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...

cloud9 Mon 05-May-14 08:30:56

yes, i know it's possible. when i was called in by the school, i asked about what dd had done, and they said both the mother and her daughter were quite vague about specifics, just that my dd was responsible. i know what 8yr old girls can be like, so i'm very open to hearing if dd has been consistently unkind or spiteful, but honestly i don't think she's waged the campaign she's been accused of. the daughter made up stuff last year about my dd (not to do with school, and told both my ds and dd that their mum was a liar) but i know girls do this sometimes, and we were all friendly at the time so i thought it had passed. she's accused me of "staring her out".

uggmum Mon 05-May-14 08:42:48

I really wouldn't engage with her any more. Do not try to talk to her. Don't even look in her direction. Don't talk about it with friends.

If you do this it will probably blow over and she will move on to someone else. Perhaps your dd could move classes initially rather than schools.

Kissmequick123 Mon 05-May-14 08:53:07

Sounds like a real pain. Does your DD have good friends at school?

Kissmequick123 Mon 05-May-14 08:56:54

If school can't provide a list of incidents (even if small incidents), I wouldn't take any notice. As a parent you are entitled to know what your DD is being accused of - if anything.

iamsoannoyed Mon 05-May-14 09:36:49

I agree with those who suggest treating it as 2 separate issues.

Firstly, I agree it can be upsetting when someone behaves like this, but you haven't got any influence over this woman's behaviour, so it's best just ignore her. Just don't engage. Anything you do or say to her will only stoke the fire.

2) You need to speak with the school about how your DD is feeling. I'm not impressed with their anti-bullying procedures- they investigate accusations, find no case to answer and then do nothing about the fact that it is possible that one girl is lying to get another into trouble? Either they have little faith in their investigation, or they aren't dealing with the bullying at all.

You need to nip this in the bud now, before it gets any worse. Go to the school, tell them you are concerned and that your daughter is asking to be moved schools. I would have thought this is something which would be of concern to them.

I'd point out that this girl is keeping a log and making accusations against your DD, which seem to be untrue. Either they aren't doing a good job of monitoring the situation (i.e. they are implying they can't be sure her "log" is incorrect) or they aren't taking the fact this girl's accusations are false and the impact the situation has on your DD seriously enough- so you want answers about what they are going to do about the situation.

If the school can't, or won't, give you a satisfactory answer and/or don't address the situation, then I really would be considering moving schools as I don't think your daughter should have to suffer so you don't feel you've been forced out. It's not ideal, it will be disruptive and I dare say she'll feel she's won (and maybe she has)- but why should your daughter have to be miserable and in a school which won't address bullying, so you can prove a point?

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 05-May-14 10:27:01

Oh, I presumed the other girl had been told to keep the log of incidents by the school, as part of their anti-bullying procedure. I know that's often what happens, that children who are victims of bullying are told to write it all down.

I didn't realise it was an unofficial log.

How did it come out then that she was keeping this log? Did she show it to the teacher? Had her mother told her to do it?

cloud9 Mon 05-May-14 10:44:08

yes, DrankSangriaInThePark, the log is part of the school anti-bullying measure, so it's a school thing

bochead Mon 05-May-14 11:42:21

Why are you empowering her by continuing to engage with her ffs?

Neither you nor your husband have any reason to even make eye contact with her and you should have blocked her telephone number a long time ago.

The school incidents need to be dealt with only from the perspective of YOUR child, which is that she is now so unhappy that she no longer wants to attend and so is at risk of school refusal. Write to the HT and chair of Governors stating how unhappy she is and asking what specific action plan the school intend to put in place so that your daughter can again become the happy, engaged learner she was prior to the issues with the other child. Give them a fortnight to respond.

If the school responds to your letter in a positive manner then all is good and you just continue to ignore the neighborhood loon. If the school dismiss your letter, then follow it up with a second stating that due to their failure to implement an effective anti-bullying policy and your child's consequent unhappiness you would like their assistance in finding an alternative educational placement for next year. Copy that letter to the LA school admissions team.

Do not mention the other parents by name in any of your school correspondence as you are over 7 years old ffs.

I suspect however that as the other parent is the one doing all the kicking and screaming school just aren't aware of how seriously this is impacting upon your child. A strongly worded piece of correspondence written in an adult fashion will probably be all that's needed to sort it out.

As for you and your husband - has noone told the pair of you NEVER to feed a drama llama? Elenaor Roosevelt had it right when she said

^ "Noone can make you feel inferior without your consent"^

cloud9 Tue 06-May-14 16:21:20

thanks bochead, very wise words. sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the drama even when you don't want to be part of it. i will be taking an awful lot of the advice given here, you've all made me feel a lot stronger, so thank you again everyone.

PrincessBabyCat Tue 06-May-14 16:49:03

Switch schools if you can. Let her "win", make her someone else's problem. You really think people are taking her seriously? The school probably thinks she's fucking mental, but they aren't doing anything about it. Maybe when you leave they'll see that it's more than petty squabbling and do something so it doesn't affect other children. Even if you do put her in her place, at what cost are you going to do it at? Your daughter is already stressed and the one dealing with this day in and day out. She's too young to start hating school, if she wants to leave, let her.

That said, moving her you'll be "winning" a better place for your daughter where she will be happier, less stressed, and possibly able to make better friends. You'll be getting less stress for yourself too. Nothing is worth this sort of aggravation. smile

She really does sound like a miserable cunt.

nipersvest Tue 06-May-14 16:58:27

"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"

seriously! now that would really p* me off. am also an artist who goes into school occasionally, given the your involvement with the pta, and the lack of evidence to actually back up any of this womans claims, the school should be backing you, and going ahead regardless. in them 'not wanting to inflame the situation', they are passive-aggressively siding with her over you.

cloud9 Tue 06-May-14 19:03:41

i admit i was p*off with the the school for that decision as i feel it was pandering to this mother's claims, but what can i do? i don't want to make a fuss about it as i don't want to antagonise the situation, but i did say i felt it was giving in to bullying, because i feel like the whole class are missing out on something because of one parent!

bochead Tue 06-May-14 19:42:18

Have you sent the first letter yet?

It's OK to be upset at how the school are now pushing you out of the voluntary role you have performed to help them for years. That's a shoddy way to treat someone who gives up their time for free. It's not OK to let it show in public.

This term is a short one so step back from school related activities politely for now, and give school a clear space within which to sort it all out from your daughter's perspective.

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