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...

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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?

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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".

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.

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 07:42:32

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.

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.

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 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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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