to want to pull my daughter out of school because of a bullying parent?

(63 Posts)
cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 07:16:05

i'm at my wits end, so desperately need some advice please! a few months ago a mother in my dd's class sent me a very hostile and intimidating text message, (calling me psychotic and my children damaged) after i said hello to her in the playground. she's very angry with me but won't talk to me to tell me why, and since then started making accusations that my dd and i are intimidating her and her daughter. she's made these allegations to the school and to other parents. school have investigated all the allegations against dd and found nothing to back them up, my dd has now started mentioning changing schools as she feels really intimidated by this parent and her daughter. tried talking to her to try to resolve it but she refuses and has told me via a text to dh not to engage with her or her family. it feels like these allegations are never-ending. should i move dd? i can't work out whether i'd be moving for me or her and if we do, i want it to be for the right reasons. older ds is still there and youngest dd due to start in september...

Aspiringhuman Sun 04-May-14 08:35:22

I think that's a bad idea raskova tbh. If the OP contacts her she may call the police. Also telling someone like that the effect she's had on her dd will give her immense pleasure. People like that will enjoy the power it gives them and will be encouraged to carry on/ escalate.

Catmint Sun 04-May-14 08:37:51

I don't understand how the school can say they 'see no issue' but they also know that this girl made things up to get your DD into trouble, and they are being watched closely. In addition, if your DD is so upset she is thinking about leaving the school, this is an issue that the school needs to closely manage, whether they judge it significant or not. They have a duty of care to your DD.

If there are things the school doesn't know, tell them. They need to be the ones who sort this.

As for the mother - ignore. Do not engage.

cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 08:39:26

i'm sure i've let the situation get out of control in my head, and i tend to overthink, and wonder why and want it to be better, it seems like if i try to be civil, the more it upsets her. she wants me to behave like her and i find that really difficult. i don't want to ignore anyone, it seems so childish. we don't have to be friends but we could at least be civil. but she doesn't even want that. she's now banned me from engaging with her daughter (i said thank you when she told me the time...) it's all crazy and really hard to treat as 2 issues sometimes.

Aspiringhuman Sun 04-May-14 08:51:09

Being civil will infuriate people like her. She will only be happy if she has visibly destroyed her 'enemy'. Then she'll move onto the next person to destroy. Don't lower yourself to her level by being vicious or nasty but ignore her. Just keep a low profile and make sure your behaviour can be considered above reproach by anyone sensible.

Barefootgirl Sun 04-May-14 08:53:37

Don't be civil. Don't be rude. Don't acknowledge her AT ALL. Wear sunglasses in the playground so you don't have to make eye contact with her, and put your headphones in, so it looks as if you are listening to something and can legitimately ignore her. You can't expect her to behave like a normal person, so you have to change YOUR behaviour and stop even the tiniest interaction with her.

In all your posts, you have said your DD is unhappy and wants to move, but all your justification for moving her is based on YOUR interaction with this bonkers mother. The other girl is making up rumours and telling tales about your DD, but what about your DD's other friends?

Ask your DD, if this girl wasn't there, would she enjoy school? Does she have friends, does she like her teacher?

I'm sorry to be blunt, but I think you want to move your DD to get this woman out of YOUR hair, not your DD's. Silly girls making up tales about each other is unfortunately part of life in Y5. Teachers know this, and a girl "logging complaints" about another one is sadly not going to get the problem taken too seriously. Is she actually doing any more to your DD than jsut saying "I'm going to tell Miss Butler* that you pinched me"? I understand that this is upsetting to DD, but I suspect that Miss Butler is perfectly well aware that the Madwoman's Child is simply a product iof her home environment.

*Miss Butler =/= real teacher...!

Simile Sun 04-May-14 08:56:15

Cloud she doesn't want to be civil with you. While it is childish on her part, that's how she's going to be. The best thing you can do with her is ignore her completely. That way no drama happens and she can't make something up because you said hello to her.

With your daughter, go back to school for another chat. Explain what your daughter is saying at home as that's a red flag that she's not happy within school and something is going on. If the school has good pastoral care then they need to investigate and offer ideas that will help the situation.

