosol + match at his school and they said they couldn't do anything about it as the culprit denied it. When I reminded the head that "arson with intent to endanger life" carried life imprisonment as a possible penalty they soon changed their tune and tackled the issue on the basis of my intention to involve the police. The boy was excluded for quite a long time and subsequently lost all kudos with his peer group.

contact the police and have the physical assualt loggedsad

BrianTheMole Thu 19-Sep-13 16:18:09

Thats a big age difference. Your ds knows who did it? Go through the schools complaints procedure and take it further. I might even be tempted to call the police and report it if the school doesn't do something. It is assault after all.

steppemum Thu 19-Sep-13 15:03:33

''the bullies denied it''

Of course they did. There are more than one of them and only one of your ds, and they are year 6, and he is year 3.

I would be more surprised if they admitted it.

I would say to school, that you was physically hurt, by being tied up against his will. If the perpetrators deny it, then they have 2 issues to deal with, 1. bullying and 2. lying.

Even if they can't establish who did it, then they still need to believe your ds when he says he was tied up against his will.

And definitely keep written records, including an email/letter to head ''further to our meeting yesterday, just confirming that you said x and I said y''

Mmmnotsure Thu 19-Sep-13 14:40:11

Daisy - one thing you are not doing is overreacting to this.

Years 3 and 6 'playing' together with no effective supervision raises questions for starters. That is a big difference in age, size, etc.

Take photographs of the injuries, now and over the next couple of days (so you can use the worst ones).

Start a paper trail. Everything in writing. Get your ds to go through what happened and between you write down what he says - when, who, what, how he felt. Start to keep a record of everything he says has happened since the start of term.

Contact the Head in writing to say you want an appointment and why. Follow up the appt again in writing. I don't know who 'the school' is who you have talked to so far. If the Head is no use, then governors, etc. But everything logged and in writing. Look through the anti-bullying policy (which I, too, would love to see, especially the bit about the bullies having to admit it!) and look for the buzz words: safekeeping, loco parentis, right of the child to feel safe, etc, and quote their own words back at them. Good luck.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 19-Sep-13 14:30:00

Tied to a tree and abused? That is horrendous OP and I can only imagine what both you and he are going through.

Two issues here - firstly, the safety of your son - speak to the head and demand action. If nothing is done, consider changing schools. Absolutely unacceptable for them to abdicate their responsibilities.

Secondly - what kind of environment have the bullies grown up in to think this is acceptable? They tied him to a tree??? Dear God. This was a premeditated attack. I'm sorry but the first thing that came to mind when I read this was Jamie Bulger. The boys who have done this are over the age of criminal responsibility. If nothing more is forthcoming from the school, I really would be tempted to involve the police.

Good luck and YANBU! Absolutely not. Your child has the right to go to school and be safe.

diddl Thu 19-Sep-13 14:26:33

OK-the bullies denied it.

But the school should be up in arms about the fact that it happened at all.

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