...to expect year 2 children not to be physically violent

(35 Posts)
MimsyBorogoves Tue 18-Mar-14 15:13:13

I've posted about this in Primary Education too, but the traffic is slower there and I really need some other opinions today. This is my day for getting stuff done, and I'm writing a letter to my DD's school to let them know she's leaving for another school in September.

The reason she's moving schools is the physical hurt she gets from her classmates. Two of them have had it in for her since Reception and while I realise not all Reception children have learned not to hit, bite or kick, I'd have thought it would stop by Year 2. Am I wrong?

She comes home almost daily telling me she's been kicked, punched, or pinched, or had something of hers deliberately broken. In the last ten days, she's had her head forced to the ground and then farted on by two different children. I know farting is hilarious to 7-year-olds, but physical abuse is not funny to me. I hate sending her to school knowing she's going to get hurt there. She is swotty, and keen to learn, and all she's learned at this school is how to stand up to bullies.

(I'm glad she's learned that, but it broke my heart, seeing her at the low point she hit this time last year when she let it all out and we began to turn things around.)

I've drafted a letter to the school to say she's leaving, and in it, I've described the physical hurt she gets from the others. Is this too hankie-clutching? Do you expect your kids to get kicked and hit every day? Is it normal?

I have to ask because her school are really, really soft on discipline - a standard punishment for physical violence is "only getting one biscuit at break tomorrow" - so I don't know what other schools are like. I'm fed up with this one.

Poppy67 Tue 18-Mar-14 15:15:23

This is beyond unacceptable. the school have a duty of care to your child, which they are failing. You should contact the school governors and your local authority.

CailinDana Tue 18-Mar-14 15:15:38

God almighty. Where is this school? Is the HT in a coma?

Aldwick Tue 18-Mar-14 15:17:38

This is heartbreaking and unbelievably unacceptable. Definitely get your voice heard by all staff and governors. Thank goodness your daughter has you for a mother and you are moving her.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 15:19:24

I work in a school, sorry biscuits at break time? never heard of that anyway.

is it a private school? where are you? haven't you contacted school or HT before or governors?

meditrina Tue 18-Mar-14 15:24:43

Have you got a good paper trail of all the times you raised this with the school?

For yes, you do get the odd incident of dreadful behaviour in the playground and this can happen in any year group. But it should be dealt with effectively and stopped decisively. It should never be a near daily occurrence, whatever age.

YouTheCat Tue 18-Mar-14 15:28:08

Make sure you copy in the governors to that letter.

You get the odd incident. You get the odd fight. But something as sustained just against your child is bullying in the extreme and is not normal.

Viviennemary Tue 18-Mar-14 15:33:17

I think when it gets to this stage it's time for a change of school. But if that's not possible the school should be dealing with the bullying. These children are behaving that way because they are allowed to. And their are no consequences. I agree there will always be the odd incident but persistent picking on one or two children is bullying. Take it further. Hope you get things sortedout.

KeinBock Tue 18-Mar-14 15:33:18

My dd1 is the same age. If I were in your shoes, my dd would not be waiting until September to leave. Why have you tolerated this for so long?

MimsyBorogoves Tue 18-Mar-14 16:15:46

We haven't tolerated it all the way through. We didn't realise how bad it was until a year ago, when DD had been withdrawn for a while, so I listened to her and was appalled at everything that came out. We kept her off school until we could talk to the staff, who'd assumed she was naturally tearful and sensitive and hadn't noticed it was due to the other kids.

We put hours and hours and hours in at home, building her confidence, taking it in turns to be the bully and to be her, and showing her how to stand up and shout back. We totally turned things around for her. I put all my time into helping her, listening to her, building her strength. The teacher was on board by now and kept a sharper eye out in the playground. Discipline got tougher.

Things got better, much better, but are beginning to slide again. I've noticed it always gets worse towards the end of each academic year.

It is a mixed school, and the boys all exchange rough play and a couple of the girls do too, and many parents let it carry on because their children enjoy it and don't get emotionally hurt by it. It is wrong for her, though. The whole school is wrong for her. I'm glad to hear I'm not going mad. She is changing school, as soon as possible, and she can't wait, and I'm tempted to let her have the summer term off.

Thank you for your replies. I'm sorry not to respond straight away, but I was doing the school run. I feel much better that this isn't normal, but i still hate the way things are for her. I'm going to write to all the heads of everything and let them know.

MimsyBorogoves Tue 18-Mar-14 16:23:23

(She really enjoys shouting at her bullies now. I've told her that shouting, which she is good at, is her super-power, and she should use it for good. Now when anyone hurts her, she shouts so loudly at them now that they run away crying and she comes home exhilarated. I can't wait until she's in a school where she won't have to use her super-power so often, though.)

Marylou62 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:30:33

I had two very physical boys but at no time would they have bullied a girl...and if its girls doing it, it's worse I think!! (I was bullied dreadfully all my childhood). We had a different problem with our DS and it got so bad that one day I just pulled him out of that school....no other school lined up...he'd had enough and so had we. Just rang the school and said he was not coming back. Luckily new school was amazing and I still get tearful when I think of the whole situation. He was a different child. If at all possible, get her out NOW. I really feel for you all and Good Luck.

