To think the education system is failing our children re bullying

(52 Posts)
Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 06-Feb-16 03:28:12

Everything I come on mumsnet there is always a thread about someone's child being bullied, really awful stuff with can damage a kid for years to come.
Also plenty of threads about schools doing nothing or very little, there almost seems to be a culture of victim blaming where the victim ends up having to move schools or be home educated. It's just sickening
Aibu to think in this day and age bullying should be jumped on and sorted out straight away.
Also just wondering if anyone has had any postive stories of when a school had delt with bulling really well and stopped it.
I was bullied and the school did nothing about it in fact the headteachers words were "bulling doesn't happen in my school"
I just fear for my DS to know that bulling seems to be as bad as ever sad

Greydog Sat 06-Feb-16 04:58:18

Got to agree - lots of pretty words, and no action. My son was bullied - but it didn't happen in that school, so I told him that if it happened again to take the law into his own hands, and we would support him. He did, he dealt with the bully who was so astounded the worm had turned, and he was never bothered again. But it's not just schools, it's workplace bullying as well, and nothing much is done about that. A sad world that we live in.

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 06-Feb-16 05:40:22

I agree about the workplace bullying and then you have posts about mums bullying other mums at the school gate and groups of mums ignoring new mums at baby groups etc.
Come across myself and hear about people like this so often it makes me think just how many bullies are there out there.
Often wonder if adult bullies where also the
child bullies who got away with it at school so they have taken it into adulthood.
What makes someone decide to make someone's life hell!!!

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 06-Feb-16 05:41:17

Sorry about grammer I have been up all night with a poorly DS hence the early posting grin

sportinguista Sat 06-Feb-16 06:04:40

I agree, it may continue into adult hood. Workplace bullying is very common and usually is not dealt with too. Apparently most instances result in the victim having to leave their place of work rather than the bully (see Tim Field' s website). It may be that some are the child bullies just carrying on until adulthood, especially if they are unchecked. It is infuriating when you see it not being dealt with and especially when you see otherwise rational adults actually enabling it...bizarre! sad

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 06-Feb-16 06:15:41

I think the enablers are just as bad as the bullies

Greydog Sat 06-Feb-16 06:21:51

I also think that a lot of bullying is dismissed as "positive behaviour" and is re-enforced by TV, which is full of programmes with horrid, bullying behaviour. Everything from the Apprentice, down to those dreadful Storage Wars type progs. Then there's the ever popular Big Brother. I've seen what happens at work when people are bullied - and it's very hard to prove. Things can be said that -when written down - sound reasonable, but when spoken are far from it

Katenka Sat 06-Feb-16 07:37:39

Yanbu. We had a terrible time all through primary.

Dd was bullied, verbally and physically. The final straw was when a child restrained her by her hair. The school would only say 'hmm it could turn into bullying'. I removed her, complained to the LA and ofsted. The HT was removed a few months later. No idea if it was just a result of our complaint.

Dd moved to a new school and loved it. 6 months later her bully was put on a managed moved out of his old in school into dds new school. We were told by the head there was nothing they could do to stop it. They lied.

He started at her school and immediately started bullying her. Spreading rumours about her and hurting her. Having been trough it before I noted everything down. Every converstation with the school, every action plan etc.

I told them if he touched her again I would call the police and had full support of the class teacher. Well he broke her nose. The he'd teachers suggested punishment was to keep him in a break times. I called the police. Told them the full story and the boy was charged with assault. We had a meeting with the school. Both head teachers, their union rep and the police.

Me, dh and the police handed them their asses. They tried to block us seeing the governors, recorded the nose breaking as an accident (even though the boy admitted he did it on purpose and then threatened to do it again). By the end of the letting the head teachers union rep was on our side. He told them he was appalled at the way they had let dd down. They hadn't recorded meetings, earrings removed from the diary etc.

Said boy left her alone. They both started the same high school in September. He is now taught in isolation due to his behaviour to other students. He passed dd in the corridor and said 'you mum planning on calling the police to arrest me again'

Dd replied 'why don't you ask her, she picks me up everyday' and. He scuttled off. I reported this to her head of year who took the boy into a meeting with the school police officer who told him if he spoke to her again they would charge him with harassment and that it's not only physical violence they will charge him with.

He never goes near her now.

So primary schools were absolutely shit. But our secondary school stamped on it as soon as anything happened.

Oh and also the primary school failed to mention he had been charged with assaulting her even though they had a few meetings due to his behaviour in general. I had to tell them that.