Before you move schools you need to give this school a chance to improve the situation. If nothing happens then consider your options.

For yourself, ring your police contact again. You need to do this because you need it logged that this is an ongoing problem. You are after advice re speaking to the mother, this way everything is logged so if she does escalate it to harassment then you have some proof that you are not doing this.

uggmum Sun 04-May-14 09:14:36

I had a situation with another Mum. She was previously a friend. Was a queen bee type. I backed away from the friendship as I didn't like her behaviour. I remained friendly. She did not like this. She accused me of saying something that I did not say and demanded an apology and then She would forgive me

I'm usually a walkover and don't like confrontation but I refused. So I wasn't forgiven and she made my life difficult From then on we had to see each other at school and it was really difficult.

Anyway, you need to completely ignore this woman. Do not empower her. Ensure your husband does the same. Block her number. Don't even look at her. She wants to be the victim and she is pushing you.

You need to be firm with school. Her dd is bullying yours. They need to investigate and act. Make an appointment with the head and demand action. Also do not speak to her dd or approach her.

Ultimately, if your dd is unhappy I would consider moving her.

cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 09:19:09

the mother made a formal complaint to the school about dd, which i think is why she feels intimidated by her. yes, i think she may be trying to get to me through my dd. on a bad day, dd feels she's been labelled a bully and this girl will turn the other (few) girls against her. on a good day, she loves school, her teacher and friends. i wish she could just move class but only small school.

aquashiv Sun 04-May-14 09:31:53

If yr dh still speaks to her why dosnt he stick up for you and his child. I find it odd that he hasn't m

cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 09:46:20

wheresthelight and uggmum, i'm so sorry to hear your stories, thank you to all of you for sharing your advice, really wish i'd done this before, it's incredibly helpful to put it in perspective. i think it's been in my head for too long and really helps to write it all down! dh doesn't engage now. he contacted her husband who basically said she'd done this before with others but would try to talk to her. don't think that worked though.

Pagwatch Sun 04-May-14 09:53:40

I think you have some good advice on here and I understand that it has been whirring around your head and it must be upsetting.
But tbh I would try and learn from this. If you start getting negative stuff from another parent then just withdraw.
The attempts at contact were futile and have just made this into a huge drama.getting your DH to phone her DH is really ridiculous when you actually think about it.

As your child goes through school you will meet people who don't like you. Let it go. Ignore them.

cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 10:03:47

it does feel like a huge ridiculous drama, that i've given too much attention to for too long. her dh actually called my dh, so i think he's fed up with it too, but you're right- it was futile!

RainbowSpiral Sun 04-May-14 10:06:36

I think it is worth thinking what you do expect the school to do about the parents part. I'm not sure there is very much they can do as they have no control over adults.

Keep logging everything.

In terms of moving schools, is there another good school? Our head did help a family to move schools after a serious ongoing row (parental punch ups!). I think this did resolve things but it was to a school less than a mile away and the two schools are the two best in our city. So the wee girl was unlikely to have lost out educationally and she was very young when she moved schools. However I think the situation was more extreme and these families had been arch enemies for years over something nothing to do with kids or school.

A less extreme option is to consider if dd can move class, or are all the problems in the playground?

Raskova Sun 04-May-14 10:06:44

Yes aspiring human. It's either a really good or really bad idea iyswim. <confused face>

Her husband says she's done it before! Urgh, what a peach! Why do some people refuse to grow up.

You need to take the moral high ground but I have no idea how you would do that!

Pagwatch Sun 04-May-14 10:28:40

It's understandable though isn't it?
When someone is being illogical we assume that it can be sorted out but the more we try the more they will fully misinterpret .
Ignoring is the only way I think

cloud9 Sun 04-May-14 10:31:05

i understand the school are in a tricky position really, what can they do, as they quite rightly expect us to behave like the adults! i just feel a bit like we're sitting ducks waiting for the next accusation to come along, whether against me or dd. and i don't want dd to think this is normal grown up behaviour, as it isn't and in all the time with ds at school i've never had it with another parent. she never says anything to ds or dd, just gives them withering/dirty looks (they've demonstrated!), so i've tried to play it down and told them it's nothing they've done, she's just unhappy with me. i guess it's hurtful to them because before this happened, we all spent time together outside school, and they don't really understand why it's changed.

arselikekylie Sun 04-May-14 20:03:30

Ah I feel for you OP. I can imagine exactly the type of person she is. Don't run from it though. As others have said keep a dignified silence and you can bet that others can see her for what she is. It will blow over and your daughter will learn a harsh but valuable lesson in life about other peoples behaviour and how to deal with it.