PassTheSherry Tue 18-Mar-14 17:43:24

I have a dd in Yr2 in a mixed school and no, this situation is very, very far from normal. Being kicked, punched, held down and having her things taken from her is terrible, and the school has major problems if it is normalising that sort of behaviour, by not treating it as the very serious issue it is. Awful.

My dd's school has a very varied demographic, and the pupil population comes from very diverse socio-economic backgrounds - yet discipline and pupil conduct has never been an issue in the 3yrs she has been there. You go into the playground, and the children are happy, friendly towards one another, they call each other and wave if they see each other in the street, the parents smile and nod to each other too.

Thing is - it's not just about how the school reacts to incidents of bullying, but how it fosters a general atmosphere of co-operation and kindness, for all pupils, so that incidents of violence would actually stand out like a sore thumb. Seeing posts like this makes me realise how lucky we are!

BumpyGrindy Tue 18-Mar-14 17:55:00

MaryLou what on earth are you talking about?? Girls OR boys are equally wrong to bully.

OP...this is not at all normal...the school sounds dreadful!

TSSDNCOP Tue 18-Mar-14 18:56:41

Nope absolutely not normal. In our school ANY behaviour such as you mention would put the child on "red": that involves a trip to the Heads study, whatever punishment she deems appropriate, loss of at least me playtime and the issue raised with parents.

Surely the school has to have a bullying policy? If they have why haven't they implemented it?

As to the biscuit thing. Well I'm dumbfounded. I've never known a school private or state to have anything except fruit for break snack.

innisglas Tue 18-Mar-14 19:03:25

One thing is rough play, which I loved as a child, and another thing entirely is this unbelievable bullying. You're poor daughter.

NurseyWursey Tue 18-Mar-14 19:11:24

This has made me so sad sad

This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I went through primary school, and it was horrific. I was clever, an ugly ducking. I'd get spat on, kicked punched, whipped with sticks, my clothes and books torn, they'd make fun of my dad being dead... My mum used to cry sending me to school. Nothing ever got done, in particular because one of the bullies had ADHD and the school had no idea how to engage and teach him so left him to his own devices.

The thing is it changes you. Like your DD has had to get her 'super power' I had to change too. Shouting wouldn't stop them though it would egg them on. It was only when we went to the same high school and it continued that I snapped and I'm not proud of what I had to do but it's the only way it stopped them sad

It's NOT ON and it's ridiculous that the school aren't taking it seriously.I honestly applaud you for all the coping strategies and techniques you've taught your daughter. It must be tough. Can you take it higher, over the teacher's heads and report their pathetic excuse of a 'punishment'?

Are there any schools in the area she could go to?

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 18-Mar-14 19:43:57

I haven't read the whole thread as I have just one message- take her out now and don't go back .
Escalate this to the goveners and LEA .
There will be others suffering like her .

Nennypops Tue 18-Mar-14 19:47:34

What has happened when you have raise this previously? Has the school got a bullying policy, and are they implementing it?

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 19:48:59

op I work in a school and trust me this isn't normal at all. in fact never heard of this level of ignoring violence and ineffective supervision ever.

please can you say if it's a state or private school. and explain about the biscuits in your op as mystified.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 08:39:38

Sorry Bumpy you are right, and on reading it back it did seem odd. What I meant is that boys can be rough at that age with each other and to involve girls is something that I told my boys is wrong. (even if they want to join in the rough play) Ie being rough with a friend who doesn't mind...rough play. But if a girl is being rough with another girl who is obviously distressed by it can be worse...hope that sounds better? And I might add that as someone who was seriously bullied for all my school life....I am proud that my 3 DC were neither a bully or bullied....so I must have done a good job and explained it better to them!!!?

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 08:49:42

And, without muddying the water, it is very hard to define bullying. What is normal childhood behaviour...not wanting to play with another child because they are bossy etc. My DD was called to HT for bullying...In can assure you I took it very seriously...That child said 'Its not that she's bullying me.. its just that I am very sensitive and when she wants to play with x it hurts my feelings'. They are 20 now and good friends. I have taught my 3 about other peoples feelings but they do not have to play with kids that they don't like.

BumpyGrindy Wed 19-Mar-14 09:45:34

Marylou No...you're still wrong. Children of 5 and 6 play together and girls aren't weaker than boys until they're quite a bit older I certainly do not expect my 6 year old DDs male classmates to avoid rough play with her "because she's a girl" if she wants to join in...which she does..she likes it.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 09:54:03

Then we shall beg to differ...My DSs could be very physical and were both BIG boys....I thought it was wrong and still do that they would play as roughly with a girl as they would with each other. Maybe tone it down a bit...but they both played rugby (not tag) with their uncles and I would not only be worried about a girl getting hurt...one of my childminded children (same age)was quite a little quiet boy and they were told to tone it down with him too.

jellybeans Wed 19-Mar-14 09:56:51

In my experience sadly it is normal all the way up past year 6 if you have the misfortune of having children with severe behavioral problems in the class that are poorly supervised or excused for their behavior. My DTs had 2 in their class and all the prents were sick to the teeth of them'getting away with it' with their softly approach to bullying and of excusing behaviour for various reasons. Also the parents were useless in both cases so not much the school can do if they won't exclude them. Schools should get tougher on this and send violent kids to special units that have more 1 to1 help as why should the other kids suffer day in day out.

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