QueenStreaky Sat 06-Feb-16 07:47:39

Unfortunately it's not only bullying that's a problem with schools. So much pressure is put on even very young children, and by the time they get to GCSEs they're stressed to bits. Seriously harmful for their mental health. And that's before we get onto SEN which is ludicriously inadequate in the majority of settings, including specialist provision. The whole education system is in shreds sad.

IAmPissedOffWithAHeadmaster Sat 06-Feb-16 07:59:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucsy Sat 06-Feb-16 08:06:05

You are right.

I now have a zero tolerance approach with any child deliberately hurting my child in any way at all.

Every single time an incident happens, I am now emailing the HT. In my daughter school policies and procedures have been changed as a result of what happened with my daughter. But only because I kicked up an almighty stink and made an official complaint.
The problem is, you don't know how rubbish a school is at dealing with things until you test it. And then it's too late really

carabos Sat 06-Feb-16 08:08:35

DS2 was bullied from the minute he first set foot into school aged 4 till he left aged 18. Neither of his schools did anything meaningful about it and it was suggested to us that we "should teach him not to be a victim" and "he's ginger, what do you expect?". He was bullied by other children and in primary school, was also bullied by a teacher.

When he was about 15, he and his friends were minding their own business one lunchtime when the bully-led group from the year below started their usual antics. DS and his friends were "arty-farty" and musical so naturally their bullies would taunt them as "gay" and "soft". Anyway, DS's friend finally snapped and a brawl ensued in which DS's team emerged victorious (albeit a bit battered). The school punished all the boys involved, but the local copper who had been brought into it all months before when the bullies gathered as a mob outside the home of one of the group (the one who is now a ballet dancer), took the view that this was the time-honoured way of dealing with this sort of thing and refused the school's request to speak to them all as if they were equally in the wrong.

Wrong or right, the bullying stopped. It was replaced by other people being horrid, but not to the same degree or with the same real threat. DS2 was incredibly empowered by the fight and it gave him a lot of self-confidence. He has been attacked a couple of times since, but he has been better able to shrug it off.

IMO schools are utterly useless at dealing properly with bullying because they just will not do blame and punishment. They are far too even-handed, seeming unable to recognise that the very essence of bullying is that the victim does nothing to provoke it other than simply "be". They always try to point to some behaviour or characteristic that they can somehow use to justify or explain the bullying behaviour - your child is a "victim" or a "ginger", has things the other child wants - anything, anything that makes it ok for them to be attacked verbally and physically, over and over and over again.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 06-Feb-16 08:27:00

Dollymixture. I don't know how old your DS is but please don't start worrying prematurely that he will be bullied. It is by far the exception not the rule. You don't want your anxiousness to affect him and how he interacts with other children.

MN can give you a skewed view of schools and bullying as parents without s problem won't post.

QueenStreaky Sat 06-Feb-16 08:34:31

IME schools seem to approach bullying from the standpoint that the perpetrators aren't aware that their actions are unacceptable (an indirect parent-blaming), and that if they talk to them kindly and explain how to be nice it will miraculously make them better people and the bullying will stop. They get swamped in the idea of the poor damaged child, who takes it out on other people, that they fail to recognise that some kids actually get a kick out of hurting and intimidating their peers and they know full well what they're doing, and how to do it discreetly. The needs of the bullied child frequently get overlooked in favour of supporting the perpetrator.

I've seen so many examples of frankly ridiculous attempts to resolve bullying issues that have inevitably made matters much worse - they have empowered the bullies because they see that they won't be seriously punished, regardless of how bad their actions, and all they'll have to endure is a minor telling off and maybe a detention. It baffles the bejezus out of me, tbh - so many children with SNs are punished daily for having the audacity to be disabled, yet it seems to be acceptable to take a softly-softly approach with children who are deliberately setting out to harm others. It's bonkers.

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 06-Feb-16 08:51:21

Also there seems to be an attitude that if you get bulled its character building and will make you stronger hmm

QueenStreaky Sat 06-Feb-16 08:57:15

I think a significant part of the problem is that teaching staff are so over-stretched these days that they don't really have time to get to the bottom of bullying issues (or even perceived bullying) - if they see two children squabbling they tend to assume equal responsibility so deal with it equally. That too feeds the bully, because their actions see the victim humiliated and punished for something they didn't start and that's worth the consequences they have for themselves. Again, the bully is empowered and gains from it. The victim has to be squeaky clean - and seen to be squeaky clean - before it's acknowledged that they've been bullied and it's not like for like.