Stay calm and try not to too much more energy on her. She is not worth it.

rhiwpix Sun 04-May-14 21:01:01

I just feel a bit like we're sitting ducks waiting for the next accusation to come along, whether against me or dd.

Have you told the headteacher this?

I think you should. It will help. Keep talking to the school. Keep them in the loop.

MrsCaptainReynolds Sun 04-May-14 22:01:38

Long shot, but my employer (NHS) has a vexatious complainant policy. Really helpful if someone is making unfounded complaint after complaint. Even just raising that someone may be a vexatious complainant completely changes the focus of how things are being dealt with. Perhaps if this woman is making repeated unfounded complaints of bullying, you could ask the HT if they have a vexatious complainant policy, and if not how do they propose to manage the effect of ongoing vexatious complaints upon your daughter? Might reframe their focus a little?

cloud9 Mon 05-May-14 06:50:06

thanks you all again for your time and thoughtful responses,they have really help lift my spirits and hopefully see the situation for what it is. rhiwpix, i did tell the ht that we felt a bit like sitting ducks, i also suggested maybe getting the girls together to talk to someone trained in this area, but it seems that this isn't possible as the mother appears to not want this. she has refused to allow the school to share information with us, which is a nonsense really as we have to be informed if there's an allegation against my dd. the teacher had asked me to do some artwork with the class (it's what i do professionally, and i've been in most years for both ds and dd) ), i but has now asked me not to as he doesn't want to inflame the situation. the police officer who told me to sit down and talk to her told me not to let her know that i'd spoken to them as it would make the situation worse. it's hard not feel like we've done something wrong!

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 05-May-14 06:59:04

It all sounds very odd.

You need to block her number first and foremost so she doesn't send you texts. I don't think your husband should be contacting hers either, it all sounds very playground-ish and she might construe your husband ringing hers, about her, as "harassment" and contact the police herself if she is that kind of person.

How do you know all this about her daughter keeping logs against your daughter? Have the school told you that?

How did it all start? Is she perhaps jealous of you, and possibly sees you as a "Queen Bee" (horrid expression) because you are obviously quite involved in the school (PTA, art stuff) etc?

Is she jealous?

Did the girls use to get on?

Obviously you just need to ignore ignore ignore.

It's harder for your daughter, but if the school say nothing is going on, then I guess you have to take their word for it.

Hope it blows over.

cloud9 Mon 05-May-14 07:22:58

i agree, it's very playground-ish, and really futile! her dh contacted mine as we all spent time together prior to this situation, and the girls did get on, they've known each other since nursery days. i really couldn't say if she's jealous, the text she sent me was quite vicious and personal, so maybe. but yes, it's hard for me to see dd so anxious.

Kissmequick123 Mon 05-May-14 07:42:32

I think it's odd too but I actually do wonder if your DD is bullying her DD but you are unaware of it.

What is DD being accused of? Just because there are no witnesses doesn't mean it didn't happen. Yes the other girl could be lying but alternatively your DD could be lying to get out of trouble. What things I'd your DD being accused of. What's your DD like in character?

I think you need to reply to any texts each time with with 'please go through the school, not me. thanks' Let the school deal with everything.

Also avoid the mother in person. Act like she's not there so that you don't have to acknowledge any eye rolling etc. If you have to talk to her be polite and keep it short.

Kissmequick123 Mon 05-May-14 07:43:54

I think it's very easy for teachers to obliviously blind to lots of bullying as they have so much to organise

Kissmequick123 Mon 05-May-14 07:48:15

What exactly has the girl made up about you?

I know of situations where children have been closely watched but somehow bulling still totally missed.

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