Salimali15 Sat 06-Feb-16 09:15:51

Schools have limited powers to deal with these situations, unfortunately. Some bullies can be dealt with, there is no disputing that. But, IME as a teacher who has worked in a huge range of schools, bullying behaviour is a very often a replication of parental behaviour. I've lost count of the number of times myself or colleagues have been threatened with violence by parents of bullies when we have broached the subject with them.

chillybillybob Sat 06-Feb-16 09:20:08

I personally think the word bullying gets thrown around to much now a days. I work in early years and I get parents of 2 year olds saying their child is being bullyed.

Children have always name called other children , we need to teach our children to ignore it and move on instead we tell children they are being bullied,

Chiggers Sat 06-Feb-16 09:29:51

I was bullied in school for being small. It finally got to the point where I snapped and beat 7 shades of shit out of the girls who were doing the bullying. Even though there was 5 of them, piled on top of me, trying to punch and kick me, I focussed on one at a time and took them all out. I was the one who got told off and warned, but when I told my gran about it, she went ballistic and went nuclear at the HT and served him his arse.

High school was the same. I got bullied, but I hit back (broke a metal chair over the main bully's back and battered the other bullies), got detention for 2 weeks and gave off to the HT myself about the lack of discipline for bullies. I think the HT was stunned that I was able to hold my own instead of cowering to him. I spoke to my uncle about it and he rang the HT (my uncle and the HT went to university together and were both HTs of different schools), explained the situation and the bullies were eventually expelled for the same behaviour toward another classmate.

I think the gentle approach to bullies is not working in the majority of cases I've seen. The background doesn't matter, it's the behaviour that matters most. The victim isn't going to care about the bully's background/upbringing. The victim just wants the physical and mental punishment to stop.

Toadinthehole Sat 06-Feb-16 19:50:50

My children's school follows a WITS policy, ie, children should walk away, ignore, tell a teacher or seek help (it's not obvious how the third and fourth are different). Nothing in this policy encourages children to deal with bullying themselves. Instead it tells children to take a passive approach or rely on someone else to sort out the problem for them. It is very disempowering for children, and it relies on the pretence that teachers are All Knowing, which they clearly are not.

It incenses me that children who are getting teased or pushed around should be told to stand there and take it, remove themselves and their game to some other part of the playground, or have to rely on an authority figure who may or may not be interested or capable of solving the problem. It also incenses me that while in the adult world it is perfectly acceptable to use force to defend oneself, it is absolutely prohibited at school. This of course hands a great advantage to bullies, who tend to be less likely to obey the rules.

I note that I do not advocate violence as a solution (in any event, bullies often hit back harder) but if schools want to stop bullying their strategies should include teaching children ways to stick up for themselves, as this is not a skill that is innate. Also children who give a bully a 'back off' shove should not be penalised.

Katenka Sun 07-Feb-16 09:13:32

Children have always name called other children , we need to teach our children to ignore it and move on instead we tell children they are being bullied,

yes and that's the attitude that schools have. It doesn't work. Ignoring it makes it worse. In our case ended up as full blown assault.

One of the worst things schools do is the 'let's sit the bully and their victim down. The victim will tell the bully how it makes them feel and that will stop the bully'

It doesn't. It puts the victim in a vulnerable position yet again. Pouring their heart out to the bully while the bully gets to hear exactly how shit try make the victim feel. Ime, the bully continues as they know they have that power to make a person feel shit.

Schools need to stop putting The bully first.

QueenStreaky Sun 07-Feb-16 13:19:47

Toad That policy would be even less effective for children with SEN, especially communication difficulties like autism, because they would have incredible difficulty in telling a teacher or seeking help - they simply wouldn't have the words to describe what they're feeling. Plus that group of children is particularly vulnerable to bullying because there's a tendency for a certain type of child to enjoy the pleasure of 'wind them up and watch them go' - an autistic child's meltdown is hugely amusing to onlookers and this is an oft-repeated tale for many parents of autistic children. I think there are very few who don't have this as part of their school experience.

Chattymummyhere Sun 07-Feb-16 13:30:44

It's been bad for a long time I've said it before I was bullied at school horribly and got moved schools and although I feel terrible about it now I became one of the bullies at the new school to make sure it never happened to me again, it was the only way it got stopped when you make yourself the person people won't bully as the schools don't care enough, if my first school had dealt with the kids bulling me I would of never moved schools and become the bully to protect myself.

hedgehogsdontbite Sun 07-Feb-16 14:39:14

I was told that my DD's bullying was all her own fault. She kept trying to play with the other children and they were really nasty to her because they didn't want to play with her. The headteacher told me that there wouldn't be a problem if DD just accepted that none of the other children liked her and stayed away from them all. That's 'inclusion' in action for you.

QueenStreaky Sun 07-Feb-16 16:00:11

And there's this, too, for young people with autism: autism hate crime

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